Bland On Bland – Mercy

Photo By Jools Thatcher
Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Mercy”

No Ed Bates on guitar duties this week – he had a paying job



My father was ready and wanting to die
A yearning I could not fulfil
The science that bought him a few extra years
Now held him against his will

His body wasted, beyond his control
A mind he could no longer trust
He wandered a half world, confused and tormented
Reason – even memories, mere dust

The God he’d relied on for meaning and guidance
Could seemingly grant no assistance
Not that my father abandoned his faith
He’d forgotten it’s very existence

His comfort, well being, entrusted to carers
Reliant on their expertise
For that precious task they’re paid even less
Than those who repair our TVs’

Those horrible, pitiless, lucid moments
When a drowning man glimpses a boat
He would pled with his eyes, resigned beyond fear
Ans run his forefinger over his throat

Would I have the strength or resolve to release him
If given my chances again?
Or count, as I did, on the whimsy of nature
Complicit in his anguish and pain

In stead nurses and doctors must carry that burden
Mercy, unspoken, unseen
Allowing pneumonia to blossom, untreated
And a generous dose of morphine

I respect the beliefs of those who contend
The taking of life is divine
I respect their beliefs but hold with contempt
Those who would disrespect mine

Denied the relief and compassion
We show to a dog or a cat
A prisoner of religion and politics
And I find little mercy in that

© Copyright 2010 Ian Bland

2 Replies to “Bland On Bland – Mercy”

  1. Hi Ian, a beautiful piece, particularly poignant as my wife’s dad died recently in similar fashion. Keep in touch, hope you and your family are all well, Neil Hunter (in case youcan’t place me I play with Clive and Vicky as ‘Apesmirk’) I have just been talked into going on facebook. Not sure it’s a good idea so went under aka, as Kent Elms, Cheers,

  2. very courageous, tragic and very real Ian…coming straight from the painful depths of heart-breaking grief and shock and all the rest that come mercilessly to life when a loved one’s death is drawn out so cruelly and tragically and we feel so powerless to end their suffering…hope you find/found some comfort in the knowing that your dad was well cared for in the health system…lost my sister to a rare liver disease 8mths ago….horrendous….am learning that the depth of our love for someone is reflected by the depth of the grief we go thro from losing them….thank-you for sharing your beautiful poem and thank-you for all your songs and music last night at the Lomond….Ps wasn’t having a go at you when I asked if you were an alcho…just being a bit cheeky…..keep well…cheers Maria

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.