Content warning! This poem contains some swear words.
First they called it psychosis
It called me its slave
Amidst my neurosis
Others will call me brave...
My mind shatters
Like fragments of a mirror
A different reflection
In each shard...
I can hear you
But I can't see you
If you're there
I'm not aware...
Just my luck!
Thanks to you, we're STUCK...
Sir, please let me go
I've got nothing to show
I just want to grow
I'll go with the flow...
Talk at me, not to me
This isn't my body
I'm not a tragedy but
She looks at me with such worry
I'm down here because she said I'm aggressive
I think her memory's selective
He gives me a section
For everybody else's protection
Silence or you'll get my violence!
I don't have to behave
My piss in a cup
Shows you I've had fucking enough!
They say I'm alone
But I feel you near
I won't continue to postpone
Have no fear...
Medication and meditation
Eases my mind's disfiguration
A memory I share happily
Begins to settle me
I'm pieced back together like a puzzle
Some bits are broken, so it's a muddle
I can hear the birds sing
And I'm beginning to win
They're so kind
Even though I was out of my mind
They tell me I'm a find
It's like they're blind
The meds are stopped
That's not a loss
She says the meds made me psychotic
He says nothing, like he already forgot it
Dreams with screams!
Nothing is what it seems
You can't outrun me
I'll get you and your family!
Don't keep me here
Again with strangers
Who can I trust
Friends are like golddust
The TV speaks to me
Radio broadcasts my destiny
Only I can hear it
A relapse, not perhaps
Back in hospital again
They won't say until when
Again I'm prescribed
I don't know how I'm still alive
Because they tell me there were others
Who were smothered
They couldn't find peace
So they found a deathly release
You've haunted me since I was a child
Sometimes you were mild
Behind closed doors, I became wild
It was like the devil had dialled
I'm well again
This is the beginning of the end
I won't lose more friends
Or scare those I love
My mind is no longer in confetti
You won't have to forget me
I never knew out of pain
There'd be so much to gain
My sanity comes from above
And is my responsibility
No one else should take care of me
It could lead to tragedy
I don't always make sense
And I've found a world
Where there's no pretence
Into it I'm hurled
There are survivors
Much braver than me
People who have been
To hell and back
They've given up smack
They're taking their lives back
I won't need to attack
Because I'm building a pack
Now they call it emotionally unstable personality disorder
Different name, same game
To say we're unstable
We hear voices
We also have to make choices
Feels like gutting
We can't tell what's real
When we're ill
It's a huge deal
When you can only function as still
We can get better
It doesn't have to be like this forever
That's kind, but please don't call me clever
So scare me as you once did
I'm now getting rid
With others, I will dare you as I say
Break me so you can make me
Whatever’s on your mind
Let's all take the time
To talk to one another
And make up a rhyme.
Time to talk
Time to walk
Time to share stories
Oh, the days will be glorious
We will talk more curious.
Sharing and caring and being kind
If only we take the time to remind
Ourselves. Oh, to be kind.
Time for a cuppa
Or a good old natter
The world goes round
Just like a pound.
Whilst we never stop caring
And sharing good old rhymes
It's great to take the time together
Make memories forever.
Say hello and help another
You never know he might need a brother
Or a friend indeed.
Just be simply being me.
I am comet.
I am the ball of chaos that
BURNS across the orbit of
Searing a scorching trail
I am untouchable and
DO NOT WANT TO BE TOUCHED.
I try to get away
because on days like this
I hurt others.
Though I don’t mean to and
Leave them charred on the
I am sleeting thought.
Fragments of rage,
As soon as I try to touch
And make it physical
Dragging all of the pieces
Watching the earth below
Wishing I could
As I burn on into the
Wastes of space.
Today I saw a marvellous treat; the birds in the sky circled me as I stepped out onto the street.
Later on, the stars exploded, the moon gave me a wave, and I felt so looked after, no more thoughts of an early grave.
Walking past my neighbour Ginny, she smiled and said to me ‘Hello, take a look at this!’ pointing in the direction of a sweet-smelling apple tree. She had planted it herself, such a long time ago, saying ‘why don’t you take a few?’ her kindness erasing my many woes.
I thanked her, gathered a few treats, and a rosy red apple and walked on.
I came to a door, my future husband welcomed me in, to my delight telling me that apparently he had never wanted more! As I looked into his calm, brown marmite eyes, he seemed to level me, lifting my heart close to shore. Through him, I was raised to highest skies, now bursting with happiness, my lifeboat through crazy seas, guiding me on our tour.
