Tag Archives: Poetry

Metastases

A CXR of a person with lung cancer causing superior vena cava syndrome. Photo by James Heilman, MD. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   The fact Is they are there, gathered like a clutter of popcorn, some kernels, others fluffy white swirls, but they are there, bound to […]

Under the lime tree: medicine, poetry, and the education of the senses

Alan Bleakley Sennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom   Portrait of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), by Peter Vandyke, 1795. Edited by Sue Bleakley. When in the summer of 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s wife Sara accidentally spilled hot milk over his foot, causing serious burns such that Coleridge could not walk, he sat in the garden of […]

Airs and graces: Humphry Davy and science as performance

Alan Bleakley Sennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom   A cartoon featured in an 1807 dissertation by a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania on the “chemical and exhilarating effects of nitrous oxide gas.” The two figures are almost certainly Davy to the right and perhaps Beddoes to the left. Credit: Bulletin of the Society […]

Emptiness

Sarah Alam  New Delhi, India   Illustration by Sarah Alam Today I feel just emptiness I am numb more or less, I can’t believe you are gone forever, Will this agony end ever? Your face shines before my eyes, I couldn’t even say goodbye, I never knew those words would be last, Each memory I […]

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 […]

Covid battleground

Elena Wilson Rockville, Maryland, United States   A collage showcasing the way COVID-19 cases have dominated our minds. Edited to include a trend line of cases. Original by Gerd Altmann, via Pixabay. Up and down, up and down they rise Forgetting so easily all of the cries Cries for help, cries for change Cries for […]

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 […]