First poems are like first kisses: always remembered, a bit clumsy, and better in memory than in reality. But the one defining characteristic of a first poem is its intensity, for the muse that moves us to write does, at the same time, claim our heart and hold it forever in poetic rapture. We bipolars are no strangers to poetic license. Now if you will, listen once again to the heart's tempestuous song.
Dark, deep, shining, black-oil onyx.
making a place inside to exist.
Not growing, but there, like a beast--from my soul it drinks.
Never have I not known it,
When the fingers of the mind ripple the undercurrent of what I am
My being IS!
My being, sad being, is what is writ there....there in the mind.
So much my enemy, my friend;
I crave its earthly death and despair that it may succumb.
That it may die, so much is it my kind.
In the darkness that comes when the "eye" meets the "I"
And engages it and thee in battle,
You know you lost...
And you rush to the arena...back to the human arena.
So simple is the external,
And I love the person who dwells there, content.
But I cannot touch the external, it is but illusion,
Like spiraling smoke, it eludes my grasp.
I know it as the obscured "inside" of what it means to be me.
But it is a reflection...nothing more.
It engulfs me, blankets and dulls my senses,
Closes my eyes, my ears and now....now, not even YOU exist.
And it grows until my third eye sees only it,
Until I am its captive audience....I succumb.
I am, I am...I am what IT is.
To build that vessel that steers the physical through the material:
Alas it is the "SELF", the "self", the victor is --- the SELF!
It's all closing in, the worries of adults.
When we swore to ever remain the child.
The pain and sorrow paints pictures unclear,
Of things not owned, of dreams dying and life ending.
Still the child struggles to keep sacred its birthing beliefs.
The idealism, the love, the unceasing joy of living.
Always groping blindly for the everchanging path,
The path to innocence, a fresh world, a light heart.
Can it be found in this reality?
Or is it merely a wonderful fantasy?
A golden carrot to keep alive the will to live?
Why money to be a key?
Seems unfair to take or give in its name.
When money shakes its skirt, and rids us all of our dreams.
Cannot function in a rent/lease world,
Everywhere seeing things only borrowed.
We aren't owners, but users.
We use, then lose, then die.
Dead dreamers, leaving no footprints
To be read in futures unknown.
Dust unto dust unto rebirth,
We do it again and again.
Wheel of life goes on eternally.
Turning and burning, branding us all.
Merely two-legged sheep in some sacred herd.
To what god are we sacrificed?
To what end are we pointed?
Not to ask; we are mindless.
Just puzzle-pieces in a vast universe.
Our purpose? Only that we FIT!
Forever damned if we don't...
I was 16 when I wrote the above. On the back of the faded original, is this note to a neighbor written by my mother. Mom found my writings exceedingly disturbing, and so gave them to a neighbor for a second opinion. It reads, "Keep this please. This ones mild the others are more upsetting." Sadly, those others were never returned to me.
Shortly after this, my erratic behavior and suicide attempts prompted them to put me in therapy. After extensive testing, I was diagnosed as bipolar; unfortunately, it wouldn't be until I was 42 years old and Mom was dying that I'd learn the truth. So many years of wondering why I was as I was--so much pain and sorrow. Family notions about mental illness damn us who suffer them to life-long prisons. DON'T DO THIS to someone you love.