Poet of possibilities, activist and businessman. I have been keeping a diary of the pandemic, and now like an overprotective nervous parent not ready to set my kid loose on the world. But hey hoo off she goes. Enjoy her but please respect her.
A Diary of the Self-Isolated
17th March 2020
Several days ago, I made what I thought was a sensible decision to self-isolate, primarily for the wellbeing of myself and those I live with, who I love and care about. That decision seemed to be vindicated when the government brought out a list of people who should self-isolate, which fall into several categories.
So far, so good. However, while I and other members of my household are force to hide away from society, left to suffer, forgot and abandoned, (I know that is not the case with me luckily) other members so my household are told they must continue to go to work. If someone could please explain the point of this because frankly the logic of it is lost on me.
If I stay in to stop infection infecting me, but my housemate is forced to carry on, as if nothing is any different.
Then what is the point of self-isolation?
Poetry entry for the day:
Expendable or (Boris Bugger You)
Do you fall into the expendable bracket
Are you old, sick or disabled
Seen as a loved one that others
Must regrettably be ready to lose
If not you then your Mother, your Brother,
Your Father, your Sister, your children or grandchildren
Your Wife, Husband, or Partner
May well be on such a list
Well Boris Bugger You
This feels more like Hitler’s Europe
Then England’s green and pleasant land
Only Boris is using Coronavirus to purge
Not the Concentration Camps
Well Boris Bugger you
Europe closes its factories, schools and businesses
Boris says I’ll have none of that
Commerce must prevail, never mind the poor people
There are too many of them anyway
Well Boris Bugger you
While the rest of the world’s leaders
Worries for the worst, mourns over those lost
Our government count their coins
While the countries citizens pay the ultimate price
Well Boris Bugger you
Remember this people he is the leader of your choice
The one you chose to take us into the future
I won’t say I told you so,
as it could be the last words, I utter
Well Boris truly has buggered us
19th March 2020
This sums up how I feel today. Written through verse as that is how I best record and express myself.
When you help people
Steer a safe course through life
When people’s journeys are curtailed,
through no fault of their own
Then no wonder you lose focus on your purpose
When you help folk translate their stories
Then they have no tale to tell
Because their journey is put on hold by external forces
Your pen can lie idle your brain can addle
Your imagination can fly into flights of fancy
You can only watch so many episodes of old stories
Listen to so many past songs sung by other souls
The prose of other authors become
hollow and empty over time
like hopeless, useless clothe hangers
if you have nothing to hang on them
this is what isolation and marginalisation looks like
you can call it self-isolation, say it’s for your own good
soon it will become voluntary imprisonment
your home will resemble a gaol,
your family cellmates or guards,
and this is only after two weeks
Today, I received an email from Louise Redskull from Solihull MBC Social Work department wanting me to contact them over any concerns I have over my support package. I am happy they are showing the foresight and care to contact me, (even though I know Clenton prompted them). Personally, I have a good enough relationship with them to know they’d never abandon me. I know many more in my situation are not so lucky. I reassured them if they keep funding my package, we’ll be fine. Should things change I’d be in touch.
They emailed concerned about cover should my PA’s become ill, whether I had enough food, both said ok with. I did say need some more gloves to stop infection spreading.
20th March 2020
Another day, another entry, I turn my mind to those that unlike me are not able to shut the door leave the horrors outside to stay safe and well. They must put their wellbeing at risk to keep us safe.
To these brave souls I pen this poem in tribute.
In times like this we must remember
How lucky some of us are
We can run take shelter from the horror
Lock the doors, bar our windows
Try to keep the terror outside
Others don’t have that option
They must face the terror afresh everyday
To keep the rest of us safe, keep society going
I think and hope that is what people mean
By Dunkirk spirit
Those that put their safety in jeopardy
For the sake of others
Because to compare the spraying of bullets
The falling of bombs,
To a virus born on a breeze
Is an insult to those facing war
Every day of their lives
21st March 2020
Today is the first day that pubs, clubs and restaurants have been closed. In my opinion not before time, to call time. But that is not what I want to comment upon, no I want to talk about the British mob mentality.
As I have said last night was the final night for some time that these establishments were open. You may think under the current circumstances it would have made little difference but oh no the pubs where rammed crammed. People had little or no consideration for their own health or safety, nor that for those they loved. No, they crowded into those infected spaces just to guzzle down the last drop of grog.
That is what I mean by British mob mentality.
