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Wear Your Cathetar with Pride


Sunny morning
flowing through clear plastic
the iridescent urine

All sorts on the Urology Ward, with only one thing in common—their  catheters. New patients are furtive. To have such an unnatural member dangling there so ridiculously from the end of your manhood. “Cheer up, mate! Where you are, you bloody well are, so you may as well enjoy it!”

Catheter holstered
in his boxer shorts
he swaggers down the ward

A BUPA patient wanders in from the Private Wing. “I’m a  trader in futures.” A bit of mock modesty, as the blokes crowd round to admire his elegant size 22 three-way French latex job. But most of all the nifty Flip-Flo ®, a little tap contrasting with our crude National Health Service vermilion spigots.  In no time there’s a Flip-Flo black market, smuggled in from the Private Wing.  In return we send in complimentary copies of the Catheter Clarion, full of interesting stuff about the gold and silver catheters of Ancient China. Our Ward Laureate waxes lyrical:

Flip-Flo click
O grateful stream,
Ecstasy of tinkling waters!

"Ten – shun!" from the Top Bed.  "Pre – sent –catheters!” Mr Wotan, consultant urologist, sweeps in with his entourage. Polished stethoscope and swagger stick.  On every catheter bag is the owner’s face in black laundry marker, variously glum, smiley or indifferent. No longer any need to ask “And how are we today, Mr Er… ?”

Mr Wotan is a wine as well as a urine buff. Tells his students “the colour should not be that of a cheap Anjou rosé, like that one over there. But, ah!, this one, surely  a grand cru!”.

Cheers !
A sparkling piss bag
litre of champagne

Finally, from shared frustrations, yearnings and dreams there arises the Cult of the Blessed Saint Katheta, celestial pole-dancer and restorer of manhoods.

Withered members—
shrunken dreams
wander on

Note: A (urethral) catheter is a hollow tube passed through the penis and into the baldder in order to drain urine. It may be provided with a tap, and connected to a leg or bedside collecting bag.

Ken Jones, Contemporary Haibun Online, 2:4, Dec. 2006.