THE ROAD/

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These poems were written by my brother who died on the 22nd April 1977. He was wrapped up in the psychiatric system and had been on medication for several years. One day just before his death he asked me the question “Do you think psychiatric medication works?” I always being honest with him said “No!”. Then he planned his death, sold his record collection and his few possessions and wrote these  poems. I added to my answer to his question that you never knew and there might be new meds in the future that work. During the 1970s doctors used to prescribe large amounts of medication. He told my late father what he planned to do the night he died and that he had no way out and my dad witnessing his despair and suffering told my brother not to talk about it but to do it.

Yoyoing up and down with his mental health he spent a lifetime in and out of Gaskell House in Manchester a small unit for psychiatric users in Manchester. Everyone knows of someone who has taken their own life and I and my son have also had suicide attempts. I wonder where is the hope for people like us?

My brother would have been 62 this August if he had survived and I ask myself if he was still alive what answer would I have given to his question today?

Here are David’s poems:

 

 

 

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

When we were kids and played together

And laughed and ran in sunny weather

We didn’t care about the trials of life

We didn’t know about the pain of strife

The sun always shone and the rain never fell

And I remember the stories which we would tell

Of pirates and treasures and far away lands

The music of Christmas, the big brass bands

Now we’re grown up and drifting apart

And there’s sadness in my heart

But I will always remember you as a little girl

And the funny way your dress would twirl

Your shining hair that you would touch

Oh how I loved you so very much!

(this poem he wrote about my sister and they were very close)

 

COMING OF AGE

Let the rain pour and the wind cry

But let your happiness reach the sky

You laugh and cry and make a joke

And we know you are the joy of folk

You fill each life with endless bliss

And you seal it with a tender kiss

Just care about your friends and especially  yourself

And then you’ll never end up on the shelf

Think about tomorrow as well as today

Will you be unhappy? NO WAY!

(this poem David wrote about my sister’s best friend Lorraine)

 

POEM FOR A PRINCESS

I see you in my mind’s eye

A beautiful woman of whom I cannot lie

And when your golden tresses cascade in the light

It does not take all of my might

To worship my every simple delight

As I wish to hold you in the midst of night

Give me but a second, oh serene creature

To contemplate your every feature

Your bright blue eyes, your lips as red as wine

Your perfect roundness of every line

Give me one hint of your feelings towards me

Of those closely hidden thoughts so far away to see?

Oh dream of the night, and the vision of day

Tell me you love me I dearly pray

And by and by I will tell you why

You resemble so much a star in the sky

For as my time quickly passes away

I sorrowfully think of the day

When my mind and my heart can no longer behold

Your beautifully crowned hair of gold

(David wrote this for his ex girlfriend 23rd March 1977 she left him for another)

 

SAD LADY

Dear Sad Lady, if only you had a penny

For every single hurt and pain you have experienced

You would certainly be the richest lady

On this cruel and cold atom we call earth

Your mind is so fragile and yet as strong as the hardest diamond

And the morning slowly opens your eyes and soul

To more and worse agonies which only you can see and feel

But let these dark shadows beware

For their very tempting will be their own executioner

And the light will flow like a torrential sea

Into the whirlpool of your thoughts

And you will find peace and happiness

In your beautiful and yet so sad mind!

(David wrote this about me when I had ended an affair with a man that went wrong before I met my husband of 33 years. He wrote it in the Winter of 1976. Around the time he asked me that question about medication)

 

THE ROAD

Betwixt night and day you will find me when my heart doth pray

My very soul torn between the reality of logic

And the illogical forces which my heart doth obey

Give me a while until I set my mind at rest

For what good is love in one person’s mind

Against the evils which people manifest

Or sorrows in their lives which they do find

I seek the Lord’s power within me but find it not

Have I touched upon that lonesome road to hell?

Is mine one of those that he forgot?

If so, where am I who can tell?

I must be on that dark and lonesome road I know so well!

 

THE JUDGMENT DAY

The word could be heard a billion miles away

As the child lay speaking in the hay

He was heralding the coming of the Judgement Day

And telling us the direction in which our souls should sway

None could tell us more clearly the way

Or whom our hearts and mind should obey

He handed it to us on a simple wooden tray

So remember your time is over on that Judgement Day!

(David believed in Jesus and life after death. I wish my son believed in him too. But I am praying for guidance that my son won’t take his own life just like David and so many others that do this today including children.)

SHOES

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What legacy did Imelda leave?

Hording shoes like baby digits

The upping of a posture

High heeled to legs at the top

And toes as red as crimson

Slide into slippers that feed foot balm

Tripping over a staircase made of slithery soles

Ankle straps made of a misrepresented blossoming

Sensible professorship’s happy feet

Of flats and laces

Trainers for the untrained eye

And feet binding the gang plank walk

Aboard the ship sailing on the sea of womanhood.

POCKETS OF THE WORLD

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Little pockets Little pockets

That cosset the memories of life

Little pockets Little pockets

For hands left out in the cold

Little pockets Little pockets

Hold comfort in the jacket of existence

Little pockets Little pockets

Hold secrets of childhood with conkers and sticky toffees

Little pockets Little pockets

Are sanctuary for abused fingers

Little pockets Little pockets

Place your hand into mine

Little pockets Little pockets

We will breed Kangaroo digits

Billions of baby “Thumbs up Freedom”!

The Fat Psychiatrist

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Tell me please why are you so huge?

I don’t mean to be rude

You say it’s from Statins taking

A heart condition in the making

I am here today for my review

Fat and big just like you

Please excuse me if I can’t sit still

Seems it’s something to do with your pill

Tell me doctor am I under control

Because I feel really bad on the whole

I know my behavior can be really batty

And I become mad as a hatty

But might I make a polite suggestion

Won’t mention it’s for my own protection

Medication for some simply does not work

And  prescriptions it is my thought

Should not be repeated on and on

For the broken hearts of some

Surely something in common we both have

Both our hearts have turned us into flab!

A FISH FOR JESUS

Walking-on-Water-cropped

 

WHEN I AWAKE

ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

I’M TAKEN ACROSS A TROUBLING LAGOON

TO FIND A SOLITARY SHORE

WHERE LOVE IS LOST

IN SAND MY FOOTSTEPS TOSSED

I LOOK ABOVE AT THE PALM COVERED MOUNTAINS

TAKE UP ALL MY STRENGTH AND START TO CLIMB

OVERCOME BY MADNESS I FALL I FIND

WAKING ON A LEDGE A HIGH CLIFF HANGER

I PRAY AS NIGHT PASSES ALONG THE SHORE

WHO WILL HELP ME I IMPLORE?

THEN IN THE DARKNESS A GLISTENING LIGHT APPEARS

ARMS TAKE ME UP AND GENTLY PLACE ME

BACK DOWN AGAIN TO SAFETY

WHAT MIRACLE DID I ENCOUNTER?

“I AM YOSHUA TO BRING YOU HOME

WHEN THE SUN REACHES NOON”

AND THERE HE WALKED ON THE RIPPLING OCEAN

TOWARDS THE BOAT OF MANY WISHES

HIS NETS GATHERING HUMAN FISHES

HE SAID “FOLLOW ME” AND HELD A MAGIC KEY

THE DOOR IS OPEN “DON’T BE AFRAID”

“COME DANCE WHERE SOULS ARE MADE!”

“TO TRAVEL ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

TAKE MY HAND TO GOD WHO IS SUBLIME”

“WHERE THE BELLS OF IMMORTALITY CHIME!”

I HELD BACK AND MADE MY REQUEST

“OH HOLY GATHERER SPARE THIS FISH

AND GRANT ME THIS ONE TRUE WISH

LET ME STAY FOR MY ONLY SON

AND CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN YOU LOOK UPON?”

THE ONLY SON OF GOD GRANTED MY PRAYER

I FOUND MYSELF AT THE TOP OF THE SUMMIT HIGH

“I’M BACK SON” I DID CRY

“YOSHUA CAME TODAY”  I SAID TO HIM

“REMEMBER ON THIS EARTH’S PRECIPICE

YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE JESUS AND ME!”

 

 

DUST

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The dust is settling on me

Even before I am dead

The dust is settling on me

Will my life story be read?

The dust is settling on me

I have time to grieve

The dust is settling on me

It is falling through a sieve

The dust is settling on me

It blots out the light

The dust is settling on me

I am still with fright

The dust is settling on me

Hands open a window

The dust is settling on me

Sunlight is breaking yonder

 

The breeze stirs up and I flee

My steps are sure and free

I fly high above forests mountains and oceans

And what do I find

There is no dust on me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOMELESS

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When the sky is your roof

And the ground is your bed

There are no walls around

No front door to have

I am a person displaced

Where is my human race?

When Winter is a cruel chill

No sleep during the endless night

Walking and walking that lonesome walk

Dreams you have to search no more

I am a person displaced

Where is my human race?

The number on your door is number death

You are young enough to strive to live

Addiction bears down your days

The pain never goes away

I am a person displaced

Where is my human race?

Feelings are there in a reality home

You should not exist if be told

Has every being a right to live?

Inside a heart a family gives

Where is my life in this age of plenty

Should I give up like so many?

I am a person displaced

Where is my human race?

This heart is lost in time

It has a home without a key

Hidden away my extinguished light

Possessions adrift and out of sight

Tears all dried up with nowhere to go

My blood is warm

My heart is exposed

Two eyes Two arms Two feet

Humans are hard to tell apart

I am a person displaced

Where is my human race?

Will nobody ever hear my cry

Where out of the mist and fog

I am seen and alive

And hands pull me up

Bring me to the light of a cozy room

With a fire to heat my cold soul

And love embrace this body of mine

And once again I am HOME!

I am a person displaced

Where is my human race?

 

 

 

 

Tears all dried up with nowhere to go

 

 

 

 

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