Wednesday 21 January 2009

The Poetry Of The NHS

A day for rejoicing - the NHS has published a document spelling out 'rights and responsibilities' under the NHS Charter (what do you mean, you didn't know there was one?). Yes, yet another fautuous exercise in magical thinking - if it is written, it shall be so. This lot love to have everything in writing (which certainly keeps the lawyers in business), and if they're around much longer they'll surely send the country hurtling to perdition by coming up with a written Constitution... Anyway, defending the NHS document, cheeky chappie Alan Johnson (a joke, a song and a ward closure) said it contained 'the prose and poetry of the NHS'. Poetry of the NHS, eh? This calls for a competition (no prizes, no winners, of course). Here's a quick haiku to get the ball rolling...

In the waiting room.
I shall be here for ever.
The harsh light buzzes.

Over to you...


  1. I do not know you.
    You call me by my first name.
    Now I know my place.

  2. Hang on, I'm writing a bloody sonnet here...nearly done.

  3. Bit of a first draft obviously, but here's a Shakesperian (don't need to tell you that) about the 3 month scan the wife had the other week.

    Southmead Hospital Maternity Unit Sonnet

    Forked out three sixty just for the car park,
    Actually four ‘cause of course the machine
    Doesn’t give back your change. Then the sarc-
    astic receptionist – eye-bagged, pale green
    As the walls in the worn waiting room –
    Ticks you off, and says sit anywhere.
    So we sit in unfathomable gloom
    Even though we’re all glad to be there,
    And you think, is this what communism
    Is like, and if Bevan had this chair
    Would Aneurin have an aneurysm:
    Look on my works, ye dreamers, and despair?
    Yet, all the miracles we need in life
    Are a safe scan, and a saintly midwife.

  4. Well, I have written some lines to honour this auspicious new publication!

    Come in, sit down,
    my name is Cash.
    They say you have a nasty rash.
    Alas to treat is far too dear
    so take a jump off end of pier.

  5. Thank you Brit - some fine rhymes there , and Aneurin-aneurysm an inspired touch - oh and Congratulations too. And thank you Mark for your neat summing-up - nailed it. Now I think a Pindaric ode is called for...

  6. Thanks.

    (btw, to make the magnificent sonnet above work you have to read it in de-dah-de-dah school iambic pentameter. If you try to follow the flow of the sentences it's an absolute mess...)

  7. Of Charters I know nothing at all
    Staring at this taupe coloured wall
    Wondering if Sir Dickie is still feeling trickie
    Upstairs after his nasty fall

    Gandhi men and their wives pack the room
    Designed for ten there are fifty, a tomb
    But to me every week its the place that I seek
    The crypt that became a womb

  8. A Clerihew (the Pindaric Ode is mysteriously stalled)...

    The NHS
    Is in a mess
    But let's pretend
    It's on the mend.

  9. The rashes that bloom in the spring
    tra la,
    We promise to bring into line
    as we merrily charge for your car
    tra la
    We welcome the dosh that it brings
    tra la
    Of a summer of new hips and saline
    Of a summer of new hips and saline
    And that's what we mean when we say that a thing is welcome as salaries that bloom in the spring
    Gum-gum, Petit-Mal, Mankey Poo and Polyps-Bah
    Tra la la la la
    Tra la la la la
    Tra la la la la la
    The polyps that bloom in the spring
    Tra la
    Have nothing to do with my case
    I've got to take under my wing
    A most unattractive old thing
    Tra la
    With a caricature of a face
    With a caricature of a face
    And that's what I mean when I say or I sing
    O bother the patients that give us a ring
    Tra la la la la
    Tra la la la la
    O bother the patients that give us a ring
    Gum-gum, Petit-Mal, Mankey Poo and Polyps-Bah

  10. i work here
    so i may live
    and so work till i die

    (by a NHS typist)


    100 managers to one typist
    each manager paid a fortune
    to meet with other managers

  11. A fine summation, Malty, Elberry and all!