>The Waiting Room: A Poem By Pete Marshall


The Waiting Room:
A Poem By Pete Marshall

I sat within a crowded room
awash with sounds of Monday gloom
and watched the clock
and wished each hand
would reach on down
and strike the damned.

People stared and others yawned
the clock would tick for those unborn
and watch the rain
on sun soaked streets
A rainbows arch
was incomplete.

A handkerchief would catch a sneeze
A bulbous face, a heavy wheeze
and death would sit
beside my chair
texting friends
polluting air.

City gent would read the news
as others read back dated views
the door burst forth
the silence wrenched
kids poured in
with clothes all drenched.

Eyes would stare but look straight down
coughs were heard and others frowned
then right behind
A mermaid swam
hushing kids
 and pushing pram.

And through my aches my manners gave
I smiled in warmth and offered shade
she took my seat
her baby screamed
she looked so sad
alone in dreams.

Then as she spoke in softened tones
my name was called, its time to go..


This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing community for poets & writers of all genres to share their work, express and make friends

image courtesy creative commons flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/joyoflife/


67 Responses to “>The Waiting Room: A Poem By Pete Marshall”

  1. >oh pete – i hate waiting rooms…i hate to wait anyway and don't like to go to doctors – but i thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem – and next time i sit in a waiting room with the dead next to my chair and mermaids – did you really write mermaids…? – i will for sure think of your poem… and i hope you're not really ill….?

  2. >wow, love this read..the flow was great and you had me sitting there with the coughs and groans, they are a terrible place to be except when you are sick, then all you can think about is seeing that doctor….nice peter…bkm

  3. >You've captured the waiting room experience perfectly.

  4. >Waiting rooms, lines, queues — would that we all remember to yield a place to the mermaid pushing a pram. Delightful, Pete.

  5. >The tone and mood of this poem are perfect, Pete. Reminds me of so many public offices people would prefer not being in. Great poem, mate!

  6. >Hi claudia…tried to sneak in a bit of romance to liven up the wait there..yep mermaids were mentioned..cheers Pete

  7. >thanks BKM..the flow i chose deliberately..there are two poems in this with the long lines and short..just messed about with it a bit..cheers Pete

  8. >thanks anthony…got germs!!! LOl

  9. >thanks Glynn..a beautiful face to lighten the gloom..cheers Pete

  10. >Amazing how a world waits to meet us in waiting rooms. Bill

  11. >Hi adam..i must admit i sort of mixed over places with this..like signng on too..cheers Pete

  12. >thanks bill and cheers for stopping by and commenting..Pete

  13. >I love this Pete…the flow was really nice and the imagery great! I bet the next time I am in a waiting room, I'll really be paying attention to everyone/everything around me and thinking about this poem πŸ™‚

  14. >thanks hippie (amanda) glad to see you here commenting and hope you are enjoying the fun!!..cheers Pete

  15. >Pete..this one was quite visual in its description..could almost imagine the bored look of the one waiting looking at the clock waiting for his turn as he becomes the passive oberver ..:)"on sun soaked streetsA rainbows archwas incomplete." -nice!-Suja

  16. >thanks suja…the one thing i like to try and capture in my poetry is the visualisation..i like to put people in the places that i create..seems i have done well here..cheers pete

  17. >You just painted this scene we all live in waiting ooms Pete..:) its a great poem,and i agree with Claudia here,I HATE WAITING ROOMS..and,therefore i m not so comfortable with neither Doctor visits nor waiting for anything as well..:) but i liked this one..;)

  18. >cheers desert rose…they are so dreary arnt they!!!

  19. >Way to spin the mundane, Pete. Great read.

  20. >Great read! Had to read it aloud. I was in a waiting room this very day…alone, but still, if those walls could talk, what tales they'd tell. Thanks, Pete!

  21. >What are you doing in the doctor's office??? You cannot be sick. and don't fraternize with mermaidsoh sorry I'm sounding like your mother – lolPete – your poetry always astounds me. Doesn't matter what genre – it's greatOne Shot is so blessed to have youMoon smiles

  22. >"Death would sit beside my chair texting friends polluting air"My favorite line – this one spoke to me! Made me think of many more settings than a waiting room.Great poem!

