I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

29 October 2014

Visiting the Podiatrist

'What have you been up to lately?'
he asks, as he settles my feet,
and I say, 'Poetry'. It's always poetry.

The big, curved, metal clippers click
as he enquires, 'How long
have you been writing poetry?'

'Since I was seven,' I say,
and then he remembers. 'Oh yes,
You told me that last time.'

Out at the reception desk,
Teresa's typing briskly
in a staccato clatter.

In here, Justin resumes.
'Do you have any special themes?'
'No,' I say. 'There are no unfit subjects.'

He laughs. 'Except, maybe,
visiting the podiatrist.'
I tell him about today's prompt:

Include one or more sounds.
I mention the clippers and the keyboard,
and some rustling of paper out there now.

'And the low hum of the air conditioning,'
he adds with a small flourish. I tell him,
'Ah, you're writing your own poem now.'

'Do you know any poems of Kipling?'
he asks suddenly. 'I live in Kipling Street.'
I tell him Kipling wrote novels and stories too.

I tell him that Kipling's most famous poem
is 'If' and how I dislike it. I recite
a phrase or two. He Googles the rest.

We get onto war, and the state of the world.
He asks if there are violent, hating poems,
seems to have encountered only the uplifting.

I talk of ancient times, other cultures;
guess that readers might prefer gentler stuff,
so that would be what lives. Then I remember rap.

'Rap's full of all that. It comes from
the disadvantaged. They have cause.'
'I forgot that rap's a kind of poetry,' he says.

I'm ashamed that I forgot too. 'Often
very good poetry,' I hurry to say, 'Even if
I don't always like the message.'

He lets my chair down. Its a slow chair,
soundless. My feet feel so comfortable,
its as if they no longer exist.

Teresa books my next appointment.
I ask about her beautiful accent. (She lilts.)
Swedish, and she lived in Scotland.

The phone rings, loud and brassy.
I wave and walk out on to the street,
listening to my own light footsteps.

31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Include one or more sounds.

Submitted, a year later, for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #275.


  1. Who would have thought one would end up discussing poetry with one's podiatrist?
    And, ha, I DID enjoy the sound effects as well as the theme!

  2. I enjoyed being at this appointment with you! "There are no unfit subjects." And all this as he softens your roots and the sounds around. Poems are a kind of footstep too.

  3. Love the way you meld the sounds..each decibel a worthy subject!

  4. Often we forget that practitioners like this are fairly normal like us. I have had some very interesting conversations with my female dentist, about writing about writing of course!

  5. Enjoyed this - the lighthearted conversational tone of the poem adds a soothing and peaceful effect. Beautifully penned :D

    Lots of love,

  6. Wherever there are people there are stories - and clickety clackety wonderful poems - i agree with you on 'If' - there are better ways to become a man...or indeed a woman! And rap is a wonderful demonstration of language describing real life - not that of a man of privilege sitting in his country house.. which is yawn..now..to book a podiatry appointment ;)

  7. This is what I admire the most, poetry is everywhere... It's about using your senses... and yes rap is definitely poetry... poetry is every emotion we might have.


  9. What a lovely conversation between you and the podiatrist! Great job with including the sounds and dialogue.

  10. interesting that you find poetry everywhere. :)

  11. I absolutely love this poem! You have such a talent for taking the reader into such small, personal moments, and creating a vivid, breathing painting of a scene. I honestly feel like I'm right there with you, listening to this conversation. Wonderful job!

  12. This is wonderful and I hope you take it to your next appointment and show him podiatrists are worthy of poems, too. I envy you those feet.

    1. Oh, he has left. He was filling in for my regular lovely bloke, Nick, who was travelling at the time, and with whom I can also discuss poetry. But perhaps he is working at one of their other branches now. I'll find out and see if I can send him the poem.

  13. I was wondering if Justin knew you had turned your conversation into a poem... Perhaps you should give it to him next time you visit.

    1. Good suggestion, Kerry. See my reply to Sherry, above.

  14. i enjoyed this. i always find myself overhearing bits and pieces of other people's conversation in restaurants. it's nice to hear how the lives and topics and interests of others unfold so differently (yet so alike) our own.

  15. Well that was interesting and fun to read.

  16. Poetry in everything! I like the sounds, the conversations - the finding out more about each other. For isn't that what poetry is? Getting to know each other and to find that connections. This is a wonderful poem.

  17. Rosemary, this is, by far, one of my favorites of yours, ever. Just wonderful.

  18. Oh, dear, this poem is so weightless, perhaps as your feet after visiting the podiatrist. enjoyed.

  19. Indeed there are no subjects we cannot write a poem about...and you have brilliantly shown us that....love the easy conversation and the sounds!

  20. what an excellent conversational poem, enjoyed this a lot
    A happy Sunday to you Rosemary

    much love...

  21. What a lovely little slice of life ... the sound effects: imparting delightful layers of energy and animation to the piece. A delectablel treat, Rosemary.

  22. When one gets into a conversation in whatever situations time just flies.


  23. I enjoyed this a lot. Poetry and podiatry. It's nice that he was interested too.

  24. The sounds here added a great deal of texture to an interesting conversation,


  25. Yes, we live in a world of abstractions, visual or sounds...and there are as many abstract emotions....though most people don't see or hear, and since we have no words for the emotions, maybe aren't able to think of them either?....I am thinking of a wonderful article, Call of the Wild, by Bernie Krause, you can find it online, and I think you would like it. Thank you for taking us along to the doctor's visit.

  26. I laughed a bit, love the sounds you used feels very real.

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  28. What fun. When I visit my (French) cardiologist I always take him a poem or two.

  29. So many sounds, and I enjoy your fitting of poetry int something as prosaic as this visit to the podiatrist. It really is everywhere.

  30. Poetry brings up amazing discussions. A vivid work Rosemary thanks for sharing it with us