Monday 27 May 2013


Ponytail by Last Exit

She self-observes,
she is beautiful,
a looking-glass of pure perfection,
black swirls of hair ‘gainst fair complexion

Self-absorbed she valourises,
Recognises desirability epitomised,
sylph-like, dainty light and airy,
the pretty-looking f***ng fairy,
contrary to appearance
her ugliness is in her vices,
she entices passing souls
to taste her spices,
hot she is and seals the fate
of those who yield to sultry kiss,
and simmering, full of hate
of those she despises
slices visceral  and heart excises.

She somatises stolen hearts;
deep underground in her darkest places,
she savours it, the heart that is,
it thumps in her, the heart that is,
naked beating heart plucked out
with sultry kiss on willing faces;
driven to destroy she romantacises
love freely given is free for taking,
taking riven minds and hearts forsaking.

She departmentalises,
subdivides her life in seamless layers,
compartmentalises lurid love affairs
mind all neat and tidy.
Self-absorbed she valourises,
recognises the perfection she epitomises
opens up her cruel heart
and slowly pulls others lives 

Anna :o]

Mindlovemisery has us composing using the following words: Naked, sylph, somatic, underground, depart, light, passing, tether, entice, seamless.  Tess at The Mag kindly provides the image and Poets United have kindly opened the Pantry.

Psychology Today: Narcissistic personality disorder.

Friday 24 May 2013

Time Ticks On

One more Unfortunate,
 Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
 Gone to her death!

We turn our backs
on so much suffering
content to appease
small conscience
drop pennies in a rattled tin.
our eyes bigger
than our stomach,
we fill our gut. 
One more Unfortunate

will dine on air
until desperate
fills belly
with dirt and
precious blades of grass
escaping death
by tiny moments
as time ticks on
Weary of breath

lacking vigour
she rests crouches
on sun-scorched
exhausted earth. 
Tis easy to apportionate
blame ‘tween men of greed
and men of war as we
turn our backs – the fortunate
Rashly importunate

time ticks by
on vultures wings
waiting as inanition
takes its toll
offers fare,
its sigh of death. 
Empty now
of life and breath,
(she has gone) Gone to her death!


Sam at dVerse asks us to write a poem in Glosa form, this form honouring another poet in its words.  I chose The Bridge of Sighs by Thomas Hood – his words forming the opening cabeza and this providing the ending lines of the following four stanzas. 

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Accident & Emergency

Old Couple, Togan Gokbakar

If your heart stops, do you want to be resuscitated?

The words in the space where my mouth should be
are sewn in with fragile thread, denial embroiders truth,
words unsaid are silent; I shall not talk of it.

If I had known it would be like this,
I would not have gathered history in my bones,
content perhaps to say No! at first onslaught on my breath
as life-congested lungs binding death to concave chest
breathed life again. 

Do you want CPR if your heart should stop?
(I would not talk of it). 

They chant the mantra of abstinence,
abstinence equals good health or all in moderation
as if longevity will somehow become the nation’s wealth.
Value spent, I am old now, three score years and ten,
wit keen, mind still sharp, I hide behind skin leathered,
cracked by toil and sun, back bent crooked, laid heavy
with the burden of my years.  

He must be deaf. 

I gathered darkness in my days, sucked down beneath the depths
as each breath issued exquisite pain, brain wracked with black,
black dog dogged; death now circling overhead, spirit broken,
he drones inside my head

If your heart stops,
do you want to be resuscitated?

Care cradle to grave avowed, who will save me now
as I drown ‘neath fluid filling well-ripened lungs;
to old to hold significance, a burden on the state, expendable. 

He must be deaf! 

Lips unsewn, weary of it all, angry irritated,
just to annoy the callous bastard
I whisper Yes.

Anna :o]

The Health Police would have us abstain from doing anything remotely enjoyable to enable us to bounce high with rude health and live forever and ever and ever.  It is now deemed okay to stigmatise and dehumanise smokers and the obese –who’s next I wonder - and how much we enjoy this government sponsored lark of well-deserved ridicule and openness of contempt of those whose habits offend our own self-righteousness.   We must be healthy at all costs.  We must fit the new mould.

Problem is that if we eat sensibly, drink not at all – or at least in moderation - and don’t smoke – we will not become a disease free society, disease will be with us forever.

True, we might live longer – but hey, don’t we have a problem coping with an aging population now?   They are considered a burden, right?  What are we going to do with all those extra old folk of who many will succumb to disease of the body, and damn it the older they get will become diseased of the mind too?

