Bedlam Museum of the Mind

A visit to Bethlem Hospital
Museum of the Mind this week.
Open Wednesday to Friday 10am-5pm
(unless you’re in a ‘group’).
I find myself struck by the times.

There is a wide range of art
as well as historical lunacies to enjoy
and the staff and ‘service users’
are impeccably informed and helpful.

Here are two of the few photo’s I took to remind me of the visit.

Harriet Jordan

Harriet Jordan

Harriet Jordan (after)

Harriet Jordan (after)

To Smoke

To suck & breathe foul yellow air,
To suffocate;

With each chemically enhanced
Lungful

Each wispy grey breath
To die:

Inhale
Exhale
Mournfully golden teeth and fingers
Yearning for pungent
Rancid
Alluring fags!

Pleading for the next big toxic kick!
As cells give up and blood thins out

Just one rasping gasp
One wheezing whiff

Just one more nicotinous smoke
To smoke.

cigarette ads

That British Gem (or Why does the UK gov’t hate the NHS?)

I have this jewel of common good
A proof of social capital
Where every sick, poor, lost, doomed, soul
Is treated as individual
A simple pearl of light done right
Global beacon of the practical

This human rumour, shared response
My catch-all of public collateral
Has gifted our forebears the wealth of health
And pledged my heirs
Theirs in perpetual.
My gem of preciousness nearly unique
Endows a nation; achievable

Lately the state, for private account,
Seeks to plunder this bounty – sly and piecemeal
I feel their reach,
Their devious claw
The foetid breath,
The nocturnal,
And fear a loss so great and deep.

Still,
I doubt these Devils
unstoppable

Young children unsure of the benefits of sun-lamps, Bristol health centre, July 1948.

Young children unsure of the benefits of sun-lamps, Bristol health centre, July 1948.

Originally posted, then deleted, then posted again…