  23. >The flow is so seemless on this piece. It almosts ends too quickly because the verse is so smooth

  24. >Beautiful poem with fantastic imagery! I love the twists in it.

  25. >great oneshot pete…all kid of characters in the waiting room…death and mermaids…hope you didnt catch anything…smiles.

  26. >You did a great job with this poem. Catching all of the nuances of the waiting room. Beautiful word choice and flow. Happy one shot!

  27. >Sounds just like the last time I was in a waiting room, minus the part of there being someone I wanted to talk to!

  28. >Pete, this was great. You captured not only the essence of waiting rooms everywhere, but also the essence of waiting in one. I especially loved this bit:"A handkerchief would catch a sneezeA bulbous face, a heavy wheezeand death would sitbeside my chairtexting friendspolluting air."I laughed out loud at that, and then you brought me right back down to earth again with the lady at the end. Beautifully handled, my friend. Beautifully handled. πŸ™‚

  29. >How can one turn the worst, germ filled experiance possible…Into a work of Art?I don't know brother, but you sure pulled it off!!!We are indeed lucky to have such an obsevant eye in our midst…G

  30. >This was wonderful. It's every waiting room I've ever been in…and the last line broke that waiting room spell we all fall under brilliantly.

  31. >Hi Monkey…thanks for that..yep they are mundane and your mind does wander…

  32. >Hi Carolina…hope it wasnt too problematic? pity you didn't read this before going..then you could have looked out for those mermaids..cheers Pete

  33. >thanks moonie…wonderful comments..wonderful site..wonderful poets..and wonderful partnersHi Bri…and those damn germs..you end up with something you didnt have when you first went in LOL

  34. >Hi J…that and the mermaid part were my favourite lines…but i can see him sitting there with his hoodie over his face, sniffing away and texting to all and anyone..cheer Pete

  35. >Hi Steven..must have read it 1000 times to get that flow right..glad it was worth itThanks Kira…but isnt that life and its everyday flows?Hi Cor…thanks for some fine commenting

  36. >Hi suzi…and when you do strike upa conversation the looks you get etc!!! strange placeswow tony…you really got into that one..and that makes me happy..cheers for a great comment..Pete

  37. >Hi talon…thanks for commenting, i think i over thought the last line again in trying to find a finish i would be happy with..this seemed to work though..just as they were about to talk..gone, never to be seen again..Hi g-man…many many thanks for that wonderful comment..germs breed…art LOL..cheers Pete

  38. >I really enjoy the flow and "bouncy-ness" of this poem. I could really feel the dread of the waiting room!

  39. >hi mary..thanks for coming by and reading..glad you liked it..cheers Pete

  40. >I'm just of to the quack and treading water until it's time to go. I so do not like waiting rooms. But you have managed to find some semblance of humanity in amongst all tha tangst , worry and illness. The ending is sublime and made me smile"Then as she spoke in softened tonesmy name was called, its time to go.."But what really caught my heart were these lines"and death would sitbeside my chairtexting friendspolluting air."

  41. >yes, yes, yes… the mermaid! πŸ™‚

  42. >So many exciting things happening in the waiting room XD, if it is me, I normally will be snoring away :3 It is a wonderful read, thank for sharing^^~

  43. >Reminds me of signing on in the 70's in the old Labour Exchanges and then having to go to the SS to sort out why the giro was late. Thanks for dropping by to read and comment on I’m the beast that you fear, in the shadows of night

  44. >OK now I know. I read the Sunday poems. Ha, ha. I should have known to wait to sign up.Enough of that. But the same I said about the Cap'n poem holds true for this one. Can't believe you make poetry look so easy. The scene here is different. Poetry in the waiting room. Dullness had to be broken by a bit of beauty–fleeting as all beauty is–because you had to go and be grateful to be going. Life ever a constant companion to illness and death. Your grasp is awesome. I just love your stuff! Gay

  45. >As I sit in the waiting room of the hospital reading this, I think it is very accurate! At least my mom's knee surgery is done, and now I just wait for her. What great timing!

  46. >Great images, Pete. I could see and hear the room around you. I don't know if this is what you meant, but it seemed like a hospital waiting room, the worst.

  47. >I agree with the commenters here. You have some powerful images here. They rhythm and rhyme is so precise.I couldn't help think of Elizabeth Bishop's In the Waiting Room… One of my favorites.

