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

 

Below the Skin

Below the skin

Red is my blood,
green is your sap.
Yet below the skin,
we are kin.
Complementary;
breathing each other in,
mutually
nourishing,
eternally
flourishing.

The iron that dwells
In the heart of her
The iron that flows
In my veins
Are one and the same

The heart of Suns
In the wood
And the cell
I am ocean
but for a membrane

When I die,
And the ocean leaves my body,
My spirit returns to the sea.
I am ocean but for a membrane.
The part of me that is earth,
My bones I will leave behind.
Under the skin, we are kin.

© Janey Colbourne 2017 all content
Image Janey Colbourne with PicsArt

Wax It. A poem.

wax it

Here’s a poem I wrote as spoken word, which I also put to music. If you’d like to have a listen, here’s the YouTube link.

Wax It.

Wax it
Pluck it
Shave it
Shape it
Sugar it
Prune it
Slice it off!

Colour it
Cream it
Paste it
Peel it
Hurt it
hate it
Not good enough!

Cherish it
Know it
Like it
Love it
Accept it
It’s you
You ARE good enough.

© Janey Colbourne 2017

A Message for Girls

Girls, when you are finding your feet in this world, on the cusp of being an adult and looking for ways to show it, you have no idea how beautiful you all are, in your individuality. Don’t let the world tell you how you need to change; remove hair here, paint it in there. Do not judge each other harshly. What is most beautiful is your soul shining through, expressed in your unique shapes and gestures, the sparkle in your eyes, and your fresh faced youth. No need to hide behind a mask. Beauty is greatest in self acceptance, for then our souls truly inhabit our bodies and make us glow with life. This is not just platitudes, it is truth. Enjoy who you are now, for youth does not last. Our bodies stop growing, but if we allow it, our spirits just keep on expanding.

© Janey Colbourne 2017

Thistle Fierce and Wild. My Poem Grows Some Music.

 

Photo © Janey Colbourne 2015

One of the poems I wrote for my first poetry collection ‘See With Heart‘ was in homage to a large thistle that decided to grow between the wall of my house and the yard. She was truly huge, tall with a very fat stem and long, sharp spikes. I was struck by the vital power of this plant, growing in such an apparently inhospitable place. I took a photo and wrote the poem. Recently I have been songwriting and this is a poem I decided to make into a piece of music. It’s a breakbeat tune with punk vocals, which I felt was suited to the strong spiky energy of the mighty thistle. If you’d like to have a listen here’s the YouTube link. Below is the cover design for the song.

Image by Janey Colbourne using PicsArt

Here’s the original poem:

Thistle

Thistle fierce and wild
Strong you grow
And spiky
What vital power
Too sharp to grasp
Roots buried deep
No soil to see
From patio and wall
You thrust
I must
In truth
Honour
Your mighty conquest

©Janey Colbourne 2015

If you enjoy my creations please consider supporting my work by buying one of my poetry books available at very reasonable prices from Amazon or iBooks. Thank you.

A screenshot from the iBooks version of ‘See With Heart’

All content © Janey Colbourne

 

For Women Of A Certain Age. A Poem.

For Women Of A Certain Age.

I had a bright idea.
A drip tray might suffice.
Perhaps a bib,
the plastic sort
with a little tray,
but have it made
in extra large,
and tie it round my waist.
Do you think it would catch on?

© Janey Colbourne 2017

Here’s a video of me reading this poem on my YouTube channel as part of my Readings From The Red Tent series.