Sunday 30 October 2011


You whisper softly,
I shush your lips,
Brush your frown
Into a smile,
Beg you not to leave
“Please stay a while?”

You slowly raise your hand,
Fingers caress my cheek,
Eyes plead with me
To let you speak

I love you forever”
You say as you drift away,
I plead with you,
Beg you to stay.

My love, my love
I will always grieve thee
And if you truly loved me
Why did you leave me?

Anna :o]

With thanks to Claudia at dVerse Poets Pub for the inspiration

Thursday 27 October 2011

Set In Stone

She sits moon gazing,
hand wringing
of what might have been,
what might have been
had she not dismissed him
she snuffs out the candle,
whispering incantations
to her devil,
her devil of desire. 
She lusts for love,
love long lost. 
she longs for company.

the mason carves his stone,
sculpts out his vision
where all
angry voices scream out,
scream out in hell. 
Done and satisfied,
he lies down,
lies down
his next commission.

She sits
her future carved out in stone;
now angry voices
dismiss her every thought,
her head filled with thoughts,
thoughts of what might have been,
had she not wished for company,
company that will now
not leave her mind,
voices scream out
in her eternal hell;
she lies down 
and swallows
small stone white tablets….

The mason carves out her stone,
strong sense of déjà vu;
he lies down and wonders
who she might have been
as he gazes at the moon. 

Anna :o]

With thanks to Emmett at dVerse Poets Pub, Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft - Conflation for the inspiration.

PS Not quite sure if this attempt represents conflation as I got a bit carried away!

Saturday 22 October 2011

Dead Through Prayer?

Hey Mother F****r
don’t be no sucker,
don’t take those pills
they won’t cure no ills,
the Lord will save ya,
not enslave ya
medicine kills,
cures no ills!
No frills Mother F****r,
don’t be a sucker,
medicine kills.

now listen to me,
don’t need no drug ya,
the Lord will hug ya,
set you free
from HIV,
don’t despair,
power in prayer!

don’t be no dancer
to the doctors meds,
they’ll leave you dead,
listen to the Lord,
be in one accord,
he’ll provide the answer,
don’t be no dancer
to the doctors meds,
don’t despair,
power in prayer!

Get in ya head ya,
that you’ll be dead ya,
‘less you pray to the Lord,
be in accord
with the prophet
T.B. Joshua,
it wont wash wi’ ya
that he aint
the right hand of

It was while browsing through the internet that this article came to my attention and inspired me to make my poor attempt at rap. – believe me I hate rap – but there is no racist undertones here as I hate brass bands with equal ferocity – and you may like to visit Joshua’s ?excellent website here and realise what a ‘Saviour’ he is.  Lord free me from charlatans!

What you make of it is up to you!

Anna :o]

Monday 17 October 2011

Daddy's Special Angel

I want to scream out
I cannot tell,
I shall not tell,
I shall keep
our little secret
locked away. 

No need
to search the room
for hidden monsters
one little frightened finger
clicks off the light,
I do not need
to find my monster
for he finds me
like some tiny frightened puppy
underneath the trembling blankets.

Oh how I long for cold,
this tiny body shivering
your unwelcome warmth.
(I do not want your special hugs
For daddy’s special angel).
Please, please, please 
leave me alone.

I shall keep our secret,
I shall speak no evil
for there are those
who refuse to hear it,
refuse to see it. 

I shall keep our little secret.
I shall speak no evil.
(Please, please, please
leave me alone).

Anna :o]

This poem is not about me - as far as I know my father never abused me - he was a good dad who took me fishing for eels, got me interested in literature and all that was a natural part of childhood, as I matured he was not afraid to show me his frailities and let me know the real him.  I loved him as much and as completely as I loved my mother.

It is probably true that if he and my mother had not brought out my strength, some self serving counsellor (with their ego firmly stuck up their own backside) could have 'recovered' memories of my fathers abuse and that of next doors cat.

This is not to say that I do not believe that sexual abuse in families  does not exist - for it surely does.  As well as listening to stories from young(er) individuals - both male but predominately female - I have listened to the pleading cries of a ninety-year old (during interventions) - pleading with her father to 'leave her alone.'

