One Old Person Less by Catherine Scott

One Old Person Less

We ain’t got no P.P.E.
We’ve a duty of care to the eld-er-ly
Our residents sent home without being tested
Vulnerable, confused and disrespected

Our residents were frightened, old and frail
Our anxiety levels went off the scale
Though we tried our best to help and protect
It sadly proved to have little effect

Next came the insult from our leaders
Who falsely claimed we’d not followed procedures
Well, Mr Johnson, all I can say is:
‘No-one died because of our policies.’

‘Low-skilled’ was the term they branded us with
I suggest they come and try their hand at it
Yes, come on Boris, if you think your hard enough,
Get off your backside and have a go at my job
I doubt you’ve the compassion or the guts to stay
And hold someone’s hand whilst they fade away

Your response to the elderly has been callous at best
As they die are you reckoning, ‘that’s one old person less
Who’ll be draining the resources of the N.H.S.?’

One old person less dialling 999
One old person less clogging up the line
One old person less requiring medical attention
One old person less withdrawing their pension

Perhaps the public should stop to consider
That in more ways than one the treasury’s the winner

As you rub your hands together Boris, do you tot up the cost
Of the pain and the misery, the suffering and loss
The ache just to touch for one final time
The elderly relative who dialled 999

Artist statement

This poem is written from the point of view of a care worker in a nursing/residential home for the elderly.

I write about what is happening at the time, observation of behaviour (I was a counsellor for many years), effect of world events, imagined scenarios. All my work is inspired by people, their attitudes, behaviour, fun, fears and outrage.

www.catherine-scott.co.uk

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Lay solid as a rock by Ella Fradgley

Lying in bed, depressed, trying to figure out what would be best
What house would I like to be in, where would comfort me and allow me to raise this heavy form above the waves of pillows and blanket,
Help me start anew this day already so muddy and clouded,
Try and picture a fresh start, a shower and a bright eyed morning,
But when you’re mourning sometimes all you can do is sink,
And when I think of where this body belongs all I can imagine is nowhere, there’s no house I’d feel at home in when all I feel I can do is close my eyes and lay solid as a rock,

So where would I, this rock, this hardened body be?
I imagine a field, i hear the trees outside and see myself lay naked like a new born child amongst the grass,
Tall strands that surround me, shield me from the wind so that all I feel is a gentle breeze that picks up the hair from my head and lets them dance around with the leaves,
Here I am, still, laying soft and organic amongst the other wild things,
We all came from the same soil and like these wild flowers I quietly gaze, engulfed by the landscape until my body is small as a stone buried in soil and sand and water,
Washed ashore amongst other seaweeds and natural things that ebb and flow with the quiet tide
And I feel that sense of open sky, that endlessness you get from endless blue
The lonely moon an island watching over me too
And I sway and sink, rooted into this hill that rolls into other hills which dip into rivers and lakes and pools of sparkling sunlit waves
And I don’t have to think or move or feel I am here as the flowers are, both alone and engulfed in green, where no one can be seen or heard but the quiet rustling of green grass, baptised in morning dew, born anew, and now I can rise

Artist statement

Ella Fradgley is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Manchester who uses making as a tool to process and release. Whether it be through the lens of markmaking or poetry, Fradgley’s work gives an insight to her internal state, exploring past-selves, trauma and the echoes of experiences.

@ellafradgley on instagram

Eudaemonia Formula by Carly Florentine

Please find a selection of poetry below, some of which concern issues relating to mental wellbeing, some of which were written when I was in hospital under section 2 of the Mental Health Act so I thought was appropriate and some were inspired by research into happiness.

