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Chapter 2
Prussian to St Patrick's Blue


The blue light that casts itself over everything in the waiting room. It can be cold, clinical, bereft of feeling. It can also settle into the warmth of clarity and acceptance.


What is it like to be confronted with an illness? Read about Emily Marie Shaw’s struggle with cancer. There’s Scott Ennis who suffered severe traumatic brain injury after a biking accident, and how poetry—a form that affords such complex renderings of reality, imagination and language—helped him in his healing process. 

In his second piece, Joseph Stanton  writes: “I seem an absurdly hobbled version of myself… // To be fully alive again seems unlikely— / a goal elusive, mocking, ever out of reach, / like a door at the far end of a hall….”

What of watching someone in pain? What of the demands of caregiving? Of these, we have the compelling poems of Christine M. Payne, D. R. James, Foo Wee San, Lauren Camp, and Nicholas Wong.

In a rare but fascinating poem by the consummate storyteller Verena Tay, she shares with the reader her moment of reprieve: “returning to first principles, i focus on breath’s metronome, / in-out, in-out, in-out, and the pauses in-between— / amidst silence, what new self will i find?”

Al Hafiz Sanusi // Lauren Camp

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda // Nicholas Wong

Christine M. Payne // Kok Wei Liang

D. R. James // Sarah Mak

Emily Marie Shaw // Scott Ennis

Foo Wee San // Sandeep Kumar Mishra

Joseph Stanton // Verena Tay

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