On a much more pleasant and uplifting topic. Today I participated in the online SUTR online rally. A couple of weeks ago the March and rally’s in London and Glasgow were cancelled in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. So, it was very rewarding to take part in the online alternative.
Of course, it was wonderful to listen to many and varied inspiring talks from great orators from this country and across Europe. But also, after days into semi self and partly enforced isolation, it great to feel active and involved in making a positive difference.
Let’s hope there are more such online activities which will go some way to ensuring my mental wellbeing during this prolonged period of isolation.
So, I’ll sign off for today. But before I do here is my poem for today.
Do not leave your bucket list
On a bookshelf to gather dust
Or, before long it will become
A dreamy desire left unfulfilled
We may all sing the same song
But we all sing it differently
We may all see the same scene
But paint different pictures
That is the beauty of
Diversity and difference
No voice sounds the same
No eye sees the same thing
Remember life is but a journey
Towards our own mount Calvary
Gather your cavalry, go find
What you want, the person you can be,
Before it is too late
You are my cavalry, so mount up
Let us ride off together, as one,
Then may be, we may achieve what is right,
Before it is too late
Another day of isolation passes
Sunday 22nd March 2020
Another day of isolation dawns.
It is thirteen days since I self-isolated, back then it seemed different I chose to go into hibernation for my good and that of those close to me. During this period, it came down from on high that people like me should lock ourselves indoors away from my fellow comrades and citizens. Now it seems more like imprisonment, no longer in my control. Part afraid in these tense times that should I venture onto the street I may be chased off or even physically attacked for daring to go abroad.
On another subject I am struck by how you see things depends on where you view them from, on one’s experiences and life. In other words, perception. Let’s take the situations I comment on in yesterday’s entry. The fact that many took to crowding the pubs and clubs while they can before the close their doors for a prolonged period.
“While I look upon the act as being careless, selfish or foolish. Another sees the same act, as not allowing a dangerous situation to curtail their freedom and lifestyle.” As I said it is all about “perception”.
I have just been in communication with Manjit about bringing Poets against Racism (PAR). We have decided to post some poems on Facebook every Sunday, great idea. So, now like all poets I must decide on which poems to post, whether one already penned or write something new? Well we’ll see how my imagination sparks today. Watch this space and the PAR Facebook page for the answer to this quandary.
23rd March 2020
Today I hear a letter wings itself towards me direct from the NHS, stating from the date I receive it I must self-isolate for 12 weeks. Self-isolate they state, well I have been self-isolating for 2 weeks, but this won’t be recognised
This once more brings the importance of language to the foremost. Self-isolation is what It states that you do it to yourself, you are in control. Once it comes from another it becomes a command the control passes from you to another. The situation has moved from self-isolation to house imprisonment.
The poem below accompanies this thought.
If we breakthrough this dreadful death plague
It will be like being freed from incarceration
Like a cage bird allowed to take flight
We are under house arrest
Afeared to set foot afield
In case, we are accosted by an unruly crowd
Will our front doors be crossed
Marked as placed deceased by plague
Like expectant prisons we wait patiently to be paroled
Just penned another poem so here I go:
Firstly, we stood still in self-isolation
Taking responsibility for our own safety
Fully aware of our own wellbeing
Feeling proudly of the health
Of those around you
Then word comes from on high
Stating we must lock ourselves
away from the outside world
condemning us into incarceration
locking us in house imprisonment
with all this change going on in our absence
we can only wonder what world
we’ll find when finally
we emerge from a
long and lonely hibernation
24th March 2020
When you are in isolation you have no timetable. I have often said that time is an enigma to me, and this is no clearer than now. Day becomes night, night becomes day. You can sleep during daylight and be bright and alert in the darkest hours around midnight. This can seriously affect your equilibrium, your emotional and wellbeing. In such times you can be watching T.V. at 3am, writing poetry at 2am or sleeping at 1pm. It would be so easy to let things lip and to be honest I have done in the past during similar times when I was in a dark please. So, I must try not to let myself slip. Hopefully others will help me, as I hopefully aid others.
I see myself as a social animal and rely on others to stimulate my mind, hence I am usually never home so being stranded day after day without human contact and stimulation is very testing. Thank the lord, for zoom and other video conferencing apps, but still I crave for human contact from varying types and situations.
Boris for all his faults and there are many, is struggling under the yoke of leadership and contrary to all my instincts I find myself feeling sorry for him. He is in a no-win position, if he comes down hard on people, he will be branded a dictator, if he is too soft, he will be called a weak lily-livered leader.
