Skip to main content

Outside the Nursing Home


I wonder what deliberation preceded this arrangement.  I think the care assistant probably just stacked them like this without a thought, it being the usual way to gather these rather bulky things up tidily so that they don't get in the way. I'm sure there wasn't any idea of the impression given to the by-passer, which I've tried to describe.

The following little poem really needs no introduction. After all, pictures can say more than words.

Outside the Nursing Home

Mobility over

their life work's done

slowed to a stop

no longer pushed

so now going nowhere

silently stacked up

in their own tidy queue

awaiting collection.


The skip being full

with discarded cushions

once waterproofed mattresses

and uncertain items

these walkers remain

a little apart though

still upright for now

until along with the boxes

the black bags and all

everything's gathered

to be taken away.

Wondering why this little scene made me smile, I began thinking about humour.

Why should this be funny?

Perhaps it's the way the frames so readily fall into place, in order, stacking themselves in anticipation, almost as if aware of their need not to get in the way and to be ready for whatever's going to happen next – an example of unexpected anthropomorphism, which we often seem to find amusing.  

Or slight shock at the apparent disposability of something previously considered valuable, even essential?

None of which is really funny at all.

No need to say anything more. So I'll just leave it, and them, for however long they had to wait, and continue my own walking. Without help for now.


  1. Stay close , we're all in it together ...... said one frame to another .

  2. Led me to think of the gospel song I’m gonna walk all over God’s heaven. Visions of the departed owners skipping joyfully through the next life without their walkers.

  3. And I’m seeing them waiting till the recycle man’s back is turned and breaking ranks and rolling to freedom …..


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Three Hares

  The Three Hares We continue on our way running, running, running around held together tip to tip so I can hear what she can hear as well as her. And the other follows me in front of her – we are joined up by our ears so we follow, lead and follow running, running, running around we continue on our way. Running, running, running around – no cause for worry – what's to come has already been. The future's past – watch us here – we're going nowhere – the last is first and first is last. Our present moment sees us still although we seem to race – running, running, running around we continue. On our way running, running, running around hearing your persistent questions – why do you keep on asking? We cannot tell you any more. May you share your senses and find soft silence at your centre which is so close, while you go on running, running, running around. The turning of the year, with the various thoughts about the past and the future that c


I love the word Aftermath, with its apparent Anglo-Saxon simplicity. I read that it means after the mowing, perhaps a second or later mowing; more specifically, it can refer to the crop of grass which springs up after the mowing earlier in the summer. Even if the quality of the grass be criticised as not having the fragrance or sweetness of the first crop, or worse, dismissed as 'the bloomless aftermath', it is after all new growth – a reminder of what has been, and of what is yet to come. Aftermath Yes, the grass will grow again. There will be another season here upon these same old fields where sheep shall safely graze again as if it were the first occasion.   Fresh growth of flimsy blades will spring to feed a new-born generation here once more, in time, expected along with others, all those others drawn forth to prosper in the sun.   And some who left will come again remembering this place. A pair of swallows from the past will score the sky above the

Happy Christmas!

Christmas – or if you prefer, Solstice, Hanukkah, or just This Special Time… Stop now.  For a moment, wait. And look.  From here you can see far. In this direction, where we’ve been – the climb, the ups and downs. Now turn around. There before you lies the future.  At the summit of the year there’s time to rest, and be refreshed – let’s gather here, so we may share each other’s company, look forward to the new arrivals, lives to come travelling into this misty landscape, and in our brightness bring to mind those no longer in our group. So drop your rucksack, get your breath back the old year lies behind – for now let’s all enjoy the present gift-wrapped here before us. I’m quite sure this little poem has no great literary, let alone poetic merit, but hey we don’t always have to be polished, clever, neat or profound. Or original. Or elegant. Especially not when you’ve just got to the top of a mountain. But there is a def