01. The Tumour

Blue-ringed Octopus at night. Taken at Blairgowrie Marina, Victoria, AU. Photo by Saspotato.


More than three or even four decades ago,
a tiny, docile blue-ringed octopus
made its lair in my spinal cord.

It had been thriving,
slowly and steadily,
until eleven years ago.

It extends its eight long, flexible arms
in all directions,
to siphon off nerve tissues and cells
as it pleases.

It liquidises its prey
to make minute cysts
that slowly combine
to become larger cysts.

It wrecks widespread nerve damage:
cuts off nerve communication with a burst of ink
and paralyses with a shock of venom.

Destruction from neck down to lumbar.
new types of pain,
new pain patterns,
new pain locations,
greater disability.

© 2015 K-KLokePhD

Blue-Ringed Octopus. Photo by Saspotato, in public domain, via -