Thursday, November 15

A Poem for Thursday..."The Visitors."



Visitors arrive
with bundles full of home.
house coat
new slippers
bag of apples
favourite newspaper.

Professionals stand
stoically
at their desks.
silently
walk the path
between
the healthy
the sick
the dying.

A grey skull
open mouthed
coughs harshly
alone.
too many beds... to pay attention to one cough.

Drawers are labelled
technical
medical
warfarin
arrest situation
body chart.

All life is here
and..not.
more handwashing takes place
than Pilate
ever thought necessary.
With empty relatives
sitting in
grey cafes
drinking grey tea.
and waiting
for the results of loved ones.

This is Kierkegaard's observation....
that life is a reality to be
experienced
not a problem
to solve
and all existence
is beset
with paradox and riddle.

(this is written with Louis MacNiece in mind...I love his thoughts and was taught and studied him when living in Belfast....he lived close to the city... The one especially in mind .."I am not yet born"...) I hope I've managed the link this time Brian!!

13 comments:

  1. woot...i got you...smiles...

    really intriguing verse....i need to go look up his works...bundles full of home...is a cool bit to start...you really capture the place in this...i am rather fond of the lines...All life is here
    and..not.
    more handwashing takes place
    than Pilate
    ever thought necessary...interesting...think it could be read a couple ways, esp followed by the relatives...ha.

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    1. I meant to link to MacNieces poem that I referenced will do as soon as I have a bit more tiome...racing back and forth to hospital at the moment!!what fun!

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  2. This poem says so much more than what you've written, Gerry... very touching.

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  3. Very powerful poem--

    A grey skull
    open mouthed
    coughs harshly
    alone.
    too many beds... to pay attention to one cough.

    So good. And I appreciate the nod to Kierkegaard at the end. Reading him is real work, but worth the effort I think.

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  4. Love this poem, it describes the hospital atmosphere perfectly.
    So sorry to read that the Potter is spending time there, I hope his recovery is speedy.
    ~Jo

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  5. This feels like reference to and reminds me of the Nursing Home that I work in. An in-between what once was and what is to come kind of place.
    You have captured that world quite well here.

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  6. You linked and I liked very much. I had the feel of relief help in a disaster or war arena. I'm not familiar with Macniece, other than to recognize the name, but I sure enjoyed your presentation and writing skill.

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  7. I have so been there - & will be there again soon if Mike's uncle lives long enough for us to visit him when we're in town for Thanksgiving. I love the line about handwashing!

    Sending good wishes your way...

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    1. thankyou Dana...it's like a middle world a bit like a bad Narnia....not real but more real than real.....

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  8. "All life is here
    and..not."
    what a perfect description.
    i work in a clinic - you captured the atmosphere so well. such a touching poem!

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  9. "life is a reality to be experienced..." So true. Having worked with death and dying most of my nursing career, the scene feels so familiar. Your symbolic use of the color gray is very effective.

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  10. I don't get the allusion, but fortunately, this is a poem that stands alone even with the allusion only clear to a few. It is a superb read. Thanx

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