Playthings of fate
Depression, aggression, addiction
The sexual libido becomes rampant
In the existential vacuum
Retrospectives of thought
Vicious-circle formations
The Promethean script on human evolution
It’s not naïve realism
It’s rose-tinted mirrors
That weave the fabric
Of the purposive Universe
Beckoning the wallet of infinity
Clean cash come to thee
Happiness cannot be pursued
It must ensue
No feelings are final
In the fullness of time
Ecstasy is a quality of awareness
Of the deeper dream
Beyond the anthropocene
We all want better
Than better than nothing
The unspoken agreement
In the domain of the human
Of consensual reality
Is the experience economy
The loveliness of touch
The chancy happenstance
Consciousness, spontaneity, and intimacy
Certain about the virtues of embodiment
In the benevolent balm of sex
The loving person enables the beloved person
To actualise their potentialities
They make their tragedy into a triumph
It’s too true that the pleasure of love is greater
Than the love of pleasure

All aural persuasions
Are welcome to hear my music
I used to write nonsensed and nonplussed
Now it is more clear and cognisant
Pregaming for the party alone
I always felt like I had company
Sometimes I felt like it was
A spooky shadow show
I knew that life was a theatre
For infinite beings to experience
A finite existence under a veil of forgetfulness
My cat liked to listen to Bach
On the interstellar record
It’s an endless whirl between
The puppet and the puppeteer
Ephemeral affairs are actually eternal
Is this a game of limbo?
The sun and I are cloud crossed lovers
I miss the halcyon daze
Of golden rays of love
A beauty that is blinding
For a multifaceted diamond
It’s not logical
We create our meaning
The meaning of life
Is love and creativity
Happiness comes with greater simplicity

I’ve stopped drinking about you
It’s not clever to make an unwell person
The centre of my universe
Limericks and limerence
Are as compelling as gravity
Until I could no longer see the gravity
Of the situation
There is more than the one
Just as every galaxy has its own sun
I veered from being a boozy floozy to hoity totty
And both at one time
Pearly beads and chips
Love at prima faci is superficial
Especially when donning Merlot spectacles
Queues bring out the worst in British people
It is all such a load of rum
Money isn’t anything
You need emotional fulfilment
Vernalagnia took me out of my solitude
Back into trouble
I need higher aspirations
Than self-effacing goals
Beings vibrate and oscillate
Rhythmically to keep time
I want a coolly collected persona
Whilst emitting warmth as well
By saying hello out of our shell
We can escape from collective solipsism
Into connection and back again
I just need time for my eyes to adjust
To the blinding light of an especially resplendent star
After a comely canopy of darkness
Into only slightly imagined splendour

I spent my youth and beyond
in a semi-permanent daydream
too much romantic reverence
my script lacked mass relevance
20 per cent of everything
I said was a riddle
obscurities, infelicities
whilst eliciting enthusiasm, optimism
Candidesque escapades
made my mind race
scary adventures overcome by love
holding hands at the top of the cliffs
dottering about
the woman in my dreams said
she can no longer, socialise or perform
she gives so much
It destroys her
I want to put the past to bed
I need to be an interdependent woman
I don’t want to die yet I don’t want to live
In an overmedicalised society
I don’t want to love in a hyperclinical future
I want to be more than a pixel in a supercomputer

A fervent futurist
I studied morphology and psychology
Lexical cohesion described my existential confusion
The wiser I became, the madder I got
Dandyish fashions don’t always connote
Immoral traditions
You can believe in unicorns
& love people in uniforms
Dilettantes have the biggest hearts
We are overwhelmed by trying to direct them

There’s a fool on the hill
Whose sassy stories shine
He was fond of forgotten scandals in high life
The theatricalisation of space
Where the silence was opaque
The darkness glistened
I deserve to go to Mars
Distance lends enchantment
I can’t tell what I want
But I will surely miss you
All these earthly dramas become such rum
I considered this aphorism for a while
Surrendered my head
Accepted my lethargy
Then went back to bed

When we embrace
Our messiest self
We are betwixt
The state of grace vs lingering disgrace
Lapping up the augmented perspective
Of the world
I’m often in a coherent and cogent connection
Between the external realities
Things of the imagination
Accepting these expressing shades
Of characters, toned down, hazed out and drugged away

I enjoy the symmetry of the trivial
The confluence of the deep
Of course as with all things
Determinism vs free will
Nature vs nurture etc
Both are true
Intersecting in intriguing ways.
I have to stop allowing myself
To be led around and astray
By sycophants and sybarites
Oblivion with bells on
I have to last the pace
Not lose the place
My chemistry of femininity
Insomnia was a recipe for ruin
Sleep deprivation as a social lubricant
It is more sadness than madness here
I write up all my quotes in dedication
To who I used to be and to you
But you weren’t listening
You caught my stare with your captivating eyes
Conveyed in so many indecipherable words
But comprehendible body language
That I was due to make my point
Hard to know with lack of signal
I could only imagine the innuendo
Vagueness of associations in a cloud of meaning
Creating a heavy interplay
Between the artist and the audience
He was dauntingly perfect
I liked that he smoked
It actually humanised him
I always tell him I love him
When I talk to him
Which is seldom now

