Psychosis, the poem

Under the tree that whistles

lies a sharp and pointed thistle,

that pokes and prods

whenever I intend to leave this little spot under the whistling tree.

A bunny hops,

with four eyes and two legs,

and I poke it with a peg,

to shoo it away.

I hear you call my name

as a hundred others do,

and I hear curses whispered,

apparently from me to you.

They say I’ve infected you, injected you,

and I must run away;

there’s no time for play under this whistling tree today.

They get louder and louder and I don’t know what to do

so I get up and run, I run right past you.

I’m in danger, can’t you see?

My shadow senses it and bolts ahead of me,

leaving me unprotected.

I stop and shiver, cry and quiver,

as I lose myself within the night.

There’s no coming back and you’ve gone,

I’ve gone,

and the whistling tree seeks revenge.

I go roughly into that good night,

beaten and scarred,

feathered and tarred,

and you are there beneath the whistling tree with angel wings

out of my reach.

I lay on the ground beneath the spotlight

curled with my knees to my chest,

my best defense

against the dark arts.

You fly to heaven and I am alone, truly alone,

comforted by the whistling tree.

 

I think what’s ironic about this poem is that, to me, my experience with psychosis has been poetry. It’s been a beautiful, terrifying, cold dance with the devil who is, as he is in the Bible, an angel.

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