Tag: poetry

369 Days

Two years ago I was in the back of an ambulance.
I waited in A&E for my turn.
I got out 369 days later.
That’s a bloody long turn.

In the first six months I learnt:
That they could physically restrain me,
They could drug me,
They could detain me,
But I would survive.

I could survive:
Violent patients,
Being forced to eat,
24/7 surveillance,
and my heart would still beat.

After the tyranny freedom was elected.
I was no longer an animal- held down and injected.
I found that words made me lighter,
Each time I said or read them I shone a little brighter.
My talents lay in living not dying
and every step forward is a person I’m defying.

Once it is broken the glass does not fear the floor.
Tell me I shan’t.
Tell me I can’t.
I’ve heard them all before.

So Called Safe

Times like this I shouldn’t be here
Its not stopping my stress it’s stemming it
I’ve been helped
alongside the girls who eat tape measures
and the boys who breathe fire.

But I’m angry that as I lie in bed
I’m whispering to my pillow
“The door’s locked.
The door’s locked.
The door’s locked.”
And for once it’s not the OCD talking.

I’m scared because they’ve been kicking the doors in for hours
and we are three members of staff down
and as they storm the siren screaming doors
the agency blokes don’t know their names
to phone for the police.

But what are parents supposed to do?
When Seb is sixteen and suicidal so sent to be safe.
The psychiatrist is supposedly stalling their son’s surge for suicide.
But in a moment Finn throws a fist and Seb’s got stitches.
Seb’s mind must be bad for six stitches to be the safest.
How scary is that?

The ceiling screams when we do,
Staff scatter.
Skin splits.
And sewn on the skin of my teeth
Are slideshows of scenarios
Seen in children’s psychiatric settings.

But we’re safe. Right?


He looked into my eyes and saw the misconnections behind them.
I know in fifteen minutes he will make his chair do an audible creek;
My queue to leave.

I knew I wouldn’t pass this MOT
Just like at eleven I didn’t pass my cycling proficiency
Because I couldn’t see traffic on my left side and the instructor said “pretend”.
He asks me about what I see and I tell him,
I tell him with a knot in my throat about people
How my mind rotates in oxymoron around my spine and he
He tells me I’m crazy.
But that, it’s okay, it’s textbook.

It’s a bad sign when your psychiatrist says
“Don’t worry it’s not the one serial killers have”
It’s a bad sign when your head is hitting the wall again and again
And the fuckers put you in a CT scan to check there is still a brain there.
Of course there is.
That’s the problem.

The diagnosis is accept and live with it.
After all that’s the best prognosis anyone could hope for.
I’m living on the edge.


Stop the Clock

Not beating about the bush- this is a miserable blog post. I wrote it yesterday when I was freaking out about OCD and recovery and TIME. Time before I have to go into adult inpatient services (which I don’t want to do) and time I need to be getting better in. But I don’t seem to know how to do that… Anyway: here’s the poem.

Stop The Clock
Time is sneaking away from me.
Six months been and gone.
Six months of doors with windows.
And six months of pills in pretty white pots.
Stop the clock- I need to take stock.

Time is pulling me along.
The days are carved into six slices where I must eat and drink,
The place I want to run away from.
But that I hope will save me.
Before I sink.

Time is dragging me down.
Soon I’ll be an adult
Support being switched.
So I am a case number in other people’s books.
If I don’t hurry; In the psych wards where I’m told old men give you funny looks.
It’s the adult services which make my twitter friend’s despair.
Timelines telling tales of a care service without care.
Stop the clock- I need a rock.

Six months of trying.
Six months of fighting.
But my best just isn’t enough.
How can it be- when I’m still laden with all this stuff.
I’m pushing the pedals as hard as I can, Trying to make the damn thing go.
Go somewhere sunny.
Somewhere safe.
But the recovery car just won’t go.

They push my compulsions down like a game of whack-a-rat,
Causing sheer black distress to crash and shatter around me .
It’s torture as they squeeze and pinch at it.
But as the tide settles, the problems just pop up somewhere else.
I tell them “I’d take X symptom over Y“.
But they tell me it is a disease with which you cannot compromise.
“We will get it all. That’s our job.” The nurses say
Six months.
And I’m still waiting for ceasefire day.
The clock won’t stop – and I’m going to pop.

Time is running short.
How can we batter them all?
I’m pushing the pedals so hard.
But I’m scared that maybe it’s the motor that’s broken.
Stop the clock: because I can’t take another knock.