I was swanning around seeking the ecstatic truth
I adopted the philosophy of bella figura
I desired a bonafide lover
For us to be weirder and wonderfuller
I wanted to be in love but there is no rush
Your always young enough
To make out in photo-booths
I got damn confused about the
the dream verses the reality of relationships
The late night after-midnight gatherings
Endless talk about the complements and complications of love
Unwittingly parroting the parents view
Charming chauvinism is hampering the liberty of women
The party has to end or you become a casualty
Or at least their attendant confectionary
Sober or not, the chat is always interesting
Amongst the illumined literary set
Painting is an art of space
Poetry is an art of time
Space has no existence
To exist literally means to stand out
You cannot understand space because it doesn’t stand out
Writing and music are my palliative to the human condition
We all go a little mad sometimes, as they often say
Those oxymoronic light hearted attitudes
The fluffy que sera sera modus operandi
While manifesting the rest
It’s natural to hope for the best
I want to elevate myself again
From this bubbling blank disbelief
My highest fall from grace
To La Vida Te Espera
With impassioned integrity
To the life that awaits
I want to be the most perfect
Version of what is to come
In the most excellent of all possible worlds

We all want to be important
beyond our shoegazerly transcendence
Lusting after some grand purpose
Like a musician who discovered the key of love
I longed for truth but loved illusion
I’m not omniscient but I know a lot.
Life is a solipsistic sentence
Love is a game of solitaire
So we copulate copiously
With the physiological opposite
Poetic counterpart to ourself
If we feel rejected by
The ghost of our true love
Or by the artistic establishment
We can fall prey to
The Werther’s originals effect
My temper has been tampered with
I’ve been tempted into all manner of
Un-kosher covid restrictions
I don’t know if I am awake or still dreaming
Displayed on screens and dismayed
The discomforting compactness of CCTV
I’ve always felt like an unpaid extra
In surreal reality TV

All this darkness and drama
Was the way to bring me out
Of the heavens more than a little bit
I etherealised contemporaneousness
Dreamt otherworldly crystal castles
She called me a fragmented creature of the underworld
My messianic fondness for partying lifestyle
Made me distrustful of everything and everyone
Avant kookiness that loved to draw stars
Perfected my hearts
It wasn’t that profound
Just excellent nonsense
Voodoo?
You certainly do
No more glitter kisses coming your way from moi
Sweetheart look at your hair
It is like a backwards tidal wave
I am not sure the seaside is safe for anyone
It is no longer the season for the fun in the sun
Its no longer cool to have
This facade of fabulosity
Playing dissolute characters
Writing decadent chapters is so passe
When I am not being the fool
I want to play cupid instead

I know that we can’t subsume
Our penchants for FOMO on the moon
I’m only addicted to camomile
I never meant to cast a spell
Lets escape from this hell
Please pardon my nostalgia & naivety
All manner of existential cake crises
With many a biscuit tragedy
I want to forget this hallucinatory
Historical vortex
Cure myself of all this double consciousness
My darling dear
I’m tired of this manipulationship
I’m dressed up, disaffected
Disillusioned with you
That doesn’t mean I didn’t cherish
That incredible disorienting high
In my summeriest of sheets
It’s been fun telling satires and stories
Let’s turn these fallacies and illusions
Into something comparatively cheerful
Life is intimately sweeter without cigarettes
I’m sorry for those flimsy excuses
Wanted to understand this extraordinary enigma
My life was an experimental whirl
The hamster wheel of busyness
And the hedonic treadmill of achievement
Exponential maths is quite frightening
Like a velvet smash of lightening
I forgot just how much we have
This unique ability to exteriorise
An internal world
I’m done continuing in this charade
Of victimised visual poetry
Smoke may follow beauty
Energy follows mental forms
I shouldn’t have blamed my distress
On outside interference
It has resulted in my own tristesse
Spent too many days
In a most confusing haze
I was dreaming about
Giggling about
Googling Shakira’s lovers
I was consumed by lust
Allergic to dust
I don’t want to kill unicorns
Or smash unions
I was just in a state of ecstatic excitement
A few lightbulbs short of a chandelier
I believe that god is alive
I see him in the higher harmonics of music and confusion
The subtle nuances of flirting are lost
on the partially sighted
Yet my vision is brilliant when I am cleaning