All too soon, time to say goodbye. Now walking, alone on this beautiful, tragic earth, at the bottom of this road, I hear familiar sounds…Here is an ice-cream van. I approach with caution, and the lovely vendor said, ‘here is a freebie 99,’ his wise smile taking away my usual, social dread.
And now? I relax, and meditate, at home with me, myself and I. I received kindness and guidance today. Let's hear it for a changed heart, dancing, glowing, wild and shining bright. From now on, I vow to grab hold of life, with all of my might.
You all took my anxieties, shielded me from dark. Eating another red apple reminds me of this day.
I was petrified of life, but others helped me grow inside. My soul, vibrant, fresh and content, now happily I’m on my way.
Guess what? Today my love for me finally grew, thanks to my surrounding community, pure gratitude to all of you…
What if you could have hung on a bit longer,
when it felt impossible.
What if you had paused a few seconds longer,
when the dark thoughts felt like they would never go.
What if you weren’t all the things that voice had told you you were,
when it seemed so believable.
What if you weren’t mad and bad,
but simply sad.
What if you had a chance to stop blaming yourself for all your evils,
when you’ve felt like the devil himself.
What if you had finally got the help needed and that you deserved,
when you felt so undeserving.
What if you could have felt worth something,
when the voice told you over and over again that you were worthless.
What if you’d had a chance to be who you were meant to be,
when you didn’t feel like you could be anything.
What if you could have just hung on?
This poem is a thank you to the person who made it possible for me to hang on.
Before this heinous disease,
the colour of Ireland was slate
Dramatic, vivid and alluring
cradling majestic and humble in the same arms
This new stain
has dissolved the colours of life.
Left Curiosity and Laughter motionless.
under a blanket of lead I lie stoned, stubborn and stoic;
trying to remember the expressions that were once there
Before you were numb.
I am not a hero for being strong, I am stupefied by the weight of a thousand graves knowing each year that passes makes them sink further into the earth,
heavy from the secrets that made them sick.
When did puddles turn into gutters?
Wilder and deeper malignant traps for our follies;
stagnant not like lochs anchored with legends
But like blocked drains
moored by Beasts of Sludge.
I tried to give you a child so we both might feel again:
The sticky palms filled with
punts to cross the border,
the newness of moon’s silver
dancing on the Donegal sea
A place where folklore is untouched and everlasting -
Maybe there is still time.
Some days I reimagine the grey as iron
with its silent grandeur and magnetism to hope.
Under the sky children dangle feet into the docks
And waves lap the harbour wall with the same gentleness,
as a dog licking its owner’s hand.
I never had a ‘home’,
Moved from house to house,
Place to place.
Always thought home was where my family were.
You were home.
You were comfort.
And now you’re gone,
I am well and truly out of my comfort zone.
I am homesick.
- Please can I come home?
People affected – one in four -
knocking on every family’s door.
It’s a friend
afraid of the scales,
though their weight drops too low.
the hallucinations that won’t go.
It’s your grandparent,
looking through the window,
too anxious to go out.
Or a child,
who’s filled with self-doubt.
People affected – one in four -
knocking on every family’s door.
words we cannot speak.
society needs to think.
So let’s see
what we can do, to make stigma
a thing of the past.
Let’s bring kindness,
the gift that lasts.
People affected - one in four -
knocking on every family’s door.
There is a palpable gnawing in the left of my head,
Blur between worried mind and flesh that bled.
It radiates to folded brow and buried sight,
Focused eye upon every point of light.
Once whispering lips that yielded gentle moans,
Now falter and stutter on sticks and stones.
Steelwork shut and vault the revealing mind,
By cold cog jaws that ache and grind.
Shoulders raised up and pull the heavy blade,
Lift soft feathered wings for protection made.
Sheltering from a threat that’s sure to come,
Creating pain from fear that will never succumb.
Within the birdcage that ebb and flows,
Dying fires draw deep from hungry bellows.
And a hummingbird heart that gleans with colour,
Beats its wings with fierce endeavour.
Over punished womb that has not forgot,
Both blessed with life and mourned their lot.
A portcullis draws to defend the keep,
And make inside dungeons churn and leap.
Sleep will come, give brow and lips rest,
Feathers on embers wilt, let hummingbird nest.
The castle guards will slump and snore,
And the days concerns will last no more.
And when I will be muted
And when I will be weak
I’ll scream with chest wide open
I’ll scream to break it free
I don’t want your kindness
Your gifts are making me weak
I cannot make it happen
I cannot set this free
Why am I suppose to learn to cooperate
Leave me alone
I don’t want the cage to break
What will I be without it?
