COVID-19 Health and Disease Poetry Uncategorized

Dying: A Moving Poem

By Parineetha Karumanchi

Published 2:10 EST, Wed December 29th, 2021

A leaden breath 

Escapes her lips

All at once

There is no forward

For the body

Married to modern medicine

It hits you all at once

Pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night

A fanfare of epiphany surpasses 

The sky screams your name

Sanity becomes foreign 

You become consumed by your own hysterical thoughts

Velvet shrouds consume you

Your eyes shut 

And a marriage of pale, winter green, rusted gold and specks of sleepy summer skies

Are all you can see

The low, incessant rumbling of your machines mitigates

And one meek sigh is released

As if struck by a pistol shot

You squirm for one last breath

The elixir of life discharges

Your soul ceases to exist

A quiver kisses the blood

In my veins

My brittle bones

A streak of crimson tear on your cheek

And the earth embraces you.

Parineetha Karumanchi, Youth Medical Journal 2021


War on the Brain

By Lily Kangas

Published 12:02 EST, Fri December 17th, 2021

This poem reflects the experience of a child with P.A.N.D.A.S, a rare but terrifying neuroimmune disease.  

In March of 2015, a war broke out.

This was no ordinary conflict.

It consisted not of armed soldiers,

battling to protect the fabric of their nation,

but of a body inflicting irreversible destruction to its mind.

For weeks, obsessive-compulsive thoughts flooded my psyche,

a dark shadow of depression infiltrated every aspect of my being.

My own limbs became weapons,

fighting against me. 

They twitched and flailed at the control of my disease

I held them down, 

but the war only became more violent. 

My thoughts resembled bullets,

perpetually striking with a force that could kill, 

each one as unbearable as the last.

My relationships were towns on the front lines

Innocent, yet ravaged by the cruel war in my mind.

Weeks turned to months,

those months amalgamated into one grueling year.

I felt my last glimmer of hope for a diagnosis slipping through my fingertips.

I was ready to wave the white flag. 

Lily Kangas, Youth Medical Journal 2021


I’ve Learned to Be Strong

By Lily Kangas

Published 4:12 EST, Sunday December 12th, 2021

This poem reflects the effects of cancer on loved ones. 

My grandmother, Gibs, was unstoppable.

She’d burst into a room wearing one of her signature floral dresses,

Her socks mismatched, 

Her shoelaces untied.

How’s it hanging, Jezebel? 

She’d say everytime she hurried by my bedroom door. 

She was a true crime fanatic. 

On Thursday nights we’d snuggle beneath her cold silk sheets and watch one, 

or maybe two, 

or maybe three episodes of Dateline. 

I could never fall asleep afterwards.

She was a poster child of optimism.

She stained her white shirt? Now it has a pop of color! 

I broke her favorite porcelain vase?  What a perfect excuse to get a new one!

She was tough.

Her skin was textured with elevated scars. 

It’s badass she’d always say. 

One time she fell and punctured her lung. 

She didn’t cry. 

I asked her why not. 

Because, Jezebel, she’d say, I’ve learned to be strong.

Now, I look down at her skinny body.

An IV bag labeled “chemo” dangles above. 

Her hair- or what’s left of it- is matted and thin. 

Her floral dresses are strewn across the couch next to her bed. 

Her mismatched socks are replaced by dull grey ones with grips on the bottom. 

Ready for some Dateline? I whisper in her ear on Thursdays. 

She’s too weak to respond. 

I play the show anyway. 

I can’t help but feel angry. 

Of the 7.86 billion people on earth, she deserves this the least.

She always said everything happens for a reason. 

I’m trying to believe it. 

As much as I want to break down, I know I can’t. 

I can’t because it’s my turn. 

It is my turn to be her “Gibs” and to help her in the many ways she has helped me. 

And when my little sister asks me how I’ve managed to keep myself together, I’ll say I’ve learned to be strong.

Lily Kangas, Youth Medical Journal 2021


Unappreciated Wealth

By Ilma Khan

Published 11:59 EST, Sat December 4th, 2021

Health is wealth

Health is value

Health is luxury

Health is your well-being

But it is our substandard conclusions 

That makes us poor 

That make us sick

That makes it a struggle

To spread love 

To breathe fresh air 

To dream.

A breath of fresh air

Will never feel fresh

Will never feel clean

The smoke 

The fog

The grey cloud of vapor

The fumes of tobacco 

Will always encompass you 

Will always lead to an illness

From lung cancer to heart disease

Your body 

Your wealth 

The riches you cherish most 

The luxuries you breathe with 

Will suffocate 

Will smother 

Till the end.


The Real Gallants

By Praktisha Baliga

Published 10:10 EST, Wed Novemember 3rd, 2021

A poem depicting the life of the doctors who are the true fighters of our nation whose sacrifice and determination often goes unnoticed.

