(Short for Bodhisattva. From the Sanskrit meaning ‘enlightened being’).

It took jackboots – and jaw-jaw –
to awaken the Bodhi.
A hob-nailed, bullying, militarised madness of total war. Reckless nihilism.
But out of the darkness came the light.
Adam. Moses. Shepherding the weak. Re-creating life.
A Minister for Health – a Bodhisattva – born in the beginnings of the brain and the furnace of war.
Protector, preacher, for a flock in turmoil.
For every Buddha – every Bevan – follows the same path. The same struggle…
The care of the sick.
The infirm.
The vulnerable.
Call it Dharma. Call it love. Call it hope.
Call it the NHS.
Re-fashioning the World from the shards of war.
Doctors from bullets. Nurses from chaos.
Midwives from death. Porters from bombs. Hope from despair.
Like a sermon from the Tredegar Mount. The National Health Service Act – a Book of Genesis. July 5th, 1948.
And like all great stories, the end is always Nye.

Gwion Iqbal Malik (c) 2018
(Poet in Residence at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace).