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Blog - Richard Downes

Signs; (The Ecology) Of Accessible Loos – A Community Exercise


Disability Arts Online are planning a major exhibition/arts event Contested Spaces launching on 24 September at The Foundry in South London. I have been asked to curate poetry events acknowledging World Mental Health Day and the International Day of Disabled People on 9 October and 3 December respectively. I have called on many of my favourites from the Disability Arts and Survivors Movements. Be nice to see you all attend this magnificent beast.

black and white photograph

The shimmering steel of a Waitrose trolley

In the meantime here’s a little thing that will be running throughout the event. An exercise where you can add your own couplets to be read (with your name) during Under the Poet Tree – REaD Rhymes Live on 9th October and 3rd December.

Add your couplets below (send your photographs too), for things that can be found in an accessible loo. It can be real or made up. True or false? Here’s my example to get you going. You might also want to share this exercise on social media. Get involved.

(The Ecology) Of Accessible Loos – (A 2nd Community Exercise)

A quivering wreck of limp jelly babies
An assistance dog being tested for rabies
The shimmering steel of a Waitrose trolley
A Madpride Manifesto left behind by Dolly
A sliver of stammers belonging to Rich
Two people with scabies they’re longing to itch
A pile of old deck chairs. What are they doing there?
Left by an entrepreneur without any care
An imprint of police boots busting a girl named Sue
Alex Higgins, Dennis Taylor and a whole rack of cues

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8 months ago

Things to be found in an (in)accessible loo, Oh father of lies telling porky pies in his high office guise denies it all with shouts and sighs Oh father lies in his jocular size swishing bows and ties bully boy billy boy shite Oh father of lies trumped up shit bag cries with open flies pissing down his thighs with lies and lies Oh father of lies sitting in his tower will bastardise the truth, will valorise mayhem and murder what a lark to victimise Oh father of lies denies his guilt, won’t say goodbye onion-bulbed face plies his prize… Read more »

Susanne Dagmar Olsen
susanne dagmar olsen
8 months ago

my poem by susanne


My friend
get lithium
He also gain
40 kilograms
His teeth
are all arteficial
His eyeballs
stands out ,like on a fish
He would maybe
never get old and se his granchild

8 months ago

A lost sock fallen from an artificial leg
A politicians arse covered in egg
Julie McNamara’s stories, tall as they come
An underwater wheelchair, flying in the sun
James Leadbitter’s model of a dream asylum
A family of cousins from the same phylum
Trish Wheatley racing on her bicycle
These rhyming couplets just about passable

Elinor Rowlands
8 months ago

We can’t even get beyond the blue door The metal’s still shining on the strip that meets the floor Sparkling like the surface on keys- Silver plated syringes to prevent disease Only I want a piss and what do you call this? The doors still jammed, Where I still am; Standing bursting for a pee; There’s no rhythm or rhyme to this disjointed lock, the key’s stuck- It shingles and tingles And shakes. Then out falls two bodies laughing canoodling, behind them used condoms, mouth spit and now your wheels are glue mixed in with their body juice soaking your… Read more »

8 months ago

Left Behind. A bag full of biscuits on 2 for 1, left by a woman whose memory’s gone. A moulding banana- never made it to peeling- was somebody’s breakfast, commuting from Ealing. Some bootcut jeans and a greying bra; brought to compare but didn’t get that far. A mobile phone behind the loo, had been in a pocket when he sat for a poo. Earplugs removed, for sound sensitivity: now stuck to a piece of abandoned celery. Bits of loo roll used to open the door, from people who hover and daren’t look at the floor. A pair of spare… Read more »

Ann Young
8 months ago

Hi, I thought I’d have a go! This is a true story! Ode to Toilet I don’t know anyone who doesn’t prefer to use The spaciousness found in disabled loos I’ve used some pretty awful ones in my time But the most recent, had no reason and no rhyme It was in a pub, up some stairs The stuff of wheelchair users’ nightmares Luckily I could walk up and got to see Where many others couldn’t pee I can only think it was perfect space For giggling girls to touch up their face Or impatient couples on one-night stands At… Read more »

Jane Bouttell
Jane Bouttell
7 months ago

Things you never thought of enter the equation. ‘Til ‘Disabled Access’ led to young Mums’ liberation. With the baby, the toddler,the buggy and shopping bags, getting on the buses used to be a drag. Now there’s lifts and ramps and automatic doors. Thank you, ‘able=bodied’. I am,most sincerely ‘yours’.

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