Saturday, 13 July 2013

Stop the World, I Want to Get On (Two poems)

Regular readers will know that I have suffered bouts of depression since early childhood.

As the first poem is not as positive a take on depression as that to which I usually aspire, I am also posting a second poem which I try to say out loud (usually several times) whenever I feel unable to cope with whatever it may be life has chosen to throw at me, invariably when I am  particularly vulnerable.  Agenda for a Crisis may not be a great poem, but it has helped on more than one occasion to prevent me panicking and (in no time) spiraling downwards into an abyss; no easy task, but we have to try if only because trying is halfway to getting there and winning the battle against depression.

One of the worst aspects of depression is the feeling of isolation; that no one really cares or understands. Friends and loved ones do care, of course even if some have  no idea how to help; those understand that we need someone to talk to and listen will provide a support network, but only if we let them. It is probably true that most people cannot can even begin to understand depression unless they have suffered it themselves or been close to a depressed person; it is no one’s fault, neither theirs nor ours, but it isn’t easy to see that, and only too easy to play the blame game.

Most if not all of us have known times when everything around and within us seems to be falling apart. We can but try so hard to focus on the tiniest flicker of light at the end of whatever long, dark tunnel we find ourselves in, pressing on towards it until it is revealed as sun by day or moon by night and we start to feel like we're back in the real world again, Earth Mother there to welcome, watch over and reassure us we are still the same person, possibly even a better one, but certainly no worse for having been 'away' for a while.

Both poems are villanelles.


World of meaning falling apart;
time, a lonely vacuum;
mind out of step with the heart

Voices, calling to make a start,
but no faith in them;
world of meaning falling apart

Faces, a collage of satirical art
challenging daily continuum;
mind out of step with the heart

Hands, signing to horse and cart
that can’t find its rhythm;
world of meaning falling apart

Each pitying look, a poison dart
contaminating the system;
mind out of step with the heart

Life, a line on a statistics chart;
offers of help a distant hum;
world of meaning falling apart,
mind out of step with the heart

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009

For every hurt, a soothing balm
though time have its way;
Think calm. Be calm. Stay calm.

Keep the mind safe from harm
where fear holds sway;
for every hurt, a soothing balm

Cue for panic, raised the alarm?
Let pain have its say…
Think calm. Be calm. Stay calm.

Never fall for self-pity’s charm
or keep those who care at bay;
for every hurt, a soothing balm

Take the hand on outstretched arm,
(peace of mind on its way)
Think calm. Be calm. Stay calm.

Bury regret, its weary flesh embalm,
look to kinder ends, not away;
for every hurt, a soothing balm…
Think calm. Be calm. Stay calm.

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011

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