  48. >It did not look like fun sitting there in that waiting room, you offered kindness to mermaids, and a lady fair, so sweet and the poem flowed so nicely. The poem could have gone either way, but you choose to have a good attitude, really sweet. Cheers,Joannyhttp://thedowsersdaughter.blogspot.com/2010/08/messages-in-bottle.html

  49. >hi gwei..you picked up on the same stanza as quite a few people..good luck with your appointment and thanks for your commentsthanks LL..she was beautiful though!!!hi riikainfinityy.com…glad you liked it and damn..missed that one..yep i saw you snoring in the corner…lol

  50. >hi john..not sure if you know but i am unemployed and there was a serious hint of what you said in that poem also..cheers petehi beachanny..so you are a fan!!! and i am more than pleased..thanks for your wonderful commenthi teresa..how apt ..and hope your moms knee is ok..cheers pete

  51. >hi patti..more a doctors waiting room..but a waiting room nonetheless..glad you liked ithi marcus..thanks for commenting and need to look that up now..cheers petehi joanny…i mentioned in a precious comment was trying to capture a bit of romance..kinda worked..cheers pete

  52. >lol been there mate and its not a pretty sight, u described it to a t, well done πŸ™‚

  53. >I think there is something about ticking clocks today πŸ™‚ I read many poems (including my own) about it today :)But yours really brought vivid images in my head.. Waiting Rooms really suck!! All those glaring eyes, dubious glances, kids running around, some crying their lungs out(poor thing), the older folks wheezing and coughing… phheewww… it all demands a lot of patience! As it is, waiting requires a hell lot of tolerance.. and waiting in a room of people is even worse! You captured this feeling of helplessness very vividly and wonderfully here! Bravo!

  54. >great descriptive verse– and then the last line posed the question… what was the narrator waiting for– the doctor, or death? it made me shiver– nicely done!http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/

  55. >Pete you nailed it with the waiting room. It's so tiresome and you took me back to every hospital even i have ever been through. God i i hate waiting to be called. Loved your ending too was perfect and my favorite lines were:And through my aches my manners gaveI smiled in warmth and offered shadeshe took my seather baby screamedshe looked so sadalone in dreams.Then as she spoke in softened tonesmy name was called, its time to go.."Superb!!

  56. >thanks william…when its that dull and also daunting..the mermaid was a great distraction…thanks kavita..your comments are always a joy to readhi mairmusic..the first to take up on why he was actually there..what was he waiting for..a good ask..cheers petehi wildrose..thanks for that great comment..cheers pete

  57. kkoning78 Says:

    >this what not just a poem about the waiting room but a photograph in captured in words…

  58. >hi kkoning..believe it or not but i searched commons flickr for the photo after i had written it..i found this and thought it would go so well with the piece..thanks for commenting..cheers pete

  59. >Good visuals and character sketching; it has a good flow (and contrasts). Relatable on multiple levels – not all of them hospital related, happily. πŸ™‚

  60. >the waiting room is one of the most hated rooms… and the atmosphere, you have cought it well…

  61. >Gosh,Pete, how well you have captured the atmosphere of the waitng room. I shall never enter one now without thinking of this amazing poem.

  62. >Waiting Rooms. Urgh. Even the words grate me. There are few worse experiences to hold.Your poem's got a perfect tone, Pete, and great visuals! You've put a fine twist on our mundane little world.

  63. >waiting rooms…shudder…i hate waiting…i yawn almost every second…great poem:)

  64. >Capturing a present moment, writing it in ink, makes it not disappear like other moments, faintly hiding in our memory. I like those moments. Thank you. Malene

  65. >Amazing imagery Pete, an awesome oneshot…the characters are just mindblowing….sorry so late but had such a busy time lately…will make up for it next week !!!! Much love and blessings my friend xxxxx

  66. >Hi Steve..thanks for your great comment..cheers Petethanks faery…i have done a good job then..cheers PeteHi Christine as always its a pleasure to see you..keep an eye out for that mermaid eh!!!!

  67. >thanks chris G…mundane but so full of life…its the morgue we dont want to be waiting in LOLhi hoiden…maybe you wont mind as much thinking of thisThanks for that lovely comment Aquatic..cheers PeteHi buttercup..not to worry..glad you read and enjoyed it..cheers Pete

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