K-K Loke’s poetry project chronicles the author’s experiences living with chronic neuropathic pain, spasm, disability, and illness. But these poems do not dwell on suffering; Loke explores her deeply personal themes by emphasising her personal triumph over pain.
Like tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis,
acute pain can devastate in an instant.
Like the reign of a cyclone or volcanic eruption,
pain is unbearable in its duration.
Chronic pain persists like a bushfire,
blizzard, flood, drought or heat wave:
excruciating, depleting, extensive, destructive.
Chronic neuropathic pain, with its multiple symptoms,
is complex megadisaster: earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear blast;
or supercell thunderstorm with hail, lightning, cyclonic wind, and flood;
or volcanic eruption, fire, lava flow and permanent damage.
However widespread the disaster, we overcome and recover.
Pain is physical; suffering is mental.
Suffering is just the sky’s dry argument.
We do not let pain become suffering:
Tornado, Photo by Daphne zaras, in public domain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado#mediaviewer/File:Dszpics1.jpg.
Bush Fire. By CSIRO Australia. CCA 3.0 Unported license.
Eucalypt Regrowth After Black Saturday Bushfires.
Photo by Robert Kerton, CSIRO, Australia. CC0 AS-A 3.0 Unported License. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CSIRO_ScienceImage_10409_Eucalypt_regrowth_after_Black_Saturday_bushfires.jpg