Thursday, June 29, 2017

Removing Ear Wax

When we got back from our holidays there was a poster through the door advertising a free consultation with an audiologist who was offering treatments for the removal of ear wax. I thought, God! has it come to this. But I kept the flyer, and re-reading it today, it gave me inspiration for this poem. I do suffer from a bit of tinnitus but I think I'll live with it.

‘Every year in the UK, an estimated 2.3 million people have problems with excessive ear wax.’

Never Stick Anything Smaller Than Your Elbow in Your Ear

If you’ve hairy canals, or you stick things
in your ears, like plugs or phones, or plastic
amplifiers, or you’ve clocked up more years
than most and you’re a bit dizzy, it’s wax.

If it itches, or aches or makes a high
pitched buzz-like radio interference
or you say ‘pardon’ when shop assistants
speak, or hairdressers ask if you want tea
and all you see are lips moving sideways
as you smile into the mirror, It’s wax.

You know what they say, never stick anything
smaller than your elbow in your ear,
So you know the eraser on the end
of your pencil, isn’t a good idea
and you don’t want to use a cocktail stick
for fear of poking a hole in your drum
and you’ve just clipped your fingernails because
they’re too long to text, and anyway now
you’ve pushed it so far down with whatever
you’ve had plugged into your ears it’s stopping
the sound, and at worst is a bung of wax.

Then this leaflet drops through your letterbox,
Ear Wax Removal. What! Irrigation?
Microsuction? Dry procedures, dissolve
and flush out hard, dry or impacted wax.

Oh! Eugh! Disgusting, audiologist
not in my front room, you think, Google it.
You read about available products:
Smart Earwax Removal – Insert and twist,
grooved head collects more wax than cotton swabs,
Earpal Ear Wax Remover – Unisex - 
I suppose men have bigger ears, more wax - 
a loop of specially shaped surgical
steel which can never perforate the eardrum,
Cordless Vacuum, Ear Wax Syringe, Pick,
Electric Vibrating Wax Remover,
Hydrogen Peroxide Drops, with warning - 
do not use if you have tried to remove
any ear wax using your finger nail.
Multifunctional swab – for all functions
see a medical practitioner. And,
if you really want to try something new
there’s Thermo-Auricular Therapy
where they stick a foot long candle made of
linen soaked in paraffin, in your ear,
set light to one end, and claim negative
pressure sucks the wax into the candle,
it’s called The Chimney Effect, but you don’t
feel the heat because you are listening to
Zen-music whilst staring at a Buddha.
And afterwards you’ve got warm, relaxed ears
but can’t hear a thing. You’ve read enough.

You log out of Google, scrunch the flyer
into a ball no bigger than your elbow,
and put it in the bin. You decide the
constant music of the spheres in your head
is not at all unpleasant, and anyway, 
it won’t be long before your fingernails grow.

I think I must have a warped muse working with me at the moment, either that or I'm just not hearing right.

I had a lovely day at the Shortland's Poetry Circle Summer Celebration, at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley, on Tuesday where the guest poets were Danielle Hope and Michael Loveday. After the reading there was a homemade afternoon tea complete with strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, yummy! It was a good antidote to the terrible sadness of the past couple of weeks in London.

If you haven't listened to Ben Okri's poem, do it now.

So sad, such a brilliant poem and what an accurate account of that terrible scene. My prayers are for both the lost and the living.

It's a sad note to end on but all those people deserve a minute of our energy to help them get through.

Talk again soon,
Jane x

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