He has asked citizens to be responsible for the safety of themselves and others and self-isolate, which not only was ignored, people did the opposite and flooded out on the street and dramatically increased the chances of spreading the virus. Then when he increased his efforts and instructed people to only leave their homes in essential visits, once more this was totally ignored, especially in London. Do people living in our capital honestly believe it is one rule for everyone else and they are special or immune. These numskulls don’t seem to realise that through their thoughtlessness they are threatening all our lives.
What will it take to get through to them that this is serios, not a joke! Police detaining them in internment camps or the army rounding them up at gunpoint. Because that is exactly, what will happen if their stupid behaviour forces Boris’s hand. He will have no other option.
Here is today’s poem on that very topic:
People of Britain
People of Britain why do you act like fools
Everyone tells you we are all in peril
Yet still you travel abroad mingle and mumble
About being told what to do
Refuse to close their doors to the outside world
Self-isolation was a sensible choice
Most of you refuse to volunteer to do this
So, the government had little choice
Lockdown was announced in a firmer tone
Yet still, like truculent toddlers you refuse to comply
You still scurry and stamp on city streets
Like headless chickens, heedless mindless
of the damage you do, your actions delves us deep in poo
As you ignore what your told, for safety and se of us all
But must we be commanded locked down, locked up,
Before we realise the seriousness of our situation
If you turn your stubborn face to authority
Then the chance of coming out of this unscathed diminish
You put the lives of our loved ones at risk, shame on you
Be aware, beware, if you are not to be told, then you will feel
As the smoothing voice will be replace
By the butt of the baton to your bonce
The barrel of a gun pointed at your face
Before you yield must you bleed
Before you see sense, but we beat you senseless
For God sake, grow up, see what must be done
Before it is too late
On this solemn, sobering note I’ll sign off for today.
Wednesday 25th March 2020
That is after fourteen days in isolation finally got myself out of my comfy bed, yes you right stinky pit too. I know what you are thinking lazy f**ker and I must admit on many levels you are correct in that comment come opinion. But let me put forward a violable defence. (well sounds good in my head, let’s see what you think)
In these times of self-isolation, it is extremely hard, if not impossible, for people such as me to keep a safe distance from people. As an individual who is totally reliant on others for every element of personal care, it is impossible to maintain the 1.5 metre safe distance rule. I’d need to be a freak to be able to hit a pee bottle from 150 cm, or have lungs of a superhero to suck up tea through a 1.5m metre hosepipe, they say you need a long spoon to sup with the devil, well I would been Lucifer’s longest feeding utensil to stay safe while keeping alive.
The point I am trying to get over in my rambling way, is that by staying in my bed I am trying to keep my contact with others to a minimum and thereby ensuring we all keep as safe as we can under this trying times.
In these most trying times
We find out about true friendship and honour
Some suggestions are impossible to keep
Safe distance being one
People like me must have physical contact
To see to our simplest personal care needs
Without which I could never survive
I would be called a freak
If I could hit a pee bottle from 150 cm
Or, have the lungs of a superhero
To suck up tea from a 1.5m hosepipe
They say take a long spoon to sup with the devil
Well, one would require Lucifer’s longest utensil
To be fed from the safe distance and survive
So true friends make big risks
To keep you safe and alive
26th March 2020
And so, it has happened my body clock has decided to revolt and hence I find myself said up on bed at 4.25 in the morning penning the diary entry. As I was lying in bed with verse running through my head I thought let’s get it down on paper before I forget it, normally when I am struck by the cryptic, mystic muses at such ridiculous hours of the day I try to shelf them till the morning and go back to sleep knowing I must get up to start a new day. However, as this isn’t the case these different days, I thought stuff it lets get up and give it a go!
So here I am my much-maligned Personal Assistant Mike answered the bell, sat me up, set my laptop up, looked at me slightly astonished then scurried back off to bed, muttering silly sod, or some such thing.
And here it is the idea that was planted in my mind and forced me up at such an ungodly hour.
