BEST MEDICINE and WRITE NOW
VALE Dr Carl Scholtz – MB, MRCPA, PhD, MSC -doctor, pathologist, teacher, writer, poet; long time member of my Bayside Poetry Group.
Carl’s poems are included in BPG anthologies and his work has featured on many Write Now programmes over the years. Last year when I devoted a whole Best Medicine programme to Poetry’s health benefits I began with Carl and his work.
A terrible neurodegenerative disease stole Carl’s ability to speak in 1990 and progressively claimed his ability to move and do anything for himself. Yet he looked outwards to help others, advocating for people in the medical and aged care systems.
When asked about his poetry Carl wrote: “I want to show life in a nursing home as the residents see it. I want to show the humanity of the demented. I want to show the simple affection of holding the other’s hand. Medications are no solution for aged care. The stimulus of laughter, play and human contact is needed to maximise function. .. Poetry is my voice.”
Indeed Carl retained a great and pointed sense of humour and wit throughout his ordeal. That’s not too strong a word to use when you can’t get yourself even a much needed drink of water AND can’t even ASK for it. And although he remained mobile via his wheelchair, if his hand fell from the controls, he could NOT lift it back. He had to wait for someone to notice and do that for him!
Yet, Carl wrote lyrically, powerfully, humanely.
Vale Carl Scholtz, husband, father, grandfather, doctor, teacher, friend – a very fine man and poet – missed by many.