This is not a poetry post but a Thank you

Today on the birthday of the NHS, it’s made me sit back and see exactly how much I’ve needed and used the NHS over my almost 50 years.

I’m not going to say I recall being born in an NHS hospital, though I was. My first proper memory was the NHS making something not done then possible. I was 11. My Grandad who was heroic to me, was in hospital. As was the case then, nobody said the word death to a child. Children didn’t visit hospitals, especially the dying, or go to funerals.

I’d picked up from conversations he wasn’t coming back. I needed to see. So I didn’t go to school. I went straight to the hospital. He demanded they allow me in. We talked, laughed, said our goodbyes. The nurses were fantastic, but without their agreement I’d never have said goodbye. In fact, I’m crying as I recall it today.

My next thing was finding out I am epileptic. I was 13 and I suddenly had a seizure in my bedroom. From then until I was roughly 18, I was mostly OK. I’d just started to see a fantastic neurologist, and the morning after my birthday, I was rushed into hospital. I’d been prescribed a wrong tablet dose. A mistake no doubt, from an underpaid overworked junior doctor. I was 10x overdosed. I was chuntering about leaving as my mum entered my room and the ambulance arrived after the doctor literally ran across from the surgery. I was lucky. Thanks to the NHS and their speed and care.

I was in hospital week in, week out for a long while and I’m talking years.

Then a good few years where I tried not to bother them!

They took care of me through pregnancy and then during post natal depression and depression.

I saw my dad having a spell in hospital after 5 heart bypasses when he thought he was having a double. It was just business as usual, we’re going to tell you everything. I can’t praise the staff more. My Dad has now sadly passed away, but we had him for many more years than would have been possible without these wonderful people. The people who care, in every sense. They understand how the patients feel and they’re there .

I’ve lost many family members over the years, as have we all. But if we were without the NHS, our NHS, I ask a simple question. How many of us would actually be here? Medicine doesn’t come cheap, hospital care is not cheap, and seriously having been on the nursing side, though not a nurse, I know how devastating losing a patient can be. How those people are taken home in worries and not forgotten about.

For all this and so much more. Thank you NHS. Happy Birthday NHS and here’s to many, many more.

Rising

She is rising from the earth to sing

Her age old story on drums

That beat in heart rhythm

And carry on the wind crying

For help and guidance

So she can gather strength

As she walks through fire

Her clay body molding to new shape

Life pieced apart and rebuilt stronger.

He is behind her watchful as she dances

And sings incantations to evoke elders

The forgotten ones, remembering how

To bring them forward he is waiting

For her to signal the way ahead

The time to move on

She whirls lights from the fire catching

Skirts that dance as though alight

Her trance from now to wherever

Is watched with bated breath

She will dance faster, slower, faster

Not stopping until the answer is there

Only then will exhaustion take her

Her words before sleep to be passed

Among the gathering folk

Whispers from person to person

Man to woman, child to adult

She said the goddess spoke to her

Our mission is to carry on before the fire

Listening to the earth and saving her

The message has never changed

We carry on dancing and drumming

The earth is passing the message herself

We must listen for her roar could deafen

Even those who want to silence her.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2020

Plated

Stepping forth in her armour she felt invincible

Her resolve not to be broken

The looks on their faces were shocked

Astonished at her audacity

That she’d not done what was expected

Her face cleared of the usual paint

Sleek hair left to be wild and exuberant

Suddenly in her nakedness she felt it

Powerful, in control

Their shock at her being as she wanted

Scared them

No heels, paint, sleek dress just her

Armour plated by being naked

She stared them down when they demanded

Smile pretty lady it’s not the end of the world

Yeah? She replied it is.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2020

High

The persona that you projected

I am up here on high and bear your presence

I will grit my teeth to see gratitude

Spewing out of you and I remain high

Lofty, above you, and someone to aspire to

Accepting all adulation with a wave

Expect you to fall at my feet and you will.

Your world depends upon who sees you as special

Who will do anything to please you

Fawn over you and into line

Like little tin soldiers you watch from on high.

