Depression: A personal poem

A personal Haibun poem on depression – (a poem which incorporates text, an image and haiku)

We all have a wide span of emotive feeling. That is the natural way of life. It is just that some have very high extremes at both ends of the scale. And this can be quite devarstating to all concerned. This is especially so if medical intervention is required.

The following happened in the early nineteen fifties in England.

When we were growing up; I can’t remember exactly how old I was but still at primary school. I was probably around about nine or ten years old. I was behind the garage wall with my younger brother. We peeped around to the front of our house and saw our mother being taken out of the front door on a stretcher to be put in the back of an ambulance. We were young and did not recognise that it was in fact an ambulance.

She was taken to a ‘Fair Mile’, then called a Lunatic Asylum, near Wallingford in Berkshire and for many weeks our Father would drive us to visit her; mainly at weekends. I can remember summer days when the fields were full of wheat. Quite often my brother and I spent a lot of time in the grounds waiting for the return trip home in the Morris Isis. It is funny how you remember little things in life and I can remember the number plate. On the home front we children were looked after by one of my Father’s sisters, Auntie Gwen.

What is relevant to this text is the fact that something had to change with Mother so that she could recover and return to our home. Many years later Mother told me that she went into an empty church nearby and when she came out of the stillness something had happened inside, both in the church and in herself and it was the beginning.

damp afternoon
reaching for the light switch
depression

Richard Scutter May 2021

Easter again – the forever day

Easter again
It is in his dying
that existence extends
that distance compacts
that carried forward through the centuries
Christ lives again in our minds
along the road beyond Emmaus.
So, we pray again in hope
against the block-stone
of incomprehension
and our continual nonacceptance.
While within each stinging soul
the suppressed mustard-seed
like the empty tomb
lies dormant waiting.
Richard Scutter

Well, Easter is the key day in the Christian calendar. It is that ‘forever day’ that gives hope to humanity. And of course it is a day of celebration!

The clocks have gone back an hour overnight with the end of daylight saving in Canberra. And according to your belief system we get more than an extra hour because of this day!

Enjoy in the knowledge of the magnitude of this day with family and friends!

Anointing Ann Anonymous – Recognition and Beauty

Following on from my previous Post on John Keats and ‘Beauty’ and legacy … and recognising the so called ordinary in life’…

Anointing Ann Anonymous
when she was a child
and she was quite sure
that no one was looking
she picked up a stick
to scratch in concrete
                    ‘I was here’
each day
as she walked to school
she would see her work
and laugh to herself
no one would know it was her
in her teenager years
she had that teenage crush
and melting against his name
cleared the dust on his car
with words that only she could write
      ‘I love you’
She thought he really knew
but she would never tell,
in later years
when thinking about him
she would laugh inside
with a little embarrassment
she had a long and ordinary life
a husband, children
and memories to drown
and if she could paint the sky
these would be her words
     ‘life is beautiful’
Richard Scutter

Ann’s legacy – I was here / I love you / life is beautiful

‘Recovery Steps’ – blue sky ahead?

Many have died from the virus. However far more have recovered, all be it a painful process. And as we reach the end of a very demanding year I have a feeling the world is now coming out of the virus.

Wallflower and Bee
Recovery Steps
                        the courtyard warms in the winter sun
                        two disheveled cushions rest on the seat
                        the garden is at peace with itself
                        waiting,
                        confined to her room
                        she has been waiting patiently
                        for the day after yesterday
                        to be out of bed for the first time
                        there is an immensity in each measured movement
                        she shuffles slowly forward
                        steadies at the sliding door, grasps the handle
                        painfully the door starts to give
                        she has a clear determined focus
                        and is glad her nurse is not around
                        and there is no one else about
                        there is enough space now
                        and her dressing-gowned frail frame
                        takes the few steps needed
                        struggling she reaches the closest armrest
                        to slowly make her comfort known,
                        she recovers from her exertion
                        a sigh spreads relaxation through her body,
                        it is all fresh blue sky
                        her eyes still on the beauty of a bee
                        absorbing the late morning sunshine
                        all her being radiates her thanks
                        a deep internal thank you
                        her contentment slowly dissolves to a doze,
                        but before drifting into sleep
                        she is gently disturbed
                        the sliding doors click-shut
                        patient and nurse disappear,
                        the courtyard reclaims the empty seat
Richard Scutter

Context
Sylvia was in isolation for several weeks. She is a keen gardener and appreciated regaining mobility and access to the outside. I am happy to say she has fully recovered from the virus.

Elevation – a poem on the virus

The virus has at times forced a closer relationship with the one you love. And this greater togetherness has had its positives.

elevation

I must thank the virus and a certain person
for this would never have happened otherwise
a positive personal high
and I might suggest no higher possible

you see such an expletive
may have been used in the past
infrequently that is
but the confines of isolation
and a more integrated home life
created the circumstances
and I am thus duly elevated

often there is a rising of voice –
Richard!
for example, blocking the fridge
when access is needed
or forgetting to put out the garbage
after making promises
but for failings of far greater significance
(I will not elaborate)
a certain naming is obviously needed

I must emphasise that the following
had nothing to do with me personally
(not this time)
just a bystander

actually, I was sitting nearby
the computer was in communication
a case of wanting to load images
from phone to desktop
a simple operation, and the thing was
partner had done this before successfully

why isn’t it working
(a little frustration evident)
then strong expletives
at this stage I thought it prudent
to stay my distance and be calm,
after all, too much help
creates dependency

and then, yes it had reached that high point
God!

well I thought
I am here if you really need me!

Richard Scutter May 2020

‘Ulladulla Fun Run’ – Fun Run History – Prostate Cancer

Ulladulla Fun Run
Easter Sunday 2006 – Blessing of the Fleet

bright autumn sun warms
harbour parking spaces
trestle-table procured
runners like cars collecting
at early morning traffic lights
stretch out the minutes
idle a conversation
change down for action

red shirted Ulladulla rats
bodies honed by discipline
sinewy and tough more weathered
than the decorated fishing boats
pit against fresh young limbs
eagerly chattering but not so seasoned
their smooth clean cut lines
unknown measure to the task

green light – and away
fast movers quick to tackle
the filter at the gate
while the cautious well heeled
slow to make the grade
watch the front line disappear
in headland track and bush
make the turn before the marshal

challenged by a female back
‘If you can read this you are losing’
sends the body to overdrive
the corner rounded to a sighting
of stolid rat in steady stride
sufficient time to out-manoeuvre
show no mercy, hold the pace
down the pavement to the park

then everyone glad to be home
bodies dripping and talking fast
over-run or not, the run now over
fun remains for those with fuel
a red red-rat shakes hands
polite enquiry as to age
seniority justifying position
to next rat assembly invited

and the fleet bobbing in the background
unduly clean in their church best
bottoms slapping wet
still waiting for their blessing

Richard Scutter

Dear My Word In Your Ear Reader,

This poem was written several years ago and of course the current virus climate has negated community Fun Run and the like activities. Being caught up at home with more hours inside provided the opportunity to reflect on earlier days. Quite a few years ago I went in the Ulladulla Fun Run. The local Ulladulla Rats running group were out in force, all appropriately uniformed in red. Also, It was the day of the annual Blessing of The Fleet.

Given my personal history fighting prostate cancer I thought it appropriate to post this poem as exercise certainly helps in dealing with this male nasty.

I have entered ‘The Long Run’ event organised by the Australian Prostate Foundation to promote awareness where I am recording my jog/walk exercise over September.

For more information here is a link to my Page on ‘The Long Run Site’ where I will be entering exercise detail over the month.

Stay fit and healthy whatever!

All the best, Richard

 

Easter Sunday Sunrise

Easter Sunday Sunrise

not just another day
another day of the same
of the no touch of distancing
of not being able to reach out in the community
of confinement to self
of being centered on the inside
not just another day
no!

this day is different
this day is the one day
the one day that opens into every day
the lifeline to eternal tomorrows
as our own tomorrow ending
is contemplated

Richard Scutter

Celebrate this special day with friends and family!

Smile – A one Word Poem

Arthur Stace was an alcoholic but when he attended a Christianity meeting he was totally besotted by the word ‘Eternity’ and what this word represented. From then on he spread this word by writing it in copperplate with chalk on footpaths in and around Sydney. He did this for 35 years from 1932 to 1967 and became known as ‘Mr Eternity’.

A Wikipedia link

Awhile ago I was in a hurry to write a poem so I decided to choose just one word –

SMILE

But in order to spread this SMILE to the masses I have thought it wise not to embark on a similar promotion spree. As an alternative I thought some words might suffice for all to read – hence the following ….

My One Word Poem
(Dedicated to Arthur Stace who took ETERNITY to be understood)

The first and last line
starts and ends
at the next word.

SMILE.

Go back to the first line.

Short though it be, and like Arthur’s
this poem is an endless journey!
that’s right – you’ve got it
Smile!

But why are you down here,
Ok, you don’t like to read in circles
I guess I will have to repeat things
so – just for you
Smile!

Now, have you finally ingested it?
I mean – is it fully understood
analysed and sunk in
more than skin deep!
Smile!

Now that’s better!
if there’s one thing I hate
not to be fully understood
and have no response –
it is only the one word!

SMILE.

Richard Scutter

… and of course there is another way to disseminate my message when walking down the street!

… and interestingly what word would you choose (I guess love is already taken)