Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Poetry Thursday 123 - The Human Condition

I am writing this in the aftermath of the death of Robin Williams and the human condition of depression, which I have had issues with, in an effort to raise a little more awareness.

The poet and writer Antonin Artaud, who himself experienced serious mental illness, wrote, ‘No one has ever written, painted or sculpted, modelled, built or invented except literally to get out of hell.’”

The creative mind can also produce comedy but also seems intertwined with depression. Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Charlie Chaplin and Steven Fry all highly entertaining but all with the same tendency to self-destruction. And now Robin Williams.

Robin Williams 1951 - 2014

Robin Williams RIP

Nobody can know the shades that haunted him.
What were his final thoughts as he died?

I can’t imagine the fractured soul that drove him to leave his children, his successes.

Even as a greatly celebrated human loved by all
why could he not feed from that?

Why is it that comedic souls burn out so quickly
and often so tragically?

His tortured existence is over and he leaves pain where he brought joy.

Robin will be fondly remembered by millions on this turbulent orb – the pain will pass.
© David L Atkinson August 2014

A Haiku on the news of Robin

Robin Williams
Man of warm love and laughter
Time to leave at last.
© David L Atkinson August 2014

The Life Cycle of a Depression

No one knows where it comes from,
it begins life as a nematode.
 The host has no idea that the time bomb
has set them on a rocky, descending road.

It can lie dormant, not dead, for years
gathering strength to evolve
into a significant source of tears
from problems too difficult to solve.

When in adult form it is terrifying
taking over all aspects of life.
No subject can avoid the writhing
snake intent on delivering strife.

Getting it back in the mind box is hard
you grasp it and it’s skin is sloughed
slipping away through fingers scarred
by previous encounters fluffed.

Once back in control stay alert
for the nematode has not gone.
It waits while you get lost in the comfort
of peace to again twine soul and snake as one!

© David L Atkinson August 2014

And to end a very apt quote from 'Dead's Poet Society'

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." - John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)

God Bless