Poetry Archives Page 2 of 17 - Hektoen International

Medical and literary coupling

Stephen Finn South Africa   (To be read aloud, with gusto and with a strong beat) Collage created by Hektoen staff. Images from left to right. Top row: Portrait of Rabelais, circa 1820. By Louis-François Durrans. From the Rabelais Museum, via Wikimedia; Anton Chekhov, via Wikimedia. Center: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash Bottom […]

Normal head shape and size

Ateret Haselkorn Bay Area, California, United States   Photo by Karen Arnold. Source My son is flying a rainbow Kite. The streamers frame The beach like a wedding canopy. He runs. His three-year old legs Don’t know the meaning of “stroll.” I recollect, years ago, the prenatal ultrasound. The border of his skull, The tiniest […]

Parental grief

Ellen Zhang Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels We didn’t know the ending because this was us back then. Sometimes wanting is not enough. When the oncologist spoke. While you started to cry only because your mother did. As we cradled you gently. Beyond the singularity of such moments. There […]

Compassion

Charles Halsted Davis, California, United States   Formed and found in the human soul lies the wellspring of compassion. Seeing yourself in the other, the other in yourself is the essence of compassion. Selfless caring without condition for the unfortunate ones without voice, feeling the pain of another, accepting without judgment is compassion. Caring for […]

Solitude

Donna Pucciani Wheaton, Illinois, United States   You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley . . . —American Folk Song   Photo by Donna Pucciani We learn to be alone for months when microscopic murder floats in the air like so much smoke. We learn to fear the passing stranger whose only misdeed is walking […]

Pink and yellow

Govind Krishnan Durham, North Carolina, United States   The Magpie by Claude Monet. 1868 – 1869. Musée d’Orsay. Via Wikimedia  I am wearing pink, I have a rosy glow My breaths are even, measured, slow The doctors come and go. Come and go. Come and go. But sometimes they mutter, their heads bowed low. And […]

Best friends for never

Ariya Mobaraki Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Three people contemplate the cadaver of Saint Petronilla. Etching by James Basire, 1764, after Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino… Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) I stand looking over you, Wishing I could turn back time. Wondering what wisdom you would give me, Back in your prime.   […]

Hope quarantined

Prasad Iyer Singapore   Poet’s statement: This fictional poem expresses the feelings of a migrant separated from his family during the COVID pandemic.   Photo by Logan Fisher on Unsplash      Quarantine forceth divorced souls  Distanced families and broken wholes  Shards of thoughts, impaling my core  Locked down borders’ hearts a sore  Shallow slumber, […]

Prayer to St. Roch, patron of plague sufferers  

Jack Coulehan Stony Brook, New York   San Roque. Francisco Ribalta, between circa 1600 and circa 1610. Museu de Belles Arts de València. Via Wikimedia.   Please take your work to the next step,  St. Roch, beyond being a friendly ghost  to the lost. Bring us back from the edge.     Pour out the healing grace of your […]

Death in the time of corona

Nivetha Subramanian Palo Alto, California, United States   The Garden of Death. Hugo Simberg. 1896. Ateneum Museum.  Source When several years ago, a virus, continents away, barred grieving families from holding their loved ones, I thought how lonely it must be, to breathe a last breath, surrounded by masked strangers. I greet you this morning, […]