The threat of the stopping of my breathing.
It can happen in an operation.
In the pre-op warning that receiving,
followed by poor outcome complications.

And there it is, Death’s sudden appearance.
In front of me, saying it can take me.
Need repair, so give go-ahead clearance,
but shocks, what could be a reality.

It happened to that great film director,
Mingella. He was an English Patient.
In front of the medical dissector,
died. Other hospital deaths, too, recent.

There, the jolt. At that time, Death could take me.
At affected time, I’ll no longer be.


“Now just take this. It will put you to sleep.”
It is a general anaesthetic.
Last thoughts, against the white of the bed sheet,
‘won’t walk away; be parapetitic’.

An operation for free, to die for.
Joint exercise involving ball and bone.
Connecting. It is for me to endure.
For me to be patient, cured and re-sown.

But some never wake up from the slumber.
Blood pressure drops, then cardiac arrest.
Disposable dead waste. Died whilst under.
Take away to be burned or laid to rest.

Told it’s possible, so in these days think
maybe last conscious thoughts before extinct.


Soon I will be dead, … or still be alive.
Surgery, the determining event.
After being put out, hope to revive.
Corrective treatment being the extent.

I could see no more of this existence.
That is not an impossibility.
I hope my heart will show its persistence.
Go on beating through, versatility.

‘Alive’ be something. More days to enjoy.
More companionship, and light, to value.
More of me, in what I like, to employ.
Flickering wick on wax pillar candle.

If finished. That’s it then. No more to say.
If come through, I will be happy to stay.


It, a sobering unrevelation.
An absence that’s unilluminated.
Blackout. There no other indication.
All I thought was uncommunicated.

Even to myself. It was me, dreamless.
Can’t think how that can be called “me” at all.
My body, … my mind, suspended seamless
over a void. Surely inimical.

And then transported to the other side.
To the recovery room. Awoken.
Horror of possible drop, exorcised.
Words again, which can form and be spoken.

Still … Operate! … I did know what was not.
Green anaesthetic inject. All forgot.


I have been on the water after dark.
Seen it take , as a colour, a dark hue.
Alone, out there is to feel nature, stark.
However covered, the cold coming through.

It, uninviting as a death sentence.
Even the white spume; lacework for the neck.
If embrace, immediate repentance.
Frozen watery shroud. Blackout effect.

The danger is of being unbalanced;
of a jolt of such force it may dislodge.
Reliance on the vessel unchallenged.
Feet firm, sitting, holding on, for dear God.

Know the void is below that dyed liquid.
Just, in its rolling swell, it seems to bleed.


I have to wait patiently to get dressed;
for my carer to arrive and help me.
Sitting here, waiting, partially undressed.
Not a picture that would grace a selfie.

I would much rather be self-sufficient;
put on my pants and trousers for myself,
but that part of functioning, deficient.
Restriction on bending, factor of health.

On arrival, puts my legs through the holes.
Hauls up. At a certain point, I can raise.
Fully into place on my waist, it goes.
Belt connected. Completed, this whole phase.

I had to be patient. Am dependant.
Once trousered, dignified and resplendent.


Keeps threatening me with a thrombosis.
I think it is more than my neurosis.
With these leg pains, this my diagnosis;
my assessment of the risk that’s closest.

I could be lost if this gets any worse.
Clotting and congealing until veins burst.
Blood-thinner stabbing should put in reverse.
Hope it works; not want rhyming with ‘ a hearse’.

I’m hoping for normal circulation.
Quickly be so, my anticipation,
but have had contrary indication,
and some way off next examination.

Would like to kick a ball, walk freely, run;
but with thrombosis, I’d be nearly done.


The priest, down the street, said “I prayed for you”.
I thanked him for his generosity.
He showed his compassionate attitude.
From out of darkness, luminosity.

I was on the operating table;
situated dreamless over the void;
so the knife and the gloved man were able
to perform their miracle, and avoid

losing me. Actually, repaired me.
Needed an environment that benign.
Conducive. An atmosphere suitably
amenable to the op. going fine.

The prayer may well have been beneficial.
Prayed-in-aid the divinely mystical.