I may not be a Prince or Princess,
A Lord or a Lady,
Be acknowledged by the state,
Anointed by a church,
Honoured by the establishment,
Even though I hold no title
I am entitled to live my life
I refused to be one of
The loved ones you
Must be ready to lose
I can neither survive nor thrive
Through isolation, be it self-imposed
Or enforced by others
I thrive as part of a party
In fact, I view myself
As its life and soul
Do not view me as a houseplant
That can be potted, fed then placed and forgotten
I will wilt away and die
I am more bolshie, then Bonsai
Put me in a garden full of difference and diversity
Where we can all bloom, blossom and flourish
Let us use our senses to
Smell soft scents not strong stenches
See beauty before us not badness around us
Taste sweetness in every morsel
not sourness in every mouthful
feel people’s compassion and passion
empathise with people
don’t thrive on their pain
Let hope lift your heart
Let your spirit take flight
Soar high in the sky
Then maybe we can come
Out of these trying times
Bigger, better and stronger
Then we were before
So, I hope you think it was worth the raid into twilight time.
While I am here let me talk about some benefits that have come from the self-isolation enforced on us.
Firstly, it has given us the time and space for some self-reflection. In today’s hurly burly world we spend so much times doing things and so little time thinking about why we do them. During this time hopefully we can put aside same time for this, I fear however we will more likely spent more time panicking over what we are not doing.
During these times we need to find other ways to meet, plan and support each other platforms such as Microsoft Teams and zoom allows to do this very effectively. It also means we can expand our audiences and communities, people from far afield can now converse from the comfort of these own homes. One know when using such technology does not have to worry over travel, transport costs, whether the venue is accessible for everyone, including toileting facilities.
No one is saying once these restrictions are lifted, we shouldn’t just automatically go back to meeting physically, after all, we are social animals and need to meet, have bodily contact, but we should continue to use the tools at our disposal. After all, that is how humanity evolves.
Here is a short verse exalting the virtues of zoom.
I find zoom such a boon
Never having to find a room
Worry if I can find that room
Gaining access to a space
Can be a real pain
With zoom I can stay home
Pee in peace
And still meet and mingle
At my ease and pace
Getting back is not a race
I wish stopping conversations
Was so easy, pressing mute
When you’ve heard enough
Or they are waffling on to long
Yes, I love to zoom
At any time of day,
or into the night
27th March 2020
Last night was Clap for carers, were people showed solidarity for the hard work carers do. Especially, during these testing dangerous times when they put their safety and lives at risk to ensure those most “vulnerable” in our communities are safe and supported. They do this whilst being paid the most menial pay while doing one of the most important roles.
Anyway, back to last night. Obviously, due to the crack downs a safety precautions surrounding Cov-19 we cannot gather in group to show support and solidarity, so people were encouraged to go onto their doorsteps, balconies, and clap for the carers at 8pm last night. I like many more who rely and appreciate the sterling work they do wanted to join in. Unfortunately, I am unable to clap due mainly to my condition making clapping impossible, so when I clapped it turned into me slapping myself in the face. A very humorous, slapstick moment (especially for Mike and Darren my P.A.’s). But it does show that those who think up these things, don’t think them through. An action to show solidarity excludes a large section of society ho rely on these heroes, yet they can’t take part.
My poem that accompanies this:
Tried showing Solidarity to Carers
By clapping for carers
Due to my coordination problems
Ended up a slap in the face
A clap ended in a slap
Painful but at least I tried
That’s how easy good intentions backfire
Here ends my Clap, Slap, Rap.
It has just been announced this morning that Boris Johnson our gracious Prime Minister has contracted Cov-19. That means he know joins Prince Charles, who contracted it on Tuesday. I posted on Facebook that shows that it’s not all doom and gloom, I am sure some may say that is in bad taste, but I say to them it’s called humour.
Last night I caught by on Emmerdale, (yes, I admit to being an Emmerdale and Corrie junky) I haven’t watched it much since the pandemic broke out. I was struck up the fact it is filmed weeks in advance, so we are currently watching a pre-pandemic world and I found it eerily unsettling. People still frequenting pubs, clubs and cafes, people still hugging each other in public and I found myself wanting to shout at the telly “STOP DOING THAT!”
On a serious note I wonder whether showing these pre-recorded programmes is wish. While the real world “goes to hell in handwash”, soap land goes on as if nothing has changed. Of course, for them nothing has changed. I wonder whether subconsciously people look at these scenes and think well if they can carry on like this, Why can’t we?
Does ITV have a social responsibility that mean they should not be broadcasting it in its current format?
I know this shall become a redundant conversation very soon as they run out of canned shows, but still an interesting question.
And so, it begins…
Mark this time and date down in your diaries when the powers that be started to be decided who was worthy and unworthy of receiving treatment to be made better.
The State of Alabama in USA are the first to come out openly and say certain categories of disabled people should be left to die rather than wasting recourses on them. Yes, my condition is on that list.
