(A poem i penned recently about my experiences of depression; a subject area not always easy to talk about and often very hard to share. The great and wondrous gift that is poetry writing seems to take the cutting edge off everything)
Come all and listen.
Let me invite you on a trip; a journey through my mind on this wonderful day of days.
This day when reality is unravelling; when my mind is slowly unwinding.
When the journey down into the forest of despair is relentless and unending.
And yet, god only knows why I should linger there.
For it’s cold and so dark down in these woods;
Each leafless tree drips with the sound of discarded dreams; my dreams.
There’s an empty solitude here that’s eternal and cannot be fathomed.
No souls dwell here, no movement, no life ‘cept the long, dark shadows that mock as they dance before me in the moonlight;
That moonlight that aforetime usually inspired me so bringing forth renewal, yet now just illumines a void; a vast empty and unending blackness.
No hands to hold, no arms to grasp, no one there to grab onto when I fall, which I know I will.
To all purpose and intent I should not go there down into the forest cos there’s no earthly reason for me to go – yet go I do.
The ties of the earthly plane that bind have surely bound me tight now; so well done those ties and yet, yet I know that it is truly up to me and me alone to cut those damnable things.
Those bare, gnarly, brittle old ties that crawl and wind and slither serpent-like from those shadowy trees, encasing my ankles, wrapping and weaving themselves around my body, trapping me in this lonely forest of despair.
Yet kind of I know I feel safe in this dark foreboding place, safe and hidden in my solitude.
I feel some small vestige of comfort in my knowledge, that I have a vast, unending emptiness of a shroud-like, forest-floor of a comfort blanket to fall back into; to hold me, to cradle me tight.
My black and comfortable blanket; hiding me from the world and silently encasing me star-like in a speckled night sky.
So let them knock, let them come, let them bang on my door – cos I am fine and I don’t need them; any of them.
Except they don’t, they don’t come, they don’t come knocking – they don’t need me nor I them.
The forest grows colder, the night longer and darker and nothing ever grows there; the more I crouch in solitude the darker it becomes and the darker it becomes the more I hide.
Forever sterile and destructive is this forsaken place; this place of my choosing.
I could stay like this forever and no one would ever know; why would they?
Cold and empty and crouched in the dark; alone and hiding in the dark.
Yet it is I and I alone who morphed from beauty into despair; burying my real self under those gnarled and brittle old roots that grasp and tear at my fragile skin.
I watch from a distance as my soul bleeds effortlessly away into the dark, damp earth, seeping away drop by drop.
Wanting it – yet not wanting it.
Safe no more with my thoughts; darkness turns to anger and comfort turns into the reality of not desiring this existence; this wasting sojourn in the forest of fucking death.
Anger becomes the catalyst, the turning point, the way back.
I grasp the anger;
Searing flames cauterize my wounds,
But wait though – what’s that?
Oh it’s just another tear seeping out, all alone onto the parched and sterile forest floor.
I watch; frozen yet again to the unyielding ground, as the damp tear stain grows.….