With thanks to the good folk at dVerse poets for the inspiration.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Neglect of the Elderly (2) and Prevailing Attitudes....

I woke up this morning, cleared the sleep from my eyes, turned on the comp and read with interest  Dr Phil's and the good Witch Doctor's posts on the recent CQC report and my  thoughts returned to an excellent comment left by a&e charge nurse at Dr No’s Bad Medicine  in which he states ‘The tradition of elder abuse is well established in our culture - for example, many do not even have the wherewithal to eat properly, or heat their home in cold weather.
Isn't this report the same old lament we heard 10 years ago, and 10 years before that - if nothing has substantially changed then one has to assume, however painful it might be for us to accept, oldies are not loved sufficiently to receive the sort of service that would undoubtedly cost a lot more than we are presently paying’.

Sadly a&e charge nurse is spot on for the elderly are much maligned, much ignored and the ready butt of jokes in this society we presently exist in.  I was reminded of a recent event (whilst on holiday) when the resident comedian – as in paid entertainer – pounced on a trio of very elderly patrons who entered his domain and ridiculed them with no thought on how his disparaging remarks would hurt and humiliate them.   (I think it is a common belief that those who are frail of body are also frail of mind and therefore it is okay to ridicule, ignore and talk over them – for what does it matter as they are just old and are an unwanted burden on society and not worthy of respect).

Dr Phil’s anecdotal story relating to his grandfather also reminded me of the appalling care my (long since deceased) well demented mother experienced during hospital admissions.

I guess I was the interfering, pain-in-the-arse relative when I requested that she should not be nursed on her right side (pressure damage would surely ensue), be supported if sitting in a chair otherwise she would fall off as she could not maintain her position, need to be assisted with eating and drinking (as she couldn’t do this herself), was diabetic etc.

However these requests (of basic and necessary interventions) were not carried out and after all but one admission, letters of complaints regarding her (lack of) care were sent to those who attempt to appease but don’t care at all.

Her catalogue of harm (whilst in hospital) listed a non-diabetic diet (although it is probable that she did not receive many meals unless I was there to feed her as quite dramatic weight loss was always a dominant feature of her admissions), a dry, crusty mouth (“No we don’t do mouth care here – give her some of her water”), pressure damage, many small haematomas on her palm (where her fisted hand had become trapped in the cot side), black eyes (after she had ‘slipped’ off her chair – “No nurse, wrong place to have injuries if you slip off – she fell off as she wasn’t supported despite me informing you this was necessary!”) and so on into infinity.

Her final admission (of four days) was when it was obvious to all that she was in the process of dying and was breathing with her whole body – she was now in end stage dementia.  On her last night, I visited her in hospital (before I commenced my night shift) and it was obvious to me that this was part of her last twenty-four hours.  I informed the nurse in charge that I would go to work and sort out immediate cover (for myself) and requested they ring me immediately when she entered her ‘final hours’ and I would come straight there (if not already there).

Three hours later my cover had arrived and I phoned the hospital to inform I was coming in and to ask how she was and was informed that they ‘hadn’t looked at her yet' as they had just finished the handover (this was two hours after their handover) and they would go and ‘look at her.’  She was dead.  On my visit to my now dead mother I was informed that someone had sat with her all the time after I had left – what lies, what awful damned lies.

I guess the point of my story is to illustrate that inadequate staffing levels (so much more damaging when the skill mix is wrong) are an important factor in the neglect of the elderly as in all cases inadequate staffing levels were evident on my mum’s admissions.  Nurses (of the qualified variety) were stretched and rushed off their feet and showed impatience with me when I asked questions, and I can understand this impatience as I was yet another unwanted diversion from the required (and often life saving) tasks in hand.

Importantly, we must also ask ourselves why medical wards (which house mostly elderly patients) are so grossly understaffed despite I am sure, requests from nurses to those who manage in the higher echelons (and don’t care) for at the very least adequate staffing levels  Here I would pick up on The Witch Doctors post, and beg consultants to look at the whole picture and not swallow the only too convenient prevailing belief that  ‘Nurses are too posh to wash’ for if you do you are surely colluding with management.

We must also take a long and good hard look at attitudes towards the elderly and develop the mindset, the understanding and the damned truth and realisation that we will all be old one day.

