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A Skeletal Conversation


Ah, delicate skeleton, what’s in your mind

as you ponder upon a similar skull

rolling below your elegant hand?

Are you thinking of Yorick, or is your skull full

of latinate thoughts, so you need to support

their capital heaviness? Help me, old friend

share your knowledge – I want to be taught

how to empty my head, and how not to spend

centuries questioning another hollow skull.



© Richard Westcott

Picture 10698205, medical engraving, De humani corporis fabrica, 1543, image copyright Mary Evans / King’s College



Richard Westcott (once upon a time a doctor) has had poems pop up in all sorts of places, won a prize here and there, and been listed, commended and highly commended in various competitions (including the Hippocrates, York Mix, Camden Lumen, Plough, and Poetry on the Lake).  He won the Poetry Society’s annual Stanza Competition in 2018, judged by Penelope Shuttle, with his poem ‘A Traditional Cure’.  A pamphlet, There they live much longer, was published by Indigo Dreams in March 2018, and his blog is at