Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Kind Donations

Like an old crones
Spell pantry
Specimen jars
Stand side by side,
Row on row.

A neonate stillborn,
Re-wombed in glass,
Plump grey cherub
Forever sleeping.

A solitary eye
No longer seeing,
Yet forever gazing
On myopathic heart
No longer beating.

Small fragments of life
Neatly stacked and labelled;
A pickled history
Of death and disease.

Altruism scooped from formalin;
A cadaver lays waiting
For the first incision.
The first cut made,
Hands wavering
With nervous hesitation),
The medical student acts
And opens up,
Opens up 
The chest cavity,
A treasure chest
Of learning

And here,
A scientist salutes
Then clinically detached
Detaches tissue
Slice by slice,
And slide by slide
He searches, keen eyed,
At microscopic level
For hidden codes,
Yearning to unravel,
Decipher disease;
A Eureka moment.

The  Human Tissue Authority                                                                 

This poem is dedicated to all who altruistically donate organs for transplantation and/or their body for medical research after death.  Not to be forgotten are those who donate tissue and organs while still living.

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the inspiration.

Anna :o]



Tarang said...

Unique, smart & thoughtful poem. They are really kind & Altruistic donors.

Isabel Doyle said...

I love anatomy museums! Great piece Anna

gautami tripathy said...

Thanks for writing this. You made me think..

eye for an eye

Helen said...

Organ donation is a selfless, generous act and critically needed around the world .... your Magpie poem is beautifully written.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Great poem. I'm going to send it to my daughter, as she dissects cadavers (at med school, I should add, before you go thinking she is an axe-murderer!) I'm also pleased to say my Greg (although most of his organs were shot to pieces by the time he died) donated his corneas from wich I heard four people received his gift of sight.

jabblog said...

Excellent post!
I took my two youngest grandchildren, then 5 and 7, to the Bodies Exhibition in NYC when they were living there. I was a little worried but they were fascinated - the highlight for them was holding a real brain.

Laurie Kolp said...

A wonderful call for organ donations... I especially like the treasure chest.

Henry Clemmons said...

Well done and much appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!

Margaret Pangert said...

Anna~ Great inspiration! If we were for a moment to put the shoe on the other foot, I know we would be forever grateful for that eye, that slice of liver, that heart... So it follows we would be willing to be donors, too. Very well-written and provocative.

Anonymous said...

Very well conceived piece on the merits of organ donation. I like art with a message...great job! Vb

The Brave said...

I loved the "re-wombed" line. That will stay with me.

Ann Grenier said...

Wonderful writing Anna! Your expertise turned into poetry. Although I am squeamish, your treatment of this subject managed to walk a sensitive line, remaining art but presenting a scientific and humanitarian subject so clearly and sympathetically.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your very kind comments folks.

I love life and am fascinated by all forms of life - flora and fauna and would like, if it was possible to experience life as some other lifeform - but not a slug(!) - for a day, each animal, each plant!

Medicine and the inner workings of humans fascinate me also. However I am certainly no expert Ann and have to thank a kind doctor who allowed me check out terminology so that it would be correct in the above poem.

The altruism of folk who donate organs for transplantation or their body for medical research deserves to be applauded.

Addy: So glad to hear that Greg provided sight for four people and honoured that you have forwarded my little 'piece' to your daughter. Thank you.

Anna :o]

Tess Kincaid said...

Well done. This brings to mind the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

Anonymous said...

Another great poem Anna.

I have collected organs for donation many times, and had to consent relatives on several occasions. It is a strange business, as while the organs do transform lives, they generally come from those who died tragically early, often by violence from man or machine. I often wondered whether money spent on accident prevention would have a greater benefit than what I was planning for the organs.

My own will donates my body to an institution for dissection. I learnt a lot from the dissection room 30 years ago, it would be hypocritical to be squeamish with my own bits. A free funeral is part of the deal, and the medical students go to the memorial service for "their" bodies. It gives a nice symmetry to my life, though I am rather hoping that they do not need the body for a few years yet.

Dr Phil

Not so irritable anymore

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Hi Dr Phil

Seeing your name there brought a big smile to my face and I am so pleased that you are not so irritable anymore. In fact I would go as far to say I am extremely happy to see your name again!

I have read most of the HTA site and find it educational - not quite the word I am looking for, helpful perhaps.

Despite the poem I have not done the deed re donation, still thinking about it and shall keep returning to the HTA site until I make a decision. I have great admiration for those who have, including your good self. I too hope they don't need your body for a good few decades yet!

Tess ~ thank you for your kind comment.

Anna :o]

Anonymous said...

I love the 2nd and 3rd stanza beautiful language. Fabulous poem and compassionate message =)

Dave King said...

A great idea, well composed and well directed. Congratulations!

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your kind comments MLM and Dave.

Anna :o]

Stranger said...

Fantastic writing. I confess, I am not yet signed up to be a donor despite knowing it's the right thing to do. Part of me is horrified by the process, I guess.

Ren said...

A wonderful and powerful piece of work.
Well done.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thank you Stranger and Ren for your kind comments.

Anna :o]

Brian Miller said...

its intersting...we were just talking to our boys the other day about organ donation and what it means....and you know it def helps as well to allow docs the opportunity...there are so many diseases we need cures for...

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite poems of yous Anna everything I read it, fabulous

rch said...

Great imagery in this and clever plays with words, too many to mention so I'll just say - fantastic!

Mary said...

Your poem was well conceived and carried out and on an important subject. Kudos to you.

kaykuala said...

Felt a bit squeamish initially. But your footnote did well to lighten the feel. It's a noble act and a wonderful decision by those concerned ones. Great take Anna!


Yousei Hime said...

I like what organ donation does for others, but I wouldn't want to see them. Well and creepily written.

Poet Laundry said...

The title is perfect. It is fascinating what can be done with medical science. Great write.

dsnake1 said...

i like how you build up the tension in the beginning and then, what the poem is all about in the final strophe. :)