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

Wendy Young

The 51st State of the DLA




Three grey stooges assessing my case

Cross examining like Soul assassins

My ‘claim’ for cancer and a great big op

Two years before

How elementary there’s Dr Watson

And a solicitor and a mister

Whose names rhyme and whose paradigm is cock!

Fuck me! I’m in the dock: questions like

‘by this time could you cook say an omelette and some peas’

No Dr Watson I didn’t really eat!

‘Was the friend you had staying just for reassurance’

Well Yes! Mister Cock

‘so he didn’t help you in the bath’

I couldn’t get in it!

‘do you have a hand rail?’

No I don’t Solicitor ..OH NO  I failed the crucial tick

The trick of these inhuman assessors

Belittling me because

I’m not like them ‘cause

My road wasn’t theirs, straight and up the M1

I’ve had A roads and B roads

Wine-dy lanes and slippery slopes

Inn-clines and declines, my hopes

Dashed ‘cause

I’m not like them


My path is scattered with trying and flying and dying

What with this humiliation and Actors Centre rejection - I am a failure

The devil works for RADA

Brother can you spare a dime?

Brother can you spare a rail?

The tears start to fall

I’m embarrassed with it all

Telling of my ablutions

I plead it’s more than ticking boxes and

I’m looking at the man in the middle 

Who tells me they’re not here to give me this

or give me that

I say just give me what I need

To lead a normal life!


And leave before my dignity is tick boxed to D HELL A!


In the corridor my humour’s saved by a man with a knobbly stick embedded with two different coloured eyes, shaking it at the whole establishment…like a shaman, a Druid on Acid  – he’s a good he’s a good he’s Ebenezer Good body who flails and rails and he’s still at it on the street…he’s angry they made me cry… But as I wander around the city of hypocrisy trying to find my bus the anger kicks in and I’m...

Wendy Young reviews for Disability Arts Online. She has had a sequence published with Natterjack Press (after reviewing Rite of Passage for DAO and being encouraged by Peter Street) and has also been published in South Bank Poetry. She blogs for DAO and performs quite often (Survivors, Shuffle Festival, Liberty, Together 2012 etc). She also has a page on Creative Future's website. Her most recent collection is The Dream of Somewhere Else (Survivors' Poetry).

Swing Low Judas Iscariot

Comin’ for to carry us off



The pendulum swinging above us

Has come to chop off our heads

To make us go

It’s scalped us slow

Sliced at our necks

Swung us high

Swung us low

Jargon junta munchers

(Here they come the jet set munchers)

Waft Business diplomas

Degrees coming out of their suits

More managers than doctors

Meeting after meeting

Discuss over coffee aromas

Our lowly livelihoods

Decapitate our frontlines

Put us into a pyramid

On a PowerPoint chart

Boxed and accounted, neat and smart

No power

No point

Not even a one in 10

We are percentages

0.67 surplus to requirement in fact

I’m one of 6.66

In a sub paragraph

Of an acromyn collective

Is this how a thrithjungar of the West Thryding/wapantake should be treated?

If Remploy are employed no more

What the hell chance have we for

Survival of the death knell of the NHS

Swelled by greed and selfishness

20,000 soldiers aren’t wanted - what hope have we?

How low can you go?

Tick Boxing

The new sport

that keeps me ticking

for the system

and doing my head in

tick for this

tick for that

Tick for my sanity

Tick for my gravity

Tick this box if you’re mad

Tick this box if you’re sad

Tick this box if you’re bad

Well I’m ticking for the whole of humanity

To blow you up

Ticking an explosives box for you

tick tick tick tick boom!