The state is already creaking under the burden of these pensionable folk and to fill the dwindling pot of gold, some of us will be required to work until the tender age of sixty-eight.  Yet, as general hospitals are too creaking under the strain of a large elderly patient population, two thirds of beds being filled by the over sixty-fives and three fifths of these suffering from a mental disorder (80% depression, dementia & delirium) – efforts are being made to ‘treat’ these would-be inpatients in the community…so you will work until sixty-eight – but not be welcome in hospital if over sixty-five...especially if you have a mental disorder…

A ?large proportion of these over sixty-fives are regarded as ‘bed-blockers’ as it is not felt safe that they should return home from whence they came – so provision has to be made for social care – which is a lengthy process as social services have a tight budget too.  What I don’t get is that if it is not felt safe that they return home – how would they be safe if treated nursed (at home) in the community instead – or am I missing something?

So there is much packaging of the pleasures of death with all wonderful agencies sprouting up here there and everywhere to help the elderly on their way…

Mental (ill)health is much stigmatised and so increasingly are the elderly.   Old with mental health problems, hospitalised – what a bummer.  Your ‘care’ will leave much to be desired…  

You only have one life - enjoy it to the full.

mindlovemisery has us writing of stigma, Brenda at The Sunday Whirl gives us the words: space, mouth, circling, vow, drone, sun, broken, cave, crook, chants, first, binding to play with and Tess at The Mag gives us the pic.

Thursday 9 May 2013


They creep, crawl; grub about above her pockmarked skin,
she claws hard at them with sharp life-dirtied finger nails,
they deny her defence, manage to wriggle in

and (deep)below the surface leave their itchy trail,
gnaw at her flesh, mesh her dark thoughts, consume her mind,
tormented she begins to scream begins to wail

and delusionary arthropods’ maligned
continue merciless onslaught upon her flesh;
round her intestines worms and maggots intertwined

stranglehold agonise; knife raised she begins to thresh -
seed cut from straw momentarily relieves her distress.

Anna :o]

Delusional parasitosis can present with differing levels of affect – although the end result is the same (irritation – often extreme) – and accounts of its impact vary amongst sufferers.  The (sufferers) belief is held that parasites (insects etc.) crawl upon the skin and/or burrow into/under it and are accompanied with cutaneous sensations of biting, stinging, crawling and itching.

It is considered primarily as a hypochondriacal psychosis, but is also induced by psychoactive agents and is associated with mental (ill)health states.

The poem relates to a female patient I knew in my student days.  She had intractable schizophrenia and her life was that of sheer torment.   I have never met a poor soul more damaged than she.  Her distress distressed me then as it does now thinking of her.  I have written of her before, here.   I don’t think I will ever forget her.

Tony at dVerse has us attempting Terza Rima – thanks for the inspiration Tony.  Although the iambic pentameter is not exactly spot on - the above is my attempt.

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Monday 6 May 2013

The Promise

What scares me most is that woman,
the new woman, I never guessed,
it never crossed my mind
she could be a patient, dressed
as she was in the finery of designer labels,
and the jewellery, it’s the kind you see film stars wear
and that hair, all coiffured up, y’’know
I thought she was a social worker.

It’s cruel this dementia thing,
it’s cruel here too, what they do to them,
within a month, this woman who was able
to chat and laugh was just like the rest,
degraded, empty,
joined that naked morning crocodile
of skinny shivering souls
waiting to be hosed down,
and I mean hosed down – not showered.
I suppose they just give up,
how can they treat people like that?

I couldn’t live like that, couldn’t die like that
and what hurts me is that I am part of it,
working here as I do, but I try to change things,
be kind and things, talk to them and try to make them smile,
but it terrifies me this dementia thing
and I need to ask you, plead with you,
if I should begin, well, to lose my mind –
will you tell me please, promise me you will
so I can overdose myself on insulin?

Anna :o]

The above is a bit too ‘prosee’ for me – so not quite happy with it and it is definitely work in progress – and it is probable that I will tinker with it every time I read it. Mlm’s prompt at mindlovemisery is that of fear and this is my mother’s story.  Thanks for the inspiration mlm!

In the seventies my mother worked as a ward assistant on elderly female long stay at a local psychiatric hospital.  Care then was very much of don’t care as many of the nurses still possessed the ‘warder mentality’ and the patients were mere things to amuse themselves with.  It is true that the demented ladies were lined up naked every morning for a ‘shower’ and were the daily butt of jokes and cruelty.

My mother hated it – but stayed there for the ?right ?wrong reasons.  She loved the patients and gave them her time, so much so that some were able to remember her name.  The poem is based on a conversation we had in the grounds of the hospital on the day of a fĂȘte.

I promised her there that I would tell her if she was ever ‘losing her mind’ – but when the time came I broke my promise – how can you tell your mother it is time to kill yourself?  As dementia cruelly took hold of her – sometimes I wished that I had…

I entered psychiatric nursing several years later and on the elderly wards care had improved in that there was no outright cruelty – bar that of the cruelty of neglect, the neglect of the recognition that the patients were people.

Poem also entered at Poets United Poetry Pantry – thanks Poets United!

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  Author: Gert Germeraad