Blank canvas no light can dance on.
Dank void that no language warms
I am mute, my brush blunt.
I try to recreate the image of this whole.
My view trained on shades.
Straining for resolution.
A history of years swarms.
Events, a nest of wiry ends, snag me.
Once you pressed my on-button
And syllables flew.
There is no shut-down now,
Only hope for mutation.
I churn and turn in semi-circles
In search of creation
In words unuttered, contours un-trained.
You lurk in the hallway with ideas
That, as your outer edge
Spun from your globe
I can predict, and will confound.
- We are plural and bound.
My hand in constant reflex
Grabs the eraser to staunch a new flow
Of shapes that ooze love and perplex
This never-ending loop, as it loops.
Your foot on hardwood strides and
Just like that you are
Planted as a tree branches
On blue sky.
Beginning, end, both frayed
And raying, outreaching
A trick of light,
This mess dissolves as clear daze.
Folded inside a warm winter coat
Embraced like a knuckle in a fist
Hope dies, living persists.
Perennial eternal fool
school of life dunce.
A thousand times done when
Learning ought be once.
Throughout the cold grey day
This coat’s collar, belt, satin lining
Keep this chilled heart sighing.
I am rounded up, pulled to, and lead the way by a
blind man who is programmed to only talk the walk
I am disoriented, but micro-chipped and the old software says
follow, until we are lost again and both furious, the anger fuelling me enough to
loosen myself and run.
This man who has no vision but a plot arrests me again in the maze,
recounting the old-school map he knows off by heart
continues to insist that he can see, knows a different route, is going somewhere in particular.
Again I am pulled into his slip stream and we giddy around until
my energy depletes
to the extent that I wheel away then free fall, my soul backing up against the maze wall.
Nose neatly wedged in a tight corner
inhaling the stench of elevator music and extinct wallpaper.
Remotely above me is blue sky; quite a way beyond
an electrified perimeter.
Write something, right something
Invent a new word and scrawl it on the footpath.
Create a peace banner and hang it on my chest.
Write ‘left’ on one foot, and ‘go’ on the other.
Stand by, waiting patiently for the aftermath.
Spend my only life as an artisan scratching
scrimshaw into bones of frames for scaffolds
for masterpieces. Pray for patent protection, or an afterlife
and, wait for the plan’s inevitable hatching.
Sledge stone, incise, align. With ten thousand other
slaves I join this chorus with the sky. Climb past breath
until with babble spit collapse I am revolting
with the very stench of hope
that someone will take care of me.
Poetry submissions on lived experience with mental illness are welcomed on an ongoing basis, so if you have always wanted to share your talent, now is the time to do so.
Send your poems through to firstname.lastname@example.org either in the body of the email or in a MS Word document.