Poetry

Utopian ideal? Welfare State 1945 Poverty? ‘Make do and mend’

What happened to the utopian ideal?
The brighter future of jobs, healthcare and homes for all
Envisaged before the 1945 Labour win
Rolling out the beginnings of the Welfare State

Plans (Beveridge Report) drawn up from 1942 to cushion the masses
Put everyone on a near equal footing
The possibility of free this and free that for all
Somehow this all went disastrously wrong

A system designed to support the poorest in society
But who now is the ‘poorest’?
Work hard, be a good citizen and suffer deprivation
Whilst struggling to get or keep a home and put food on the table

They Con us, Welfare State becomes denigrated
Undeserving are getting too much help, why aren’t we?
Take it away, make them work, lazy so-and-sos
Strange… it’s the government that allowed this fiasco

Good intentions originally, backfiring ever since
It’s insane that up to three generations or more
Exist on welfare while hard work does not pay enough
What lesson is that teaching us? Not the right one

I’m not Labour bashing, not a Con either
But where will it all end?
Not in a brighter utopian future that’s for sure
Just more broken election promises through the ‘power’ of the ballot

Of course there is the significant point that
Funding WWI and WWII left this country financially struggling
Not easy to recover from such an enormous dent
WWIII looms on the horizon, nothing learnt from past mistakes

Maybe we should lose the next WW
Those who surrender seem to have built a better future
Whilst our country struggles, the government ‘quantitative eases’ and racks up debt
If we and the allies won, why are others lending us money and telling us what to do?

I almost forgot what sparked off this poem, it was a local paper saying
that a quarter or even more of children now lived in poverty locally in the UK
Neither my grandmother or mother would have considered themselves as in ‘poverty’
Yet the Welfare State didn’t exist until after WW2… they had to ‘make do and mend’

© 2015, Lesley Saine

[Just for interest:
– heard on The Wright Stuff in October 2015: £375 billion in ‘quantitative easing’ in UK (printed money) – where did it go?! Also Osborne borrowed 12 billion from Chinese.
– Guardian article from 2001 on politics: 1945-51: Labour and the creation of the welfare state http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/mar/14/past.education
– Brave new world – The Welfare State: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/brave_new_world/welfare.htm%5D

I should also thank John White (https://doubleupoet.wordpress.com/) for his tip of ‘free-writing’ – writing whatever comes into your head]

~

Unsociable me:
I know this may sound unsociable
To some
But
If I had friends, acquaintances and family
Constantly competing for my attention
In this world of near instant communication
Where you can talk to anyone
In any place
At almost any time
I would be tempted to ignore them
You see
Unsociable me
Would rather have
Alone
Time
A peaceful existence
Not a cacophony of irritating noise
Disturbing my equilibrium

© 2015, Lesley Saine

“What if…
We were the aliens, originally from another world
Who have visited world after world, systematically polluting and destroying
One world after another, left barren, dust filled and devoid of life
Civilizations built up that eventually crumble into dust, decay
Science producing ticking time bombs, slowly poisoning the earth beneath our feet
Or blasting it to kingdom come, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever”
Peace? I don’t think so. Plans to ‘migrate’ to other worlds. Yes.
Maybe we should have stayed on our own world and died out
Instead of perpetuating the horrors; bringing death and destruction in our wake”
© 2015, Lesley Saine

[A counter poem to thefeatheredsleep’s Terminator poem of 8 October 2015]

~

If you can’t take criticism
No matter whether well-meant or not
Never ever ask others’ opinion
For whereas a positive response
Will massively inflate your ego
A negative one will
Suck the very life out of you…

© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

Innocence – something lost too soon

Childish innocence
Mindlessly playing
Soft toy dripping with blood
Ripped by a multitude of wounds
Constant bombardment
On a disintegrating world

Childish innocence
Clutching tightly
To soft congealing toy
Trying to hold on to
Some kind of sanity
In a world gone mad

© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

Freedom? What freedom?!

Freedom it seems
When hijacked by a minority
Soon becomes the opposite
A place where you need to
Watch what you say
If you dare to say it at all
For fear of your view
Being quashed
For now you have become
The minority
And no one wants to hear
What you have to say
Now you will be persecuted
Vilified
For wanting a voice
To put your view
That you disagree
With laws made
Without your consent
Or approval
Yet you are told
You have to obey
Freedom?
What freedom?!
© 2015, Lesley Saine

So many things we are told we have to accept in this society even though we may disagree with them. Freedom for one can become lack of freedom for another.

So much talk of freedom
Of human rights
Discrimination acts
Yet
Never as free as you think
Whilst the poorest work
Long hours for little pay
And the richest do the least
For high wages and bonuses

~

‘A life worth living?’