This is how things started in Nazi Germany and look where that ended in Concentration Camps were millions where exterminated.
Don’t tell me it won’t happen here – it has already begun.
Scary frightening times to be alive – The question being for how long.
They came in the hours when none stirred
The time between the end of night
And the beginning of morn
They dragged him from his slumber
From his bed
None came to his aid
Some neither knew nor cared
Some feared they’d be taken instead
The only evidence he’d been there
The piss stain he left on the mattress
Taken to a hospital he’d draw
his fatal final breath
the death certificate reads pneumonia
reality reads barbiturate poisoning
body thrown in a mass unmarked grave
with hundreds like him
never to be named
never to be remembered
empty wheelchairs, redundant crutches their only memorial
thus, ends the life of a disabled boy
like so many of his peers
extinguished, expunged, forgotten, unidentified
because of Akton 4
Carried out at places like Hadamar
Why didn’t anyone take any action to stop Akton 4?
The true and honest answer
No one cared what was happening to those people
If they were left alone!
© Robert Punton
Something I wrote in 2018, exactly two years ago to mark the murder, no extermination of thousands of disabled people during Akton 4 which took place in Germany in the 1930 – 40’’s.
I thought I was remembering our horrific past, not reporting on our present or foretelling a terrible impending near future.
Just finished my update of Akton 4, hot off the word processor –
The spectre of fear once more hovers over our houses
As the echoes of the past seep into our present
Things we hope were forgot come home to haunt us
Talk of unworthy of life, better off dead, useless eaters
Phrases thought dead and buried by many
We know find were only lightly covered over in shallow graves
Like we have been warning for ages,
yet you failed or refuse to hear us,
our words of warning bounced off walls flying over your heads
labelled us as harbingers of doom and gloom
we were placated and put in a corner while the ground
was made ready for the pyres that will burn our empty bodies
once more the plans of Akton 4 will updated
then swiftly puts into horrific deadly effective efficient action
the door of places such as Hadamar will be reopened
disabled citizens will be exacted from the arms
of their loving families and communities
entering building from which there will be no exiting
an injection will bring about the termination of our existence
our corpse will be shovelled piled high in huge ovens
incinerated until you can no longer
tell where one person ends another begins
mixed ashes scattered to the four winds
our only memorial the know redundant chairs and walking aids
as memories of us fade from loved one’s hearts and minds
so, hear my words, heed my verse, as they may be my last
a final testament of a live worth living
Well here ends my entry for today. A very alarming and interesting day, I have written more today than any previous day, but there has been much to report and ponder. To say we live in interesting times is a massive understatement, let us pray we survive these truly horrific times.
So, on that thought I will sign off for the day.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Saturday 28 March 2020
Just spent an enjoyable inspiring 3 hours on zoom at SUTR national organisers conference. It’s is inspiring to realise that although millions in self-isolation or quarantine in fear for our lives, we can still let together plan and support our mental wellbeing.
One gets so engrossed in your own situation and problems, that we forget other people’s perspectives it is eye opening to be reminded that others, have it just as bad, if not worse, as they are coping with multiple discriminations on top of convid-19.
As people have said we may be socially inactive, that does not mean we have to be politically inactive.
I see reports that sports stadium are being converted into hospitals and more worrying temporary morgue, if nothing else shows us the extent of extreme situation we find ourselves in this does.
Well as nothing else comes to mind I am going to finish here and go and engulf myself in reruns of Law & Order. By the time this isolation is over I shall be an expert on Law and Order and Law and Order SVU, to the extent I shall be able to go on Mastermind with it being my specialist subject.
Okay I’m putting my typing finger away now.
1st April 2020
Well I haven’t written an entry for a few days. The reason being plainly, just couldn’t be arsed. Spent very little time on laptop or online, because all you heard, see online lately is negativity and despair where has all the happiness and hope gone.
I begin to think that fear, misery, despair and mental fatigue will be the death of us, much more then Covid-19.
F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) vs H.O.P.E. (Horizons Opportunities Possibilities Equity) When I use H.O.P.E. in this way I almost wish I had a stammer because I want there to be two h’s, two p’s and two e’s (happy horizons, positive possibilities and equity everywhere).
In these most trying of times, when we needs hope most it seems that fear once again fear wins the day. Is it only my negative feeling, or do people prefer to feed off fear.
Today is 1st April (April fool’s day) I wonder how many of us woke up this morning hoping that the last few weeks had been a massive April fool’s prank. Alas, it’s not the case.
