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Everard S. Polakow


Johannesburg, South Africa

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I have written, to date, 259 poems dating back from the 60's. Numbers 1 through 80 are poems which document my observations of life through the eyes of a 'sensitive' physician during my years of practise. From 81 onwards I record inspirational research of various subjects viewed, as it were, from a vantage point of spiritual enlightenment.

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Ode to Basil and Elias (No. 62, Feb 1976)


Everard S. Polakow

The traumatic experience as an intern with a terminally ill patient in severe unrelenting pain who requested euthanasia.

The spirity smell
of overworked nights
mingling with mankind
in all its afflictions
filters back to my mind

My formative years
fired with altruism
good things and Heaven
guided by late Basil
became jarred

Elias lay propped
straining and blue
heaving and foamy
perceptive, alive
well spoken and warm

An infinity of hours
each day he lay
wide - eyed,
fish - like
the receding sunlight
in our ward -
one unkind day
showers of clots
dispersed and wedged -
intense pain
ripped open
that frail torso
we both knew.

The wide - eyed staring
that savoured all
became a slit - like grimace
challenging, futile

Through the haze
of pain
words became nods
as we tried and tried
until I called Basil
to sanction
what was asked

My hands
on glass
my needle - his vein
my pain - his life
his pain - my life
where was God
for us that day?

through his eyes
he smiled at me
my tears
blurring his slide
into ultimate rest

Basil prayed
for his soul
and its future,
whereas I,
jarred to the bone
with my hand
on the glass
and the steel
and his flesh
and trembled
for the step
I had taken.

An Ante-Mortem Caesarian (No.63, Feb 1976)


Everard S. Polakow

The agonizing dilemma of choosing to perform an immediate ante - mortem caesarian section on a dying mother to save the life of her unborn child.

The room looked ghastly.
Oblique she lay
by my bayonet scalpel
her entrails had slid
like snakes
onto white sheets
and dark, stale blood
lay in congealed pools
over blankets.

Detached I was
outsider to the scene
my fiery throat
gasping with vomit
wet hands
stained sticky
by her blood.

Not bitter sweet
but abject horror
swamped the joy
when her baby cried
its first pitiful moan
questioning me
maybe angry
at a forcible parting
from a dying womb
dying mother.

Haunted by codes
I muse
without sleep
on my deed.

For whom and why
did I act?
For mother
or babe
for God
or self?

Giving (No.83, 17th Sept 1986)


Everard S. Polakow

of the power
joins all
in the art and skill
of Divinity.

It is
a delicate circular balance
of four:

The boundless force
of the Spirit
which waits, then enters
through the choice
and submission
of the Giver
to be adapted
and moulded
as a Gift
to fill, over time
a need
within the Receiver.

if the size
and texture
of the Gift
is seen and limited
by the eye
of the self;

if the Receiver
cannot perceive
nor accept
the force
fails with sorrow
in its quest.

It then pauses,
encircles and awaits.

Yet, when all begin
to resonate in harmony
there is but half
of perfect balance...

once given
it turns slowly
changing form
then travels back
through converse roles
without names
enriching all -
the eternal circle
of Divinity.

Receiving (No.96, 6th June 1987)


Everard S. Polakow

To receive Love
from another or others
cleaves deeply
into one's soul.

To accept
such a gift...
admits need
surrenders illusion
exposes the self
and requires courage.

To prize open
one's sealed space...
and invite another
into emptiness
reveals to both
one's naked soul.

beyond the hands that offer
and the heart that accepts
stand two souls
who wait patiently
outside Time
to be rebonded.

Viewed from above
one sees a reservoir
of limitless Love
whose passage
through such souls
is an expression
of Divine ecstasy.

The Misty South (No. 29, 9th Nov 1974)


Everard S. Polakow

The mist envelops
the grey, cold fortress
like thoughts
and feelings
of people
and nations.

Its windows are closed
barred, shuttered.
No light nor insight
burns from within.
The swirling vapours
see nothing
hear naught
but hymns
the fortress.

A swept up page
of screaming headlines
sticks to the window
facing a department
of the interior.

From the inside
insular, protected
we see a mist
far away
not us
of others

We are warm
don't touch
the cold
may penetrate.

After a period
of time
and lives
the mist clears.


the atmosphere
has staled
we breathe
our own air believe
our own thoughts
by our ideology.

The Breathless Cage (No. 75)


Everard S. Polakow

Piercing orbs
Picasso - like
challenged me
from atop
a breathless cage
hemmed in
by bedside machines.

" I live
just about
and I hate
all around
in desperation
myself too
for my style
that has ruined "

Her eyes spat
while a tongue
purple and weak
pushed out words
one by one
in a rhythm
all ebb

Unique she was
rather young
arms and legs
flailing wildly
round a barrel
without air

Tightly contained
in her personal capsule
of guilt
and fear
and family
and smoking
she waited...