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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Going to hospital.

Today I went with a student to hospital. Notice I did not say, “to the hospital,” but instead, “to hospital.” That is very British of me.

We went to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which was opened by the Queen in 1993. First of all, the revolving doors are so cool. They are HUGE and automatic. There are only two compartments, as opposed to four in a typical door. And in each compartment you could fit a patient on a stretcher, two or three people rolling it and an IV pole. And still have room for the crying wife or significant other.

This is not the entrance to the Emergency Room, that is around the corner and through a very heavy door that should be automatic and isn’t. The staff in hospital are really quite nice and efficient. (Notice, I said the staff in hospital and not in the hospital. Again, very British of me–see how I’m assimilating.) After he got signed in, we sat down. I looked up and to my surprise, saw poetry on the ceiling.

No, not the poetry of a geometric pattern or of a mural. Actual poetry and quotes from books. This was to give you something to look at while you stared at the ceiling, like people are bound to do in hospital. Of course, the addition of poetry to the ceiling tiles made people not look at them. I think these should be added to the ceilings of trains and buses and elevators, instead of advertising.

I wrote down a few of the 30 or so that were there.


London Airport

Last night in London Airport I saw a wooden bin Labeled UNWANTED LITERATURE IS TO BE PLACED WITHIN. So I wrote a poem and dropped it in.

Christopher Logue


The Lover Writes a One-Word Poem.


Gavin Ewart


Celia, Celia

When I am sad and weary When I think all hope is lost When I walk along High Holborn I think of you with nothing on.

Adrian Mitchell

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