I won’t be a bird
The bird needs its cage
To contain one’s rage
That the freedom was stolen
That rainbow is so far
Leave the key outside
Inside, I’ll cry
Don’t you understand?
I forgot how to fly.
I can see your gifts
I can see their order
I am just flapping against the bars
Hitting my face against them.
Bruised on my face
Bruised on the wings
And then lifting myself
Again by one wing holding the bar
and searching what gifts I can reach
While still being inside.
What are the bars?
Why are they made of steel?
Because you externalize what’s hard.
You externalize your will.
Touch the bar child.
Melt it into your wing,
And then do the same to the other bar
Melt it into your other wing.
Now you are outside.
Fly darling, fly.
Look at the buttercups.
Look, they shine.
Create a plan.
Sometimes my head is clear,
Quiet, calm, serene,
Like a beautiful, peaceful lake,
A place to lie down and dream.
Nothing disturbs my thoughts,
They freely come and go,
Feelings, emotions, so much more,
Nothing’s blocked, everything flows.
Sometimes a little voice appears,
It doesn’t seem that loud,
Little comments here and there,
It’s like the forming of a cloud.
Interrupting the peace of my day,
Ripples appearing on the lake,
I try so hard to ignore it,
Not wanting this moment to break.
Sometimes the voice gets louder,
Now it’s becoming a pain,
The comments are OUCH, quite stinging,
Like hard and biting rain.
The lake is now an ocean,
It’s definitely not calm,
Dark clouds overhead and waves are high,
This could really do me harm.
Sometimes the voice is screaming,
I can’t seem to shut it out,
Spewing out words that are hateful,
“Please go away”, I desperately shout.
The ocean now is raging,
The waves crash over my head,
If I don’t find a way to escape this,
I could drown, I'll be lost.
“STOP”! I take a breath, in and out,
I close my eyes and think of the lake,
I need to quieten the voice,
For my own sanity’s sake.
I can control the waves,
And the raging storm ahead,
I can silence the voice,
And the hateful words it says.
None of it controls me,
I refuse to give it the power,
I can subside this storm,
Slowly, hour by hour.
The waves are smaller now,
Not very scary at all,
The clouds are clearing too,
The birds are beginning to call.
I’m back by the lake once more,
It’s quiet, calm, serene,
What a beautiful peaceful place,
I lie down and start to dream.
‘I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream’
- Vincent Van Gough
I retreat into my garden,
leaving my worries in the locked down house.
Searching for space.
Looking to space.
The night wraps its arms around my world-weary mind.
I lift my gaze,
absorbed into the vastness above.
For the first time today I draw a deep breath
from the space between the stars
lost in a wash of indigo, azure and violet,
a kaleidoscope of colour within a night that feels so black.
My eyes adjust to the darkness above
drawing forward more pinpricks of light,
flashes of white-hot hydrogen lost in the emptiness.
A million stars spiralling with planets stuck in orbit,
providing an infinite amount of possibility.
Did Van Gough know
when he painted those swirls of colour,
so small and hastily marked
that he could reflect a feeling so well?
That lying here on my weather-worn bench,
with blanket-clad shoulders and a cup of something warm,
I could lose myself so easily
within the same starry night.
And all the children chirped, feed us feed us
And all the children buzzed, feed us feed us
And all the children purred, feed us feed us
And I said, drink up my sweet children for tomorrow brings adventure and misadventure to teach you to fly
To sing to dance to fall to fall to fail
To breathe with your eyes
I watch the last remnants of sludge between the cracks in the pavement,
waiting to see if they might come back to life.
Yesterday, they had been mounds of feathery snow,
draped across the shoulders of the ground,
a monumental white cloak.
Yesterday, I had been myself,
pressing footprints into the powdery mould,
leaving behind marks everywhere I went.
Now the cloak had unravelled,
leaving behind homeless brown threads
squirming under the sun.
I poke at them with my foot, urging them either to disappear
or to come back as they once were.
I poke holes in myself, urging myself either to melt away
or to start again.
Not from the ground up,
as advised by wise mothers and grandmothers
and mysterious strangers meeting in galleries,
thinking themselves philosophers.
But from the sky down.
Born as a pearl of ice, sailing downwards,
throwing my colours onto the earth,
lighting up the air,
dancing with the flurry, with the rest of those wanting to start again,
until we cover the land one more time.
giving it that funny tint
of yellow and pink,
that makes us look at everything
As if we have magic words at the ends of our fingers,
ready to paint stories on the world,
just like the first human to forge a grunt with his lips
and watch it linger in front of him,
or use whatever he could find to trace his mind on a cave wall.
We leave a stain,
and then we start again.
