Poem – At the end

Day one of the ISPS conference on psychosis is over. I’ve wept, I’ve met many new people, I’ve made friends, shared ideas, had paradigms challenged, found support, listened, learned, talked, shone, and soaked up all within reach of me. I’m back in bed now, dazed, sleep deprived, and changing gear. Poetry is a good place to come back to when you’re feeling skinless, so:

We have blazed brightly and now
At the end, alone in the dim
Comes the haunting fragility – the nakedness
Away from the theatre, from the pagentry
The balloons deflate
Not because it is not real
But because life cannot always be the lights and noise,
The parade of new fascinating people,
The urgent connections, sudden introductions, immediate revelations…


I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve told today that I’m sometimes psychotic or always multiple.
Or shared unfinished thoughts with, not polished and perfected but still forming
How many times I’ve stood tall in my boots, grasped firmly my right to be here, to have a voice, an opinion, an experience, a right also to hear, to be part of these precious conversations, to drink from the cup of privileged knowledge.
To be grateful and enlightened.

And now?
I’ve gorged on food too rich for my spirit.
At some point even the largest, most gluttonous python must go into a cave,
Sleep in the dark and digest.

Now my boots lie empty beside the bed. I’m alone and naked in the darkness
Shedding all the roles like skin
I’m no one again, and glad for it.
I leave the world to Atlas and go to bed.
Tomorrow the sun will rise without me
The world will be beautiful and horrific and I’ll play no part in either, for just a few hours.

Shivering in the cold,
My soul slowly wanders back into my body,
Tremulous and tender, silent and gentle
Like a small creature, I feel it curling round,
Patting down the ground of me with tiny paws,
Making a bed of me to sleep.
How blessed I am to have such a soul
To lie here trembling with it
Listening to its silent, bewildered language
Watching the dreams come in, like fog feeling its way blindly over the bay.

5 thoughts on “Poem – At the end

  1. Hi Sarah, it was a pleasure to meet you in Melbourne. Your bubbly, thoughtful, intelligence is inspiring, as is your poetry and warm smile. Very best wishes, Judi


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