Poets On The Picket Line

Several poets joined Junior Doctors on their picket line this morning to give some support and do a couple of poems. Chip Grim has been organising gigs on picket lines, and young poets have been keen to step alongside us older writers who’d been doing similar in the early 80s.
We read at the National Gallery in support of the long running PCS strike, just before the reading it was announced that the strike had been won. Poetry may have been what pushed management over the edge!
Poets had previously done a turn at Whitechapel Hospital on their picket line and this morning we were at St Thomas’. One of the Junior Docs helped me pronounce ‘sphygmomanometer’ properly. I’m neither a junior nor a doctor.
The way things are going it looks as though we’ll be seeing a lot more picket lines and those lines are as important to us as the lines we write and recite.

Cheers to Yeu-Ing Mo for photos.

Owen Collins

picket 2
David Turner, who was born and then later mended in St Thomas’.

Picket 3
Chip Grim

The Dance Moves of Ian Duncan Smith

Wait ‘til Shaft is playing.
It says all you want to say, and it’s by a bald bloke.
A sexy bald bloke.
Arms above head. Hands wrist to wrist.
Bring arms down to straight out.
Arms down toward ground at elbow (resting robot).
Right arm down, left hand forward, elbows bent.
Right arm behind Left hand reach out.
Grabbing motion with hand, wiggle fingers while bringing the hand back.
Bring hand up to the face. Flat palm.
Run hand down neck.
Arms up into ‘chicken pose’.
Arms together in a begging pose, elbows touching.
Lift left right leg up in a bent position.
Leg down.
Arms out with elbows bent, and hands facing towards your body.
Right arm pointing out to the side,
Left arm pointing to the right over the head.
Arms back in,
Elbows touching hands facing body and upwards.
Hands facing upwards, under chin.
Arms out in front.
Zombie walk, wriggle fingers
Lift legs dramatically as you walk forward.
When you’re the lead there’s no need to smile.
But do dress well, a decent suit hides a multitude of sins.
People having a good time on the dancefloor:
tap their ankle with your heel.
Trip them. Blame them for it.

Tim Wells

Tim Wells

8 thoughts on “Poets On The Picket Line

    1. Yeu-Ing Mo

      Have only just seen this somehow. Thanks for the photo credit. Loved that day. Special shout to you, Chip and David. YM x ✊️✊🏾

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