Friday, 18 December 2009

That greeny flower

The Garden, that Greeny flower

with roses
a life filled
with flowers.
Lilac fuchsia So that
I was cheered
Snowdrop bluebells
Not the weeding
Not the Daffodils
a memory of those flowers

I’m filled with love
and passion
colours it

while our eyes fill
with tears
So near to people to
Love and greet as friends

I’ve met so many near friends
love, abiding love,
it will be telling
True loyal friends

a memory of those flowers.
Loyalty to send me cards
Get well greetings

A looping flower wisteria
that there were flowers also
True friendships
A pastel shade of blue
Only give me time,
I don’t know what to say
Wisterias they cover
the patio door

Go along
Give me time
Each day
I cannot say

Time to recall them
I cannot help but think back
a memory of playing golf in the afternoon

I have seen it
and so have you
I’m filled with the feeling
being upside down

and retained
a number of various
something of their sweetness
I can remember it all
Silence can be complex
But you do not get far
walking down
with silence.

saying it that’s a different thing
and the will becomes again


Joyce, Muriel, Tom and Victor (in response to WCW's Asphodel, That Greeny Flower)

Friday, 18 September 2009


a huge mountain between my
heart and tongue
not important
brought here and left
a mountain
if I could pray
prayers would move me
been in
(not quite sure, a long time in the firmament)
fed up with constancy
don’t get attention
manage alright at home
it’s not doing me good
and it should
shouldn’t it?
some people like being bossed
I have
a man’s will/a woman’s might
be careful not
to annoy
to get fed up
fixed and resting
submitting to the saintly routine
Fellows in the Firmament!
it is up to you to get right
down to you, getting better
certainly is
to be helpful with those helping you
determination will make a difference
to be very patient
is a difficult art
you’re not born such
you get old
as the northern star.

11 September 2009

This poem is part of the Patience project, for more information please visit

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The inner part

in last week and three weeks before
bowel trouble
test me kidneys
mind going round
which is what and what is
ignorance last week and three before
toboggans into bowel trouble
that you need
to tell them inner
ungrateful bowels
heart and me blood test

test me test me trudges up
mind going round to ignorance again

anonymous 8th July 2009

This poem is part of the Patience project, for more information please visit

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


what time is it?
it is she may ring by every star
she may not forever now
at home rather know
than feel and fell
pain it’s getting better
lovers tell

my daughter may ring
waiting home and fell waiting

someone came to me
saw me when
I fell
waiting for my daughter
what time is it?
it is she may ring by every star
she may not forever now

8 July 2009

This poem is part of the Patience project, for more information please visit

Friday, 21 August 2009

my eyes they view the afternoon (part 2)

The living day

my eyes they view the afternoon
but when I sleep the floor
try to get up my way
the image shouts
where am I going?
I woke through heavy sleep
in hospital my rest defeat
shadow’s form to ask
everything against your nature

Lynn Holt 1st July 2009

This poem is part of the Patience project, for more information please visit

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Gammy leg

started out cellulitis
like a rash creams and lotions managed
but you know how it goes
down the leg
on the foot
then they wanted to meet
can’t remember Christmas
my leg
could sit here and cry for eternity
wouldn’t put my leg back
occasionally I forget
going longer between spaces
I have phantom pains
like an itch a weird sensation
I want to scratch my foot
the foot’s not there
try to master mind over matter
can’t scratch phantom pains
sometimes it works
sometimes I still forget

Anonymous 8th July 2009

This poem is part of the Patience project, for more information please visit

My eyes they view the afternoon (part 1)

went down and that was it
going to make my Aunt a cup of tea
a cup of tea and went down to the floor
woke in hospital
try to get up
image shouts
where am I going?
different than a normal fall
try to get up , couldn’t shout or anything
don’t remember the brain scan
I woke through heavy sleep
in hospital my rest defeat
cry with aggravation
particularly in the early stages
can’t even get to your own wardrobe
have to ask for everything
shadow’s form to ask
everything against your nature
against your nature
always wanted to do things myself
accepted it more than to begin with
in terrible pain, chronic pain/relief
my eyes they view the afternoon
but when I sleep
get back to my Aunt
I care for and love
only the two of us
a normal quiet life, the living day.
Lynn Holt
1st July 2009

the old grenadiers

you’re 96 years
thy image
an old Grenadier

at my age seem to be past doing
but these particulars are not
my measure:
overthrow 3 bad falls

oh the old Grenadiers the servants, the soldier-servants
don’t create alarms
just keep idling away

red medal round my neck
in defeat
this day I forgot

lay on the floor to the weary night
though new-fangled ill
this old dog’s prouder still

Ron Miles (Curzon) 1st July 2009

This poem is part of the Patience project, for more information please visit

Thursday, 13 August 2009


with frustration
don't you listen?

why d'you do this?
cry with clenches

get up
from your wheelchair
God-forgotten prayers.

Jean Cheatham
1st July 2009

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


a stroke: it’s like freezing a piece of meat

waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting
a cancellation
put me back again
a slight stroke
couldn’t move my arm
so I lift it with the other one
don’t let it lie dead
rub the back of your hand
keep it going

and then it’s un-frozen

waiting and
try to keep moving
haul yourself
with a walking stick
to your exercises
tried, tired and knackered
they train you, so
if you fall in the house by yourself

but only in part and some remains

waiting and
trying to open the door
try to get to the phone
try to climb a step, up four inches
(one bad leg, two arms, nothing 100%)
terrifying thinking about it
don’t think, try to
get on, to stand

on ice.

