Don't tempt me towards
the grave with your 'Naughty
but nice death by chocolate' -
I'm busy walking the health
apocalypse from Alpha-linolenic
acid to Omega-3
and there's no time for dessert.
Rumours of scientific treatises
arrive daily in the rehab garden.
Cooling down from aerobic steps
amongst the statues and bolted
container plants we read of new
permissions and revised prohibitions.
Archaeo-pathological analysis of my
arterial silt revealed relics
of conviviality, boredom,
pragmatism and bohemian interludes
secreted in the strata.
Silver shoals of sardines
are now marked
for death to feed
my healthy maw.
'Skin is the enemy'
said the nurse, referring
mainly to chicken.
the visible, the excess, that of unknown origin.
Enjoy your meal.
Roy Bayfield, a good friend of this blog, was kind enough to send me a few months ago a copy of his newly published poem-sequence Bypass Pilgrim: Writings From The Vicinity Of The Heart. I really enjoyed it. I found it a witty, original and - dare I say it - heartening collection. After being diagnosed with angina, Roy had coronary artery bypass surgery at Easter this year in the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.
This book is his creative way of coming to terms with the experience. As Roy himself says in the Introduction: I ... decided to set it all down in a book, doing some breaking open and slicing up of my own to make, as best I could, a gift, love-letter, apology, self-portrait, account, waystation on a journey towards writing other things, and escape plan.
It's difficult to extract individual poems from the book, as they tend to all work together rather than stand alone. However, I've chosen Diet Sheet from the third section Rehabilitation as I find it full of incisive observation and dry wit. I also like the way the poem erodes from an initial seven line stanza down to that final killer (unfortunate word!) single line.
Roy's own blog, Walking Home To 50, can be found here.