I lie on a hospital bed, in a dark room,
Severely ill with pneumonia in my right lung.
Semi-conscious, I feel the mattress move.
Hallucination! No! I hear the edges of the bed creaking.
A silent slender creature moves in curving motions inside the mattress.
Is it aware of me? Does it know I'm here? Does it care I'm here?

Near mortally wounded
I float on ocean depths.
I sleep, I dream, I wake,
Or not.
Dark waters undulate, support me.
In waking dream, my lungs red and swollen, weep, weep.
Their tears flow, sorrowful rivulets into the deep waters.
Do I sense rhythm in the ocean currents?
No! I am alone!
My spirit spins a tale, a long forgotten dream
Of deep dark waters, alive.
Tracing silent curves beneath me,
A large creature sings a wordless melody;
The melody is its name - ambunAtha (Lord of the Waters).

I'm confused. Caregivers say, 'Good morning'. I think it's late afternoon.
Someone wakes me at night to take vital signs. I think it's early morning.
Gradually, I know day from night.
With immense effort, I sit up and take food.
Medication and inhalation therapy begin healing my right lung.
It still weeps, but less each day.

The dream fades,
as dreams do.
The song of ambunAtha diminishes to near silence.
The waters give way, and I walk again upon land,
weakly but with increasing strength.
My lungs grow stronger. I stride across many lands.
Sometimes my spirit still whispers the dream, softly, too rarely.
The song of ambunAtha remains.

- RJ Christopher