Posted by: John Looker | 19 November, 2017

This Is Not a Hearing Aid


Magma have included this poem in their latest issue:


This Is Not a Hearing Aid

this is jewellery!
     Amaze your friends, make a statement:
         you have art, you have sculpture in each ear,
     you have taste and personality, you stand proudly
         on the new frontier of creative design.

Technology too:
     we know your insistence on quality products
         finely tuned to your own diagnosis of hearing.
     Miniaturised. Digitalised. Personalised. But:
         no more apologetic, no more ‘discreet’.

Wear your aid
     as you would your glasses, Fashionista:
         pop in the piece for your mood, for the occasion.
     Try our seductive Impressionists range. The Picasso.
         The Hepworth. The ever-popular Hokusai !


© John Looker 2017

Magma 69: The Deaf Issue was launched on Friday and has a wonderful variety of poems covering every aspect of hearing, hearing loss and deafness. There are some great poems in it. Some are very moving, some clever, others amusing. Some were composed originally in British Sign Language and the journal includes links to websites where they can be viewed in performance.

A related poem of mine, on sign language, was published recently in India in The Wagon Magazine and you can find it on this blog at:

The website for Magma is:



  1. I still remember the hearing aids my Grandma (Dad’s mum) wore when I was a small boy: they were roughly the same size as the bluetooth phone earpieces that are common fashion items today, but they were grey/brown and would occasionally whistle loudly in her ear and at anyone within earshot of her. Great poem, John, and congrats on having it published. I will seek out a Magma 69 asap!


    • Thanks Brad, and thanks for sharing that memory too! If you do manage to get hold of a copy, I think you will find several poems in it that will appeal to your intellectual curiosity about structures and patterns.


  2. Wonderful poem, John!


    • Thank you Sheila. Another brilliant photograph from you today I see!


  3. Excellent poem. Equal doses of clever and brash.


    • That’s good of you Brian – many thanks.


  4. Very good John, droll wit and a little bit of sharpened truth to go with it. I will have to share this with my parents who will appreciate the sentiment 🙂


    • Hi Victor – please do! And many thanks.


  5. This makes me wonder if you could also be writing science fiction. I don’t know why but somehow it makes me think of Philip K Sick or perhaps Vonnegut. I wrote a poem this morning for the first time in a while, and naturally thought of you, your discipline of poetry, which I wish I could emulate.


    • Hello Kalila – I’m pleased you are still writing because I relish your poems. It was good to see your work published in the Indra’s Net anthology for example. No, I’m not writing SF, but your comment has sent me to reread my own poem!


  6. I like the internal rhymes some of the lines have John.

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Thanks Fred. I’m pleased they’ve been spotted – slightly extraneous in a poem about deafness!


  7. I always wear my hearing aid, unless I take it off to answer the phone and then forget about it. I can’t hear good enough in one ear to use it with the phone. My hearing aid is in my right ear, and it squeals like a mouse frightened by a descending frying pan if I leave it in while I’m on the phone.
    Now I know how to wear it properly.


  8. Hi Tom. I own up openly to deafness, despite a hearing aid, in my left ear. I prefer to let people know where they stand with me. 😊


  9. “Well crafted and well done with the publication,” says Ben Naga I while Ben Naga II says, “Hear, hear.”


  10. Well, many thanks Ben Naga I and Ben Naga II 😊😊


  11. Hi John:
    I knew I was missing out on some good poems by not paying attention to your website, but a poem that simultaneously make fun of some of the pretentions of the advertising industry and sheds a sympathetic light on some of the difficulties of the hearing impaired is well beyond merely good. It sings a different song altogether. I like the light tone and the spring-y rhymes. And you know it’s not so farfetched to have sculptors design hearing aids. I’m sure something Hepworthy will come out of it.
    By the way, one of you respondents referred to the sci-fi writer Philip K. Sick. I sure some people think he is a little sick—but she was referring to Philip K. Dick, was she not? (I was in a bookstore years ago—back in the good old days when they still had bookstores—when one of the clerks announced in the course of a conversation across the bookstore that he had been ‘putting out dick all morning’. You could have heard a pin drop as everybody in the store waited for the next line.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That made me laugh Jim! A great way to start the day – and it’s great to hear from you too. I hope 2018 will be a good year for you. Thanks so much for reading that poem and commenting as you did.
      The whole Deaf Issue from Magma was something special. There were poems about both deafness and hearing, poems by the deaf, and others by Deaf people composed (not written!) in sign language and performed at the launch or posted online through video links.
      I was fascinated by the question whether sign language poems would contain body and facial equivalents of rhyme, alliteration, rhythm, double meanings and allusion, and so on. I believe I found the answer to be Yes: in some of the signing there were rhythms and repetitions that were a pleasure to watch – but I’m not sure how well tuned in to all this I was.
      All the best, John


  12. Hi John Looker, can I use your poem in our website under your credit?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can you give me your website address please? I can’t find it.


  13. Congratulations, John! I love the poem!



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