24-31 July 2009

Friday, 7 August 2009

the speech therapist

when my love swears that she's truth
the words come down the wrong half
we can’t - we are – learning unlearned
I do believe her, though I know she lies
in the world's false subtleties
not the half, the other we will learn to speak
although she knows my days are past the best
helpless helpless, paralysed
I credit her false-speaking tongue
it’s coming spent, it’s half through
but wherefore says she is not, she is
hard to describe
therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
it’s half through, we hope it will


31st July 2009

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Come back come back come back

a simple question

put it this way
once you’re in these places
they expect you to stay
til you’re better

my own children took to walking straightway

my wife in hospital expecting a child
I walked there four times that day
morning, afternoon, evening
must’ve done 40 miles

now you can’t say I’ve been a lazy person so
far as walking is concerned

put it this way
what changes is you
are seeing four walls day in

came here with expectations
put in here, I plunged
to where I am

a simple question, a simple answer
me, wheelchair

lets put it again this way
opportunity is a fine thing

a fine thing is opportunity
a pint and a half of beer a day
my doctor recommended

recommended a little village green
fields, the pub, a walk
dig the allotment
active all my life’s apprenticeship

(walking in the wood at night
by the river way
it’d make a noise like:
come back come back come back
on the side
oh god aye
comes to life that does)

put in here and I’m idle, a passed buck

explain that to me straight
a straight punch
tell the doctors
they will be treated in their late life
like this.

Thomas Weston
31 July 2009


illness is change
not accepting
a throw of the dice
I’m OK/you're OK
I'm going to live
you too
will not abolish illness
don’t fight
allow it in
be alright here
they’re looking after heaven's latchkey
looking after all the time
a paradise
will not abolish
see them everyday
feel looked
down up/on
looked after
one of the most important things
I’m glad
Ive got
pair of dice, we
(mary margaret)
the wings to fly to heaven
well looked after
they’re doing their best
couldn’t wish a better
chance angel

Mary, Margaret
31st July 2009

Monday, 20 July 2009

look around

look around and
see the dust
the atmosphere


Made in collaboration with arthur+martha guest artist Anneke Kuipers.

Friday, 17 July 2009

shut in now

shut in now
to feel free
just want to jump


Made in collaboration with arthur+martha guest artist Anneke Kuipers.

Monday, 13 July 2009

more freedom

you have to
hope for a
quick recovery
so you can go home
more freedom when you are
away hospitals are very good
but they have to have a
limit for what patient can do
hospitals are
very good
they do their best

recycled postcard, pen, glue

Made in collaboration with arthur+martha guest artist Anneke Kuipers.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

rings together

what have you
done in our
lifetime being
rings together

evidence bag, paper, pen
Harry Wantling

Friday, 3 July 2009

don't join the navy

tennis player
don't join the navy
its too rough

children's sock, luggage tag, pencil
(part of the 'pictures emphasising stillness' collection
Allen Whitaker

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

These are gardens

'These are gardens, landscapes on a human scale'

These are gardens, from the collection 'Our needs are very small' a series of Ltd edition postcard size photo/poems from our archive. They show the view from older people’s hospital beds, wheelchairs, or their accommodation in residential housing. These photos were taken by the participants themselves, or else directed by them. Their words were selected from conversations with each participant – offering sidelong, poetic views on how it feels to be in a care environment.

Friday, 26 June 2009

the jargon

the jargon

I’m registered blind
others like the words visually impaired
some prefer totally blind
the word blind is very final
people appear frightened of saying I’m blind
get embarrassed by words
but I’ve always faced it: blind
it’s not written on the face, but its part of life
there are occasions when trauma gets you
an old lady shouting across the road
is he blind?
people asking questions about you, talking over you
(I’m bloody blind, not deaf)
I can see a little, but not much
blurred, mist

word between
blind and stone blind
we’re all different love
you haven’t enough paper to write it all
everyone has individuality
if you term yourself disabled
people label you
disabled to the average person
nasty terms, offensive
we are disabled by society
certain government departments
things done down on Mercy Street
(more people are kind
than obnoxious)

visually impaired
a catch-all
some boys came and kicked
the stick out of my hand and said
now go look for it
unacceptable words
spastic mongol
it’s always interested me, the words
I am totally blind and
a spade’s a spade
an indicator cane
a symbol cane
a guide cane
a long cane
measure it from your foot to your breastbone
tap to either side or sweep
don’t trip your guide up
a cane with red and white stripes will tell you
the person carrying it is
blind and deaf

each one of us around this table
has our own opinion
was blind but now I see
blindness is used as a metaphor
glare and brightness
tinted glasses
the problem with language altogether
is the idea that language can describe perfectly
it’s merely pointing at some idea
just as blindness means absence of light
and darkness is scary
language is a difficult thing
and you are not being 100 percent scientific
when you use
the harbinger
of terrible things
blind beggar pew always bringing
the black spot

born blind
I went to the sunshine homes
went to boarding schools for the blind
I’m one of the few who can read Braille
colours mix with words for me
anger with red traffic lights
biggest problem with vision is
it’s so personal you can’t describe
what you can see and what you can’t
I don’t get any older
in the shaving mirror

wake up, feel depressed
stop feeling sorry for yourself
see a pin drop
there’s always someone worse off
see them kiddies in hospital
go through a grieving
lost vision
lost independence
some go through it a long time
the bitter twist
it fills a void
we are all learning
talking heads
that’s what we do
loss of eyesight is a great leveller
all the
way round

how small my disability is:
blind from the foot
to the top of the breastbone

how much can you see?

speak poem
June 2009