It takes a full life to realise what is True,

To earn the title Doctor is a pride for all but a dream of only a Few. Take it or leave it, it’s up to You.

Take it or leave it, it’s up to You.

It’s a lifelong journey which has to be fulfilled by You.

They acquire a lot of knowledge throughout their medical Career,

But when a patient with an unknown disease arrives it’s their biggest Barrier.

They work like soldiers at the borders to save lives at the risk of their own Demise,

Seeing the patient fully cured is their biggest Prize.

They relate every aspect of their life with their medical life,

Whenever they see a Crescent moonlight Night,

They are reminded of P falciparum gametocyte.

They possess virtues which can’t be measured by a Test.

They have special qualities which make them stand apart from the Rest.

They have the patience to calm a disturbed mind.

Being objective and also very Kind.

Applaud to the doctors who sincerely do Care.

They are like those precious stones who are found very Rare.

Let’s stand up and clap for our heroes Today,

Salute and wish them a very 

Happy Doctor’s Day

Pratiksha Baliga, Youth Medical Journal 2021


Cloudy Eyes

By Diana Manzanes

Published 7:49 PM EST, Mon April 12, 2021

My eyes, a bridge I cannot cross

Unlike before, tears fall down like a starting rain

A rain I cannot be free from

Oh I do hope I get better 

I blink to free me from this blurry rain that won’t stop falling

But only a cloud stays, getting bigger by the days

This burden bedevils me

Oh how the days go by

The lies only reinforce this dark bridge that this site has created

“It’ll get better,” they said

Broken silence follows as things get worse

Oh how feelings grow accustomed to such torment

More rain falls and a flooded river keeps falling

I can no longer see the people around me

For they are only shadows to this empty soul to let go

Oh how bothersome

I can still see the sun when it rains

But only it’s only a defeat for my reach

I no longer want this weather

Oh how the clouds won’t leave

My eyes are cloudy with non-stop rain

So many clouds that I cannot see

Only those around me can witness my burden now

Oh how these eyes can be

Diana Manzanes, Youth Medical Journal 2021


Troublesome Lungs

By Diana Manzanes

Published 3:32 PM EST, Tues April 6, 2021

This troublesome condition stabs my chest

As I am left to partake in no more

Than minimal gasps of air, that are so pressed

They savagely leave me on the floor.

Oh how I adore the youths that run free

With no knives jutted at their lungs.

Utter glee I have for the chance to flee

And be careless like those that are among.

But before then, I must suffer this wait,

For I am surrounded by private eyes.

A cost I must bear to open this gate

That has hindered me from getting the prize.

So long my troublesome lungs I dearly 

Hope, A path I see so very clearly.

Diana Manzanes, Youth Medical Journal 2021



All eyes were leering at her vile fate,

But not a trace of life was left in her eyes.

The son, as vulnerable as when he was a child,

Held her hand for moments and moments more.

“Mother? Do you remember me?”

The old woman like a lifeless doll

Was still for a long moment until a breath of life came before her


Cold it may seem, but refutable to the occurrence.

The question only to bring curiosity into her for a moment, 

But soon to be feigned as nothing by the woman.


Sadness filled the air,

But it was yet only a moment of corroded doom for the son’s fate

He could not come to terms with.

It was one of many.

Moments to be forgotten.

Diana Manzanes, Youth Medical Journal 2021


The Year 2020


Countless lives gone, families shattered. 


Months since we’ve heard the sound of laughter.

Crying. Shaking. Coughing. Grieving.

Life can be ever so deceiving.

Behind the masks there are faces

People starving for their loved one’s embraces 


Hoards of people unjustly hurt because of their color.


The country is collapsing. When can we win?

Killing. Looting. Hurting. Dying

Life can be ever so deceiving.

Our dead brothers and sisters. Remember their faces?

People starving for their loved one’s embraces

Sai Datla, Youth Medical Journal 2020


Sick Relations

In sickness and in health

she stayed with you

only to bring a pitfall of your own demise

Glass by glass

Like a mixture of sour and sweet

She brought you temporary happiness

As you lay there

In the hospital bed

Wallowing as she takes your liberty

For she is like lemon in the eyes

Painful as your once clear vision is taken

A pain that is clear on your lower abdomen

And yet, you still ignore the signs

At the first stage

She has left you but a fatty liver

not too late to reverse

But that selfishness you hold keeps her close

Rusted and corroded

The second stage appears

The signs are clear now

It is still within your grasp to turn back

Except you won’t let go of your selfish longing 

You’ve followed your selfish thoughts of woe 

And she existed

Like a lemon, your skin is tinted yellow 


She has left you with many scars

As your liver takes a toll on your mistakes

You are but a dead man

As the last stage is too late to reverse

And you won’t stop wanting her

Diana Manzanes, Youth Medical Journal 2020


“Alcohol-Related Liver Disease.” NHS Choices, NHS,