Apparently I dissented in the ranks

Fell out before I was told to go

Oh I can see all the cracks, chinks in armour

I’d rather be here on the outside

Than there on your fake high

Wondering how far it’s going to be

On the way down to the bottom.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2020

The world he’s locked in

His stories are those of a person persuaded

That life has passed him by

People crushing his spirit and grinding

Their heels into his head

Because he isn’t what was expected.

So he chooses the path of least resistance

Pressing a button that destroys his world

Because he’s afraid of losing happiness

Fighting it from happening is easier

Than the disappointment as it walks away.

He’s tired of hiding behind the shell of pretence

That he’s so carefully constructed

To show the world the clown who loses

But it’s there flickering , the light

That’s now refusing to be extinguished

Now he knows some people believe in him.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2020

The stuff inside

Inside I know so much about things

But people see a person wasted

I’m in turmoil as I try to get through

Knowing what I know about myself

Knowing what people think of me.

Some look and turn away

From the person they’re sure they know

Judge me on my exterior facade

It’s tough and harder by the day

Keeping a mask in place for you all.

Some people just see the man underneath

But most see someone they’re scared of being

Like my life, hurt is contagious

Cross the road he’s coming

Dodge him or you catch his plague

I’m still battling my demons and I might lose

If I don’t have the people who will pass

The time of day and let me know

They see me really see me

Not the damn bogeyman out to get them.

I don’t expect your help I’m a man in turmoil

And we’re supposed to just deal with it.

I can’t. I can’t.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2020

If you can’t say something nice

I have the words ringing in my head

Words I’ve tried to live by

If you can’t say something nice then

Don’t say anything at all.

Yet ricocheting round inside is the glee

That dripped from your voice

As you remind me that this time

You’re in with the cool kids

That you were always desperate to join

A game of who has one upmanship

You say that you’re doing a charitable act

Of friendship for someone else

All you want is to pass the gossip on

And to say I was there because I am more

Than you like I always was.

I’m not surprised at the snub it’s not important

It’s your pleasure that cut more deeply

Yet you’ve not got a clue

Or maybe you have.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2020

A wound too far

Hands gripping tightly so I see

Bone crunching bone

Nobody is talking about anything

Unless you’re the topic

And if they laugh it’s at you

You’re sure because it’s what they do.

She’s asks you quietly why they would

Eyes narrow in anger, suspicion

Turned on her because her words

Are what will always be known

Her opinions the most eminent

And she has something for all seasons

It matters not if it’s cutting, hurtful.

The girl turns away sighing

Another battle of wills to try and say

That the world doesn’t not turn

Around one woman or man

Every thought not about her

Still sure the whispers and smiles

The laughter is aimed at you.

From this distance I see the girl

Trying not to sigh or show anything

Which will be misconstrued or hurled

To her head at a later date

When you decide to deride her

Once more for not being the captive

Who is grateful for her tongues captivity

At some point she knows very soon

She will walk away not to return

Her binds have been broken

With your last savage words that tore

One wound too many.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2019

Chameleon

Opinions change to match the mood

Colours nailed to your mast have

Disappeared in a wink if you can see

A chance for getting something

Anything even if you don’t want it

It’s something gained to be shelved

With the dust and dirt you held onto

In case it came in handy.

Control of others your endgame

By play acting at being guileless

You were taught by a master of deceit

And you’re proud of the ability

To change for the audience

Putting on a coat that says you’re confused

Or a shawl that says I’m determined

And all the while there’s no real you left.

You forgot who you were or could be

When you decided to play the system

To suck everything dry from anyone

Willing to give a drop to the vampiric

Little knowing they’d be slowly worn

Away to nothing by a smiling face saying

It’s your fault for living better lives than me

As the chameleon changes once more.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2019

Promise the North

Let’s look at the North frozen wastelands

Win them over boys again.

Tell the same stories, change the words

Dangle carrots full of powerful pain.

Yes, I know we told them that last year

Also probably the one before

Saying we’d give them help

It’s the North, they only settle scores.

Subdue, substitute and ignore

All we’ve ever done to the place

We’ll keep our powerhouse for us

Tell them it’s impossible, save our face.

Forget it now, this promise to the North

All they do is march, pour forth

Didn’t go to our old chaps schools

They can’t see we’re a ship of fools.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2019