We Need Help

Some things have become very apparent to me of late, most importantly is the fact that, we, the human race, is in dire need of help. Over the last few weeks a number of events and happenings have occurred in front of my eyes, like cardboard sign posts from humanity with the words “WE NEED HELP!” written in thick black marker pen.

It was rush hour on a cold Monday morning. I was travelling through Manchester, a city that has become a building site, with vast improvements to infrastructure to the cost of one billions pounds but what stood out more than the bright orange cones, more than the silver metal fencing was the groups of dishevelled people wandering the streets with numerous blankets and sleeping bags slung over their shoulders. With every infrequent journey through this growing city, I notice that the homeless population grows with it. Casualties of the welfare reforms of a capitalist society. Staring wistfully out of the train window leaving Manchester, along the canals of the Black Country, assessing all the empty buildings and rotting factories the feeling that we and the environment we live in are expendable commodities that can be cast aside by the capitalist rulers lays heavy on my mind.

A few days later, sitting on the sunny banks of the river Avon with a friend, surrounded by a carpet of bright yellow lesser celandine and bevy of swans, we hear inaudible shouting from across the water. There sat a man on a bench, calling out, “HELP ME … HELP … ME!” The passers-by ignored this man until he stood unsteadily and staggered over and fell by the riverside. This man was drunk and very likely having some kind of mental breakdown, he needed help. It was then that we heard some people behind us, one of which was on the phone to the police, this naturally eased our worry for this man in need. The police quickly arrived to help the man, relieved all I hear is the woman behind saying, “If he done that in front of my kids I’d’ve pushed ‘im in myself.” Nice one society, get the lunatic off the streets! Ignore the fact that a man having an episode very nearly fell into the river. When these same capitalist rulers have put mental health services into crisis with extensive cuts, this sort of thing, sadly, is going to happen. Yet another social signpost was being waved in front of me.

Recently I came across a moderated social app TalkLife where people, of all ages, can safely seek advice or get help from people who have been in similar situations. Social anxiety, general stresses and worries, depression, self harm, eating disorders, sexual abuse, suicidal behaviour, the list goes on. What is most striking of all, while this is a very good and important service to those that need it, it shouldn’t be necessary.

Suicide and homelessness rates are increasing while mental health services are cut and money spent on streamlining and oiling the cogs of the capitalist machine. It all feels very wrong. A governments first and most important task should be the welfare of its citizens not their status and involvement in global affairs. These signposts of suffering and neglect at the hands of those that don’t care lead me to believe that from somewhere or from someone, even if it is from each other, WE NEED HELP!

Balanced turmoil

Rainbows and shadow, butterflies and bats,
Snips and snails and all things nice,
A refreshing breeze and destructive fire,
Blood in the snow, petals in the ash,
Everything at once and nothing at all,
Save the world and let it burn!
Joyful sadness and a blissful cry.
The eternal conflict that is my mind.
Hopeless idealism and hopeful nihilism,
Balanced turmoil.

Seasonal Madness

Christmas comes but once a year
Bringing lots of joy and cheer.
So why do I feel nothing but sadness
And the onslaught of seasonal madness?

“Such a Scrooge,” they say,
“Cheer up,” in an obligatory way,
“Don’t be so miserable.”
“Fuck you.. I’d rather be invisible”

‘Tis the season, the season of goodwill
Yet they increase your festive bill.
Laying upon their joy and cheer
The fat cats grin, “Another good year.”

Christmas comes but once a year
Forcing lots of joy and cheer.
“Have some wine, just a smidge.”
“I’m going to jump off a bridge.”

Nature’s relief

He sat there on the edge of the square with a full week of weighing him down and flooding his mind with bureaucratic drivel. His mind was awash with the sound of urban chaos, the battle cries of traffic, the aggravated beeping of horns and the anger of battle scared van drudging through the trenches. The square was filled with a thousand voices from a thousand cites, he could separate languages and accent from every continent but without focus it was a wall of sound, a nightmare, an assault on my soul, maddening white noise, the ringing in your ears. “Am I insane?” he thought. He needed to speak to her, she was the only cure. He takes out his phone and shakily types out, ‘Take me to the forest, I’ve had enough of this place…’ He takes off his tie and unbuttons his slave collar giving him a moment of mental respite. His phone vibrates in his hand, he never let it go, his stomach churns at the potential of this message. ‘okay, I’ll come get you now :)’. Silence falls instantly, the war cries of a battling city dissipate and the stress flows out at the thought of being in the forest with her.

Nothing but the rain.

After an incredibly torturous day of anger, mental anguish, disgust at my fellow humans, disillusionment of any possible future or hope and falling into the grips of pure nihilism, I retreat to my room, my sanctuary and am welcomed by the comforting embrace of heavy rain on my skylight. The natural and very simplest of things can unburden us completely.

“Starbuck, what do you hear?”

“Nothing but the rain.”

Change while you can

We have those moments in our life where everything changes, we reach breaking point and realise we still have time. We can make those changes that pull us from the cul-de-sac of life and we get back on that roundabout because if we don’t, we along with our souls will die in that hopeless cul-de-sac. For some it’s too late and for some the cul-de-sac is all they’ve known, all they’ve been told about but I’m not old.. yet, I still have time before I volunteer my body to it.