Archive for November, 2012

A walk in Kings Park


Silent decay in silvers –
slivers of bark still
depend from shattered limbs
memories of the living tree.

Beneath, the thirsty earth
receives each dropping gift.
Each bark-morsel a benison;
already new life sprouts.





A group is something
one joins.  No choices here:
joined forcibly with strangers,
sharing nothing but pain.


Even that we may not share;
quiet tears, perhaps; not more.


No sharing horror.  No sharing
pain that rips itself from minds
and mouths in messy gobbets.


The Group Norms poster says so:
“Such sharing may distress
other group members; please maintain
these norms for the benefit of all.”


Far better pretend we are fine.
Making progress.  Discharge beckons.
A normal life.
Therapists make Notes, discreetly.


Meanwhile we wail within,
gobbets well concealed.


Such things are for
secluded soundproof rooms.
Notes are made, of course.


No, it would not be therapeutic
for ‘the group’ to know
we suffer as they.


Our horror is as theirs;
we too long to scream.


Acknowledgement, acceptance, respect:
too much to ask?


For those unable to fulfill group norms:


Occupational Therapy:
fill endless mindless minutes
with puzzles, trivia, guessing games.
Attempts to still the raging mind,
the surging seethe of thoughts.
Notes are cursory in OT.


Art Therapy is good.
Torment becomes … acceptable.
In poster paint on butchers’ paper,
or charcoal scrawls
on stiff cheap coloured card,
pain is distanced, horror allowed,
officially encouraged. But Noted.


The thin, thin girl with the naso-gastric tube
Draws endless stylised vaginas
in wax crayon.  They gape
in wordless yowls.
She calls them flowers.
The Therapist nods approvingly,
and makes a Note.


A man spends an age cutting card
into ever smaller pieces.
The scissors are quite blunt;
bandaged wrists say
he knows too much of sharpness.
Another Note is made.


Me? I don’t do art. I’m a musician.
But there’s no more Music Therapy.
Not since the anguished boy
garrotted himself
with a steel guitar string.
That Therapist no longer makes Notes.


And nor do I.