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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, June 12, 2009
    The Healing House
    As ever, Billy Bragg showcases some fine support acts on his current tour of Wales' ex-mining areas, 25 years on from the Miners Strike. In Wrexham tonight the poet Patrick Jones (who, it would appear, has attracted some controversy for his progressive views) treated us to a rendition (accompanied by BB on guitar) of this mystic, moving, tribute to the NHS sixty years on from its foundation.

    "the public interest is taken care of by the private interest of wanting to make money"
    John Redwood 1994

    "we have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, now we are the builders"
    Aneurin Bevan, 1945

    bring your children to the nursery
    with their disease and sickness,
    this is the place where I hope to cure all illness
    at the point of need, this is an emergency

    come now, our tomorrow
    rest yourself
    as i halt fear and heal bone marrow,
    and, from an early death
    i promise emancipation,
    with my doctors, nurses
    and vaccinations

    let in the mothers
    the pool is ready for another,
    carer of the next generation,
    sleep, prepare for this new birth,
    I offer you protection,
    as you grow the roots of our new earth

    welcome, people from other nations,
    with troubled faces from distant places,
    i have room for you, my new patients,
    i have no borders to caring,
    pain has no dialect, this language is for sharing
    let love be found in translation

    sit, eat from my pantry,
    become healthy
    as you, you are my ultimate test,
    bring me your tortured tongues
    so you may speak again
    from far off battlefields show your scarred flesh
    so i can stem the blood and heal your pain.

    to you, the wiser, the elderly, the old,
    do not be afraid, do not huddle in the cold,
    my door is open,
    come in, come in,
    it is warm, trust us,
    and i shall lance the boils of poverty's injustice,
    and drain the infection,
    as in my house these rooms
    offer cure by prevention,

    and so to the sick, to the dying, those crippled with
    stay, in my garden,
    lay, beneath the trees
    i shall provide peace and serenity
    to strengthen the health of vulnerablity
    no matter what age, sex, class, race or country,

    my windows pour penicillin
    my library, the words of the masters,
    Simpson, Pasteur and Fleming
    not market forces or ignorant capitalists

    so be careful how you treat your house, our home
    never neglect or leave alone
    keep clean, add extensions
    but never damage the bricks or remove my foundations

    from the wasteland of squalor, disease and
    I am the safe place
    the healing home
    injecting cells with reconstruction,
    the everlasting bandage
    to deliver all from illnessed bondage
    I am the suture
    to stitch the wounds of the past
    but i am the scalpel
    to carve the future
    to make this dream last
    to make this dream last.

    "the verb is more important than the noun"
    Aneurin Bevan