This is an unusual Wednesday Corner, as I am choosing to post a poem by a wonderfully talented friend of mine who writes about a subject close to many of our hearts. Aprilia Zank has written what she calls an “Ugly Poem.” But it is far from ugly ~ shocking perhaps ~ relevant certainly! Most of us have had family members spend time in hospital, or have spent time there ourselves. We might have watched loved ones die. We might have been close to death ourselves. When we enter hospital, we enter a different world ~ one of life and death, hope and tragedy. We become startlingly close to complete strangers ~ making of them gods as we place our lives and the lives of those we love, in their hands. Aprilia describes the experience beautifully… I have added a picture of the hospital where my life was saved when I was a child…Thank you Aprilia for your great poem.
By Aprilia Zank
this is an ugly poem
this is a wicked poem
this is a poem about corpses lined up in antiseptic bags in the basement
this is a poem about weary customers drawing numbers for refundable purgatories on the ground-floor
this is a poem about a young girl on the third floor pulling tight at the pink of her hoodie to conceal the baldness of her head
this is a poem about an old titan on the ninth floor reading instructions how to grow titan vertebrae from his Phoenix wings
this is a poem about the twelfth floor where hurrying visitors carry intricate flower bouquets for newborn cherubs
this is a poem about hell and heaven
this is a love poem
When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down.
One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.”
Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!”
I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I?
I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.”
Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray.
With love from Dr. Niamh,
Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com