The Glass Enclosure
My black tongue finds no taste in its smoothness,
And there is nothing to see
Except when the sun, at certain angles,
Flashes and breaks into rainbow patterns.
But there it is all the time,
Marking the distance between us.
The others graze so close sometimes
I hear their rasping breath,
Smell their familiarity in the Pennine air,
See their otherwise vacant eyes questioning.
Other times they range away together
To distant, rocky, limestone slopes,
Whose views I can only imagine,
Their tiny bearing calls riding the thin wind.
Water is brought to me, and fodder too,
For now the grass is near cropped out.
Heavy boots fall certain and muddy
Within the fence I can only push against.
And there it is all the time,
Marking the difference between us.
Last night I dreamt of wandering with the flock
On a high plain far from Yorkshires hills.
Jostled in the mythering crowd, I felt content
With the stench of fetid wool and grassy breath.
A lamb was outlined on a nearby crag,
Backlit by rays of an early sun,
Its heartbeat drew us close like a tender drum,
Its fleece of fire
Like burning glass.
The Long Voyage
The journey always seems too far,
Across uncertain bays,
With strangers whose faces are hidden,
The sea inseparable from the sky,
Time inconsistent as dreaming.
We hear but do not see or know the circling birds.
In the dark times,
When the best forget how to hope,
And fade away from us,
Moving quickly into the spaces
Like galaxies, faster than light can return,
How will we remember?
We must learn to like ourselves,
For without this we are brittle,
exposed as we cross the open ground,
forced into futile activity
by our autocratic thinking.
We must like ourselves enough to remember everything.
We must like ourselves especially when we fail,
abandoning dreams of rescue,
imagining the cavalry was massacred,
the boat sank, the sentry was a traitor.
We have to go on anyway.
We must know what we did then was the best we could.
We must like ourselves
when we wake up, and when we lie down
drunk beneath the stars, unloved and alone,
We must know our divinity
is even then glowing like wild isotopes.
We must learn to accept our darkness as well as our light.
Those to come will marvel at our voyage
From homes by a peaceful fire,
As they harvest a world where madness
Is banished, because understood.
'They learned to like themselves, and so they survived
those bitter storms, the darkest parts of the voyage.'
Because when I woke up this morning
beads of rain from the gutter next to my window
were each unique
and I had to stay and watch each one
Because the carpet in my hall
is quiet red flowers glowing in an amber forest
and my cat is hungry
with eyes of green eternity
Because of clouds
and because the shadows of trees
on August evenings against crumbling Chapeltown walls
are unframed artworks
dying at nightfall in the void
Because of tomatoes, rain
and the possibility of understanding time
but mostly because there are giraffes
I will be unable to attend this mornings meeting of the Joint
Commissioning Service Planning Team Sub - Committee
Rain and Dirt
I wish I was an apple tree,
I would not need no CBT,
Nor CPA nor ECT,
The rain and dirt
Enough for me.
(For Peter Munn, who once claimed Id said that advocacy is the jewel in the crown of the user movement. That got me to thinking what else it might be!)
Advocacy is a lion
In the safari park of the user movement,
A spoonful of Demerara
In a survivors cup of coffee,
A blackbird singing
In the systems night.
Advocacy is a bun
In the user movements oven,
in the sea of empowerment,
A diamond on the sole
Of a survivors shoe.
Advocacy is a Beckham free kick
Accurately placed in the final minute
Of a goalless draw
Between the user movement and the system