Poems of a patient psychiatrist

  • Bipolar villanelle
  • Lithium
  • To a psychiatrist
  • In remembrance
  • Place
  • Living on
  • Drug death sonnet
  • The drinker’s passion
  • Melancholy
  • Sour
Bipolar villanelle

Such rhapsody is mine at last
Yet not for long, my mind can tell,
Pain and misery will hold me fast.

Cruel melancholia is past,
the grinding sorrow, darkened hell
Such rhapsody is mine at last.

But still I know with all the haste
Of joy, that change will sound a knell,
Pain and misery will hold me fast.

This drama has me quite outclassed,
despite the times when all is well
Such rhapsody is mine at last.

Soon complacent, then aghast
By that returning vicious hell
Pain and misery will hold me fast.

My life would clearly be a blast
Without bipolar’s nasty spell.
Such rhapsody is mine at last
Pain and misery will hold me fast.
Lithium

Lithium!
Element and traitor
What do you do to me?
but soothe my tongue,
belie my mind.

I see you
stretching through the years
at times abandoned
white chalk hard
What are you?

A two-faced mask
stealing feelings
You take my happiness
and laugh at it
through tears.

Metal, we are one.
You have my joys, my sorrows,
you make the night kind
and the day that follows
unremarkable.
To a psychiatrist
 
To you, I am a brief moment,
A problem, if not solved, then put aside.
My anguish is interesting to you,
But cannot touch you.
To me, you are hope,
You will say the forgotten words 
That will mend the frayed thread
Of my existence.
Trembling, I wait
For what never comes.
How can you say 
What you do not know?
I look into a mirror
And close the sides,
And see green reflections,
Endlessly. 
In remembrance

El-ec-tri-ci-ty
Say it!
Say it so you won’t forget
but I will.
 
White and gentle
care and cotton
hold my hand
all forgotten.
 
Which am I?
Giver or Receiver?
I never knew
or cared.
 
Counting back
I never got there
shrieking noise
was all I heard.
 
What matter was it?
Grey transcended
all my thoughts
too late.
 
Currents passed
blankness stared
I couldn’t see
or know
 
where I was then.
Was this the place
where I had been
before?
 
And where were you?
You went because 
you knew  
I would forget.
 
I am now
as I was then
better
but forgotten.
Place

Aching walls, their pictures gone, chilled
by panes that will not close,
and colours merged and smeared so far
that none can tell what shades there were.
A smell hangs in the air of all that’s passed,
of food, of weed, old blood and piss,
of squeezed-out shit and sorrow.
A space that lingers, strains and breathes,
and cannot understand what lets it live, 
or lets it strive once more.

This will not do, this place that is our life,
that we hold tight and love because we know
that there is nowhere else.
The walls remember worse, and I remember
walls that were the same long years ago.
The smells, the sights, that make us laugh and gag,
Such shabby tragedies, the only breaks for fags.
I live this place, I cannot see it as it is,
but when I try to I am racked with shame,
and all I am is shame.
Living on

A flame in the flesh
sears and holds that
which looks away.
The sea, the sky will never reach
the voice which cannot speak.
 
Douse that fire
leave what is left of
me to fate.
A hand grips fast, from far away
a voice speaks silently.
 
A pilot flame
burns on behind a
darkened mesh.
The fingers soften and leave
The voice is lost in a choir.
Drug death sonnet

The road was all awash with mud and slush
when past the grim-faced doors we pushed our feet
We knew why we had come, and through the mush
we saw the one we sought wound by a sheet.
We cared not for his fate, or how he died
or who his mother was, or if he loved,
all this was nothing to us, he had lied;
Black lies that meant we stood with him and shoved
him, when he drank that drink so still and green.
He smiled a little then. His fear was not
when he would die, or what his death would mean
but dread of senseless suffering, withdrawal and of rot.
The scent of death was on him, all the way
Through life, and dying a relief that final day.
The drinker’s passion

The wrench of cork and twist of screw,
a rasping cry that calls and pulls
and shows a future, shining bright,
with hills of moving shadows.
You sing to me of hope,
and yet the beauty of your 
voice is warped, and shatters on
the clear bright rock of youth,
all soured by age.
I can’t forget you.
Never will the music of your coming
fade within me;
each little death, each time you leave,
a vanishing of love.

Cold glass between my hands, that clasp
you close in hot embrace,
you draw my lips to kiss you, and I sigh, 
and I am spent as you are. But your
sisters gleam as maidens, and
I leave you lying there.
They smile and whisper, sing another
verse to me. They are not beautiful,
as you were, but
they will do.
In the dark their faces shine,
by dawn, grown gnarled and black.
I hear their voices, louder now,
calling me back.
Melancholy

This is the bed I lie on
These are the sheets I don’t wash
These are the clothes I don’t fold
Those are the books I don’t read
That is the mirror I don’t look in.

There is the door I don’t open
There is the sink I don’t wash in
There is the food I don’t eat
Those are the shoes I don’t walk in
There is the door I don’t go through.

These are the words I don’t speak
These are the limbs I don’t move
These are the feelings I don’t have
These are the thoughts I don’t think
That is the mirror I see no-one in.
Sour

My mind is soured
Like pickles caught in teeth
Lingering past the taste
And spreading doubt.
I hate the cloak I wear
Of clinging knowledge
I hate the doubts I feel
And they are me and you
And you.
No longer do I taste of milk
Fresh and sweet and pure
My thoughts are long fermented.
I can never find it quite
But the road to death
Is paved with stones
Cracked by uncertainty.