The People

There are people who forget
that the people
is made up of people,
that community
is a communion,
which means
‘coming together’

There are people who forget
that an ideology
is not an entity
to be subject to,
because
relationship
comes first.

© Janey Colbourne 2017

Work Capability Assessments and the Disabled

It is probably the genuinely sick and disabled who suffer most from the government’s policies on work capability assessments. The constant barrage of not-so-thinly-veiled threats: “you must attend an assessment interview; if you don’t get enough points you will not be entitled; you will be assessed for work capability; you may be expected to do work-related activities” (all delivered at rapid speed on a crackling phone line) -begins immediately on the very first phone call to make a claim. No matter if your medical certificate is for two weeks or two months. The people most likely to be put off by this approach are in fact the genuinely sick. The impression given is that the default assumption is that everyone is pulling a fast one. The process is humiliating, intimidating and degrading, adding insult to injury, and piling on a few more reasons to be terrified, on top of whatever affliction you are already struggling with. When you are ill, this is exactly the kind of thing that is so difficult to cope with, and exactly the kind of stress you don’t need. There is ironically a danger of people actually being sick for longer than they would have, because of the pressure they are under. Stress has a major impact on health. That is one of the reasons people need time off-not just because they can’t physically manage their job, but because illness and disability can profoundly affect mental and emotional capacity. The irony is that those who are mentally and emotionally incapacitated are the least able to articulate their difficulties and defend themselves. This becomes a vicious cycle: persecuting them for not recovering, preventing recovery, ad infinitum. Who knows where it ends? Perhaps shortened life-span? Eugenics anyone?

© Janey Colbourne 2017

 

Heteronormative Dictator a #poem

Did you fancy girls
When you were 13?
Did anyone try to say,
No you must be gay?

So you know better
Than the boy himself.
Your heteronormative
Privilege dictates
He has no right
To say who he is
Himself.

He must be confused.
How can anyone know
They are gay?
How did you know
you were straight?

How dare you
Dictate
His right to know
His own feelings,
His own desires.

Imagine yourself
At 13,
Those first awakenings
To your adult identity.
Your first crush,
Crushed

By the arrogance
Of those
Who see not
Your heart.

©Janey Colbourne 2017

Here is the spoken word version on my YouTube channel

Object Thinking

“When object thinking becomes part of us, it can imbue us with a subtle but pervasive sense of alienation and distance to the world. It can give us false hopes that the solutions to complex problems can simply be implemented and everything will get better. Of course we are not object thinkers all the time, but we are very good in day-to-day life in using object thinking to compartmentalize: We may treat our pet dog as a precious ensouled creature at home and carry out animal experiments in the lab. In many ways it is almost impossible to navigate in our world today without exercising some kind of compartmentalization.”

Craig Holdrege
in ‘Thinking like a Plant: a living science for life’

Referendum

Feeling a touch sarcastic today, the day the British people voted to leave the EU.

Referendum

Brexit
gonna fix it.
No tricks, we’ll kick
it into touch.
We’ll hold
onto our country.
We can mold it
how we want it.

So says Boris
Mr Bold.
Not really cold
or cruel.
We’re sick
of it,
we’ll kick
them out.

Let’s stoke it
cos they broke it.
It’s not us
that’s sick, no tricks
on us.
We’re not molded.
We’re not sold
or sick.

Brexit
won’t break it,
Will it?

© Janey Colbourne 2016

Beyond Enraged

In response to Charles Moore, who said in the Telegraph,

“You often hear of people being ‘trapped in poverty’, but it is also possible to be trapped in wealth. This is David Cameron’s fate.”

Beyond Enraged

I am beyond enraged.
I am in the cold steely
frost on the other side.
‘Trapped in wealth’,
unfortunate fate
has bestowed
a burden so great
they must carry,
the super rich.
The poor, poor rich,
engineer destiny
for the poor poor,
so undeserving.

© Janey Colbourne 2016