May 16, 2011

A Small Death in the Machine.

The cold ache of hospital light has stripped all colour from the hyacinths in my shaking hands.

Each quiver releases heady scent into the air, suffocating, sealing up my nose and mouth. But I can’t escape the dank, medical reek that coats her skin.

She is so


the soft folds of her skin have ebbed into nothing

and we can already see the skeleton inside

rising up to take possession.

How lovely your bones are, grandma. We are arranged in triptych around you, we carry false hope, hyacinths and cards. The bed is raised high above the tacky floors and crackles with starch as we sit.

A low, omnipresent hum throngs the corridors, as if some huge bell has sounded.

The harsh light

bleaches us as white as the walls,

everything is inescapably white,



the gentle yellow crepe of her skin, shrouded in hospital blue, the birdlike hands that sweep up and say       hello.

The room is filled with doppelganger women, the place is a charnel house,

the bodies lie and silently


I taste the bitter machine coffee on my breath and I hope my kisses are not sour.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Samuel Dodson

    This is elegant, touching and extremely potent. “We carried false hope, hyacinths and cards” – how very human!

    I’d like you to change the simile “as if some huge bell had sounded” though! Seems a bit standard when you’ve got such a wider vocabulary going on elsewhere in the poem – but that’s just me!

    Anyway, great post, thanks!


    10 Jul 2011, 23:00

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

May 2011

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Apr |  Today  | Jun
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31               

Search this blog


Most recent comments

  • END OF QUESTION TIME. Thank you all, you've been ace. Any late questions will be answered after the … by Kirsty Judge on this entry
  • Rev R Mole: Alex: Reality TV is a cover for government experiments on the populace involving mind al… by Kirsty Judge on this entry
  • When doing a number two, do you scrunch or fold the toilet paper? I, myself, am a scruncher. by Tulisa on this entry
  • Rev R Mole: My preferred pizza topping is Hawaiian with beetles. It is a common misconception that m… by Kirsty Judge on this entry
  • Forgive my forward nature, but, have you ever been in love? by Princess Consuela on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder