Friends: A Canopus Poem

You and I are one soul in two bodies

Joined together forever by our love,

Intertwining together our stories

Written forever in heaven above,

And so shall we never be torn apart,

Nor our affection ever disposed of,

For we are above all friends of the heart

 


Note: The canopus is an invented verse form stressing a “continuous flow of thought,” attributed to Clement Wood in The Complete Rhyming Dictionary and Poet’s Craft Book 1936. It is a poem in seven lines, 10 syllables each, with a rhyme scheme of a, b, a, b, c, b, c.

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Crazy Life: Doing What’s Best, Saying Farewell

For about 24 hours now the conversations with invisible others and the maniacal laughter has been almost incessant. My housemate seems to be going off the deep-end and there’s nothing I can do about it. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea for her to leave the group home after all, something at least one mental health technician (MHT) told me at the time. How was I to know, though? She seemed so … well, okay.

Having lived with Mary in close quarters for 14 months in the Samson Group Home, I figured I knew her well enough. Yes, I knew she talked to her “boyfriend” every day. I even knew she believed he somehow lived inside her, but it never seemed to make that much difference. I mean, all in all, she was not only functional, but she became a good friend. So I guess I allowed myself to believe I could “handle” her “eccentricities.”

More recently, however, she has been talking to “people” about dark rings in the bathtub, someone being “blind as a bat,” ladybugs, whether to drink beer or Coke cola… She’s even been talking about me while I’m present, as if I’m no where around! And with all of this ongoing, convoluted conversation has been the constant, maniacal laughter … very loud, very insane, like something out of a dark movie.

Well, this has caused me to take a step back, and take a good hard look at Mary’s situation here, and I’ve had to conclude that it’s not been healthy for her for quite awhile now. Since leaving the group home, she’s devolved into basically sleeping irradicably, drinking mass quantities of coffee, and smoking up towards two pack of cigarettes a day. No real exercise, no reading, and the only good meals being the ones I prepare for her.

All in all, I simply am not able to provide the kind of stability and structure she evidently needs. I hate it, too, because I feel like a failure … and, in some sense, I feel like a traitor. I spoke with her this morning and encouraged her to please call her case worker to see if there was an opening at one of the four group homes in the area. I did my dead-level best to be kind and loving, to explain why … but, of course, she was hurt.

More than this, though, our landlord, who also happens to be a lifelong friend of mine, has really been strained by some troubling tendencies anyway, such as: Throwing hot ashes in the kitchen waste-can, urinating in the bed without cleaning the mattress (at least without being told), and not doing laundry on a regular basis, which leaves an odor in her part of the house. He is a kind soul, who wants what is best for her, but…

At any rate, my friend certainly agrees with me that dear Mary will, in all likelihood, be much better off in the more stable and secure environment of a group home. This still does nothing to alleviate my sadness. Hopefully one day, maybe sooner than later, she will be able to see that this was best. I pray so … but even if she never can, even if she never forgives me, this is for the best. Period.

Right now she’s out on the back porch holding a multi-person conversation, and frequently laughing maniacally. And this comes after being up all through the night last night… Now I believe I know better than ever why good, healthy group homes with dedicated MHTs, nurses, counsellors, psychiatrists, etc. are so very necessary. And just to think, we’ve been gutting mental health funding in this country for decades! (Perhaps another article for another time…) 

Alone: We Spin Our Webs

We make our beds in which to lie,

To cover ourselves before we die,

And we spin our social web

Around this self-same bed, 

To catch some unsuspecting soul

To fill in our heart’s gaping hole,

But we consume all our victims

According to Nature’s dictums,

Or else they break entirely free

And fly to where we cannot see,

But there is perhaps a better way,

More promising to spend our day,

Walking the divinely human maze

To meet another person’s face

In which we trace our very own

From an eternity hitherto unknown


Note: Inspired by Flamingle’s post entitled, “Alone.” Thank you for the inspiration!

Sometimes You Just Need A Friend

Bills are piling high, pills will not do, and you want to cry;
Your roof is leaking, your soul is seeking, you want to die,
But you really try to stay calm, without any healing balm;
You feel lonely and frightened in the deadly dark of night,
And you reach ‘n try to teach yourself just to quiet down,
And you preach to yourself but anxiety still rises in heart
And every part of your being and you’re not seeing relief;
It is in times like this . . . sometimes you just need a friend;
Sometimes you need a bosom, helping hand, caring heart,
Yes, it is truly true . . . sometimes you just need that friend;
You need the touch, the reassurance that it will be alright,
And that there’s no need for fright or to live in the blight;
You need the light shining from another soul to your own,
Seeds of love sown . . . sometimes you just need the friend
To tell you this is not the end, there’s a bend in the road,
And that you’re going to make it as they take your hand,
And without judgment join with you to make two in one;
Yeah . . . sometimes you just need a friend . . . some friend;
Sometimes you just need a friend . . .

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother or sister. (Proverbs 18.24b)

In Response to ‘Friendly’ Advice

So you ask me what I’m doing, skewing my position
While screwing me over with all your lofty demands,
Wanting me to put money first like a bee with honey,
To ‘get back on my feet’ along the well-beaten path
Trod by Western materialists just like you yourself,
But did it ever occur to you that I’ve
Rejected the imperialist way of life?
What am I doing while gluing my life back together?
Perhaps I’m answering a higher calling
Rather than bawling behind some desk!
Maybe, just maybe, I’ve chosen to take an upper path;
And does it pay more? You do the math and tell me!
Ah, money only reaches so far; there’s a bar in the sky;
And I am willing to say ‘goodbye’ to all of that muck,
And to buck the trend while I bend my neck and knees
Only to the One who has brought me this far already;
You see, crawling or brawling are no longer necessary;
I am a poet with a penchant for love, joy and serenity,
And I do not toy with the lives of others for sickly gain;
That would drive me insane and cause a deal of pain,
But there is One who trains for a strange sort of feat
Completely off of the beaten path of this old world,
And sweetens it with an unusual success all its own;
So thank you for brashly telling me to set some goals,
But goals have already been set, and I didn’t ask you
To bother about my life anyway, so why now the knife?
If you want to be a friend, then be a friend to the end,
But don’t screw with me and tell me to be like you!
I am me, who God created me to be, and I shall be me!

Halcyon: Romance Me to New Life

As my soul wanders thru numinous grove
Pondering my role and high goal in this life,
You move like liquid crystal so wistfully
And mystically, calling me past artificial
Existence to something more beneficial,
Beyond superficial reality and all banality;
You bid me to enter into an halcyon day,
Luxuriant and peaceful, deep and blissful,
And so I turn to you to unbind my spirit,
Unblind my eyes, and find myself renewed
Into the real me I was always meant to be
. . .
And so I take a chance and dance
In the expanse you freely enhance
As you romance this child in the wild


Note: First published in early October 2016. Republished due to some renewed interest as well as for the enjoyment of new reader-followers. Blessings to one and all!