Website updates, Including new FREE book.

Hi

Just thought I’d let you know that a lot of work has been done on the website over the last few weeks.

Thank you, Peter!


It’s looking fantastic and the navigation is hugely improved.

Please take a look at the revised “Photographs” section –  linked to from here >>>

There are now thumbnails of all the images in each gallery. Click on one to see an enlargement and you can also scroll left and right (using the arrow). I thought the images looked okay on screen before but now they look great. What’s really surprised me is that seeing them now is much more akin to seeing them on the wall in a gallery. I don’t know why. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

The other news is that if you go to the revised “Writing” section – linked to from here >>>  – you will find there are now two of my books to download for FREE.
One of them ‘The Sticks’ sells for £10 as a paperback and is £2 on Kindle as an e-book.

I’ve put “The Sticks” up  for you to download as a FREE PDF because it’s very pertinent to the pandemic we find ourselves in right now. I hope you might enjoy it as opposed to listening to the fiction coming from the government. My stories are much better.

And please don’t forget that you can download a FREE 500 word story every Sunday linked to from here >>>

Enjoy! Go well. Phil

13th May 2020

 

Barking Mad

Poe is asleep and dreaming.

A telephone bell rings in the large hall of an Edwardian house. As Poe picks up the black Bakelite handset electric light casts his shadow on the faded vermillion wall behind him. With the receiver against his ear he hears an incomprehensible voice distantly babbling from somewhere unfathomable. What are you trying to say? Poe asks. 

The babble continues. Poe slams the handset back in the cradle as a Westminster doorbell chimes. He opens the front door. An elderly man, gallows white, stands shaking in a roaring wind. Dad is that you? Poe asks. The man’s ragged Harris Tweed overcoat flaps, cracking in the gale to reveal blue and pink striped winceyette pyjama bottoms held up with a length of sisal. His chest is a dense jungle of curly jet-black hair and his metre length Rasta beard whips and lashes all about him in the storm. He opens his mouth to speak; his lips move in silent slow motion. An elderly woman bursts out from the open flies of the old man’s flapping pyjama trousers as the wind whisks him away into the night. 

The woman is no more than four feet tall with fiercely permed white hair, brown eyes, rouged cheeks and bright red lipstick. A fluffy caramel coloured, poodle-like knitted coat reaches down to her tiny shiny brown court shoes. She smells of paper and frantically chatters like toy clockwork teeth. 

A small, white, barking dog, a Westie, scurries into the hall past the old woman who enters, and tries, but fails to slam the door behind her as a pack of barking Westies rush into the hall. The hall shudders. The front door bangs incessantly in the wind. The dogs bark.

As Poe struggles to shut the door against the wind another elderly woman, identical to the first, appears. Another materialises, identical to her predecessors. The woman duplicates. Replicates. Now there are five of them. The old women keep reproducing until the hall is full of them, their deafening chatter, and the barking dogs; the front door is invisible through the raucous throng. 

They all smell of paper. Paper? How can that be? Terrified, Poe struggles for breath as he seeks to escape. 

A sudden silence. Poe is alone in the hall. 

The front door is now a red telephone box and within it a telephone rings. Poe enters the box, picks up the Bakelite handset and dials 999.

Poe awakens. Stares.

An elderly woman, carrying a Westie, stands at the end of his bed. She taps it on the end of its nose. Bad boy, your barking just has to stop. Look, now you’ve woken Poe.

Mum, what are you doing in my bedroom? 

You were having another of your night terrors.

Why do you smell of paper?

You’ve forgotten, haven’t you, Poe? It’s the dog, love. It’s not me. It’s Arkwright. It’s not paper you can smell – he’s stuffed.

As his mother’s carer, he thinks, That’s two of us.


I hope you enjoyed this story.  Remember, I publish a new story every Sunday.
Please feel free to pass them on to others you know who may be interested.
You can read previous stories from “Behind the Plague Door” here >>>More

© Phil Cosker 2020
Phil Cosker has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved; no part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted by any mean, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.


