‘The Patient ‘ and ‘His Wife’ by Bob McMahon and Daphne Jaaback

The Patient



Audiologists test my hearing within normal range,

Yet I hear my own heartbeat – how very strange.

Opticians design lenses to correct my poor vision,

I look quietly at life and make my own decision.


Dentists check my molars for oral disorders,

But I taste fine foods from across many borders.

Ophthalmologists check disease within my eyes,

I view humanity and trust my judgement is wise.


When Oncologists speak of the dreaded big ‘C’

I think only of good times for you and for me.

Whilst Urologists seek those cells turning vile,

Fifty years together make the pain all worthwhile.



His Wife


That  hearing aid in the damaged right ear

Is whistling at a frequency to cause a dog fear

That new lens has improved his wordsearch precision

But magnifier  still needed for final decision


A cracked incisor  his tongue did catch

And needs more than a temporary patch

A cataract is lurking in the second eye

But as the saying goes let sleeping dogs lie


By  urologist and oncologist attempts are being made

To make that cell division ultimately  fade

But fifty years of marriage have taught us how to cope

We live each day and there’s  no time to mope.



It’s really quite ridiculous. Here I am, retired, and finding myself without a second to even sneeze. Busy, busy, busy.

Friends phone me up to arrange a coffee date, and we find ourselves one or two weeks hence in our diaries … because its ten days before I have a free slot – crazy! Anybody would think I was a top flight executive. Any day now I’ll need a Social Secretary to manage my diary.

People often say “You keep yourself so busy!” either in tones of admiration or condemnation (delete inapplicable). Not so. I’m not deliberately trying to keep busy.  It’s just that there are so many interesting things to do or see. Plus there are my weekly addictive sessions with Mah Jongg and Scrabble. Not giving those up!

And then there’s the theory that as you age, time speeds up in an inverse ration to your age – or something – I’ve never grasped that. I know I should, but I haven’t.  I remember, when I was about 5 or 6 years old, how it took FOREVER for Christmas and your birthday to come around again, whereas nowadays I’m clutching my forehead and gasping, only another 62 days until Christmas – where did the year go??   Never mind the Christmas juggernaut rolling towards us – lately I wake up in the morning, and find that its Friday again,! Dammit, we just had  Friday! Where on earth did the week get to?

I’m definitely running out of time.

Recently a psychic told me I have another 20 years left to me before I depart this mortal plane. Yes, well, no fine … On the one hand I was immensely cheered because it means I now have time to finish my Fantasy novels. And it may take that long. I felt as if I’d been given a gift: another twenty years! Wow!  But on the bad days, it doesn’t seem like such a bonanza.

There’s an old saying “Man proposes, God disposes”. Perhaps the best thing to do is live each day as best we can. An old song had the line  yesterday is history, tomorrow still a mystery  and all we really have is NOW, just this moment, as the Buddhists would say. And this moment. And this moment.  The old American hippie, Ram Dass, once wrote a book titled “Be Here Now”. Pretty good advice.

Our Alphabetical Boy by Bob McMahon



We’re having a baby – our first child,

But choosing a name is driving us wild.

There’s Adam, Ben, Charles or Dean,

Considered them all – but still not keen.


Then come Edward, Frank, George or Harry,

Whatever the name it’s a nine month carry.

We’ve thought of Ian and John, Kenneth and Len,

All good strong names for outstanding men.


What about Michael, Nathan, Oliver or Pete,

For our new born boy they are oh so sweet.

There’s Quentin, Robert, Stewart or Tim

But still can’t decide on a name for him.


Enter Uriah, Victor, William and Xavier,

I’ve heard some names a whole lot crazier.

Finally there’s only Yorick and Zack,

To hell with it – we’ll just call him Jack !

PERSEVERE (three syllables,three hulls) by Daphne Jaaback

It all began with his Nordic genes

But unlike Hagar in warrior scenes

He boarded a yacht to cross the ocean

And became accustomed to trimaran motion


The yacht was a forty foot Cross design.

She was spacious and stable with eye-catching line.

My man was quite taken with this fine boat

And to purchase plans he made a note


Back on land he’d perused the plan

When a phone call came through from sailor Stan

“After five years construction, I’ve heard tell,

One Cross hull two brothers must sell”


The lower front lawn became home to this craft

It took three years working fore and aft

To create a vessel fit for the sea

A family project, all working for free


Her timber, marine ply from Israel brought

Sections from Japanese oak were wrought

Sleeping arrangements tailored for eight

Other equipment  all top rate.


Time to move ‘Persevere’ to dry dock

Route surveyed to prevent any knock

Police  escorted  the precious cargo

Atop the trailer, bedded low


Friends gathered and snacks  passed around

A crane  to lift our ’lady’ from the ground

I swung the bottle to christen her

“God bless all who sail on her”



I dutifully trot off  to my snazzy new neighbourhood gym twice a week, to put in my quota on their treadmill. I’ve discovered that modest exercise does wonders for my blood sugar, but that’s  incidental to the theme of this para. The treadmills are on the upstairs level, facing a massive glass wall, and you look out onto the parked cars, the street, the pavements and the townhouses over the road. I while away the tedium of treadmilling by watching the street. Yesterday I saw a slow procession of heavily laden people trudging along the pavement. They carried bulky sacks, bundles and bags, some of the women balancing the bundles on their heads in the traditional African way. I watched them carefully unload their cargo, and collapse onto the low wall, into the shade of a small tree. They were grateful for the rest – this was obvious. I wondered whether they were street traders going to a market? Homeless people shifting to another bushy refuge? Newly arrived immigrants? I reflected how ironic it was that I was paying to walk kilometres on a treadmill, while down on the street those people were walking kilometres for free, but without any options. Hmmm ….

Snug as a Bug in a Rug by Corinna Turner

There was a hungry little bug

Who found a nice soft woolly rug.

That tasty wool,

It made him drool,

So now there’s a very satisfied bug,

Snoozing in the woolly rug.

Sensory Stimuli ( on viewing an audio visual of Petra) by Daphne Jaaback

Senses, colour coded

Enigmatic scenes of old

Nudging memories of the past

Sentinels of major stature

Ocular cracks and bends

Racing winds across the sand

Yesterday and long before



Scattered debris left behind

Time doth take its measured toll

Inviting search for hidden truth

Maybe covered cities lie

Under all that is above

Little do we understand

In the  present do we stand

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