Dr John Celes

(14-2-1957 / Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India)

Medicine and Poetry: Is He a Man or a Robot?


I knew a man of eighty years,
Whose many organs were removed,
Replaced by metal parts and gears –
Bio-prostheses, he looked shrewd:
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

A baboon’s heart was placed in him
For end-stage cardio-myopathy,
A pace-maker was fitted trim,
As heart didn’t work quite properly:
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

He drank all wines since his childhood,
And always lived in high spirits,
He had a piggy liver good,
For his hepatic cirrhosis!
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

He had transplanted both kidneys,
One each from brother’s wife and niece,
Appendix, gall bladder were gone
As prophylaxis for new stone!
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

He smoked all life like burning tyre;
With end-stage lungs, he did retire;
Got one out, transplanted other,
But continued to smoke cigar!
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

His right eye-lense cataracted,
An I.O.L. was implanted,
For Retinoblastoma left,
A beautiful glass eye was kept:
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

His scalp-hair was all fully gone,
A wig he sutured on skull-bone;
For hip-joints creaking with much pain,
He had metal joints fixed again:
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a man or a robot?

He’d many more operations,
And below-knee amputations,
Clankety-click, clickety-clank,
Wrrr-wrrr noise came whenev’r he sank,
Repeating when he slowly walked,
In speech monotonous, he talked:
So, I began to wonder much,
Is he a robot now or man?

Copyright by Dr John Celes 27-01-2013

Submitted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Edited: Friday, October 11, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A lot of material and experience in the field of Medicine has potential for being written or expressed as poetry.

Comments about this poem (Medicine and Poetry: Is He a Man or a Robot? by Dr John Celes )

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  • Freshman - 1,308 Points Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (4/3/2013 8:53:00 PM)

    the patient is worth researched. he might not have diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol issue until late in his life..Is he a man or a robot? That is the reason we have to keep our water and sewer system in good condition, but in India we have failed to do it! (Report) Reply

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