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Posted by Bill


Do not expect an epopoeia (epic poem)
to emerge from diarrhoea,
for though I’ll try to do my best
this one will put me to the test.

This is a difficult concept,
which I think we must just accept
is not the nicest in the land
for anyone to understand.

Sometimes called the Delhi-belly
it can be both vile and smelly,
then again, it’s called the squits,
but most of us just call it shits.

We may call it what we choose
but when the faeces start to ooze
or spurt like water from a hose
what’s it matter, what words you chose?

With diarrhoea it is the norm
for shit to pass in liquid form,
sometimes accompanied by sick
which often is catastrophic.

For many people, it’s the pits
when diarrhoea gives them the shits
because their bodies are designed
without the diarrhoea in mind.

Unfortunately, they have found
their anus points towards the ground
and they have no control on shit
let alone on catching it.

But with my stoma, I don’t care,
as my bag will be hanging there
to catch whatever’s coming out
for that’s what stomas are about.

I shit no longer from my bum
but catch it all out of my tum.

B. Withers 2019

See all blogs by Bill
Nov 04, 2019
newyorktorque : OMGosh Bill you are too funny!
Nov 04, 2019
w30bob : F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C !!!


Nov 05, 2019
Bill : Thanks newyorktorque and bob for your supportive comments. I did wonder how this one might be viewed but, in the spirit of poetic licence, I feel that if only one or two people appreciate it, then the effort is worthwhile.
Best wishes
Nov 05, 2019
w30bob : Bill,

I'm betting LOTS of folks are enjoying know, the other 20,745 "members" on this site. Ok, seriously, that number's a joke, but there are quite a few "lurkers" on here who read your stuff and enjoy it....they just don't comment. Guess they prefer we do all the work. Oh well. What this site needs, besides a good enema, are "stickies"...posts that stay at the top of the list for all to easily find. This way we wouldn't have to rehash the same old topics over and problems, barriers won't stick, what foods do what....and one for your poetry. Regardless, keep at it man...we need the entertainment on such a non-entertaining site.

Nov 05, 2019
w30bob : Oh....hey other thing. We spell it Diarrhea over here in the states. Is yours a UK spelling or were you mis-spelling on purpose to attract attention. Just wondering, not judging.
Nov 05, 2019
newyorktorque : I believe thats how they spell it in the UK. There are a number of words we spell differently like we say WHILE and in the UK its WHILST. We spell color they spell it colour, etc.
Nov 05, 2019
Bill : Hello Bob.
Thanks for your support with the rhymes, it is much appreciated.
As newyorktorque points out diarrhoea is the English spelling but
thanks for drawing the spelling to my attention as I am not above making basic mistakes like that in my writing. I have to be quite careful here in the UK because in literary circles they get quite touchy about spelling and grammar. You would be surprised at how many critics there are - even with poetry, where traditionally 'anything goes!' Sometimes I deliberately make up words or misspell them to see if I can invoke a reaction, but not on this occasion.
It amuses me that some people get worked up about literary stuff because I didn't have a basic education and in the main I couldn't care less whether I am right or wrong in their eyes. When criticisms arrive, I usually ask whether they understood what I was trying to say. That is usually responded to with a "Yes-but!" and then I will invite them to be a proof-reader for all my work if they are concerned about my mistakes. That often puts them off criticising again.
As an aside, I never read a proper book until I was in my late twenties, and when I went to college, I had to learn how to write. Prior to that I had only handwritten anything in italic script for the artistic effect. ( anyone who has tried that mode of writing will confirm that it takes ages and would be quite inappropriate for essay work especially using a quill-nib.) However, learning how to write normally proved to be unnecessary, as I used to pay someone to write all my essays for me after I simply dictated them into a machine.
After I finished uni, I rewrote my thesis entirely in rhyming verse as resubmitted it. Needless to say I had no response from the university but that's how things are in academia. You either tow the line or you are deemed as being 'wrong'. I have just finished a rhyme in that vein and, as you seem to like the genre I'll reproduce it here just for you.
Best wishes


I must admit a preference
for perceiving difference
when it refers to humankind
or concepts conceived in the mind.

I like nonconformity
and dislike uniformity,
for in a wider divergence
there's difference and variance.

I do like eccentricity
as it has authenticity,
which can take on so many forms
and doesn't follow social norms.

I prefer those people who
now seem to be a dwindling few,
who do not follow fashion trends
so, know who they can call their friends.

I like to see folk on their own
especially when, without a phone
they're able to still to realise
it's easier to socialise.

I like to hear contrasting views
and something new upon the news,
where someone's made a new invention
or they have a new intention.

I like to see diversity
and challenging adversity
where people are put to the test
to see if they come out best.

I like differences in style
where people go that extra mile,
just to show what they can do
for the likes of me and you.