 

White Chairs

The white waiting room chairs in A&E are bolted together in sets of five or ten, in lines. They are no longer new, nor are they comfortable, and have a 1970’s Habitat look with round holes in the metal seats and backs. Some chairs carry word-processed notices: Please don’t sit on me I’m broken. There is no irony in this, nor is it a metaphor, it’s merely a statement of fact. 

 During the day the chairs that are not broken are always fully occupied. Often, when there are no vacant chairs, patients lean on the walls, sit on the floor or loiter outside for a chat or a fag.

At night, this A&E is closed. In the dark, unanswered telephones monotonously ring and ring, sick with tinnitus. No people suffer. No people are in pain. No parents panic. There is no blood. All is spick and span. No doctors fight to save lives. No nurses tend the ill with compassion and care. No one gasps for air. No broken bones needing repair. Sounds echo from far off-stage, safety lights faintly glimmer – a theatre without a play. 

The noise of an electric floor-polishing machine grows as Janita pushes it into the waiting room. As she polishes, she sings to the white chairs as if she wants to cheer them up from their loneliness, All you need is love, love, Love is all you need. She looks out through the windows.

Heavy rain falls in sheets through the radiance of high car park lights. A car skids to a halt. A middle-aged man leaps out, opens the rear door of the car and helps an old lady out. He protects her with his coat and helps her stagger to the doors. He rattles them. On the inside, Janita tries to let them in. Outside, the man pounds the doors with his fists and shouts, It’s my mother. Janita shakes her head, there is no way in. She shouts, Try the main doors, and points in their direction, Round there, round there. She stares at the car, the driver’s door is still open. She waits. 

Rain falls. The man and his mother return to the car. He helps her in. The car drives away. Janita, unable to sing, weeps as she continues to polish the floor.

In the deserted car park, Austerity, the Grim Reaper, watches.


I hope you enjoyed this story.  Remember, I publish a new story every Sunday.
Please feel free to pass them on to others you know who may be interested.
You can read previous stories from “Behind the Plague Door” here >>>More

© Phil Cosker 2020
Phil Cosker has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved; no part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted by any mean, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.


 

Hypocrisy

Today I’m going to try and be more measured – fuck knows why.

Okay, hypocrisy.

The government, made of sugar (an aftermath of the slave trade) and all things nice, is supported by Tory MPs who have consistently voted to (or turned a blind eye to):

  • Privatising the NHS
  • Voted not to increase NHS nurses’ pay
  • Slashed NHS and Social Care budgets
  • Introduced Universal credit as a punishment system for the poor and oppressed
  • Increase the spending on Mental health services and done nothing
  • Privatising the NHS
  • Promised to build 14 new hospitals (excluding the Nightingale)
  • Lauded their radical solutions of support for the aged but, done nowt Celebrated austerity

 Need I go on?

But all is well – their coronavirus plans and promises are in disarray – but nevertheless there they all were last night – including the bilious bibulous bonker bastard Boris outside number 10 – clapping his little fat piggy paws in praise of the NHS he sought to destroy – until he needed it! 

Until the government needed to cling to their privilege and let us die on their behalf.

In the First World War soldiers going into battle weren’t properly armed. In this ‘war’ the NHS isn’t either. Why not?  It couldn’t be because soldiers and nurses are predominantly working class and therefore expendable? Just as the old and infirm have been seen by Cummings and his preening poodle, shag-a-lot, Johnson, as natural waste. Or are these Tory c…ts  just totally fucking useless? 

Answers on an email please.

But they say ‘We love the NHS’.

Would I be correct in thinking that what they mean is – Fuck, we’re in the shit, and the only way out of not losing power is to come up with new bollocks about our love of the NHS?

Is this hypocrisy?

Capitalism, and in its neo-liberal iteration, is not for the benefit of all, but for the benefit, the PROFIT, of those who – currently – own the means of material and intellectual production. 

Doctors of medicine, metaphorically, sign the Hippocratic oath to care for the sick.

The lickspittles of capitalism, sign with the broken bones and the blood of all they oppress, their Capitalist oath, asserting their rights, exercising their duty, to exploit all in pursuit of profit and extol their virtues via the Daily Mail with the goodness of their hearts. 