When I interview prospective new carers at work I am uninterested in them as potential carers unless they answer questions in the way I want.  One of the questions is “when you look at a resident and think about how you would care for them – who would you think of?’  Mostly the replies are of “My gran/granddad” or “My mum/dad” and this is the right answer yet I take it further in that I suggest that they think of the resident as themselves and ask themselves “How would I like to be treated?”  This way of thinking, identifying with the resident continues through their induction and for ever more.

We all must ask ourselves (and this especially of those who exist in hospital management) “How would I like to be treated?” for if we don’t – we will never learn and change will not ensue, and sometime in the near future, we will yet again be reading of the disgraceful care of our elderly - who once were people worthy of the respect you receive and are still worthy of it now.

Remember that we will all be old one day!

Anna :o]

Thursday 13 October 2011

Neglect Of The Elderly

Today we have learned of the unannounced inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of one hundred hospitals and the disquieting news that one in five are neglecting elderly patients to the point of breaking the law.  (The report is here).                  
We hear of unacceptable hospital cultures where unacceptable care has become the norm, where the elderly are treated with a lack of respect, stripped of their dignity, are ignored, are talked over (by doctors and nurses), where basic needs (eating and drinking and going to the toilet) are not met.
How many times have we heard something similar or seen ‘undercover’ reporting on TV documentaries of the disgraceful care of the elderly this year, last year and the years before?  How many times will we hear and see it again – for we never seem to learn from it?
It appears to me that the blame culture firmly scapegoats nurses and fails to look at the real issues.  Of course there are indeed bad nurses as there are bad doctors, bad politicians and bad governments and I have come across some cruel nurses and doctors in my time but would add that they are few and far between.
The report notes that care has been broken down into a task-based culture where doctors and nurses are held to account for every box they have or haven’t ticked and I would agree that this is indeed the case.  Although not working in a hospital but a care setting there are so many boxes to tick (even the photocopier has to be risk assessed), so many authorities, agencies and professional bodies to which you are accountable, so much damn paperwork (often duplicated for aforementioned authorities, etc) that there is less time to offer patient/resident care.  These boxes have to be ticked, no ifs or buts or it is your job down the swanny.
Of course staffing resources play a part and the report states: ‘Many people told us about the wonderful nurses in their hospital, and then said how hard pressed they were to deliver care.  Having plenty of staff does not guarantee good care (we saw unacceptable care on well-staffed wards, and excellent care on understaffed ones) but not having enough is a sure path to poor care.’   (Bold type mine).
Understaffing does matter, more so when the patient group is more needing of staff input.  If you really want to know why understaffing matters read this excellent and frightening post by Nurse Anne at Militant Medical Nurse.  (It is important that you are aware that most of the nurses you think are nurses on wards are untrained healthcare assistants – that said there are many damned good healthcare assistants who cannot, I repeat cannot do the work of a qualified nurse).
I can only report honestly how understaffing affects the environment in which I work.  We have excellent staffing levels which are above those legally required.  If one member of staff has to accompany a resident to hospital during the night we are 20% down on staff and therefore 20% of residents will not receive the individualized input of that member of staff.  (Hospitals tend to ‘hang on’ to our staff member for hours on end (anywhere from 2-10) and are quite reluctant to let them go (as in effect they increase the hospitals staffing levels).   Staffing levels do affect care whether the DoH agrees with it or not.  (Oh what fine meaningless statements the DoH  make: “…. Ensuring that providers have sufficient qualified, skilled and experienced staff and patients are protected from the risks of inadequate nutrition and hydration.”)
However it would be foolish to pretend that all bad care is related to bad staffing for indeed there is a culture where bad care/practice is the accepted norm, that said if you work in an environment like this (and are good) it is almost impossible to effect change especially if bad practice is top-down.  I worked in a care home such as this (owned by a hospital consultant) and as my ‘whistle blowing’ to management met with indifference I and a residents relative informed the JIU (which has morphed across time into the CQC) and I had to leave and the nurse in question kept her job.
This is the lot of a whistle blower who are regarded as troublemakers and at best ignored and at the worst vilified and lose their job.
So the question needs to be asked “How can change be affected if nothing changes in that wards remain under resourced, staffing levels are in the main made up of healthcare assistants, bad practice is allowed to continue and whistleblowers are vilified?”
What say you?

