Purple-dappled dainty petals,
Seamlessly sewn to make a hat,
On a toddler's finger teasingly to settle,
Or a bell to announce a prowling cat;
Or lividly languid grandpa's nose,
Dripping dew-drops wherever it goes;
And a whistling chest of flutes and oboes;
Elephant feet overflowing his shoes.
His pulse, his life, irregularly irregular,
Since ancient fevers encrusted his heart;
Longed-for landmarks a step too far,
Till he and his dropsy are persuaded to part.
Some ancient wisdom from a gypsy crone,
Not from guidelines in a medical tome;
So salute decoctions of digitalis leaf,
Deliverer of unimagined relief.
Raymond Hume (1945 - )
I've mentioned this before but it's such a good thing that I thought I'd remind everyone. This poem was extracted from a leaflet that can be found at doctors' surgeries across the UK. They're called Poems in the Waiting Room, and they are a quarterly publication, printed on an A4 sheet, folded in three, and given away free.