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(I have just had a heart pacemaker fitted.  Invited in, operated on and discharged inside 24 hours)


It marked walkers passing for seventy years

But been a bit stiff as of late;

For once it swung free

And closed easily

But now it’s an old creaking gate.


But Time can regenerate Glory again

By dint of the old craftsman’s care;

With tools of his trade

His miracles made

Long lasting and skilful repair.


The well-worn old latch would no longer catch

And home with a snap into place

But with skill well rehearsed

Its action was nursed back

To smooth and effortless grace.


Its posts and its rails had rotted and failed

And useless as they first appeared;

But the sharp surgeon’s knife

Extended its life,

Gifting it many more years.


Their movement impinged, each loose iron hinge

Had rusted from years in the rain

But through doctors’ toil

And liberally oiled

It no longer groaned in its pain.


The once proud red paint was now peeled and faint;

The whole seemed resigned to its fate

But craftsmen redeemed

Its vigour; it seemed

No longer an old creaking gate.


When I came to pay, “We’re not USA”

Said the tradesman, “There isn’t a fee”

You see how we’re blessed

With our NHS

The service is all done for free.




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John Coopey

Sun 25th Feb 2024 15:33

Thanks Kevin. It was, in fact, the surgeon’s knife which kept me from Well Spoken.

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kJ Walker

Sun 25th Feb 2024 10:42

Just come across this one John.

I hope you are ok, and back to fighting fit. You were missed at Well Spoken this month, I assumed it was the crap weather that kept you away.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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John Coopey

Tue 13th Feb 2024 09:28

Thank you, Stephen. Unfortunately, it is indeed a reflection of Spurs. I am in no greater danger of shaking a six than if I followed Notts County.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 12th Feb 2024 21:52

Look after yourself, John. I reckon you're set up for a few more decades. (No reflection on Spurs, by the way).

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Feb 2024 12:39

Many thanks for your thoughts, Uilleam. And thanks for the Like, Holden, Tom and Aisha.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Mon 12th Feb 2024 10:45

Excellent news, John-I agreee with Greg.
The NHS saved my life at birth, in the year of its inception, then a second time, many years later, enabling me to keep a roof over my family’s head.
Shame on the “I’m all right Jacks” who denigrate it and it's ethical principles for ideological reasons.

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Feb 2024 10:19

It occurs to me, Greg, that at every contact we have with the NHS, whether that’s a sniffle at the local GP’s or major heart surgery, we should be presented with an invoice; not to pay but to remind us of its value that we otherwise take for granted.

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Greg Freeman

Mon 12th Feb 2024 09:05

Forgive me for shedding a tear at your final stanza, JC. A beautiful, masterly poem, and a fine tribute to our embattled NHS.

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Feb 2024 07:58

Thankyou, Graham and Stephen.
God and I have done a deal, Graham, whereby He won’t send for me until Spurs have won the Premier League. I got a bit fidgety back in October. And I think you’re right second time, Stephen.

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Stephen Atkinson

Sun 11th Feb 2024 22:45

Good as new, John! There's a lot more life in the old gate yet. Or is it the old git yet? 😄. Great poem. Keep well.

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Graham Sherwood

Sun 11th Feb 2024 22:07

Look after it JC and yourself of course! Keep the dice zipped up in your pocket!

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