Poetry tends to break forth from my heart before it hits pen and paper, unstoppable as a hymn of praise in a dawn chorus.

Words are shaped in fires of adversity and honed in hues of happiness.

Neutrality is not my norm.

The unlocking of verse usually relies on deep emotion for me.

This poem was birthed in meditating on an event currently being experienced by a family member.

My brother-in-law, Andrew,  has had Schizophrenia since his teens. You can click on the link to find out about this serious mental health illness.

It has had many manifestations, some manageable at home, or in the community, and others requiring specialist care.

Now he is in a bad place mentally where it is hard to reach out to him and harder still to see the person he once was within.

It is a painful thing to witness as a soul seems lost to all but God.

Here is my poetic rendition of his current situation.

I offer it in empathy, sympathy and support for all those who may suffer similarly, plus their families and carers.

And in the hope of promoting greater awareness and understanding of mental health problems in general.


inside a room
made safe
with softness
nothing hard
nothing sharp
to cause harm
inside a mind
made rich
with multiple
spinning through it
into the past
which streams
and seems
in the here
and now
out of society
and sense
reason and
 scrambling round
in vain
away and observed
by those
paid to care
bathe bodies
soothing mind
being kind
and hospitalised
until a key
can be found
to set free
(All rights reserved)

Very few of us will get through life completely untouched or unaffected by mental health issues, either in our own lives or those of our loved ones, family and friends. 
Even fear and anxiety problems can become all-consuming and paralysing.
Mental health disorders can be relatively mild or severe, ranging from debilitating stress to clinical depression, through to paranoia and psychosis.
All need to be taken seriously, treated with care and compassion, with appropriate medical attention and treatment sought as necessary.
Though we can be ‘locked in‘ or ‘locked out’ in other ways too in terms of isolation, loneliness, and being marginalised or misunderstood by others, often leading to great misery and devastating effects on self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
Let’s aim to befriend, support and care for one another;  to demonstrate God’s love and compassion in action to those we know who may need extra understanding and kindness right now.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” ~ Colossians 3:12