Affairs of the heart, by Paul Hooley

Paul Hooley

Paul Hooley, 76, from Dorset, had a heart attack at the age of 63, which encouraged him to get fitter, doing more regular exercise and helping other patients as a volunteer with a hospital cardiac rehabilitation programme.

This poem is inspired by his experiences and his thoughts about the heart. He says: “It seems to me that poetry can be cathartic and can help to concentrate the mind after major events in one's life – releasing thoughts and emotions one never realised one had.”


One hundred thousand times a day

She showed me all she’d got –

She’d gently nudge me in the ribs –

But notice did I not


Forty million times a year

Her message did she pound

She gave her unrequited love

And barely made a sound


Two billion times or maybe more

She prodded at my chest

Before I really saw that she

Was different from the rest


Yes, two billion times before I saw

The wonder Nature planted

Was in every selfish way

The gift I took for granted


Came the day I asked too much –

More than she could take

In an instant she had turned –

She taught my heart to ache


But like so many jilted loves

She found she could forgive –

I promised her I’d change my ways

In return she let me live


She knows I have another love

Yet never e’re complains –

Responds in fact by sending life

Coursing through my veins


She beats within this fragile frame

From her I’ll ne’er be free

But as long as I take care of her

She’ll take good care of me


Affairs of hearts must lifetime’s last

I’m dependent to the end

Upon the unconditional love

Of my precious bosom friend.


The poems published in this section are creative writing by Heart Matters readers. They should not be taken as medical information or advice.

It isn’t always easy to express your emotions, but writing poetry can be a way of putting your feelings down on paper which many people find helpful. If you’d like your poem about any aspect of heart disease or caring for someone to appear in this section, email it to [email protected]

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