Monday 30 September 2013


photo by Mark Haley
Death will come unbidden,
it will not come today
it will come tomorrow.  

He will be tomorrow’s ghost.  

He half expects it,
his mind played out its scene a hundred times before.   
He cannot envision pain
rather seeing blood spill
from imagined gaping wounds. 
His wish is if and when it comes
it will be quick. 

It is.

This theatre, this theatre of war,
he plays but a minor role;
he is expendable, no glory in his death,
no rapturous applause 
at his final curtain call.

There will be no homecoming,
no coffin draped in national flag. 
His remains are no remains at all,
mere fragments scattered on a foreign land,
fragments that putrefy and leach into the soil.

He is here, on this hillside,
his life extinguished where this tree now stands,
he is part of it,
it absorbed his memory
tapped it through its searching roots,
its twigs and branches now his arms and hands.

He is unaware
as his leaves turn blood-red and fall;
it is the cycle of things,
lines quite never understood,
lines never learnt in war. 
He has become the Earth. 
It is the nature of things.

Anna :o]

Inspired by the image provided by Tess at The Mag and (some of) the words provided by Brenda at The Sunday Whirl.  Thanks Tess and Brenda.

Saturday 28 September 2013

George: Schizophrenia, Cognitive Decline & Antipsychotics

George admitted on a Section 117.  George is sixty-three with a long history of schizophrenia having being diagnosed in 1969 (24yr old).  Revolving door patient although mainly inpatient.  Usual stuff (in some cases) believing he was well (if discharged) and stopped meds resulting in re-admittance.  Intractable auditory hallucinations which seem to govern his thought process.  Well educated and apparently his life fell apart after university and his first employment being his last.  Physically well (statins and senna).   No known NOK.   Stayed in his room, appears distracted, unresponsive to communication.


George has remained in his room again this AM.  Does not initiate conversation but appears to welcome it, smiling and holding out his hand for you to take it.  He is a very pleasant man with a seemingly gentle disposition.  Distracted this PM, quite haunted appearance.  Will not communicate or make eye contact. OK by teatime.

George appears well settled.  Stays in his room most of the time but will venture into the lounge occasionally. Other residents appear to have accepted him into the fold and include him in conversation to which he enters – although still does not initiate same.   Often distracted by auditory hallucinations to which he does respond, often angrily.  Other residents seem to tolerate this, some amused by it, others ignore it and the rest by nature of experience, understand it.

George very well settled.   He has been designated his own chair by his circle of friends!  Goes out each morning for his newspaper accompanied by staff.  Remains fully compliant with meds.   Does not initiate conversation but readily responds.  Auditory hallucinations continue.

Section 117 terminated – George now free to leave the building without supervision.

George returned to the home (by the police) for the third time in succession after apparently getting lost.  No evidence of cognitive decline when in the home – but perhaps too subtle?  Monitor.  George now to be accompanied by staff whenever he leaves the home.

Cognitive decline continues.  Defecates and urinates inappropriately.  Manually evacuates bowel smearing contents in room.  Very hostile during interventions, always verbally, often physically.   After re-referral to psychiatry, depot discontinued and ‘given’ as oral meds.  Donepezil initiated.


Further decline evident.  Needs assistance in all aspects of daily living.  No longer able to feed himself.  No longer mobilises.   No longer speaks bar that of responding to his voices, but this being of a bark.  His psychiatrist continues to decrease and reduce (the amount of) his antipsychotics.  We don’t understand why!  Donepezil stopped.


Apart from a rare moment when he smiles that smile and offers his hand for the taking, George appears to exist in a permanent state of torment (hell!), he appears distracted to the point of being haunted most of the time, haunted by his voices that he no longer understands.  Every intervention becomes a battle – how horrific his life must be for him.  We have requested his GP refer him (urgently) to psychiatry; he is on the lowest dose of one med only; how can this be right?

Accompanied George to see his new psychiatrist  - always seem to be temporarily filling a post before they move on elsewhere  - who despite explanations refused point blank to visit him in the home.  I suppose one benefit of him not doing so allowed him to see George at his most agitated.  But benefit it wasn’t.  He (the psychiatrist) was adamant that George’s problems/behaviours’ lay with his ‘dementia’.  He has ordered that George’s remaining antipsychotic be reduced across the next fortnight then stopped.  I am horrified and dare question his judgement.  His response: We both know of the dangers associated with antipsychotics and dementia, don’t we?  WHAT ABOUT HIS SCHIZOPHRENIA?

George’s existence must be pure hell.  Psychiatry will not have a re-think – so this is George’s lot until the day he dies.  The rare smile continues, lost as it is amidst his continuous torment as he barks in response to his voices and lashes out at all those who go near him. He has ‘dementia’ but his voices haven’t.

Perhaps his psychiatrist is following the ‘wisdom’ here, but perhaps he should visit here where it is concluded that most elderly patients remain symptomatic and impaired.

Perhaps I don’t know what the hell I am talking about as I am not a psychiatrist – but what I do know, what is so horribly evident to me, is that George is tormented by his voices and psychiatric services will do naught to alleviate his obvious distress.  

How can this be right?

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Thursday 26 September 2013

Starfish Enterprise: Assimilation

Nylon admiral really quite admirable   
sails briny galaxies surfs bluest sea. 
Nylon admiral really quite admirable,   
ex-electronic castaway, now PC. 

