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. (Zanobia Frost)



Photo by Daphne Zaras







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:
we triumph.



Eucalypt Regrowth after Black Saturday Bushfires


© 2015 KKLokePhD

Tornado, Photo by Daphne zaras, in public domain.

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.

8 thoughts on “Prologue

  1. hi kk,
    your poem is descriptive and affectively connecting. my best wishes for the continuation of your power and the lessening of your pain.

  2. Thank you for sharing your creative thoughts, exploring and sharing what we all attempt to explain. You are the first one I’ve come across in the 10 years since I tried to explain the sensations in my body after severe spinal pain. I told my doctor I felt like a puppet, being controlled in my brain by a master puppeteer!!!! I could truly feel the interrupted connections, like a time delay as I attempted to move after six weeks of bed rest. Like you , I have not had a single pain free moment since. (Except when on a lignocaine infusion) and under anaesthetic. In fact it’s been 30 years, after a neck fracture and other injuries post motor vehicle accident . I wish for you and all our friends connected by chronic pain, relief , comfort and the best quality of life we can achieve in spite of our disabling pain.

    • Hi Diane,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences and your well wishes. Let’s wish all of us connected by chronic pain freedom from pain and triumph over pain. KK

  3. Hi KK:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on pain. I never had on-going pain so I do not know the experience, but I’m amazed at how in your constant pain, you can still produce something so beautiful. Hope to see more of your sharing. Your poem is a voice and comfort for many who are living with pain & do not know how to express their struggle.
    Take care.
    Lina Hsu

    • Hi Lina, Thank you for your comment and support. The poems are the results of my attempts to face chronic pain upfront and to be distracted from it. I do hope my poems will provide comfort to those who have chronic pain and an inspiration for them to express their struggle. KK

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