The Sweating Sickness

In the past twenty-four hours I have spent about four upright and bi-pedal. A malaise descended upon me with symptoms that any reader of Victorian novels might be well-acquainted. When I finally rose to partake of my boiled egg, the first real nutrition in said time frame, my husband’s buddy (who had called for him to go help sort out a septic tank issue) told us the latest Brexit news that the Speaker of the House has announced there can be no third vote.

So it’s ten days to Brexit and please G/goddess the backstop is permanent. I am a month away from shepherding a group of 8-12 year olds from Cavan and Fermanagh and I am having to factor in potential border crossing hold ups in my plan. Since nobody knows what the **** is going to happen.

Then another friend sent me a link about the Naylor Review, which many reckon is a recipe for privatisation of Britiain’s NHS. At the very least it is insisting that in order to fund necessary equipment NHS Trusts will have to sell off land to private development. Everyone is a gangster these days it seems. Except Little Nell and Tiny Tim.

Today’s Poetry Daily is not so much a Poetry Prescription as a diagnosis.

The Sweating Sickness

Which will probably carry us off
like our Victorian forebearers
too poor to forlock tug, cap doffed
paying the kindly GP with spare
spuds and a cock. Though now knock-off
smart phones are much more valuable scrap.

Now medicines like insulin
might be sold blackmarket with Brexit.
How else is public health bludgeoned?
Well, Naylor reckons sell off the 'glut'
of public-owned NHS land
by selling to privateers.
Because it feels like war when they jeer
at the sick and the lame and the halt.
TB and measles are the ailments
of poverty. And whose at fault?
Bare-faced liars who pulled PR stunts
saying money sent to Europe
would go to the Department of Health
on the side of a bus...that's stealth...

It's been a two-year long crack-up.
Those days of free public health distant,
or soon to be, ration-booked up
to see your GP or consultant.
Meanwhile, the general public sweat,
consider the legacy of debt
left to millenials,
a life not unlike times long gone by.
Unromantic bonnets and shawls
meant high mortality rates and
busy gravediggers at cemetaries:
a fetish and cult made of mourning.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “The Sweating Sickness

  1. The purpose of benefit reform was to make life so unbearable for the sick.elderly that they would commit suicide ..Brexit of course means no European court of human rights to appeal to… so far this method of culling the population has proven very effective with only the young able to withstand the hardship… Hitler May ,Foster , Thatcher have much in common methinks..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I agree, what is happening to the young is difficult to explain clearly the life we are all living is somehow lacking in some way.. it’s probably a host of factors rather than one.. I have personal experience of the grinding down as in the new PIP assessments that has been rolled out in the north targeting those with life-changing conditions cancer.dementia Parkinson’s etc… I for one will never forgive any of the parties who callously supported these reforms it targeted those who have paid into the system all there lives and have earned the right to be supported in the last few painful years of there existence..

        Liked by 1 person

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