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Rasa Kabaila

Updated: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 09:05 am

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Hello fellow poets, Nice to meet you all. Here is a little bit of information about my writing and professional background in recent times: Since 2020, I have worked as an endorsed nurse practitioner, specialising in mental health. I am currently the leading practitioner at a depression clinic that is involved in an ethics-approved university study, which is trialling a nurse practitioner care pathway methodology that is assisted by an online mental health assessment tool. From 2017-2021, I have been registered as a credentialed mental health nurse through the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. From 2011–2020, I worked as a registered nurse in a variety of clinical settings. While working, I have also excelled in numerous tertiary and postgraduate qualifications including: a Bachelor of Nursing degree, a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care, a Masters of Mental Health Nursing degree and a Masters of Nurse Practitioner degree. I have also been employed as a sessional tutor and assignment marker at the Australian Catholic University and the University of Canberra. In addition, I have peer reviewed scientific journals through 'Publons', at the request of a senior researcher and lecturer at the Australian Catholic University. Regarding my writing experience, I have received positive feedback from various health directors and nurses, state and nationwide, regarding my nine published articles in the 'Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal', as well as other published articles in the NSW Health 'Pulse' magazine and the 'Palliative Care Nurses News'. Outside of academic writing, I have written articles for the Australian Lithuanian newspaper 'Musu Pastoge'. Furthermore, I enjoy keeping a personal travel blog, which I have continued over several years. I also regularly write and perform poetry. Some of my poetry has been published in 'Tamba' magazine and I have won several of the 'Slamboree' poetry slam competitions in Canberra. Regarding the poetry themes which I enjoy writing about, reflecting on the humorous and odd interactions that we have in life as well as delving in to the deeper sides of vulnerability and the human experience are topics that invigorate me. Poetry also has provided me with a opportunity to appreciate in my own words, the kindness of others and the beautiful world around me. I don't write for others, however, like most artists, I am pleased when my creative projects can resonate with someone else on a personal level. With further regard to the spoken word, I have a plethora of professional speaking experience, having both presented at a number of conferences and delivered training for nurses in the ACT and NSW. This year will be the third year that I have presented at the annual Australian College of Nurse Practitioner Conference. In 2018 I also won the Australian Nurse Practitioner Conference’s research poster prize which involved me giving an oral presentation of my poster. Moreover, in other writing projects, I have published articles in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, which is governed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation. I am also aiming to publish my first non-fiction book called 'Put some concrete in your breakfast: Tales from contemporary nursing'. Integrity, honesty and professionalism are values that I adhere to in my work as a nurse as well as in my writing. Thank you for allowing me to share my work with you all. I look forward to reading and appreciating the work of the poets within 'Write Out Loud'. It is a beautiful thing for writers to be able to appreciate each other's creative expression, ideas and passion. Best wishes, Rasa


