Thursday 6 February 2020


From June to June I don't know who I am,
though I walk the old familiar paths, 
tracing and retracing into muscle and sinew

Who are you?
Who are you?
Who are you?

I am a Pokemon hunter
with chronic illness and no car, no invisibility 
cloak to protect me. 

I am a daughter, but not a mother.
I am a Queen of this, 
but not that.

I am a traveller who stays still for so long
she forgets she once walked 
among Inukshuk, and between redwoods. 

I am a reader who ceased to read.

Instead, I watch a bright screen move me
while my eyes and brain exchange 
the same, tired greeting

Here again?
Here again.
Here. Again.

A muntjac looked across the field 
at me, not trusting the scent of me.

We share this earth so cautiously. 

(c) Shaista Tayabali, 2020
prompt from Dverse Poets, ('What day is it anyway?'); image from Wildlife Watch: Forest of Dean
inspiration: my friend Helena, who walked in the garden with me, sunshine on our faces, muntjac footprints beneath our feet, and the wild world of hope blinking in the possibilities (Helena reminds me... I keep forgetting, am too tired, too sick, gripped by infections and fibromyalgia.) 


brudberg said...

The balance between the pain of sickness and friendship in beauty is so delicately presented here.

Jade Li said...

Illness can surely make one drift away from themselves. I'm glad the muntjac brought you back.

Gina said...

sorry about your pain and illness, thank you for sharing your walk and thoughts as you went about, a reader that hasn't read in a while sounds so sad to me

Frank Hubeny said...

I like the idea of sharing the earth cautiously.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

I am so sorry to hear about your pain and illness. This is a deeply philosophical write.

Arcadia Maria said...

Powerful words. I too found this piece philosophical. Very well written. Thanks for sharing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Lovely to read you, always, my friend. So sorry you feel so poorly. Will e you tomorrow.

Gayle Walters Rose said...

I too am sorry to hear of your debilitating illnesses. I liked how your poem shifted to nature and observing the muntjac and his trepidation of your scent. We do seem to live cautiously with much of nature...maybe not cautious enough sometimes.
Gayle ~

Kim M. Russell said...

We have muntjac in our garden, Shaista, and I have watched new-born deer take their first cautious steps – a fitting metaphor for the cautiousness of illness. A brave poem. I'm sorry life has become so limited, but happy that you can share your feelings with others through poetry. These lines are my favourite:
‘I am a traveller who stays still for so long
she forgets she once walked
among Inukshuk, and between redwoods.’

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