Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Old Otalgia



Compassion’s earache
sits on the tattered couch
worn thin by visitors
who came to get
and seldom returned to give.

Compassion’s earache
sips Pepto-Bismol
straight from the bottle,
waiting for someone
to take her out
for a real drink,
or at least make
her some chamomile,
pop in a DVD,
and rub her feet
once in a while.

Compassion’s earache
has thick-skinned,
broad shoulders
even when we are
too blind to see them droop,
too thin-skinned to care,
and too deaf to hear her
when she calls for us to listen too.



© 2014 Jennifer Wagner



I’m back from a little blog-sabbatical and it’s OpenLinkNight at dVerse!

23 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see you post! I love it! Especially the vivid images of the tattered and worn couch and the thoughts it leaves me with. Sometimes its easy to forget that the shoulders we lean on so readily have needs too. Thanks.

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  2. Wow! And back with a bang. Loved everything about this, Jennifer. Though the first line:

    “Compassion’s earache sits on the tattered couch worn thin by visitors who came to get and seldom returned to give.”

    had me right out of the gate. As you know, I do like to take the occasional break from my blog – and always feel freshly inspired when I return. Great to see you back!!!

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  3. Compassion’s earache
    sits on the tattered couch
    worn thin by visitors
    who came to get
    and seldom returned to give
    ...

    ...felt.

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  4. I wondered where you had gone! Nice to see you back. Sometimes people get pigeon holed into certain roles and others stop thinking about what that does and what it means. I guess. I'm on my first cup of coffee here!

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  5. Otalgia or earache - describes exactly how we often view old people, yet just neatly avoids sentimentality. The sipping of Pepto-Bismol, whilst wishing for a real drink, was particularly witty and poignant.

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  6. ha. a good footrub covers many evils....smiles....nice personification...the opening sets it up nice but then i like how the second gets specific...and it def gives a poke as well...smiles.....

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  7. Love that opening verse. It says a lot. Enjoyed your poem.

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  8. I really like this Jennifer. Compassion is always selfless, and always only wanted when people need her. That's what this made me think of.

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  9. Carers need care too!

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  10. Such a sweet acknowledgement of a caregiver's presence!

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  11. people like her who are always there for others and have an open ear for the needs and sorrows of those around them are often thought of being esp. stable and never needing anyone.... such a wrong thought...we all need someone to talk to and hug us every once and a while

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  12. Yes, sometimes the 'good listener' would like someone to listen to him/her too. Conversation should go both ways, not be one-sided. I like the way you have expressed the idea here, Jennifer.

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  13. We all need to open that ear to others. A good listener is usually born out of some need; they need to unload from time to time also.

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  14. Great to see you back and hope that you had a good break. Liked the way you covered so many different aspects of caring-the almost invisible ways in which someone will show their devotion. This is a lovely poem and a great start to your work in 2014. Looking forward to many more.

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  15. I'd like to print this up and hand it out, or at least direct several people I know to come here and read it. Well said.. terrific poetry..

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  16. Compassion's earache...an interesting thought. I hope I never become an earache to a compassionate ear! Well written

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  17. This is wonderful. It has a great message with each poetic line. Foot massage sounds great right about now!

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  18. Compassion's earache..it is hard to be a listener when sometimes you want someone to listen to your thoughts.

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  19. some powerful thoughts are weaved through out... loved the compassion's earache ... sits on the tattered couch

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  20. most are blind to way too much... hope you had a good rest

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  21. This is beautiful. And strong, yes. I guess, I have played both roles - the droopy shoulders and the thin skinned glances. Brilliant poetry, though. Loved it.

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  22. Really Heartbreaking for me to read. I'm one of the deaf I think.

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Thank you for your thoughts!