Tuesday Poem

Depression is not

It is not a dark Baskervillean hound.
For me a black dog is a plump,
peaceful stealer of sandwiches.
Hardly an entrée to self-murder.

It is not a boiling cloud, conjuring
a thunderous storm, energetic
Frankenstein forks spearing brain.
That has a bright explosive tang.

The thoughts lie aborted, disjointed.
Synapses refuse to pass on interest.
Joy, love and pleasure ring no bells;
Esmeralda vanished, cathedral burned.

Taste dulled into pap, gagged by lack
of living buds; music rhythmless noise.
And touch a kind of necrophilia with
the living body corpsed.  Visitation

of a mute frigid deafness.  No dog’s wet
questing nose implicated, no sharp bite.
But every day a dullard rock to roll uphill,
and Penelope weaving holes, every night.

P.S. Cottier

This is from my first poetry collection, The Glass Violin. One of the worst things about having been depressed is that is deprives you of the simple, snarly joy of being in a really bad mood. You begin to think you’re sliding back into depression, which is, in itself, quite depressing. If, however you start checking that you have enough pills to knock yourself off if you do slide back into depression, then you probably are going that way. If pain persists, please see your doctor.

If, on the other hand (and don’t we all have more hands than Kali?) people being ‘nice’ to you because they know you have had depression makes you want to say really, really inappropriate things to them, then you’re probably just in a foul mood. Enjoy it! Even normal people have moods. And they end, usually within a couple of days. Before you know it you’ll be finding things (such as the Indian cricket team’s recent performances, for example) amusing again.

For more Tuesday poems, some sadly bereft of helpful medical tips, click on the quill above the poem.

I realise for the past month or so, I’ve only been posting on Tuesdays, for the Tuesday poem. Must break out of summer slackness, and enter into an orgy of posting, now that the cricket and tennis are over. If only I could find something worth saying…