I have written my April fool’s poem and posted it on my Facebook page several people seem to like it. Here it is:
It may be April Fools
But this is anything but cool
Sitting here on our lonesome stools
Awaiting instructions from those who rule
In fact, some may say it is quite cruel
Very short (for me), not very sweet, but to the point.
Today Mike and I Should have been on the final day of the Associates course in Malvern, of course, because of lockdown that has not happened. Everyone knew it but no official notification was sent until one of the group members thought that it might be a sensible idea to seek some clarification. How I wish he hadn’t. Now it transpires we have several more video conference calls over the next few months, as well as doing the final day in October.
I know they think they are trying their best to be positive and supportive but to be honest I am inundated with request for zoom and teams meeting, without them adding more.
As the days meld in weeks and then months I wonder whether our greatest fear is whether Covid-19 will kill us or whether it will kill those we love, that when we finally released back into our communities far less of our family, friends and comrades will be there to meet and greet us.
Another poem I have just penned leading from this entry.
As we sit in our empty rooms
Perched on our lonesome stools
Praying for freedom from the places
We once called homes
Our spaces or sanctuary
Are slowly being turned into prisons
Places we now cherish, we may soon loathe
Spaces we dearly love,
Turned into hovels we hate
The voices of those we hold dear
Will soon begin grate our ears
Muddle our minds
Do we fear more that this pandemic
Takes our lives
Or that when we are finally released
Allowed back into our communities
Those we love, our family, friends and comrades
Will no longer be there to meet and greet us
It has just been announced that 500 more British citizens have died from Covid-19 today. Which only goes to highlight what I wrote earlier. It is best to turn your senses off sometimes, if all you are processing is despair fear and depression.
3rd April 2020
Today the death toll in the UK hit 700 and 1,00,00,00 in the world scary times.
Today I strolled in the backyard
Spent some time in the sun
First time set my wheel outside sine self-isolation
It may not seem much to shout about
But in these troublesome times
It felt quite courageous and progressive
As I like to say
Big things start with Small Progress Movements (SPM’s)
Who Knows may be next week
I might take promenade around my local park
I will need to be careful in case
My neighbour spot me
They may Stone me for daring to
During this pandemic
You may think I’m jesting
In the main I am
But in this current climate
Who confidently be sure
Had a very inspiring teams conference with Clenton, Jack my colleagues from CNS Giles Allen a friend of Jack’s, and Jim Thomas from Skills for Care. I know I have said this before I do love video conferencing.
Anyway, enough for now. Time for bed, as Zebadiah used to say. BONG!
4th April 2020
Earlier today it was announced that Sir Keir Starmer has been voted as the new leader of the Labour Party following a vote by the Party Membership. He replaces the Honourable Jeremy Corbyn.
Just as the election of Corbyn as Labour Leader back in September 2015 was a bright day for the working-class population of Britain, heralding in a period of hope for us all. I fear that the election of “Sir” Keir Starmer is the complete opposite a very dark day for the working-class.
It is reported that the purge of Corbyn supporters from the Labour Party NEC has already begun and Socialism has packed its bags and left the Labour Party. Many true Socialists look back on the days of Tony Blairs reign as Labour Leader with real sorrow and regret, how he betrayed our roots and rights by steering the working-class party too far to the right. If the early hour of ‘Starmer’ are anything to go by then this latest leader may make Blair look like “Lenin”.
Here is a poem I have just penned marking this momentous moment.
I see the shadow of a Tory in the feature of his face
This new Labour Party leader “Sir” Keir Starmer
Forces me to stammer “He is a Sir for fucks sake”
Ask yourself this how can a knight of the realm
Lead a working-class revolution
I see a return to the days of Blair’s new labour
I am saddened but not surprised
I fear Socialism has packed its bags and Left the Labour Party
Leaving those who remain to be steered
to the right by Captain Starmer
We are forced to cry out into the void left behind
Who will fight for our rights now?
May the Heavens help us
I fear the worst as we
Baton down the hatches
and get ready for a battle
coming at me from all sides
Well while this allows us for a moment to be distracted it isn’t long before we are force back to the reality that shadows everything else the Covid-19 pandemic.
