Compliance

I owe my life to two things: my son and a drug called lithium. It is not an easy medication and comes with some harsh side effects. It can also be lethal. Here is my experience:

I chew the cud of psychological
plaster casts
A cow crudely masticating broken dreams
Oh, white lithium
Not so refined
as to be spherical
Choking the resistance
Laid dormant within me
Valiance succumbed by
radicalised defeat

My glazed eyes from
days of psychiatric praise
My mouth parched
Drinking deserts
Spitting out the camels
Yet feasting on the humps

I may be as animated
as a corpse
Chasing heaven
Yet pursued by fallen angels
My limbs may tremor
Swathed in tsunamis
as they tremble like
leaves tossed meaningless
in a merciless wind

And in my darkest days
I will be penning eulogies
Darkness clothes the weary
in roseless thorns
Yet when the leaden clouds
disperse
Joy becomes an ecstasy

“Euphoria”, sings the blackbird
delirious on Puccini
Taking flight on wings
of obsidian promises
Just as my mind
Grazes the stratosphere

The steady choke of conventional
pulses through my veins
A military equator
uniformly bleeding
regulated nonchalance

The tick tock passage
of the anaesthetised psyche clock
whispers in demands of compliance
And I dot the i’s
and cross the t’s
As the lithium punctuates my life
into fairytales
Not horror stories

©2020 Sarah Drury

Image by jessica45 from Pixabay

PRISONER

20 years ago, during a manic episode, I was restrained and forcibly sedated, followed by a 6 month section. This is how it felt…

I was not a statistic
White walls close into
Slave shackles
Reflecting on a fallacy

Warmth slips frostily
Grasps futile flesh
Whales thrashing
Senseless oceans, mercilessly

Perambulate privilege
Calling out to
Decaying calla lilies
Freedom demise revenge

Harsh cuts its acronym
Empty ears swallow cries
For mercy but echoes
Resound upon ignorance

Snowdrop in a summer’s
Blazing serenade
Snowflake is a pot
Calling the kettle black

©2020 Sarah Drury

Hard Boys

The other night, a big gang of lads were hanging about outside my flats, causing absolute mayhem. Obviously off their heads on drugs and booze, they were shouting and just being crazy. I must admit I was scared, and it triggered a bad anxiety and OCD attack. I ended up going to bed and trying to drown out the noise! Here’s a poem I wrote…

Big boys
Hard boys
Loud boys
Lost boys
Riding the manic high
of your coke
of your dope
of your speed
of your blow
of your weed
I don’t care what you call it
but it makes monsters of your mind
Birthing obnoxious rowdy rebellion
Pissing off the neighbourhood
Like we don’t need sleep
and we haven’t got kids
and we don’t have anxiety disorders

And oh, I was living on my last nerve
Heart all exposed and wrapped in disquietude
Butterflies feasting on my gastrological angst
Head establishing a terrorist situation
Mind lost in OCD
And OCD is telling me
They’re going to get me
They’re going to find me
They’re going to rape me
This won’t end well

Big boys
Hard boys
Loud boys
Lost boys
Probably just having your laughs
And being rebellious teens
And chasing escapism from
Your lives of mundanity and tedium
Bit of coke
Bit of dope
Bit of speed
Bit of blow
Bit of weed
Sorted

Why my anxiety consigns me to Hell
I don’t understand
Threatened by a good time boy bunch
Your laughs slicing my psyche
like feel good knives
with blades sharpened in acid
Maybe I lost my inner child
Maybe she got lost in a maelstrom
of scared and fearful and afraid
The mind knows how
to keep me a prisoner
The mind knows
I lost my childhood

©2020 Sarah Drury

Confession

I partook in a 5 day poetry workshop focussing on the soul, and it was a real challenge as my poetry is not so introspective. This is one of the poems I wrote:

One day, my soul
I will feel you
I will feel solace in your infinite wisdom
Some say our souls
dwell within our bodies
But I know it is our bodies
which dwell within our souls

One day, my soul
Your magnanimous love
will be treasured at a time
When this Earthly vessel
wraps its anxious grief
around a troubled mind
Lost in a sea of tumultuous emotion
My soul cries out for
the empathy of humankind
And I don’t know if
I will make it
in this shattered time
of broken promises
But I know there is a plan
within your wisdom

One day, my soul
I will love this damaged skin
This damaged skin my soul
is forced to live within
I feel so ugly
yet I feel so selfish
knowing this is the
path of my soul
I feel like heartfelt intimacy
is a distant, far-fetched goal
But I know there is love
within your wisdom

One day, my soul
My mind will be
a homely dwelling
A place where
psychiatrists and pharmacies
aren’t relentlessly selling
their miracle pills
and psychological solutions
Trading a balanced mind
for physiological pollution
But I know
there is a peace
within your wisdom

One day, my soul
My anxieties
will be a forgotten dream
The times I pound at
the I’m-not-normal door
And want to shout and scream
And I don’t know
if I will ever feel human again
I feel like I’m trapped in a hysteria
that blights the soul of men
But I know
there is sanctuary
within your wisdom

One day, my soul
We will soar free and fly
Hearts in restful places
where the sunrise
meets the sky
The oceans will ebb and flow
with the fullness of my being
And Cherubim will fill the heavens
at the unity they’re seeing
And I know
there is perfection
within your wisdom

©2020 Sarah Drury

Strait Jacket

I am not an exceptional human being
for we all wear clothes
Slobbing around in PJ’s when
our tranquilized, minuscule world
is encapsulated
in a space called home
Killer heels when we’re facing the
fucked up world and we remember
who we are, and we straighten
our crowns
Perchance a smidgeon of warpaint
as our battle cries holler into
societal combat
Cherry lips and spider lashes
spun with purest L’Oreal

But I?
I wear a white strait jacket
White as in hospital issue
boiled to death grey
Sanitised and purity leeched
It looks rather smart with
my lithium eyes and my
lunacy smirk
I don’t wear it for ladies’ luncheons
as padded cells are lonesome bistros
And all that cutlery is contraband
And I’m not fucking Houdini

When my couture isn’t a
hospital inspired affair
I am living one
Valium junkie
Lithium chick
Watching the wall for
the clock tock ticks
which govern the drugs
which make me well
But make me sick
Don’t go high, you’ll crash
Don’t go low, you’ll crash
Can anyone tell me
how to score
a gram of sanity?

Does anyone want to
hold my strait jacket for me?
Try it on?
Wear it with me?

©2020 Sarah Drury

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay