Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Waiting Room: A Poem By Pete Marshall

The Waiting Room:
A Poem By Pete Marshall

I sat within a crowded room
awash with sounds of Monday gloom
and watched the clock
and wished each hand
would reach on down
and strike the damned.

People stared and others yawned
the clock would tick for those unborn
and watch the rain
on sun soaked streets
A rainbows arch
was incomplete.

A handkerchief would catch a sneeze
A bulbous face, a heavy wheeze
and death would sit
beside my chair
texting friends
polluting air.

City gent would read the news
as others read back dated views
the door burst forth
the silence wrenched
kids poured in
with clothes all drenched.

Eyes would stare but look straight down
coughs were heard and others frowned
then right behind
A mermaid swam
hushing kids
 and pushing pram.

And through my aches my manners gave
I smiled in warmth and offered shade
she took my seat
her baby screamed
she looked so sad
alone in dreams.

Then as she spoke in softened tones
my name was called, its time to go..


This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing community for poets & writers of all genres to share their work, express and make friends

image courtesy creative commons flickr


Claudia said...

oh pete - i hate waiting rooms...i hate to wait anyway and don't like to go to doctors - but i thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem - and next time i sit in a waiting room with the dead next to my chair and mermaids - did you really write mermaids...? - i will for sure think of your poem... and i hope you're not really ill....?

signed...bkm said...

wow, love this read..the flow was great and you had me sitting there with the coughs and groans, they are a terrible place to be except when you are sick, then all you can think about is seeing that doctor....nice peter...bkm

anthonynorth said...

You've captured the waiting room experience perfectly.

Glynn said...

Waiting rooms, lines, queues -- would that we all remember to yield a place to the mermaid pushing a pram. Delightful, Pete.

dustus said...

The tone and mood of this poem are perfect, Pete. Reminds me of so many public offices people would prefer not being in. Great poem, mate!

Pete Marshall said...

Hi claudia...tried to sneak in a bit of romance to liven up the wait there..yep mermaids were mentioned..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

thanks BKM..the flow i chose deliberately..there are two poems in this with the long lines and short..just messed about with it a bit..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

thanks germs!!! LOl

Pete Marshall said...

thanks Glynn..a beautiful face to lighten the gloom..cheers Pete

Bill Cook said...

Amazing how a world waits to meet us in waiting rooms. Bill

Pete Marshall said...

Hi adam..i must admit i sort of mixed over places with signng on too..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

thanks bill and cheers for stopping by and commenting..Pete

Anonymous said...

I love this Pete...the flow was really nice and the imagery great! I bet the next time I am in a waiting room, I'll really be paying attention to everyone/everything around me and thinking about this poem :)

Pete Marshall said...

thanks hippie (amanda) glad to see you here commenting and hope you are enjoying the fun!!..cheers Pete

suja said...

Pete..this one was quite visual in its description..could almost imagine the bored look of the one waiting looking at the clock waiting for his turn as he becomes the passive oberver ..:)
"on sun soaked streets
A rainbows arch
was incomplete." -nice!

Pete Marshall said...

thanks suja...the one thing i like to try and capture in my poetry is the visualisation..i like to put people in the places that i create..seems i have done well here..cheers pete

Desert Rose said...

You just painted this scene we all live in waiting ooms Pete..:) its a great poem,and i agree with Claudia here,I HATE WAITING ROOMS..and,therefore i m not so comfortable with neither Doctor visits nor waiting for anything as well..:) but i liked this one..;)

Pete Marshall said...

cheers desert rose...they are so dreary arnt they!!!

Monkey Man said...

Way to spin the mundane, Pete. Great read.

Carolina Linthead said...

Great read! Had to read it aloud. I was in a waiting room this very day...alone, but still, if those walls could talk, what tales they'd tell. Thanks, Pete!

moondustwriter said...

What are you doing in the doctor's office??? You cannot be sick. and don't fraternize with mermaids

oh sorry I'm sounding like your mother - lol

Pete - your poetry always astounds me. Doesn't matter what genre - it's great

One Shot is so blessed to have you

Moon smiles

J. said...

"Death would sit beside my chair texting friends polluting air"

My favorite line - this one spoke to me! Made me think of many more settings than a waiting room.

Great poem!

Steven Marty Grant said...

The flow is so seemless on this piece. It almosts ends too quickly because the verse is so smooth

Kira Stann said...

Beautiful poem with fantastic imagery! I love the twists in it.

Brian Miller said...

great oneshot pete...all kid of characters in the waiting room...death and mermaids...hope you didnt catch anything...smiles.

Cor said...

You did a great job with this poem. Catching all of the nuances of the waiting room. Beautiful word choice and flow. Happy one shot!

SuziCate said...

Sounds just like the last time I was in a waiting room, minus the part of there being someone I wanted to talk to!

Anonymous said...

Pete, this was great. You captured not only the essence of waiting rooms everywhere, but also the essence of waiting in one. I especially loved this bit:

"A handkerchief would catch a sneeze
A bulbous face, a heavy wheeze
and death would sit
beside my chair
texting friends
polluting air."

I laughed out loud at that, and then you brought me right back down to earth again with the lady at the end. Beautifully handled, my friend. Beautifully handled. :)

G-Man said...

How can one turn the worst, germ filled experiance possible...Into a work of Art?
I don't know brother, but you sure pulled it off!!!

We are indeed lucky to have such an obsevant eye in our midst...G

TALON said...

This was wonderful. It's every waiting room I've ever been in...and the last line broke that waiting room spell we all fall under brilliantly.

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Monkey...thanks for that..yep they are mundane and your mind does wander...

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Carolina...hope it wasnt too problematic? pity you didn't read this before going..then you could have looked out for those mermaids..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

thanks moonie...wonderful comments..wonderful site..wonderful poets..and wonderful partners

Hi Bri...and those damn end up with something you didnt have when you first went in LOL

Pete Marshall said...

Hi J...that and the mermaid part were my favourite lines...but i can see him sitting there with his hoodie over his face, sniffing away and texting to all and anyone..cheer Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Steven..must have read it 1000 times to get that flow right..glad it was worth it

Thanks Kira...but isnt that life and its everyday flows?

Hi Cor...thanks for some fine commenting

Pete Marshall said...

Hi suzi...and when you do strike upa conversation the looks you get etc!!! strange places

wow really got into that one..and that makes me happy..cheers for a great comment..Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi talon...thanks for commenting, i think i over thought the last line again in trying to find a finish i would be happy with..this seemed to work though..just as they were about to talk..gone, never to be seen again..

Hi g-man...many many thanks for that wonderful comment..germs LOL..cheers Pete

MaryAnne23 said...

I really enjoy the flow and "bouncy-ness" of this poem. I could really feel the dread of the waiting room!

Pete Marshall said...

hi mary..thanks for coming by and reading..glad you liked it..cheers Pete

Gwei Mui said...

I'm just of to the quack and treading water until it's time to go. I so do not like waiting rooms. But you have managed to find some semblance of humanity in amongst all tha tangst , worry and illness. The ending is sublime and made me smile
"Then as she spoke in softened tones
my name was called, its time to go.."
But what really caught my heart were these lines
"and death would sit
beside my chair
texting friends
polluting air."

L.L. Barkat said...

yes, yes, yes... the mermaid! :)

Anonymous said...

So many exciting things happening in the waiting room XD, if it is me, I normally will be snoring away :3 It is a wonderful read, thank for sharing^^~

John's comments said...

Reminds me of signing on in the 70's in the old Labour Exchanges and then having to go to the SS to sort out why the giro was late. Thanks for dropping by to read and comment on I’m the beast that you fear, in the shadows of night

Beachanny said...

OK now I know. I read the Sunday poems. Ha, ha. I should have known to wait to sign up.
Enough of that. But the same I said about the Cap'n poem holds true for this one. Can't believe you make poetry look so easy. The scene here is different. Poetry in the waiting room. Dullness had to be broken by a bit of beauty--fleeting as all beauty is--because you had to go and be grateful to be going. Life ever a constant companion to illness and death. Your grasp is awesome. I just love your stuff! Gay

Teresa said...

As I sit in the waiting room of the hospital reading this, I think it is very accurate! At least my mom's knee surgery is done, and now I just wait for her. What great timing!

PattiKen said...

Great images, Pete. I could see and hear the room around you. I don't know if this is what you meant, but it seemed like a hospital waiting room, the worst.

Marcus Goodyear said...

I agree with the commenters here. You have some powerful images here. They rhythm and rhyme is so precise.