I was pointed in the direction of a report published by Dougherty Street Publishing, titled #Disability, coronavirus and international human rights, published on 21st March 2020 and updated on 2nd April 2020. See link below
it is a must read and I cannot do it justice or go into it in detail here. They address four topics of concern in this post, which are as follows:
A. Information accessibility
B. Social distancing and isolation
C. Institutional care facilities
D. Equality in health provision
As I say you must read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
But what is striking is how little thought, consideration or care has gone into how we ensure the safety and survival of a section of our community, which is forced into vulnerability by the action and inactions of others. Sometimes, by ignorance, sometimes by blatant actions of people who frankly don’t give a flying fuck.
We all like to think we live in a world where bad things only happen through ignorance and lack of thought. In fact, for some if they don’t think like that they could go on.
But the truth is if we don’t recognise that certain sections of the world’s society would really prefer disabled people were not here and confront them and fight back then the reality of the situation is, we will soon cease to be. That is why such reports as the one above need to be read and shared with as many people as is humanly possible.
In this time of self-isolation, we find ourselves, or should I say I find myself, doing a lot of self-reflection. That being of my present situation and my past.
Over the last few days, I have been giving much thought to my childhood and it has become clear that how I show things was very different to how others may have perceived things.
So, let me try to put things down as I see them, this may help others understand, but just as important may help me get things clearer in my mind.
Let us start by putting things in their historical time and place. As a child of the sixties, born in 1963, I was destined to be thrown into the murky world of “special education”, which anyone who went through this institution between the 60’s – 80’s will if they are honest with themselves, will admit, some with enthusiasm, some not so openly, that these where our darkest days in the direst of places.
Whilst the education establishments for “normal” able bodied children had flourished, enlightened and educated those attending the cesspits that we were housed gave no thought to our educational or emotional wellbeing. We were parked there waiting until we were 16 when we would be shipped to residential homes where we would be housed until we shuffled off this mortal realm. Or, so the powers that be thought. I and some of my fellow peers, or inmate as we saw ourselves had other ideas.
If I had been sent to “normal” school back in ’69 I know that I would have never survive in that environment. A very small fish in an ocean of danger, there I would have been the bottom of the sea struggling to survive. As it was and I’m not boasting or denigrating others, here, as I grew into adolescence, I realised my intellect, personality and humour I realised I was a large fish in a very small pond.
I guess this is where perception and context come in. You see a couple of years ago I contacted someone through social media, (Facebook to be exact) I asked him to accept a friend’s request and the response I received shocked me.
You see he told me that as a boy at school I bullied him and that he had never recovered from the treatment I dished out to him.
When he told me this, I don’t mind admitting I was dumbfounded and horrified. Was I that evil teenager he portrayed me as. I had to do I lot of reflecting back upon my childhood and after standing back viewing things through a different lenses, both from his point of view and the lens of the adult me I can see why he has a completely different take of the tale.
I also spoke to an old schoolmate who shall remain nameless for his own reasons and he confirmed what this person said and what I really realised what was the truth I was a teenage school bully. This is a confession I am ashamed to admit and if I had the opportunity to apologise I would. I know that there were others that must have felt the same.
While I saw myself as a wilful child in a wilted body, trying to do the best I could with the limited resources at my disposal. Others saw me as a twisted mind in a twisted body, taking advantage and using them.
Who was right and who was wrong the reality is we were both right and wrong at the same time, it all belongs in the context and perception.
I am not trying to justify the actions I took or the things I did. I know what I did was wrong. It is just we are all prisoners of our own stories, victims of our past.
In my meagre defence I am conditioned by my condition, impaired by my impairment, disabled by how society sees and treats me. Until society changes their must always be strife if we are to survive. In this dog eat dog world, we must hunt, bite or be bitten, life or die. That is true of a child or an adult. No different know as in times gone by. It will I fear be ever so.
Here endeth my defence I can know only await your judgement, take your sentence and bear it the best I can. May whatever awaits my spirit have mercy on my soul and spirit.
At this most troublesome time it seems appropriate, almost cathartic to get this off one’s chest.
Robert James Punton – Dated 4th April 2020
7th April 2020
Well I haven’t written anything for a couple of days, the main reason being I haven’t doing anything in that time, not even opened my laptop.
Just lay in my bed watching t.v. vegetating hoping everything will just vanish, go poof
What has happening in that time people are becoming more paranoid either blaming or denying its pandemic fever at there. Mike my P.A. has come off Facebook things are so bad reading some of the stuff on there is beginning to affect his mental welfare. To be honest I don’t blame him.
The death rate from Covid-19 leaps up daily as of today the deaths stand at over 6000, jumping 854 today as of 4pm. The worst day so far.
