Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Continuation Day

Shaista Tayabali
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Poet’s statement: When I was 18, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, and poetry began to define the landscape of my soul. It saves me now, from needles, night sweats, ulcers, glaucoma, and the general terrors of global happenings. I write, and my soul takes flight. Death is a companion now. Not particularly friendly, but entirely familiar. I see the cloak everywhere, across time, and behind closed doors on the wards. I examine the shadow, inspect it from all angles. And yet, Death surprises me. Poetry is my shield against this temporal existence.

Continuation day

Tree branches with sun coming through, Photography by Benjamin Haile
Photography by Benjamin Haile


How does a part of the world leave the world?
How can wetness leave water?

A memory tugged at me
weeding in the garden

I looked up
to hear
your laugh
reach the furthest branches

Reminding me
though the light may dim
the birds sing on


SHAISTA TAYABALI was born in Bombay, India (when it was still called Bombay) and moved to England when she was 15 years old. By then, her inner landscape had already been defined by the English canon of literature and poetry. She is a poet-blogger at www.lupusinflight.com.

About the photographer

Benjamin Haile has a studio in Chicago. He specializes in headshots and portraits and enjoys taking photos on wilderness hikes. Benjamin can be contacted through his website at www.BenjaminHailePhoto.com.


Highlighted in Frontispiece Spring 2011 – Volume 3, Issue 2
Spring 2011  |  Sections  |  Poetry

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