I want to be
someone who can’t cope,
and live off jam and toast
cups of tea.
Stay in bed sleeping
until that becomes tiring
then spend hours watching TV.
Mooch about in my dressing gown
stand at the front door talking to passers-by,
employ myself with ‘roll-ups,’
and having a good lusty cry.
A fragile vessel, filled with fear
So long you were mishandled
touched by the fingers of rough men, making
you sing. You are scratched
What once was smooth
now tells a tale of
all you have been through
To be held
gently, but held high
Wear your scars with pride
Embrace the light
Reflect it back
so all can see
the beauty that lies within you still
the summery warmth of plucked red raspberries
meets the chopped ruby stalks of rhubarb
dancing like scarlet in the mixing bowl
tickling my appetite with visions of delicious desserts
and wonderful honeyed tastiness
melding in a glass baking dish
tang and jammy-ness
tingle my tongue with crisps & crumbles
smoothed out with real butter, rolled oats,
cinnamon, and sweetness
served warm in a wee bowl, dolloped
with ice cream or yogurt or eaten plain just like that
What a bizarre
And painful thing,
To be burdened with being human.
Because, it is,
So difficult to exist as I am.
Why make a creature
Who can ponder their own existence?
Who can feel such intense emotions?
For no particular reason?
What a peculiar sensation it is
to realise I will never be anyone but me.
There are no thoughts
I can have that aren’t mine.
The only way to escape my own mind
Is to die.
And for now, I live
Even when I want
Can it be stopped? Will it turn off?
Perhaps come to a halt, wind down.
How to dampen it? Make it slow.
Need a control rod for the brain.
Stop the neurons firing away
Prevent the memories forming
The still pictures stored in the mind
Those miserable regrets surface
Never the many good times had
Not the happy always the sad
Dredging up the times I was bad
Hiding all the times I was glad
Why won’t it let me be asleep
Needling my psyche with nails
Preventing what comes naturally
Instead I toss and turn and fret
Pillows flatten with my head’s weight
The mattress creaks and its springs moan
The duvet presses down on me
Outside the night seems bright as day
A clock ticks loudly somewhere close
I’m resigned to insomnia
Forever awake brain buzzing
Until the alarm starts again
Bee sups at light blue translucent petals
Attracted by scent and nectar and colour.
Scent and colours unnumbered abound in the vast array of flora and fauna in the world.
We stop to marvel at a flower, maybe linger a while ,
Noticing patterns made of light, shade and any
Rain landing on the petals and leaves
And any movement in wind of a gentle breeze dozily nodding head to a gusty gale head and stems dancing vigorously and leaves gesticulating in time
Texture; hairy smooth spiky
Its design; intricacy of stem leaf veins roots
Scent breathed in, mild or sharp, floods our noses and takes us beyond ourselves as we relish that moment of stillness and quiet
Take in its colour pale or bright, single or several colours or shades
Trying to hold all that in our minds and senses when we get home.
O Lord Your wondrous works of creation attract and like the bee we sup and are nourished in our faith;
Your provision for the bee
Clothing the flowers and trees
Your daily provision for us
Be it physically, emotionally or mentally and
Providing delight and beauty
An abundant, not a drab and dreary life.
Help us look around us like a bee for the things that nourish not destroy.
This fire in my mind is consuming.
Guilt eats into my soul.
Coughing and traffic tear into me.
Memories haunt me.
They will not let me go.
I cannot seem to escape.
Thoughts of death and disease persist.
Where do I go for help?
To reading like fiction and novels.
Words describe the torture,
The coughing,the traffic,the guilt.
There are telepathic voices too,
I am grateful,very grateful
For Sahaja Yoga meditation,
Shree Mataji and the Sahaja Yogis.
I cling to a lifeline.
My heart lives, but precariously.
The water flows I breath the air
The wind it softly blows
I look at you, you're not there.
The sun it shines the moon golden as it glows
My tear asks one question
Where are you my love right now.
The leaves have linked with autumn bonfires swirl the air
I look toward the withering branch
I wish you all my care
The snow it softly falls the ice begins to crack
Seasons gently come and go
I will be here if you come back.
You don’t know my mother, but she curses your name.
You don’t know my sister, but if she saw you, you’d better run away.
You don’t know my dad, but he hates your guts.
You don’t know me, but I know you very much.
You’re the reason I get anxious, the reason I have self-doubt.
The reason I can never seem to get the words out of my mouth.
The reason I overthink and the reason I’m sad.
These reasons are never ending, fuelling my way down.
Despite all this, we are roommates.
I know one day we will learn to live together.
But for now, it’s a struggle, but I know it’ll get better.