Poetry: To be a woman in this world Too short Too tall Too fat Too thin Not blonde enough Not busty enough Set up to feel we are never enough With requirements so specific that no one can fit in Painting faces with makeup To cover natural spots and lines Mask grey hairs and any natural sign of aging And you’ll be just fine Be a carer — a career woman— just be perfect Or you’ll be left behind Prevent out doing men with your intelligence or strength Because that will intimidate them — and that’s a crime To be the perfect woman messes us up from the outside in Even if we chose to walk that awful path of ‘perfection’ Where the hell do we begin? Yet, I still paint my face and my greys And spend money Pulling out ‘unwanted’ hair; (A type of skin that has biological benefits That was always meant to be there) I wish I could be my true, holy and natural female self Not caring what others think Stick my middle finger up to societal norms And live my life completely on the brink But I’m not that strong There's not enough out there to support such a simple notion Perhaps collectively we could all be more open minded Through drinking a... magic potion? For now — I cling on to what I can I won’t give up all of me I remind myself constantly that I am enough And that—actually— I am free I refuse to sacrifice my wholeness For a society of vultures I remind myself that I am capable of saying 'no' and ‘fuck you’ I'm not buying a lifetime subscription in to that maladaptive culture Drop that log I enter I know that you are next door As beneath the cubicle, I can see your bag And your feet on the floor I imagine you are as disappointed as me All you wanted was some quiet from your day Some well deserved peace And privacy But we are both here now And so the awkward dance begins To see who can be most inconspicuous A competition hard to win I ruffle some toilet paper without purpose I doubt you are sick yet you cough It’s clear we are delaying the release This public poo etiquette is rough I wanna drop that log now And so do you Why the hell can’t we do it? What are we putting ourselves through? Someone releases a sneaky fart They’ve lost the competition; totally unplanned Thank god someone gave some leeway For the logs to finally land Saltwater salvation I watch the waves turn With differing force Here there And everywhere My inner monologue, forever going Pauses for a moment As the ocean casts its spell upon me A glittering stream of blue and green, gleaming and glowing For a moment I wonder If I should make the choice to be submerged To stop And allow my body to feel colder To be uncomfortable and stirred As I cower on the shore The waves continue on They move without a care They know where they belong And whatever happens with the tide They still carry on As I stare at the sea, I am reminded about what is important, To be present, to feel connected Our mother ocean, so mighty and strong Is somewhat intimidating Yet she also has me feeling at peace, and protected After all this time hesitating Yes or no I take the dive The cold water grips me and reminds me that I am alive Salt water ointment cleansing every crevasse Dancing playfully over my tongue and my teeth She takes my breath away I am suddenly conscious of my skin, and my blood rushing underneath I am absolved of my sins and worries Or at least if feels that way When the ocean gives me permission to be in her company For one special moment in the day Non fiction writing: Book title: ‘Put some concrete in your breakfast: Tales from contemporary nursing’ Book genre: Nonfiction/Biography/Memoir/Health/Medical/Nursing Brief blurb/synopsis: The stories of a nurse are unique but rarely documented. Perhaps this is because nurses are too exhausted to think about writing down these tales after a long and difficult shift. These stories can be sad, funny, heart-warming, or just plain strange, and sometimes they are all of those things. The stories in this book discuss humanity in its ultimate grit and beauty as told by a practicing nurse. The book begins with the author discussing what led her to pursue a career in nursing and the challenges that she faced as a student undertaking a clinical placement in a prison and as a new graduate nurse in the hospital system. The reader quickly learns that each working day for a nurse can be colourful and the author has compiled some particularly special nursing stories under chapter themes. These chapters explore a cornucopia of different aspects of nursing, including: caring for dying patients, dealing with bodily fluids, understanding how patients are not very good at working out how sick they really are, as well as learning how a nurse sensitively approaches hilarious and bizarre clinical scenarios, such as retrieving a blood sample from a man covered in love bites. As the author has specialised in mental health, the book also covers how to manage the care of patients with complex mental illness and those contemplating suicide. It also looks at some of the politics commonly found within the health care system in Australia. Conversely, the book also looks at some of the advantages of nursing as a profession. Specifically, the opportunities for travel that have led to the author working in rural settings in Australia like Darwin and Griffith and international locations like Guatemala and the Canary Islands. Nursing is a hard profession and, without a doubt, there are times when nurses feel they need to put some concrete in their breakfast to be able to survive their next shift. However, nurses choose to be nurses because they have an innate want to care for others. Nursing is not a regular job, it’s a vocation. A nurse knows that every working day they have the opportunity to help a person significantly, or even save their life—a reward that is worthy of the hardship. This book follows the author’s journey from a junior nurse lacking confidence to a well-qualified nurse practitioner. This book follows the author’s journey from what led her to become a nurse and what convinced her to stay in the profession, despite the many hardships that she has herself faced, and continues to face, in her unique and rewarding career. *Note: I have just started a second book. Details of this book will released down the track!


Kabaila, R. (2012). Friends of Huong Phuong Orphanage. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 19 (11). P19. Kabaila, R. (2012). Reflections of a New Graduate Registered Nurse. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 19 (8), p28. Kabaila, R, (2013). A rural nursing experience in Darwin. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 21 (2), P34. Kabaila, R. (2013). Overcoming disabilities. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 21 (1), P19. Kabaila, R. (2014). Kieran’s story. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 21 (11). P39. Kabaila, R. (2016). Donating to save others. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 23 (11). P37. Kabaila, R. (2017). Helping people with mental health issues on the Canary Islands. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 25 (3). P17. Kabaila, R. (2021). Implementation of an innovative nurse led service to support treatment for depression in primary care (OptiMA2). Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 27 (2). 22-23.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by Rasa Kabaila

The Back Up Choice (03/01/2023)

If You'd Known (21/12/2022)

The Rona Effect (26/11/2022)

A Portal to My Past (17/10/2022)

It's Time to Leave (09/10/2022)

Burnt Toast (23/09/2022)

A Dream Come True (21/08/2022)

Advice To My Younger Self (14/08/2022)

We Make Mud (20/05/2022)

Freedom (20/05/2022)

More audio from Rasa Kabaila…

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John Botterill

Sat 6th Aug 2022 15:58

Hi Rasa. Good to hear from you again!
Any ideas for the poetry challenge? I wondered about 'Advice to my younger self!?' Whadda think?

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 17th Apr 2022 17:43

Hi John and Rasa

I just added my 'Tears' poem.