Sails on his gigabytes’ into the starry night   
seemingly nonchalant but always on guard,   
to save him from his personal hell relies on his   
personnel, step forward please  Jean-Luc Pil-Chard 

Jean-Luc Pil-Chard the master of his bridge and crew,   
earthy and unearthly the stuff of female  dreams.   
Jean-Luc Pil-Chard the master of his bridge and crew,   
seemingly nonchalant but naught is what it seems.  

Starfish Enterprise sails briny blue galaxies
pursued by Borg Cube how Kafkaesque. 
Starfish Enterprise pursued by Borg Cube,
Pil –Chard assimilated how grotesque

Cyborg sea-dog relishes his tasty dish: 
Starfish Enterprise served in sea salt pie.  
Cyborg sea-dog relishes his tasty dish:   
Pil-Chard assimilated, me oh my!

Anna :o]

Inspired by Izzy at Real Toads who has us using lines from Future Sailors and for Thom at Three Word Wednesday who has us using Earthy Grotesque and Nonchalant -Thanks Izzy and Thom!   

Thursday 19 September 2013

Neath Golden Harvest Moon

Here comes the fall of autumn leaves,   
here comes the harvest moon,               
and full shall be my heart that grieves,   
my love thou didst impugn.                     

How can it be thou misconceives           
a love in torment hewn,                          
how can it be that thou believes
of love I am immune           

Thou sayeth thee can love me not
thou shalt not love affine,
take mine and not my brothers heart,
let’s drink of passions wine

Harvest my heart for thee it grieves
cast on the earth it strewn               
Harvest my heart for it is thine     
‘neath golden harvest moon.

Anna :o]  

Tony at dVerse has us writing ballads (thanks Tony) – being half asleep not quite sure this is one?   Nevertheless it is a case of publish and be damned (if it isn’t).  (Found it difficult to think of a title as both Ted Hughes and Carl  Sandburg had pinched my idea(s)…)

Now off to make myself a strong cup of coffee, wake myself up, visit dVerse and read others excellent poems.

Also entered today (20.09.13) at Real Toads whose theme is Harvest Moon!  Thanks Marian!

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Saturday 14 September 2013

If wishes were horses...

Woman on her Deathbed

I am not that old she says
as she grabs my hand,
well maybe,   maybe seasoned
with a little salt and pepper.

She smiles 
and I shy away;
do not want to share her death;
her inability to love
remains uppermost
plays depressing dirges in my mind.

I am distracted, lost in self,
cold indifferent to her needs.    
Pain, physical or otherwise
is all encompassing,  draining,
drains      emotional response
and I leave her there,  

I hear her whimpering,
wanting, needing;
her incessant pleading for my return
does naught but to quicken anger
and fetal-like
I curl into a tiny ball, try to shut her out

Clock ticks marks out time
and hours pass in eternal gloom. 
I am with her now
and she whispers
Child, if only I could change the past,
I would have loved you more.  I wish

that you could love me too.  But I do I do I do
but let not beggars ride…

She has gone now, died,
gone to where’er it is
the callous go,
yet she is here still
deep inside this memory,
a memory of  what could have been
in time so long ago
a childhood passed away

Anna :o]

Shanyn at dVerse has us writing of phrases heard somewhere or other that remain in your memory and emerge when you least expect them.

Eons ago, when I was a young thing, I went nightclubbing with a work friend and her mother; I can’t remember why her mother went, maybe to chaperone?  My work friend was called Lesley and I can still picture her face, but can’t recall her surname but can recall when I wished for something – can’t remember what that was either – her response was that of: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

I had never heard this before and couldn’t understand her response, for it appeared callous and unnecessary – but this response has stuck with me to this very day and I hear myself saying it (in my head) should anyone wish for something.  And it was only today I sought its true meaning given as better results will be achieved by action than wishing, but of course this is often not so.

The poem bears witness to an experience of some years ago while I was attendant during the dying process of one of our residents, she a product of a dysfunctional family who continued the cycle producing one of her own.  Some mothers who have felt unloved by their own mother smother their children with ‘love’ to compensate, but it is a destructive love, a love of mixed messages, a love that creates hatred. 

Her (adult) children could not bear to be alone with her, hence my presence there.  I can remember our resident pleading (of her daughter) for proof of love, wishing to hear it in words… and the proverb spoke itself in my mind.  I felt bad about this then and still do.

(The words of the poem are that of the daughter.)

Image: courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author: Van Gogh

Thursday 5 September 2013

Who Art Thou?

Who art thou fuzzy buzzy bumbling busy friend replete in striped pyjamas,
we should humble in thy presence be,  thy busyness should charm us.

How odd it then the gentle hum of flapping wings does naught but to alarm us,
how odd it then we fear defensive sting as if thee intent to harm us

Oh let it be that ignorance fear be gone, let thy buzzyness disarm us
for thee it is to us abundance brings, for thou art natures little farmers.

Anna :o]

Samuel at dVerse has us writing in riddles.  Thanks Sam!  And if you haven’t guessed, I am writing of frogs.  No I’m not really, the beautiful image was to confuse.

The theme of the topic was inspired by the lovely Charlotte on her Facebook message in which she requested a petition be signed, a petition urging Bayer and Syngenta to drop their lawsuits against the European Commission.  Read of it here – PLEASE DO DO READ – sign the petition and save our bees from the greed of Big Pesticide.

(A third of the crops we need require pollination by our insect friends – not just bees.  We need them and not all insects are pests, some/many we rely on for our survival – and not just pollinators.  Tis our children (probably not us – depends how old you are) that shall suffer the effects of future bad harvests and loss of insect life.  Please sign the petition.  Cheers!)

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author: Tuxyso