Creativity shrivels up and dies
Faced with bleak monotony of daily routine
A life worth living? Not really
Darkness somehow permeates seeps
Altering perception states of consciousness
Stealthily obliterating smashing destroying
Insidiously creeping
So hard to think
Who is really in control?
The mind is a wondrous thing
Can be a wondrous thing
Should be a wondrous thing
Except
When the darkness spreads within
Light ubiquitously cancelled out
Thoughts distorted twisted
Anger supreme raging torrent
Backlash straining for release
Ultimately squashed contained
Nothing is as it seems
No one sees your pain straining for release
All the anguish turmoil bottled up inside
When all you want
Is to twist and yank out the cork
Let the horror explode escape
Gain peace of mind
And again create
Except
The darkness is almost complete

© 2015, Lesley Saine

Ubiquitous = omnipresent, everywhere.
Backlash = strong or violent reaction
Insiduous = gradual and cumulative effect

~

A true artist’s desire:

In a world where creativity is marketed
Where pristine examples are held up as pinnacles to attain
And anything lesser is frowned upon
A true artist’s desire is to break through these barriers

A true artist’s desire to create can spill out
Into a tangled jumble of creativity
Some of which may seem to make no sense at all
But all marks no matter how seemingly irrelevant
Hold some degree of relevance or importance

Create exclusively for yourself in your own way and style
Push against the surging tide against the critics
Follow your own convictions break from the norm
Someone somewhere may one day see share value your vision
Stay true to yourself your vision has value
Even though it may become lost when hidden beneath
The avalanche of the multitude of other visions

You may ask what if no one ever shares my vision?
It is still a win-win situation for you
For don’t you yourself hold the greatest treasure of all?
Treasure that is beyond price
Works that you created without compromise
Staying true to yourself
‘A true artist’s desire’
© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

SMILE

Stranger in a strange land
Welcome smile
Bared teeth
Friendliness
Mistaken for hostility
Aggression
Welcome smile
Can equal death

Stranger in a strange land
Welcome smile
Hand of friendship
Masking the lies
Unscrupulousness
Treacherous deceit
Welcome smile
Can hide the true intent

Stranger in a strange land
Welcome smile
Innocent
Open and trusting
Met with distrust
Suspicion
Welcome smile
Lost amongst the prejudice

Stranger in a strange land
Welcome smile
Friendly overtures
Ignored
Classed out of the system
Respect sadly lacking
Welcome smile
Tainted by broken ideals

Stranger in a strange land
Welcome smiles all around
Differences reconciled
Working together
Collaborating
For a better future
Welcome smiles
Transparency and honesty shining through
© 2015 Lesley Saine

~

A ‘placebo’ moment

Do you feel the need to complain?
Is life dragging you down?
Insurmountable problems
Weighing heavily
Burdensome load
Just remember that
No matter how great
Your problems
Appear to be
Someone
Somewhere
Is worse off than you
Enlightenment

A ‘light bulb’ moment
This knowledge
Should immediately
Make you feel
Much better
‘Someone
Somewhere
Is worse off than you’
A placebo
Prescribed
Taken
Consumed
Instant relief
From the symptoms
Rejoice
You are
Cured.
© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

Always worse off

Why should you complain?
Don’t complain
There’s always someone
Worse off than you
Always
Always?
From the first to the last
And the many inbetween
Someone
Somewhere
Is worse off

Why should they complain?
Don’t complain
There’s always someone
Worse off than them
Always
Always?
But I am different
I am unique
Why shouldn’t I complain?
I will complain
There is no-one
Worse off than me
Always
Always?
Yes, always

Except
Me
Me
And, me!
We are all worse off than you
Why shouldn’t we complain
Always
Always?
Yes
We will always complain
We are all worse off than you!
Ad infinitum.
© 2015, Lesley Saine

[Being told that ‘there are people worse off than you’ doesn’t help your own situation one bit and trivializes the problems you are going through as though they are unimportant.]

Fool’s gold

On the edges of forever
Where the world seems but a dream
Hope springs eternal
Mirage shimmers, dazzles the senses
Hidden oasis of fate
Golden ripe luscious fruit
Hangs alluringly
Tempting, enticing
Reach out
Twist the stem
Cradle this golden treasure
Nestled in your palm
Lose yourself, drown
In its intoxicating beauty
Radiating out, entrapping

Colour slowly fades to grey
True colours show themselves
Cracks begin to show
Casing splits apart
Inside rotten to the core
Spilling out its contents
Putrid, mangled remains
A reality you can’t ignore
Fool’s gold
Is anything ever what it seems?
Another broken dream.
© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

Self-conscious chrysalis
In a world of illusion
The delusional will
Try to carve out a niche
On the edges of reality
Withdrawing internally
Self-conscious chrysalis
Eternally waiting for transformation
Whilst outside time speeds past
At breakneck speed
Fleeting moments
Occasionally memorable
Caught in freeze-frame shots
Emotion and soul laid bare.
© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

Inhumanity of man
Cargo of woe, filled to the brim, overflowing
Packed unceremoniously onto unseaworthy craft,
Risking their lives for a perceived better future
Out of desperation, their last hope
An opportune adventure, seeking release
Fleeing dictatorship and war-torn lands
What price for hope? What price indeed
Tricked by the greedy and immoral
Dealers in human misery
Mercenary, manipulative people traders
Who fleece the desperate
Trusting, expectant, souls
Happily exchanging all their worldly goods
Hope is not cheap, there is a high price to pay
For possible genocide on their way to a brighter future
Exchange of money comes with ‘blood on its hands’
Betrayal, ’30 pieces of silver’, without the remorse
A brighter future that disappears with the harsh light of day
Illuminating the stark reality
Lost souls drifting on the stormy seas of despair
Abandoned to their fate
Flotsam and jetsam on the waves of life
Shoreline scavengers will hopefully recognize their worth
An unexpected treasure in their beachcombing paradise
© 2015, Lesley Saine

~

The states of self:
A bunch of insecurities
doubts and fears
Rattling around inside
a pliable coating of skin
Laws made and broken
Not so united
In the states of self
Disobedience a priority
One insurgent against the many
Inner
Conflicting voices
Persuading
Cajoling
Manic
But
Outwardly
Calm
Serene
Seemingly in control
Of the states of self
© 2015, Lesley Saine

 

 

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