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John Botterill

Sun 17th Apr 2022 07:11

Hi Rasa.
I have decided to publish the 10 line poem on tears and tag it #tears in case anyone wants to take up the challenge! Not sure it will catch on with but will give it a go! 😀

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Rasa Kabaila

Sun 10th Apr 2022 04:42

Okay poetry challenge- Stephen, John and anyone else who is keen? 😃

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John Botterill

Sat 9th Apr 2022 20:47

Hi Rasa. Thanks for your positive response. I love the idea of having poetic challenges. Gets the creative juices flowing! Could we get Stephen Gospage to set the next one, do you think? Cheers Rasa. 😀

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John Botterill

Sun 3rd Apr 2022 21:05

I enjoyed your 'Bus Crush' poem so much, Rasa that I decided to accept the 'crush' challenge. It is called
'Retirement Time Crush. I hope you like it but it;s not as good as yours!😀

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 30th Jan 2022 17:25

Dear Rasa

Thankyou for your kind comments on 'The Pavements of Europe'. I wrote this poem in the New European newspaper to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2019.
Here is a short piece that I wrote to accompany it at the time.

Good to hear from you and all the best for your poetry and life.

'The context

2019 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the fall
of the Berlin Wall. This led to the collapse of the one-party states of Eastern Europe and to fundamental changes to the lives of millions of people who are now EU citizens and are firmly embedded into the European family. The transition process inevitably had its shortcomings. European integration is imperfect and sometimes seems to stall. And yet, would anyone want to go back to the chilling realities of the pre-1989 system?

The poem

The start of the poem is based on recollections of a visit to Prague, in the former Czechoslovakia, in the mid-1980s. The cold, damp weather only added to the sense of darkness and oppression, which seemed to find expression in the regimented stamping of workers' boots and the belching exhaust fumes of the buses. The second and third verses recall trips to Budapest and Warsaw in 1993 and 1994; things were changing, life was becoming freer and more colourful and new businesses were thriving. However, rampant (though perhaps inevitable) inequality had been created. The disparity between the glitzier parts of cities and the urban and rural poor was extraordinary at the time, although sadly it has been increasingly emulated in certain parts of the Western World in the 21st century. This disparity was even more apparent during several visits to Ukraine in the late 1990s; the sight of impoverished yet irrepressibly optimistic women trying to sell a loaf of bread on a busy street in the centre of Kiev remains an abiding memory.

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Greg Freeman

Thu 6th Jan 2022 10:58

Many thanks for your kind comments on 'Flora and fauna', Rasa, only recently spotted. I hope to include this poem in a collection about the Burma-Thailand railway and other war-related poems, to be published later this year.

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Pete (edbreathe)

Sat 17th Jul 2021 19:09

Thanks for the comment, accolade indeed from such an illustrious writer ?

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 10th Jul 2021 13:00

Thanks for the further comments on my profile page.
One point - the book cover you refer to ("Poetry to Please") is,
in fact, a CD cover and uses a photograph taken by me in the
delightful riverside town of Dartmouth in South Devon, UK.
Some of the tracks from the CD can be heard in the audio section
of my profile.
By the way, an Aussie local "country music" radio station in
Victoria has played some of my songs. Hats off to Trudy Burke
in St. Albans!!

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 9th Jul 2021 12:47

Just been catching up on my profile page and wish to thank you
for your kind comment about "Thoughts At Christmas".
You seem to be an exceedingly busy and gifted individual...well done..

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Advaita Singh

Tue 15th Jun 2021 06:58

hey, thanks for your views and precious time taken to read my poem. it means a lot to me. I truly agree that poems and other excerpts are a way to express love and thanks towards nature.

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Emer Ni Chorra

Sat 12th Jun 2021 21:04

Hi Rasa, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my poetry. Lost was written while I was grieving for my Father.

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Sun 30th May 2021 22:59

Hi Rasa, thanks for reading 'Why Poems?' and for your kind comments about it. It popped straight out after reading this entry by our WoL comrade Vautaw:

I've enjoyed many of your poems so far, it's great to have you here and I always keep an eye out for your work. ? Tom

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John Coopey

Sun 23rd May 2021 00:29

Thankyou for your kind thoughts on my Profile page poem, "Ikea", Rasa. You'll no doubt realise it is straight copy of Dusty Springfield's. I don't think the Profile page has audio but if you would really like to hear how appalling my voice is:-

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Stephen Gospage

Sat 22nd May 2021 17:32

Dear Rasa

Thanks for your kind comments about my poems. Yes, I suppose "Memory Tax" is a little dark. It's a subject which interests me. In spite of the digitalisation of archives and data bases, I sometimes feel that there is a collective or institutional memory (perhaps just in the form of story-telling) which needs to be nurtured and which is in danger of being lost.

It was a pleasure to discover your fascinating profile. You seem to pack a lot into your life! I always look forward to seeing a new poem of yours on the blog. I don't necessarily check in every day but I will keep an eye out.

All the best

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