Sunday, 12 July 2015

Humanity in the Rough

Iodine stained air, rain on asbestos,
Cancerous crabs, skin and slough.
Within these walls covered with moss,
Lies humanity in the rough.

The ailing patient, the impatient physician,
But not a measure for attrition.
In the night side of life,
Who will see them through all this strife?

Art heals the soul, medicine the tissue,
Stitch, nick and suture,
Listen and heal this tumour.
The night side of life calls those not afraid of the rough.

When those in high places,
Say humanity is lost sure enough,
Let them walk two paces,

And see humanity in the rough. 

/* Have you ever been to a large government run hospital in a developing country? If you haven't I urge you all to spend some time there. Often we seem to forget what the human condition is all about living in this make believe world of social media and materialism. There is a wonderful concept in medical literature that disease itself is a metaphor. For instance cancer is considered as an alter ego or the varied uses of the word ' plague '. I guess seeing humanity in the rough , reminds us of how much we can do as the fortunate ones and makes us give up arm-chair cynicism. The title is a reference to one of the passages from Of Human Bondage . */


28 comments:

  1. Maybe visiting those hospitals is what's needs to grasp the needs of humanity..

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Art heals the soul" is a beautiful expression...the night side of life is appalling..an intense image...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a beautiful thought.. well penned :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh that is a good quote! We take for granted living our normal lives, until we view it from inside a hospital, where everyone is fighting for their lives. Thanks for reminding us of this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ah yes i suppose thats why the classical marriage vows included "in sickness and in health"

    have a nice Sunday Suyash

    much love...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Rough indeed--whether humanity heals into life or into death. I will walk the two paces bringing more art than medicine. May life forgive us.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have given us a vivid picture...one we cannot hide our eyes from!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have seen the rough side of life & can only shake my head in sadness & contempt (for the way its being managed) ~

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think that anyone that spends time among the sick, or those that have been placed outside of society - they would learn a lot. I have worked among the mentally ill, the delinquent, the sick. We isolate ourselves from it - yet at the same time make judgements about their reality - without experiencing it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bravo...well said. I think we finally see some semblance of this when we become sick or tend to sick loved ones.

    Donna@LivingFromHappiness

    ReplyDelete
  11. Even when young I remember old peoples fear of hospitals where there was an entrance but no sure way out. Your poem reminded me of that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have spent many a year in hospitals in the Western world and I can say they are completely de-humasing and rough..literally..we can only hope that after night comes day - for all...a thoughtful and insightful poem

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes the coarse side of life often is found where money is least.

    ReplyDelete
  14. ...let them see humanity in the rough... good path for those in policy-making positions. I always admire leaders who do exactly that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh! yes, I can relate to this very well ,have you ever been to AIIMS, New Delhi? It is supposedly the mecca of hospitals in India, but the conditions are not that good though not pathetic like other government hospitals, but still it can do better.

    Initially, all this really troubled a lot but slowly, slowly it became a usual site and somewhere down the line just ignored the pain of patients.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I haven't seen AIIMS yet, but I see the condition of government hospitals everyday. You are right , I think we have taken the appalling conditions to be the norm.

      Delete
  16. Your poetry makes good use of sensory images. This is very tactile, as well as thought-provoking.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, such a powerful and interesting piece. I was struck by your use of "in the rough" here as it's so apt but not expected... and if it's a reference to Susan Sontag that too surprises and add real impact here. Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
  18. People don't like to think of such things unless they have to. Your piece is a good reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "When those in high places,
    Say humanity is lost sure enough,
    Let them walk two paces,

    And see humanity in the rough."

    It is in the rough where humanity shines the brightest. Very well penned. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have commented before but would like to add that such state hospitals are very common in South Africa, where health care is free but pastoral care is very lacking in many cases.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Even more powerful on second reading. I especially love "art heals the soul". Thank God for it, especially in the midst of living "humanity in the rough".

    ReplyDelete
  22. My son works as a nurse in the emergency room, and you captured how it sounds. Excellent.

    ReplyDelete