Written at 5:24am: A Dream About Existence.

I had a dream where I didn’t exist.
I wasn’t dead or lost or anything.
I’d just never existed at all.
And in the dream I was thinking about how I was aware of the fact I didn’t exist….
So in order to think that, something of me must have dwelled in existence’s realm…

And in this dream I was looking at the world.
And I realised I only have ever seen it as myself.
I only ever recognise the things I’ve seen before.
I only get goosebumps around things I have developed fear for.
I try to be empathetic.
I really do.
But I am always, and always will be, an outsider to you and your world.
Rockets fly between our galaxies when we talk.
When you tie strands of words together to form your life tapestry.
You’ll show it to me piece by piece over a coffee or in the cereal aisle at Tesco.
And over time I can get to know that tapestry inside out.
Your story.
We share our frayed edges and our patched up seams over ‘just one more’ custard cream.
We’ll flash our silk and silver linings on the internet and at church coffee mornings.
But I can’t truly feel your fear, frustration or elation.
No matter how many tears in the cloth I have helped you stitch up in the small hours.
But no matter how much I try to be impartial.
One of life’s peace marshals.
…Opinion non-existent…
I will always exist.
My opinions are my own,
Points that are influential to my existence are in the end down to my own interpretation.
I am in my own world.
But I can’t help it.
For if my existence had truly retired.
I wouldn’t have views on the fact it had expired.
And I guess that is the best silver lining of all.


I Am Exhaled: A Poem

I started letting things inhale me;
Books, films, documentaries and albums.
They restrained me from thinking for myself.
Entrenched me in the lives of others.
Whether they were humble,
Or powerful.
I was inhaled.

During this time it felt like my own respiration was at a stop.
I no longer took breath as myself.
I hid beneath duvets and learned the ins and outs of fictional character’s lives.
Until I knew them more than I knew myself.
Day turning to night, it kept me safe.

I was deprived.
I needed air.
My lungs like crumpled paper bags trying to inflate.
My feet pounding the fields and my heart ricochetting in its cage,
In an effort to self-resuscitate.
And then I could feel it,
Pounding in my ears and burning through my veins.

I’m running.
It’s behind.
I’m sprinting.
To the boundaries undefined.
I fall.
My lap is un-timed.

There it sits,
Over my senses like a mask.
Forcing the air into me.
Whether I want it or not.

The colours are bright and the smell embraces,
The petals kiss my hands and the herbs rub against my fingers like affectionate kittens.
I flop back on the grass and admire the nothing above me.
And how beautiful simple nothing can be.
And how lucky I am to have found it.

I can move.
I spin and walk and make my fingers dance on the surface of the pond.
I carefully stroke the baby apple tree and I can feel it respire between my index finger and thumb.

And then I had broken free.
And I was exhaled.


The Man Who Wanted To Live Forever

This is a small, very flawed, poem I wrote in the waiting room of a health centre. It is about the taxi driver who got me there in his beaten up Skoda. He disclosed to me that he had found a dieting secret which he hoped would eventually earn him immortality. He went on to tell me about it, and the communities of people trying it, in great length. Crawling through the streets, fast food boxes shifting with every turn across the dashboard and the radio mumbling the news on low. Here is what happened:

The Taxi Driver

As he drives me to my appointment,

With the aim of avoiding potential disappointment,

The silence

The radio discussing inner-city violence

He starts to endlessly babble.

And in his thought stream I’m unwillingly forced to dabble.

He tells me of his new diet:

“You really should try it!”

He doesn’t know that this suggestion has hardly made my day,

Because I am actually on my way to get weighed

He continues: “All the celebrities are on it!”

“It’s making them fighting fit!”

“It’s vegan”

“The wife thinks I’m a steak avoiding heathen”

“You slice and dice, nothing cooks”

“It’s in all the top health books”

“One man did it and lived to two hundred and seventy.”

“Oh yes- still full of life, joy and fidelity!”

I begin to feel intellectually frugal

As I make a search on google.

‘Oldest man in the world at one hundred and sixteen.’

I would tell him, but why ruin his dream?

“My raw cabbage is ready for lunch!”

He’ll drop by Mcdonalds… this is my hunch.

As he pulls up to the clinic,

I feel somewhat of a cynic.

“Have a nice afternoon” I say.

“What I’d do to live forever” he laughs and drives away.

So I guess my sixpence this saturday is that inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere. Even from just a one-way chat with a taxi driver.

A picture of a torso and internal organs made entirely out of fruit and vegetables