Anna :o]

Tuesday 11 October 2011

The Power Of The Press

Bahrain's Arab Spring
The Little King, Michael Sowa

Wake up! 
Wake up and smell the coffee,
 for that faint aroma,
that whiff of freedom
will become a memory
unless we stand together,
taste the freedom,
remember it and don’t let it go!

(Then the Saudi tanks came….)

“Here there will be no
Arab Spring,
we shall suppress the press,
crush the spirit of our people,
in this land I will be King
and none shall move against me.                    

Smell the fear; breathe it in,
for fear is all you have.”

Anna :o]

If it were not for the  Medics would we even remember Bahrain’s Arab Spring?  Would we even think of Bahrain now?

The plight of the Bahraini people remains grossly under-reported.   Perhaps this is because of its importance to Saudi Arabia, Britain and the U.S.  Britain and the U.S. continue to court Bahrain.

How often do we think of the  Horn of Africa despite the remaining drought and famine?  It is old news.

Why is the Health and Social Care Bill and its ramifications on the future of our NHS so  grossly under-reported?

The power of the press to either feed or deny us information and the influence of those who hold political or commercial office who can ‘shape’ the way our news is presented to us should concern us all.

Anna :o] (Not paranoid whatsoever!)

With thanks to Tess at  Magpie Tales for the inspiration.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Demon Drink

I do not know you. 
I thought I did before
You raised your hands to me,
Called me a fucking slut,
A fucking whore.

I did not know you. 
I now realise that,
The demon (of you)
Had not been released by drink,
Had not come raging to the fore.

I do not know you. 
I thought I did
Until those arms that
Once embraced me tenderly
Now push me violently
To the floor
Hands/fists reign blows on me
And I can’t take you anymore.

I am afraid of you
(Although I love you still
And can’t let go –
What strange thing is this?).

Some day I will.
I will let go.

(Please note that I am not ‘into’ bad language (although some four letter words are used in my mind to vent off ‘feelings’ - yet I rarely utter them), however bad language is appropriate to the above.)

As stated before, I work in a care home and love it.  The particular unit (of the home that I work in) houses those who are ‘difficult to place.”

Many of our residents are quite frankly pickled by alcohol.  Mostly they present as good men and women – believe me that several are women (alcohol abuse is not a predominant domain of men) and I regard (most of them) as thoroughly decent people – and indeed they probably were until alcohol addled their brain and impacted on their families and society.

For a long time I could never understand why these good people were ignored by their families – they state that they have a wife/husband /children yet are unable to state their whereabouts and indeed sometimes their names.

Several years ago I became aware of why alcoholics are often disowned by their families and a recent event re-reminded me of this.

The families of alcoholics are more often than not abandoned (or not acknowledged) by those professionals (GPs, SWs, CPNs, etc) who care for the victims of alcohol.  Families are very much victims too.

Alcoholics and ex-alcoholics have the potential to be bastards.  I now know why they are often ‘abandoned’ by their families.  The families of alcoholics appear to be abandoned by all. 

 I link this post to dVerse poets for I feel that all words need to be read.

Anna :o]

Sunday 2 October 2011

Bahrain Military Court Finds Medics Guilty

I am afraid I haven't quite figured out how to upload videos, so Bahrain's proof of guilt of the doctors and nurses who received prison sentences can be found here, sure proof of their Violations of Applicable Laws. Regulations and Ethical Codes!

The video paints a different picture than testimonies received by Amnesty International

Why the silence from the West?    Why is Bahrain U.S. and British backed?  Why do they regard Bahrain as a key ally?  Could it be more than the moderate reserve of oil and more so the strategic position of Bahrain, the HQ of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet and the home of fifty American companies.

The unelected Sunni Regime has been in power since 1971 when granted independence from Britain.  Approx. 80% of the unelected ministerial cabinet and senior military officers are members of the royal family.

Why do Britain and the U.S. not back the Bahraini peoples quest for freedom as they do in other middle eastern states?


Maybe Dave knows?

Anna :o]