Time To Go

A great post at dVerse Poets Pub  prompted this. This is a revised version taking on board some of the comments below.

Time To Go

Whose life
is it supporting,
this clever machine
with tentacles
of wires and tubes?

Delivering each breath,
every heartbeat,
mechanically efficiently,
emotionally bereft.

Giving such false hope,
raised expectations
of some miracle that’s
never coming.

Is it time to flick the switch?

MikeJackson ©2011


  1. Victoria

    For me as a former hospice nurse, this is such an important topic and I see you’ve written it using sparse words that drive the point home. Glad to discover you at the “Pub” and looking forward to seeing more of your work.


  2. Claudia

    tough stuff mike and in my opinion very well executed in the first three stanzas.
    the last stanza, for my taste, is a bit weak compared to the rest. i think if it were my piece i would just make it: is it time to flick the switch? or “when is the time to flick the switch” even without question mark
    rgd. your question on my post…i have started to write everything in small letters including the “i” and only use capital letters to set accents or highlights…think that’s a topic where poets could discuss hours – like using numbers and ampersands in poetry….i love ampersands by the way and use them often…smiles


    1. Mike

      Thank you very much for your comments Claudia.
      It was the last stanza that I had most problem with. You’re suggestion makes so much sense – a short, sharp finish. I think I got to hung up trying to come up with a 4th stanza, similar t the first three, when I should have been thinking more creatively about how best to end this piece.
      Thanks also for answering my query – I could imagine this being an interesting discussion.


  3. brian

    nice.this is an excelent verse and begs an important question…will be posting a poem here in a bit along a similar vein…i can see what victoria is talking about as well with those in hospice…who makes the decisions, well at times we must…


  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade aka SnakyPoet

    You’ve obviously learned well from this week’s exercise! I agre with Caudia; the final verse is a bit weak by comparison with the others. Overall it’s a tightly written, hard-hitting poem with great emotional depths, but the last verse is predictable and, given what went before, almost rhetorical. I think you might come down hard on one or other answer to the question, and probably the one that says it is time. I’d like to see it finish abruptly on just that one line: ‘It’s time to fllck the switch.’


    1. Mike

      Thanks for your comments.
      I had a great time reading all the links last week and, as you say, feel as though I learnt a great deal. Need to put it into practice now.
      Claudia and you are both so right – a one line almost abrupt finish is what is needed.


  5. Mike Patrick

    A poem on an ethical dilemma. Excellent write. The problem is only complicated by love. From the other side of the equation, I believe it is much simpler. Now that I’m getting on in years, I’ve told my family I don’t want to be kept alive by machines. Keep the love out of it, turn them off.


I look forward to reading your comments

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