In other news, our illustrious leader has been rushed into intensive care with coronavirus. It has just been posted that we should clap for Boris. I don’t wish to appear callous and I truly don’t wish anyone to die, but I can’t bring myself to clap for him. I am sure some of you will not be happy reading this, but I am just being honest.
I am writing this entry sat in the garden it is a warm sunny day for April and it is so ice to get out and fill my lungs with fresh air. (Well as close to fresh air as you can manage in Birmingham)
Here is picture to prove it really me out here.
And finally, before I go back to Amazon Prime or Netflix. Here is my poem for today.
What a beautiful day to sit in the garden
Soak up some sun rays
Dream of brighter days and happier times
Hope for times when we can sip cool drinks
From long iced glasses
Enjoying the comforting company
of those we now long for
in crowded garden gatherings
where we can mindfully and mindlessly mingle
without fear from contamination
8th April 2020
Today I find myself returning to the subject of equality in a Capitalist World, or should I say lack of equality.
While thousands are dying by the day, it seems that when the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taken into intensive care and he may die, then the national must stop and clap for his survival, I ask you where is the equality here.
As figures are reaching a thousand British citizens a day are dying of the Coviv-19 pandemic what lifts this man above the rest. In my opinion nothing, every person is equal. If I cannot clap for all, then I should clap for none.
Equity for All
I am not unkind or uncaring
I believe in equality and fairness for all
I wish no person harm or hurt
No man is more important than their neighbour
Whether they be Prince, Prime Minister,
Or a common person it matters not
One dying soul should not be held above
The thousands we lose from our presence everyday
If I cannot clap for all then I should not clap for any
Which is why I cannot, will not, Clap for Boris
If some see this as wrong, then so be it
Which only goes to show during these troublesome trying times that not all lives are treated equal, while the majority must take their chances, the high and mighty get preferential treatment.
Let us consider for a moment as football stadia across the country are being turn into morgues to house the dying, those passing from our presence before our eyes. If our neighbours continue to die at 1,000 a day, then within the next three months (which is the minimum period this lockdown will last) then will have enough corpses 90,000 to fill Wembley Stadium. That is very much a Conservative estimate.
As I have said before we must remember that this pandemic is not just a British nightmare. Only yesterday it was announced that in New York City, the authorities there were saying that they were being forced to open mass graves, to bury the bodies of their Covid-19 victims. Now that really is a frightening thing and a terrifyingly sad potent of things to come here.
As I’ve often remarked a stone thrown in a river in the States, soon leads to ripples being felt in the Thames. And from there across the rest of our country.
While I refuse to clap for Boris. I have nothing but enormous respect for those putting their lives in jeopardy every moment of the day to keep us all safe. The staff and now volunteers of the National Health Service. I would clap every moment of the day if it could keep them and us safe and alive.
Imagine that you joined a profession to preserve life, to treat the ailing, support the sick, ease those beyond repair comfortably to the final resting place. They were, are the embodiment of kindness and caring. Now they must marshal the dying to their tombs. Where not so long ago, hospitals were places were your loved ones went to be made better, now we shudder in fear as they enter these institutions, knowing that we shall probably never see them alive again. Add to this the certain knowledge that you will in all probability be joining those you aid soon. How soul destroying must that be? Yet, still they continue to serve without hesitation query or qualm.
Yes, they are truly heroes!
Here is a poem read by the Actor Christopher Ecclestone (of Dr Who fame), written by Matt Kelly, which expresses it far more eloquently than I can. The talent of a good poet is to know when another can say it better
And, so life goes on. It has only been just over a month since this nightmare of self-isolation began. It may seem longer, and goodness knows how much longer it will continue, all we know is prevail and endure.
They say what does not kill you makes you stronger. Well I hope it does the latter not the prior.
Just raised my sorry ass from bed, where I wrote the prior entry. I am now sat on my balcony soaking in some more sun.
Sitting here on a sunny April afternoon, with the birds tweeting in the trees, it’s difficult to tell that the Worlds going to hell in handwash.
10th April 2020
Comments like “We are all in this together” and “Covid-19 is a great leveller” are not only meaningless and contrite they a blatant untruth. This pandemic strikes hardest and deepest at the poor, powerless and disadvantaged, those what start with next to nothing when you take the little support, they have away they truly are left without anything, defenceless to death. I call this what it is state murder.
That support is based on equality of need. Which gives people all the same support regardless of where they start from. Where support based upon fairness, equity support would, should be based on the level of support they need. Thereby bringing everybody up to the same level.