Prostate Cancer: Pulling the Finger Out

June 18, 2017
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I felt very well. Went to the young locum
Slight waterworks problem, nothing much more
It trickled much longer, urged more often
The locum child thought it was something more
More than the march of time and failing body parts
Made me lie down with pants at my knees
Inserted a finger where nobody ever did.
Well, nearly no-one… and… hardly ever.
The youngster wiggled his finger around up there
Pondered a moment and offered his thoughts
I must make an appointment to come for a blood test.

The nurse took my blood for that PSA test.
I returned for the answer, my regular doctor
Who made me lie down with my pants at my knees
And inserted a finger where not many ever did
Pondered a moment and offered his thoughts.
I must be referred to a hospital doctor.

The hospital doctor was fairly sanguine
He made me lie down with pants at my knees
And inserted a finger where only a handful did
Pondered a moment and offered his thoughts
I must come for a biopsy and for a bone scan.

The biopsy doctor made me lie down
Said that I, mostlike, would not feel a thing
And inserted a probe where no probe had yet been
And it snatched off some tissue a dozen times painful
From lower intestine and right side of prostate,
Repeated the agony pains on the left side.
I wiped, from the bedrail, my teeth marks and fingerprints
And after a fortnight my bowels recovered.

Bone scan more comfortable. “You’ll just feel a little prick.”
In the hospital gown I said yes I do, certainly.
Then a minuscule, radioactive injection.
I lay on the noise machine, plugs in my ears.
Over in minutes, radioactive a day or two.
Back to the specialist. Here is the bad news…

Next, to the surgeon, who made me lie down
And inserted a finger where everyone does
The cancer’s contained, he said
He would extract it, remove it completely
Along with the prostate and some of the nerves
That have helped with erections and night-time emissions.

The pre-op was quite as I came to expect it
The surgeon arrived and made me lie down
And inserted a finger where those who’d bought tickets
Could view his great skill, though there was no applause
And soon I was wheeled to the land where time vanishes
Woke in a ward and was tended to carefully.
The op was successful, I have no more cancer
And people can insert their fingers no more.


Dismantling The Leylandii

June 16, 2017

The conifer gave nothing to the ground
Strong, stable, sucking goodness from the soil
Roots deep spread and undermining
Satisfied only itself, no shelter for a bird,
Its negative needles provided no nutrients
Dropping cones solely to broadcast seed.
In the interest of a better future, I voted to remove it
Wanting something less selfish, with more beauty

I set about the task with meagre tools,
A little chopper and a saw and not to much effect
The chopper was criticised – not up to the job
It’s handle short in grip and seemed scant strength.
The naked tree laughed as those blows glanced off
But with momentum, bark was stripped, wood bared
A chain saw many teeth in huge support
To cut where axe had bitten to the sap

And soon enough the tree fell, trimmed to stump
The little chopper’s marks clear on the fallen boughs
A million needles now were swept aside
Without ceremony, to the brown garden bin,
But still that stump persists, a dense and sturdy block
With nothing to uphold, open to the season,
Thick roots held in place by uneven slab,
A fractured infrastructure of a saddened path.

Tool handles now renewed in strength
I seek to dig away the useless stump
Lifting the slab to make room for a spade
Exposing horrors of a thousand ants
That made their nests in shelter of a tree
Beneath a slab. And dearly do I trust
Those terrors shall now take themselves away
Under fresh truth, dispelling my dismay.

Something deciduous is here required
Something assiduous with outstretched arms
Where birds will sing with unbounded joy
And flowers bloom in Hope’s unfolding cheer
And leaves that, when they fall give richness back
In leaf mold compost added to good earth
Which then supplies abundance to the many
Creatures sharing in Nature’s love and mirth.


