Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

Pen Kease

Care

 

Now, two years on I’m given the records:

FOUND ON FLOOR AT 05:20

THEN AGAIN AT SEVEN.

FOUND ON THE FLOOR 13:00,

AT 17:00, THEN, 17:20

AT 05:00 THEY FOUND HIM

TRYING TO GET OUT OF BED.

AT 05:42 THEY FOUND HIM

KNEELING ON THE BED,

LEANING HEADFIRST

OVER THE BEDRAILS.

THEY REASSURED HIM,

AND HE WAS ABLE TO LIE DOWN

AGAIN. AT 12:00,

HE WENT TO THE TOILET

BY HIMSELF,

AT 19:00 HE WALKED

TO TOILET BY HIMSELF

AGAIN, AND THEY ASSISTED

HIM BACK TO BED.

AT 23:00 HE WAS FOUND

ON FLOOR.

AT 05:00, IN AN ATTEMPT

TO GO BACK TO BED,

HE SLIPPED DOWN.

THEY HELPED HIM

BACK TO BED.

AT 16:00 HE SAT ON THE EDGE

OF THE BED TRYING

TO GET UP, THEN WAS FOUND

ON THE FLOOR

AT 17:00, AGAIN AT 17:20. AT 19:00

HE TRIED

TO PUT HIMSELF

ONTO THE COMMODE

AND SLIPPED ONTO FLOOR.

We’d watched them help.

They’d hauled him back to bed,

dragging him between them,

the one with the sharp face

and pencilled eyebrows

and the disgusted one

who smelled of grease.

Hup-one-two-three,

hup-one-two-three,

c’mon old soldier, they said.

Pen Kease (b. 1951 in Camborne, Cornwall) holds a BA in Creative Writing and Humanities from the Open University, and an MA in Writing from the University of Warwick. Her poems, which are documentary in nature, explore the ways in which society categorises us, using both formal, and casual snobberies to do so. Much of her writing is the result of delving into her own working-class background of family myth, and placing these into historical (and by the act of writing, contemporary) context. Her poems have been previously published in: The Interpreter’s House, Prole Magazine, Algebra of Owls, Emergency Verse - Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State (Caparison), and her flash fiction was recently shortlisted in the Bridport Prize.