Tag Archives: psychosis

Cancelled

A winter sun warms baubles
which glint as they cling
to their fingers of fragrant pine.
Thoughtful gifts lie neat
next to ripped paper.

Screaming sirens
are silenced by the peace
which sits fat on this traditional day.

Soon,
thrilled, sucrose-filled grandchildren
will demonstrate new electrical gimmicks and gismos.
We will feast while I stand firm with myself, refusing to over-eat
so I don’t ruin the treat of evening cheese.
When the table is cleared, we’ll play silly games.
As dark deepens, the children will play and the over-eighteens
will take turns to choose music,
praising or abusing the chooser of each tune.
We will all be equal;
all equally insulting, equally insulted, with one
short-lived exception; there will be
a brief act of deference when Leonard Cohen
serenades me with a single song.
We’ll tell jokes, talk movies, tastes, politics,
hand-slapping when views concur,
mock-raging when we disagree.
The racket will rise; we will be
ever more raucous until we must shout
in order to be heard.
We are united in love.
We do not celebrate quietly.
You might mistake our solid core for a battlefield,
yet it is a haven of peace and safety.
We laugh while we yell, and our laughter
describes love.

It’s time
to cease musing and leave, time
to replay the untiring Christmas theme.
I reach for my coat.

The phone rings.
I lift it, and listen
while careful words
cancel Christmas.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Man who Wanted to Save the World

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A seething gang of teens surrounds him,
mocking, calling him names,
Stealing his concentration,
but he will not be defeated; he’s here
to save the world.

Catcalls, insults and derision
almost overwhelm the voices in his head.
He will not listen; they are sent
to deflect him from his divine duty
to save the world.

He strains to hear the angel’s voice,
but the rudeness intrudes,
diluting essential information –
instructions which he is convinced
will save the world.

A Sainsburys receipt floats past his feet,
its jumbled numbers will reveal
a secret code for him alone,
he who was selected by the highest deity
to save the world.

As the youths close in, he strikes out,
screaming, spittle flying from his mouth,
splattering an angry face. Someone cries out
“He’s just a crazy crank, a tramp. Nobody will care.
Let’s have him, lads.”

A slip of paper escapes from a slack hand
to land in a spreading pool of blood. Absorbing the gore,
its empty message blurs as tears forget to fall
for the man who failed
to save the world.

Image supplied by Pixabay.

©Jane Paterson Basil

No longer human

you've not hurt              me  today  so  you 
take  your chance            and    you    step 
through the   door           with a  flickering 
glance and   you're          stirring  the  air 
with historic deceits        and dragging  bags   
of  tatters and  tooth-      rotting treats you  
drop and spill your dirt     over the floor the      
pills the needles syringes   and  more  and   I      
hope  that  you're  in a cognitive mood  at the
first chance I get I will offer you food but if
you don't want it I know I'm in trouble and all       
you  desire  is to burst my  bubble you  always
pretend to think   you are right as  you  shout
in my face   and      you  try for a fight  and 
you always  know        how  best  to   succeed  
and all you want          is  to make my  brain  
bleed  so    you           shout and you scream 
accusations   at            me  and  I can't be 
heard as I enter            my plea of innocent 
with proof in the          shape of my heart as 
your screams increase     as  soon  as  I  start

                      and

              I pull out all of my 
        tools of prevention to persuade
    you  to  cease this  game of  contention 
 but there's no comprehension and no suspension 
from this seemingly endless inane invention your 
angry  anarchic attack on  convention and I know 
that there's  no             mis-apprehension  as 
you       play                 dangerous    games     
with my heart                  -rate  with   your 
nickel- plate                  nonsense you  love
to  mis-state                   the truth of each 
story    with                   lies that inflate
as you warm at                 the sight  of  the 
damage to   date              then   I    finally 
 manage  to tell you to go and I see the delight
  writ clear on your face and you step up  the 
    evil torture a  pace to force me to push 
      you out of the door because I can't
         take it for one second more.

You’ve not hurt me today so you take your chance
as you step through the door with a flickering glance.
You’re stirring the air with historic deceits,
dragging rags and tatters and tooth rotting treats.
You drop and spill your dirt over the floor;
the pills, syringes and needles and more,
and I hope that your in a cognitive mood;
at the first chance I get I will offer you food,
but if you don’t eat it I know I’m in trouble,
‘cos all that you want is to burst my bubble.
You always pretend to think you are right
as you yell in my face and you try for a fight
and you always know how best to proceed
and all you want is to make my brain bleed,
so you shout and scream accusations at me,
and I can’t be heard as I enter my plea
of innocent, in the shape of my heart,
since your screams increase as soon as I start,
so I pull out all of my tools of prevention
to persuade you to cease this game of contention,
but there’s no comprehension and no suspension
from this seemingly endless inane invention;
your angry anarchic attack on convention,
and I know that there’s no misapprehension
as you play dangerous games with my heart-rate.
Your nickel-plate nonsense you like to mis-state
as my ears repel the filth you relate,
as you warm at the sight of the damage to date,
then I finally manage to tell you to go
and I see the delight writ clear on your face
as you step up the evil torture a pace
to force me to push you out of the door –
‘cos I just can’t stand it for
one second
more

© Jane Paterson Basil

SERENITY

Embed from Getty Images

Serenity sits in the corner of my living room, always well dressed and immaculate. Silently she gazes unseeing towards the cracked mirror on the opposite wall.

She doesn’t hear the manic muttering or the frenzied shouting of my daughter, high on a drug which has again sent her scuttling into psychosis.

She is blind to the scrabbling scuffle as to keep my sanity, I have to push Tammy out through the front door.

She doesn’t engage in the conversation when the police arrive with their kindly questions, reassurance and advice.

But she is there and when they leave, her passive peacefulness washes over me, making me calmer, wordlessly reminding me that to her, the mirror is not cracked and nothing is broken.

Serenity, wearing my cast-off clothes and shoes. Serenity, my beautiful statuesque mannequin.

© Jane Paterson Basil