Too many misunderstandings and malice
Has me play the part of Alice
In a la la land without a chalice
Instead of changing size
The pills just make me high or low
With too many options
Stuck in the same place
With everywhere and nowhere to go
But whether in desert or snow
I will find different versions
Of everyone I know

There is too much vanity
In my humanity
Variety of versification
Surrounded & astounded
Ironic & irrelevant
But rich & revelatory
I slept with my friends
And my enemies
But when I remembered you
I said ta-ra to treacly frenemies
The boyfriends I had out of boredom
I treaded too many boards and water in my career
I know that this travesty is of course a tragedy
I’m happy to get off the treadmill
Into the treasure trove of my mind
I got confused by the complex nature of the world
The beauty and the horror
I walked away from a future that was practically
Paved with golden ice cream
I just needed the will to renounce love

I’m stuck in a maze of revolving door membership
With the intensity of individualism
The metaphysics of voyeurism
Led me down a circuitous path
Singing my heart out in the bath
A geometrical mind with the quintessential
1960’s view of the many quandaries of love
Going bonkers with amorous excitation
Philosophy teachers have the same problems as their pupils

I lost my heart to a lovely lord
Which led me to a lonely future
We are seemingly decidedly
Back on and on and on
Hello madness my old friend
Being human is hard
I prefer to be a goddess
I hope she can get me out of this mess
There is too much to confess
Goodness is important to me
Change is my middle name
So my lover has got to get into it
or please get off elsewhere
And out of me
You don’t have my permission
To act in this cruel commission
I renounce all amoral ambition
I don’t want to let the darkness glisten
Give me light, laughter, all your lustre
I don’t want to fight
I love the eternal bright
Give me the chance to put things right
All those multidimensional thought streams
Are inspiring too many existential screams
What I need are pretty petal dreams
I’m not really a princess of the gloom
Just a hippy with a big heart and high libido
Who never got the sociability or solitude I craved
Unconscious living is such a disaster
No matter how much you manicure
At least the difficulties of our differences are
Disappearing as we become more similar
I regret my envenomed exhalations
I seek a more sublime station
Not just karate and karaoke
but the precious art of living in a deified fashion
There is more to me than a polyphonic art form

I travel through dreams
Things are often not
How they seem
The chaos of consciousness
Can be an illusory stream
A tragicomedy
Looking for a perfect melody
I was too attracted
To mystery
To notice the flaws in my history
Compassion is more important
Than fashion
But if clothes we must wear
Invest in the past
Vintage is best
Or a brand that honours
A sustainable future

The laws of happiness
Are as fixed as the laws of chemistry
Reactive depression
Practical optimism
Apocalyptic anxiety
Change your expectations
For your appreciations
Supplement to being
Decelerate nostalgia
Aspire to the summon bonum
Meet the patron saints of self-realisation
Structured accountability
Positive reinforcement
Act on conclusions
You may come to
The birds are singing with you
Your dreams are dreaming you back

Lacrimae rerum
The personified material universe
Emulates your frame of mind
The brain processes 400 billion bits
Of information a second
Solace sex
Unnatural causes
Anima Mundi
The waltz of imagination & reality
What would you like to ask the oracle of Delphi?
You can get to know thyself
If you talk to me
I am not a fortune cookie
Just the occasional purveyor
Of perceptive prophesies
Chase fun, freedom and fulfilment
The exulting influence
Of doting and felicitous sun beings
Darkness cannot stand illuminated environment

