Prompt response based on the word of the day ~ January 2017 ~ HORN



Image courtesy of pixabay.com

A Hard Horned Goodbye.

by John Yeo

   William was trapped by the horns of a dilemma. Mother was terminally ill and in terrible pain. He was shocked and annoyed: there wasn’t any way out. Mother was enduring slowly progressive levels of pain. The hospital staff were administering the strongest levels of pain-killing drugs that were available. Sadly his Mother was suffering an increasing painful experience as the illness slowly took a hold.

   “Why can’t you put her out of her misery? Just administer a drug that will allow her to slowly drift away from life, pain-free.” He begged the Doctors when they arrived to carry out a ward round.


    “Sorry Sir this is against the law and against our sworn code of ethics. This would be a contravention of the Hippocratic oath. Euthanasia is strictly illegal.” replied the Consultant.

  William just shed tears and ran from the ward, holding a hanky to his nose. A nurse followed him out;  “Come back!”

   William fled, visibly sobbing;  blowing his nose which sounded like a fog horn blasting out a warning on a foggy night.

    William rushed out into the hospital road and jumped back quickly as an ambulance driver sounded his horn.

   “Look where you are going!” came a shout from the driver.

     Jumping in his car William picked up a golden horn that was lying on the back seat and ceremoniously played the Last Post. An accomplished musician he was expressing deep feelings of anger and frustration the only way he could.

   Then he pulled himself together and picking up a parcel that he had left on the back seat earlier he returned to the ward, to find his Mother in a deep sleep. Her hair had been neatly combed by one of the nurses. Her personal comb made from horn, that was her pride and joy lay on the bedside table.

   His Mother woke shortly after and William unwrapped his parcel which was an ornamental horn, fashioned out of pure elephant ivory. Mothers eyes lit up;  even with the pain that was visibly racking through her body. The horned ornament was a small container filled with her favourite sherry. They both looked into each other’s eyes and made new bonds, a silent toast that loosened, yet cemented the life they had shared.

    William left the ward with tears in his eyes, knowing he would never see his Mother again.

  She just drifted away in the night peacefully,  William was glad she had gone naturally and was out if pain at last.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved



For today’s prompt, pick an adjective, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. If you’re feeling stuck on this one, go back through your poems earlier this month and find adjectives you used–if any. Or crack open a dictionary. Or scan other poems for ideas


Image © Copyright John and Margaret


by John Yeo

We were gathered around the hospital bed.
He had been in a coma for a year.
There was no need for speech 
Our faces and thoughts said it all.


The family were brought together 
In the throes of silent grief.
Remembering a life that was all too short 
Well lived, well loved, too brief.


The Doctor switched off the life support.
There was a ripple of silent shock
As the reality hit the family hard,
I offered up a silent prayer


Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

Written for Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic asides blog on “Writers Digest”



For today’s prompt, write a confession poem. For some poets, this may come naturally–confessing feelings, actions, and/or intentions. For others, it may be hard to get personal. That’s OK; take on another persona and write a “confession” for that person, animal, inanimate object, whatever.


Image © John and Margaret


by John Yeo

The cancer is very advanced,
Doctor you tell me I’ll die
The writing is on the wall.
I responded to the patient’s call
The cancer is incurable,
The patient is ready to die
The writing is certainly on the wall.
“I have a confession to make,
Will you hear my deathbed plea?”
I offered to call the chaplain,
“Please. No! I never believed”
Will you let me get this off my chest?
I would like to tell you in confidence
I have always done my level best
Something has always haunted me.”
“My wife is my Uncle’s daughter,
We fell madly in love and wed.
The only people who know the truth
Sadly are now all dead.
We married under false pretences
With a nod and a wink and love.
Some say our incestuous union
Is against the laws of God.
Please respect my confidence
In your special capacity.
My wife will inform our children
When they are old enough to see.
I would like you to offer her support
And assure her of my love for her.
We have known and trusted you for years
As a professional and a very good friend.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved.

Written for Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic asides blog on “Writers Digest”