B. Withers 2019

Nov 05, 2019
Bill : And that's why I don't like posting rhymes on an ordinary post -- they simply do not get reproduced in the format that rhymes should be to make easy reading or sense.
Nov 05, 2019
newyorktorque : I am the US version of the anal retentive editor. I wouldn't dare correct someones spelling and / or grammar on the internet, but I did it at work all the time.
Nov 05, 2019
w30bob : Hi Bill,

First off.......THAT rhyme above in your reply is your best by far. At least in terms of what I relate to as my viewpoint as well.

Now back to the spelling of DIARRHOEA. I'm glad you didn't see my questioning your spelling as a judgment regarding your intellect or literary prowess, as that was surely not what I intended. You fully understood, and thanks for the explanation. I work with a great group of Brits from Cosworth (the Formula One guys) in North Hampton, so I get to hear the language differences and enjoy the fact that things can be said many ways and yet retain their singular meaning. So I just have to do you say "DIARRHOEA"?

My favorite word difference (so far) is in the word "aluminum". My UK friends pronounce that as "AL" (think the first part of the name Alan" + "LOO" (as in a UK toilet) + "MIN" (as in MINimum) + "E" (pronounced as a long in Eeeey!) + "YUM" (as in Yummy). So "AL LOO MIN EEEY YUM". I just love that. So tell me how you say "DIARRHOEA"!

Nov 05, 2019
w30bob : said "I wouldn't dare correct someones spelling and / or grammar on the internet". That's good, because you'd never get any rest. As much as I enjoy the internet the fact that it promotes the degradation of language in general really upsets me. And I'm being PC when I say that. Why people would ignore grammar and basic literary rules and norms simply for expediency is beyond me. I'd much rather use proper punctuation and at least appear literate than finish what I'm saying a few seconds early but look like a complete dumb ass. But that's just me. I too, like you, don't correct people's grammar on the that is the definition of futile. But it does tend to sort out who I'm talking to in my mind. For I find those who type the way they talk normally to be worth talking to in the first place. The rest are hit and miss. Or so it seams. Ooops...sorry for hijacking your post bad.

Nov 06, 2019
Bill : Hello Bob.
Thank you again for your supportive comments regarding the verse. Just so that you are aware, Northampton is spelt as one word over here (less one of the ‘h's), so, it is pronounced as written.
Back to diarrhoea: Personally, I prefer ‘diarea' as a phonetic spelling (the shorter and more accurate, the better) That's dia – as in diabolical; rea – as in behind or anus.
However, the English literary forerunners liked to cobble together their words from other languages such as Latin, Greek & French. My own theory is that it was a form of showing-off and putting uneducated people in their ‘proper-place'. (a technique of literary bullying that still prevails today!)
Back to the point; Apparently, the peculiar spelling of diarrhoea comes from the fact that in Greek, rheö means flow. My take on this would be that it would be a combination of dia – as in diabolical and rheö as in flow. Thus: ‘diabolical-flow' might make some sense in the context of liquid shit.
As for aluminium. I would pronounce it ‘almost' as you describe, except for the ‘LOO', which I have sometimes pronounced as having an imperceptible ‘i' – as in lieu or lew. Alternatively, I occasionally pronounce that syllable as ‘u' as in up. My choice often depends on who I am talking to because the different dialects in the UK have so many different implications for whether one is perceived as ‘friendly' or not.
As for hijacking my post, you are welcome to do so at any time, in any way you feel adds to the ongoing conversation.
Just as another aside: As part of a ‘constructive conversational' approach, I used to document people's conversations as they progressed so that they could verify that what I was writing was a true account of what was being said. This was fine in written English, when those people could read. However, when they could not read the written word, I used to sketch the conversations in a graphic form, which they seemed to have no problem at all with following and verifying as a correct representation of the verbal conversation.
These experiences with illiterate people, drew me to the conclusion that they, in their own way, were just as intelligent and interesting as those who were formally educated and literate. Indeed, I found that many of them were more interesting than some of the PhD students I had similar conversations with in the course of my employment at university.
There seems to be some validity in the lyrics to the song: “It's not what you do -it's the way that you do it. It's not what you say – it's the way that you say it!” Of course, I would add ---‘It's not what you write – it's the way that you write it!' “That's what gets results!”
Best wishes
Nov 12, 2019
w30bob : Hi Bill,

Yes, you're right....Northampton is one word......which explains the way people say one word. I visited Northampton a number of years ago when I first started working with Cosworth. Had a great time and saw all the tourist attractions in London. Hope to get back to GB one of these years!

Nov 12, 2019
Bill : Hello Bob. I'm glad you enjoyed London's tourist attraction. I do very occasionally take the grandchildren to see the natural history museum or an art gallery, but I don't like the city much as it's dirty and the air is so polluted that I have trouble breathing by the time I return home. We are much more likely to visit RSPB, or National Trust and wildlife reserves in the countryside. The national arboretum is near Northampton and well worth a visit. However, most of the time we will simply walk in the countryside where there are the least tourists and the most wildlife.It also has the advantage of having relatively clean air to breathe and a sense of relaxation rather than the claustrophobic, hussle-bussle of city life. My wife has just come back from Yosemite national park and she loved it.
Best wishes

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