For The Black Dog Bites Severely

 

For all those we know and love.  May they find peace and vigour again.

 

For The Black Dog Bites Severely

For some the Black Dog bites severely,

Smiting in an awful wound;

The cost to victims is dearly,

As they may feel sorely doomed.

 

The bite may infect like rabies,

And take a diabolic toll;

Turning certitudes to maybes,

As it eats at body, mind and soul.

 

And we, we try to tend them,

To bring the balm of cheer;

Apply the discipline of listening,

A focussed, compassionate ear.

 

It may take medication,

To bring the chemical mix to still;

And it takes love and dedication,

To bandage their battered will.

 

And so we send these words out,

To the one’s we know by name;

And to all their suffering companions,

Who feel much the same.

 

May they receive the treatment,

The best care all can give;

For we want them all to flourish,

And again to fully live.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 18 October 2016

The Rage Rages On

The Rage Rages On (edited) – Retro Post

TableLight

We are coming to the end of #Movember and, as I think on matters mental health, I am reminded of this set of lines that I penned years ago.   Back then, due to various reasons, I had spiraled into a situational depression.  I am fine now, but was not then.  It was important to get help. So, in these last days of #Movember, I urge men especially to get help from their doctor or other helplines in places where they come from.  The idea to do another retro post came from  witnessing our esteemed blogger colleague, Robert Okaji at O at the edges, do a great retro post recently.

The Rage Rages On

And the rage rages on!

The rage is maintained:

Surging up,

Billowing forth,

Pulsing through the veins.

The rage rages on!

War against terror,

Against Wall Street,

Against each other,

Against ourselves,

The rage rages on!

I feel it in me

Like a twirling tempest,

Like a surging sea,

Then I feel flat:

So flat,

Heavy,

Weighed down,

Septic,

With exhausting, raging weight.

I anger

At where I am,

At who I am.

I know not who I am anymore,

Save that I want to write again.

Verses, poems, stories

I want to write again.

My eyes are dry and heavy,

My limbs, like suspended concrete

Stiffly droop from my frame.

My head feels heavy

And thick like all its

Liquid is turning solid,

Or like gooey grease.

I am losing my memory

Or am I in fact retaining or attending?

I feel as if I am shutting down

Like a flower retreating from the evening time,

Closing its petals to the gloom.

And I feel in the eventide of my years

Ageing, old-ening, arthritic in body and ideas,

Stiffening against the blows of life

And the pains of past excesses

And yet

To put it down

To lay it on the page

Somehow that helps,

Anchors it,

Shapes it,

Puts it in its place,

And ejects some of the venom.

 

Original 22 February 2008, edited 28 November 2015

Taken

TemoraCenotaph2015

Taken

We who are left behind do not know, taste and smell the real horrors of war. It is relayed to us. We see it in those who return. Occasionally, at times like Anzac Day, we are given a rare gift of empathy with those affected by war. We are somehow taken into their experience. We are also taken to a place of raw emotion ourselves.

Taken

(i)

They were taken

By a cause

By ‘the Services’

To the front.

They were taken

And some

Were never given back.

(ii)

Some returned,

Some with spirits broken,

An innocence in them

Taken away.

As we think on them

We are taken

By their courage and sacrifice.

We are taken

By their pain

Their listless, wistful

Half-lived life.

(iii)

At memorial services

We are taken

As the hymns play

And we are taken

Somewhere deep within.

Where we hear:

Whistling shells,

The crack of guns,

And booms of cannons,

And drones of aircraft fly by.

The sound hits upon us

Like a torrent of rushing waters

And we feel as if we

Are taken

Under,

Drowning in a sea of war.

(iv)

At Dawn Services

We are taken

In the silence before the dawn

By the solemn flying over

Of planes in peace time,

Like sentinels,

Guarding our ritual remembrance.

We are taken by their care.

BarellanMonument2015

Simon C.J Falk           25/26 April 2015

The Great Alone

The well had run dry for some days.  But, this morning, this free-verse came to visit me.  We all know people like this. Sometimes it is ourselves.  A celebration of the bittersweet taste of being unique.

 

The Great Alone

 How

Might we reach them,

Those in

The great alone?

Off in the fog,

Weighed down,

By their darkness,

Dampened in spirit,

Hunched and huddled

Into the day?

What is it

That cuts them off,

Casts them into the mire,

And makes them not able

To be reached?

Why they may not

Have their hand out,

Searching,

For another’s hand,

To reach and grasp

And draw them in.

They feel so alone,

Cut off

From others,

Yet unable

To speak their pain.

They seek another,

But who can truly share

The depths

They hold within?

How much of this alone,

This measure on the scales,

Is unable to be offered,

Shared with another?

How much

Is that a unique alone,

That ‘just me’,

That no one else

Can truly comprehend,

Because they are

Someone else?

How do we hold them,

Their damp, dark spirits,

In the fog,

When they realise

That we each

have an alone

that is unique to ourself,

and no other human

can truly dwell

with us

in that beautiful

yet alone

place?

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 26 April 2014

 

Rambled Writing from a Distracted Attentiveness

 

As a young lad in a little country town I first encountered Kenneth Graham’s book “The Wind in the Willows” in the Year 5 classroom.  Then I thought it tremendously boring!  Later, when studying literature at uni, I encountered the tale again.  That time I was captivated.  Recently, I heard an audio version while travelling along the highway.  This was a time when I was not in a good space personally.  The aside into the ravings of the riverbank and words on the wild wood brought me great solace. I heard an alliteration in some of Graham’s sentences that I’d not heard before (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5659.The_Wind_in_the_Willows ).  It reminded me, as I mused with pencil and page today, that those of us who love poetry, literature and writing often go there to get away.  It is our escape into a world that takes us to horizons that turn our faces from the treadmill of our days.  In some ways it is escapist.  But it helps us do the soul-work we need to do.  The poem that emerged is dedicated to all of us would-be literary lovers who need to get lost in our words!

 

 

Rambled Writing from a Distracted Attentiveness

 

Ratty messed about in boats,

He traversed moats

And fought with stoats,

As he paddled in his desire

With the Mole.

And as we face the life we’re in,

Searching for stillness amidst the din,

Boxing temptations into sin,

We seek a quiet spot within,

To stop

And still

Our soul.

So I trawl and troll through sites and blogs

On written things and our “Black Dogs”,

Wordy steps in encompassing fogs,

To fill the empty hole.

The hole that seeks its cavernous fill,

Tossing and jostling our tendentious will,

Tales and verses gristly in our mill,

From our pate down to our sole.

Sole of the feet that beat a retreat,

From all that troubles us in our street,

And pain displayed in the eyes we greet,

As we cast ourselves in our role.

A role that says: “do your job!”

And cop tough jabs of life upon your gob,

Only the silent shadows permit a sob,

As you lean upon your pole.

The pole that draws you into words,

Of verses and stories and loaded verbs,

And risks pinning on of labels like: “you’re all nerds!”

Living in a cage.

A cage of image, story and phrases,

A dreamy world of passing phases,

Attracting only certain praises,

From those of similar whim.

Yet to the written word we stand,

In narrative and verse we try our hand,

Joining together in the writers’ band,

For it does sustain our soul.

 

Simon C.J. Falk     26 March 2014

 

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