Field hospital

(Lord’s day). Lay long talking with my wife, then Mr. Holliard came to me and let me blood, about sixteen ounces, I being exceedingly full of blood and very good. I begun to be sick; but lying upon my back I was presently well again, and did give him 5s. for his pains, and so we parted, and I, to my chamber to write down my journall from the beginning of my late journey to this house.
Dined well, and after dinner, my arm tied up with a black ribbon, I walked with my wife to my brother Tom’s; our boy waiting on us with his sword, which this day he begins to wear, to outdo Sir W. Pen’s boy, who this day, and Sir W. Batten’s too, begin to wear new livery; but I do take mine to be the neatest of them all.
I led my wife to Mrs. Turner’s pew, and the church being full, it being to hear a Doctor who is to preach a probacion sermon, I went out to the Temple and there walked, and so when church was done went to Mrs. Turner’s, and after a stay there, my wife and I walked to Grays Inn, to observe fashions of the ladies, because of my wife’s making some clothes. Thence homewards, and called in at Antony Joyce’s, where we found his wife brought home sick from church, and was in a convulsion fit. So home and to Sir W. Pen’s and there supped, and so to prayers at home and to bed.

long in my blood
full of blood sick
lying on my back
in pain my arm tied up
my waiting word

and I hear a doctor
reach out and turn
to ash


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 May 1662.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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