Poem a Day 2013 #11: Labyrinthitis


Poem number 11. A prompt to write about suffering. I contracted a nasty virus, five years ago, which damaged my inner left ear, leaving me dizzy, fatigued, nauseated for the best part of four years. I still suffer from it maybe twenty percent of the time, which is an improvement on the ninety-five percent of the time for which it inflicted itself on me for nearly four years.



Infection, poison

cramped stomach

Bursting bowel

boiling, headache.


Screaming sinuses

red-hot ear


lethargy, the heaviest sluggishness.


Weeks, months go by.

Stomach pains passed

temperature abated.

Sea sickness, dizziness

nausea remain.

A constant, shrill distant whistle

in my left ear.

Overwhelming weariness,

a vice around my head.

The world is unsteady,

the floors are uneven,

every path is  waist deep

in energy sapping water

to be waded through.


Years pass.

Slowly,  hours of relief

just about exceed hours of suffering.

Running, cycling, swimming

keep it at bay.

It lurks

biding its time

taunting me

with its incessant whining.


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013


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