I couldn't help think of Elizabeth Bishop's In the Waiting Room... One of my favorites.

joanny said...

It did not look like fun sitting there in that waiting room, you offered kindness to mermaids, and a lady fair, so sweet and the poem flowed so nicely. The poem could have gone either way, but you choose to have a good attitude, really sweet.


Pete Marshall said...

hi picked up on the same stanza as quite a few people..good luck with your appointment and thanks for your comments

thanks LL..she was beautiful though!!!

hi you liked it and damn..missed that one..yep i saw you snoring in the

Pete Marshall said...

hi john..not sure if you know but i am unemployed and there was a serious hint of what you said in that poem also..cheers pete

hi you are a fan!!! and i am more than pleased..thanks for your wonderful comment

hi apt ..and hope your moms knee is ok..cheers pete

Pete Marshall said...

hi patti..more a doctors waiting room..but a waiting room nonetheless..glad you liked it

hi marcus..thanks for commenting and need to look that up now..cheers pete

hi joanny...i mentioned in a precious comment was trying to capture a bit of romance..kinda worked..cheers pete

william said...

lol been there mate and its not a pretty sight, u described it to a t, well done :)

Kavita said...

I think there is something about ticking clocks today :) I read many poems (including my own) about it today :)

But yours really brought vivid images in my head.. Waiting Rooms really suck!! All those glaring eyes, dubious glances, kids running around, some crying their lungs out(poor thing), the older folks wheezing and coughing... phheewww... it all demands a lot of patience! As it is, waiting requires a hell lot of tolerance.. and waiting in a room of people is even worse!
You captured this feeling of helplessness very vividly and wonderfully here! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

great descriptive verse-- and then the last line posed the question... what was the narrator waiting for-- the doctor, or death? it made me shiver-- nicely done!

Wild Rose said...

Pete you nailed it with the waiting room. It's so tiresome and you took me back to every hospital even i have ever been through. God i i hate waiting to be called. Loved your ending too was perfect and my favorite lines were:

And through my aches my manners gave
I smiled in warmth and offered shade
she took my seat
her baby screamed
she looked so sad
alone in dreams.

Then as she spoke in softened tones
my name was called, its time to go.."


Pete Marshall said...

thanks william...when its that dull and also daunting..the mermaid was a great distraction...

thanks kavita..your comments are always a joy to read

hi mairmusic..the first to take up on why he was actually there..what was he waiting for..a good ask..cheers pete

hi wildrose..thanks for that great comment..cheers pete

Anonymous said...

this what not just a poem about the waiting room but a photograph in captured in words...

Pete Marshall said...

hi kkoning..believe it or not but i searched commons flickr for the photo after i had written it..i found this and thought it would go so well with the piece..thanks for commenting..cheers pete

Steve said...

Good visuals and character sketching; it has a good flow (and contrasts). Relatable on multiple levels - not all of them hospital related, happily. :)

Anonymous said...

the waiting room is one of the most hated rooms... and the atmosphere, you have cought it well...

Christine said...

Gosh,Pete, how well you have captured the atmosphere of the waitng room. I shall never enter one now without thinking of this amazing poem.

Chris G. said...

Waiting Rooms. Urgh. Even the words grate me. There are few worse experiences to hold.

Your poem's got a perfect tone, Pete, and great visuals! You've put a fine twist on our mundane little world.

Anonymous said...

waiting rooms...shudder...i hate waiting...i yawn almost every second...
great poem:)

Aquatic Poetry said...

Capturing a present moment, writing it in ink, makes it not disappear like other moments, faintly hiding in our memory. I like those moments. Thank you. Malene

buttercup said...

Amazing imagery Pete, an awesome oneshot...the characters are just mindblowing....sorry so late but had such a busy time lately...will make up for it next week !!!! Much love and blessings my friend xxxxx

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Steve..thanks for your great comment..cheers Pete

thanks faery...i have done a good job then..cheers Pete

Hi Christine as always its a pleasure to see you..keep an eye out for that mermaid eh!!!!

Pete Marshall said...

thanks chris G...mundane but so full of life...its the morgue we dont want to be waiting in LOL

hi hoiden...maybe you wont mind as much thinking of this

Thanks for that lovely comment Aquatic..cheers Pete

Hi buttercup..not to worry..glad you read and enjoyed it..cheers Pete