June 15, 2017
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Between nestled buildings in brotherly bunches
Or carefully inserted twixt high walls or hedges,
A narrow path stretches its worn way, and hunches
Some opposite walkers who sidle like wedges
And pass one another while greeting “Good day!”,
On a trodden route Sussex folk rarely see written
But sometimes pronounce as this word they will say,
A word seeming squeezed to this corner of Britain,


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Unnecessary Mistakes

June 9, 2017
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Unnecessary Mistakes
(A review of Tory policy decisions)

Holding a naff referendum
Stripping out safety for pensions
Foodbanks like flow’rs on a dung heap
The bad stink of benefit sanctions

Losing the triple-A rating
Borrowing more into debt
Cutting security policing
(Causing more terrorist threat)

Giving big business big billions
Making disabled folk suffer
Making up smears about Corbyn
Failing to pay for safe software

Flogging off NHS services
Snipping off winter fuel payments
Keeping high charges for students
Lying about the opponents

Pushing the abortion-rape clause
Halving our rubbish collection
Closing our library doors
Forcing a stupid election


Cons Just Take The Brexit

June 9, 2017
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We were told many tales of migrants
We were told many tales of great waste
We were told there’d be billions for our NHS
All the tales were just lies or bad taste

A third of us voted for Brexit
A third of us voted Remain
A third were just too disenchanted
Or confused, or not arsed, or insane

Less qualified voters went Brexit
Younger dudes went for Remain
Asians in England were for status quo
Giving Asians in London disdain

Two-thirds of Cameron’s Tories went ‘out’
Corbyn’s Labour mates only one-third
UKIPper Farage I cannot disparage
Enough. But then, why dis a turd?

The Price You Pay To Be Alive

May 21, 2017
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Bright shards scrape down the dawn wall
Splintering eyelids that seek only dark peace,
Soft sleep shaken neath its brittle pond,
Its broken surface slicing the skin
As you rise into stark reality’s cold air
That again you attempt to withhold.

Try again to dive below and swim away
Try, try again to ignore the body’s fresh aches
And the mind’s urgent thrashing
Flaying, until dead, cowering subconsciousness
As it releases its clinging, hurting tentacles.
Now you are fresh vomit, free until day crashes.

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Year Twenty-nine

April 2, 2017
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29 years today, Veronica and me.
We hitched our wagon to a shining dream,
Endured the jumping, bumping roads,
Held fast at winds that rocked our sides,
Each taking turns with firm-held reins
When at a climb the other baulked.
And still each day we greet as one
And each still evening share our song
To fill each other’s sorrowed moments
Up to the brim with steadfast love.
On as one, a trust in each secured
We’ll hold our hearts as long as we can breathe,

Spades Are Not Trumps

February 6, 2017
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Worms hidden
under this blanket of glass fibre
there to protect the ground from weeds,
those wild and unchosen gifts,
a menace to order
in this, his garden.

Free of green fingers
he knows not much
of nature, life and beauty,
just its cost.
Nature is his enemy
he will force it
into his square-eyed plot,
the one he knows
above his coverlet.

On a grand bench
he sits to listen
when flocks twitter
alarm calls in damp air,
He emulates, badly,
truth perceived
in cauliflowered ears.

But larks and tits,
carelessly broadcast seeds
under chipped bark,
germinating, seeking light.
awaiting his retreat,
to the rickety-rackety bridge.

Without turning of the soil,
beneath their glass ceiling
worms wiggle woefully.

Trump It Voluntarily

January 20, 2017
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I’m calling a halt to the jive about Trump
I haven’t gone barmy, in need of my bumps
felt, but Yanks know him well for his time on the stump
and STILL put him up there and still primed his pump.

He can’t help his looks (well, apart from that clump
on the top of his bonce that appears like a dump).
And next to Obama he seems like a chump
Not charming nor erudite. More of a grump

With the press he’s been gifted you’d think he would flump
in the back of the bar or a faraway tump.
No, there’s too many trolls; and I’m not one to slump
Let’s just throw him some rope and see if he’ll jump.

Al Barz, Inauguration Day USA.


January 17, 2017
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Gazing past the winter
you can smell more than roses,
more than fresh-turned soil.

Search for glimpses
in Nature’s hideaways
of last year’s lost moments.

Leaves, unswept on your path,
a source of unfortunate worms
for Spring-hungry birds.

Sometimes we grow so much
that simple pleasures
escape our sophisticated minds.

This grave is for a wealthy man,
just look at the beautiful marble
hiding his destitution.

We each rise from our own Spring
hoping forth brightly
where joy waits in a far field.

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