Money, money, money, that’s what they adore.

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I have learnt that my rants become loquacious.

So, let me be focussed.

Hypocrisy? 

Until we call them out. Tell them they lie. Until we take responsibility, then we have nothing to blame but ourselves as we complain of our chains. 

We have moved beyond what Lenin said – arm the proletariat, not because it needs to defeat the ruling class but because it needs to defeat itself. 

We need to defeat our own cynicism. 

To do this we must abhor hypocrisy.

Make the world anew. Now is the time. The last time?

Unless we act we are the problem.

No ecocide. 

For the new better abnormal normal.

© Phil Cosker 03.04.2020

Covid-19

I have just had a very interesting conversation with an eminent oncological clinician, surgeon and academic.

I have received the very best of advice about the management of my cancer, Alowishus (leaving aside the details).

It’s simple.

  • Don’t get Covid19. Self isolate and don’t take risks.
  • Don’t get hospitalised with Covid.

Why?

In the current crisis ‘people’ will make decisions who don’t have the expertise to make those decisions.

If there are two patients who want to live and one has ‘cancer’, even if that isn’t going to immediately kill them, then the one without cancer will get treatment and the one with cancer won’t be treated because they’ll die anyway (wrong) because of scarcity – and ‘hard decisions need to be made’ when there’s not enough to go around. Those dying don’t need respirators. This is me! For fuck’s sake!

The dying don’t need respect as they expire – statistics.

Excuse me! What the fuck is this? Eugenics?

We all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,

I have been angry for weeks with the government’s incompetence but now I have reached the limit of my tolerance.

There is a cynicism here that is beyond my understanding.

Come on folks, we all have the right to care and life and not be left to the decisions of politicians who only love their privilege, who lie, who spin their shit as if it was sweet candyfloss.

I piss on them.

What of our real stars, the nurses, assistants, researchers, doctors and administrators who believe in the Hippocratic oath and who will die ‘on the front line’ because of this government’s total failure to protect them and us, as we, fight for life?

When this is done there is a reckoning to come. We will not go back to the status quo. Organise now. This is an opportunity to make a new future for human kind.

  • An end to ecocide.
  • Stop climate change.
  • Invest in our NHS
  • TELL THE TRUTH!
  • People not capitalism.
  • Dignity, not oppression.
  • We will not be deceived!
  • We are not for sale.

Crisis?

Yep.

For us AND CERTAINLY for them!

Go well!!!

Ecocide

 

The Bumblebee
From the Squash blossom flies
Tired, pollen bathed and heavy eye lids dusty
150 million years of pollinating decried
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Swift
Old enough to have seen T Rex in the flesh
Flies two million kilometres in its shift
No longer under my eaves reside
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Koala
Iconic marsupial cuddly up a tree
Feeds on eucalyptus a priori
So dies trees expiring from Carbon Dioxide
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Polar Bear
Can swim sixty miles without a break
Once smelling prey ten miles near
There is no smell the ice long fried
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

Staghorn Coral
Architect of the subterranean deep
Bleached in warmer water, no food, not normal
Lodgers, clownfish. hornbill turtles, no longer abide
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

Atlantic Cod
Cheap fish for every chippy battered feast
Over fished because of livelihood
An uncaring species’ genocide
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Monarch Butterfly
Beautiful orange migrate 3 thousand miles
Their caterpillars left with milk wood dry
To die from herbicides and insecticide
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Emperor Penguin
A happy Charlie Chaplin substitute
Happy feet say amen
On the long walk to its own regicide
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Beluga Whale
Well meaning boated tourists
Motorised watching expeditions the Holy Grail
Destroying life, idly set aside
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Leatherback Turtle
Lays eggs on disappearing beaches
Ever more hatching females infertile
Their hoped for progeny denide
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Flamingo
Mann’s pretty pink flamingo not a pretty tune
A lost overture that made shrimps agogo
A colour on the palette atrophied
Unknowing of dawning Ecocide

 

The Climate Change Denier
Celebrating fossil fuel profits
Spitting on what others call Guya
Flouting science with such pride
Not giving a toss about Ecocide