If only my mind was mine
Suppressing the white bears
Of Ironic Process Theory
Attempting to evade
The cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy
The ecstasy of sublime states
Succumb to depreciation
Through hedonic adaptation
Don’t let your body language betray you
Avert the pathology of depression
Replace agonies with aspirations
Explore the therapeutic resources of culture
Find harmonious forms
Lovely colours
Move through Euthymia
To Eudaemonia
Enjoy cafe society
Caring communties
Post-traumatic growth
Through compelling personal ideology
The narrative is not contaminated
Substantial adversity
May be necessary for a meaningful story

Artist statement

I am an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on the philosophical entrepreneurship of expression that encapsulates the content of beyond words. Literary and visual renderings are married to tell the stories and show the evidence of the clues that seemingly refute randomness and propose free will; through the artistry of reality highlighted by a multimedia memoir. I exhibit instances of happiness, affection and beauty in nature to showcase the wittiness of the world and document the relationship between art, science and philosophy by collecting and curating eclectic experiences alongside fascinating facts. I believe that the particulars of personal preferences reveal universals when embarking on adventures immersed in the kindness of humankind and the exquisiteness of the cosmos. These social experiments and escapades occasion conceptual theories on the correspondence between consciousness, connection and cosmology with ideas advanced on the immortality of friendship, the unforgettability of endearment and the infinite nature of intimacy.

In particular my practise involves intellectual creativity and existential éclaircissement through the intertwining explorations of poetry, philosophy, physics & photography. In every poignant occurrence a picture displays, both the significance of the trivial and the masterpiece of the moment are seen. It visually represents the abstract philosophy of time of eternalism and points to existence as an everlasting, multidimensional, polyamorous love story. The variety of imaginative styles and formats I employ such as painting, performance, music and film capture the overlap between aesthetics and metaphysics in the behind the scenes glimpses of art and life with where and how they meet. This ultimately depicts the universe itself as a work of art that acts as an educational establishment in the form of an extraordinary playground.

https://www.cflorentine.com

Captive Hearts and Minds by Christine Heath

This piece of work was done during the lock down and reflects my state of mind and how I was coping with the restrictions . Happy to have time to do the felting work which I love , but sad that I felt locked in and could not reach other artists and friends . I write poetry as well , so it felt good to combine the two . The poems are available separately as they are difficult to read here . Sub text “I FELT THE NEED AND FOUND THE JOY “

I am a textile artist with a love of felting and free machine embroidery .This hanging is imposing and represents the feeling of houses and closed doors , with secrets going on and deep fears , but also joy that can be found in solitude . Each pocket has two or three poems all written at the time and expressing all the fears but also all the joys and hopes . The poems can be sent via email.

www.Theblackcatstudio.co.uk

Hope by Nuwla

Abstract Art
Acrylic on canvas
120x90cm

Do I have a story to tell? Everyone has a story, a journey, a
passion and most importantly a dream!
My dream is to make it all count.
About the artwork: My name is Hope! I’m sure each one of us can relate in some Way. No matter what struggles life brings, it will never last forever. Sometimes it’s hard to recognise the positives, as they may not always stand out.
Be sure that everything happens for a reason 🙂

Instagram: @nuwla_studio

PAPERplus® (1600 x 900px), Digital Collage, 2021 by Lyndon Watkinson, SU4IP♲

PAPERplus® (1600 x 900px) engages with flags and representation. To save money on art materials, and maintain productivity during nationwide lockdown, surplus packaging paper and cardboard often laid the foundation for 2020/2021 artworks.

The creases and folds of the packing paper created a guide, green and brown oil pastel was applied to create a layout akin to the flag of Liberia, or The United States of America. These colours would ultimately serve to accentuate the materials and text underneath, rather than to cover them up.

Based in Sheffield, UK. Passionate about solving creative problems and making art accessible. Operator and founder of SU4IP♲, an online arts organisation and virtual alias. Democratising art and art context through artworks, publications, digital content, articles, and sound.

Themes vary excessively, underpinned by experiences of being an outsider. Driven by a desire to quantify and systemize abstract concepts and ideas.

Historically, I was insecure about my lack of drive to combine my digital skills with my creative process. The period of widespread isolation between twenty-nineteen and twenty-twenty-one offered a test bed to hybridise these two aspects of my life.

http://su4ip.cargo.site