Beyond the Stethescope

If you are a physician with a hobby (photography, poetry, etc), we invite you to share it with our readers. Our newspaper is distributed to 35 hospitals and the deans of every medical school in NYC. The general public has access through schools, streetcorner boxes, apartment buildings and subscriptions.

THE SYCOPHANT

(Pachyderma adulans)

By Dr. Donald Feinfeld

A herd of Sycophants stomps in,
surrounds their leader, trumpets
flattery in his sail-like ears
flapping the way praise flows.
Lucky the inmost mob: they delight
to sniff the shape of greatness,
exhale a dissonance of yeses.
Those on the fringe trample all
in their path to approach the king,
snouts raised in hymns; each blast
holds a bleating tremolo.
Hunters, seeking long tusks white
with lies, shoot lead or stone
that bounces off the fawn-colored hide.
The sovereign feeds on adulation,
but ordinary Sycophants donít starve;
they scoop trodden loot in their trunks,
flush it down to fire an oily belch.
Following their chief, they leave
flattened earth spattered with dung.

Donald Feinfeld, M.D., Chairman, Department of Medicine, Nassau University Medical Center is a published poet.