Archive for the Mental Health Category

Mid-line Crisis

Posted in Mental Health, Poetry, therapy, writing with tags on August 11, 2015 by Graeme Cooper

I have no idea who I am.

This room attempts to suggest

My presence in metaphor;

Mere narrative echoes

Of a story which is only partly mine,

Although told in the first person.

I have no idea who I am.

These more or less comfortable clothes

Try to define me in outline until

Illusion is exposed by removal,

And all that lies

Is a costume on the floor.

Too much skin around haunted eyes,

Too heavy with the responsibility

Of unanswered questions

Flung back by insistent mirrors,

Of glass and flesh,

Suggests I am older than is logical.

I have not made a decision

In an hour, or forty years, or millennia.

I have simply followed or ignored words

Of unspoken voices which I took for mine.

This body has brought me here, which is fine,

But I still have no idea who I am.


Posted in health, kids, love, Mental Health, Poetry with tags , , , on October 28, 2014 by Graeme Cooper

Jagged fears stab

The nerves like tiny,

Slivers of glass, shards

Of the shattered crystal peace,

Which came as a wedding gift,

That December.

Its glacial presence,

Its pure, singing, note,

Now fractured and falling,

Wildly refracting spectral colours,

Fleetingly beautiful before it

Hits the ocean below.

Going under, it spins, simultaneously

Melting and drowning,

Disappearing and assimilating,

Its diluting purity poisoning,

The saline sanity of the sea.

Until, gasping for air,

We awake together,

Reverie broken.

Your soft breath soothes me

But the inaudible whisper of another heartbeat

Says something has changed.

Why You Sing The Blues

Posted in death, love, Mental Health, music, philosophy, Poetry, therapy, War, work in progress, writing with tags on March 14, 2014 by Graeme Cooper

Conscious of too much,

You are not primitive enough;

Sufficiently enlightened to see your folly,

Though unable to escape it.

As ego drowns instinctive sense

Of scale and wonder,

You cannot comprehend life

Except through the death you pursue wildly.

Whilst trying to deny self-destruction,

The only path which makes any sense,

You gorge your maniac lust on annihilation,

Invoking broken-mirror deities to justify

Chemical, consumerist mass-destruction insanity.

Why do you live if death

Is the only great adventure left?

Because somewhere behind this twisted madness,

Lies the irrational hope of love.


Posted in death, health, Mental Health, music, Poetry, writing with tags , , on March 12, 2014 by Graeme Cooper

Food brings
Mood swings. He
Could sing
Brooding lullabies but
Her bright eyes
Catch the light like
The glitterball gleaming in
The ceiling of his
Sleep; compressing the chest
Of the restless bass player pacing
The empty stage of
His empty dreams, promising
That thoughtless dominion
Of the obvious
While unseen drummer summons
The legions of the beat,
Unseen lesions secrete murderous
Chemicals sweet and he
Sleeps with the disco lights on,
Afraid of dancing with the dark.

Hide and Seek

Posted in birthdays, Mental Health, Poetry, therapy, winter, writing with tags , , on January 16, 2014 by Graeme Cooper

Change crouches

Beyond  peripheral vision,

Unseen but sensed, unsettling.

Its scented breath is felt;

Searching stretches senses, strains

Muscles around  eyes, making

Bridge of nose ache,

Dragging concentration into

Wordless void.

Is it hope or fear

Which so distracts?

From this moment so empty,

Which waits for the future to

Explode into view?

And what then?


Posted in love, Mental Health, Poetry, winter, writing with tags , , , on December 7, 2013 by Graeme Cooper

Some days beautiful

Things need

To be



Words fly across

The page

Like the shuttle of some old loom

Interlacing the weft  of solid experience

With dreams and imagining

To create wondrous tartan

Hard-wearing, warm and comfortable

To keep us snug together

On a night such as this.


Posted in Art, health, Mental Health, Poetry, work in progress with tags , on November 19, 2013 by Graeme Cooper

As the disembodied words

Of long-dead poets hang in the air

Like the memory of my Grandad’s Christmas cigar,

Febrile imaginings’ shadows are forced

Into twisted dance as unseen draught mangles

The flames of thought’s candles,

Wringing grotesque, demonic caricatures

From the sometime holy light.


Tangential echoes converge like ripples

From acidic raindrops

Distorting the reflection of heaven

To a Picassoesque parody  of

An unspeakable scream stuck in the throat

Of murdered innocence like a sixpence

Until only moths emaerge

Confused by too many moons

Consumed in a single moment, rendered unreal.

Without Love, This Happens

Posted in death, love, Mental Health, philosophy, Poetry, writing with tags , , , , on October 4, 2013 by Graeme Cooper


Is too much.

We are not

Primitive enough.


Instinctive sense

Of smallness and place

In something bigger

Is drowned in ego.


We are just enlightened

Enough to see our folly

But unable to escape it

Except through death,

Which we pursue wildly,

Whilst trying to pretend the opposite.


We cannot afford to admit

That self-destruction is the only path

Which makes any sense

Whilst gorging on annihilation

Chemical, consumerist, religious or military.


If death is the last great adventure,

Why do we live?

More primitive species know

But are unaware of knowing.

We are aware of not knowing

And it will destroy us all.


And then, I look up

From my reverie,

See you smile,

Your eyes turn these words

To vapour

And everything is easy and fine.


You wordlessly take my hand,

Lead me into the garden.

I am whole.

I am home.


Posted in death, love, Mental Health, Poetry, therapy, writing with tags , , on September 30, 2013 by Graeme Cooper

Turbulent volcanic waves

May be ridden;

Earthshaking quakes damped.

Hurricane’s insane roar

Can be made quiet;

Blows of the terrible beast cast aside.

Quenched may be hell’s deafening inferno.

But these feats are not finite.

The fight must be daily waged,

Lest fires engulf fevered souls,

Turning to dust their molten core.

Sunrise, blessed relief,

Blinds terror but temporarily until

She finds her eyes

And, worse, her voice again.

Clawing words slash wildly inside the mind,

Casting doubt on defences until

Sleep submerges time once more.

But time undrownable gasps,

oh too soon, demanding

The barricades be manned again.

For to let go;

To let the monsters roar;

To allow the flames and earthquakes

Do their will;

To take cover, watch

The inferno burn itself out,

Is a risk never to be dared.

Is there breath enough

To dare dive, headlong,

Into that depthless ocean?

Where the oozing leviathan,

Hunts and stalks unseen fathoms?

To wrestle and overcome?

Then is there the reach

Left to surface?

Find daylight?

What revenge may other spectres take,

On their kindred’s slayer

Emerging into air again?

Why look,

To unreliable skies,

To bring relief?

Any maternal embrace

Of gentle sun

Has long since set

Over the western horizon,

Never to return

Untainted by cancerous night.

Speak of peaceful dreams,

By all means

But the eyes will always tell

Of fighting dragons still.

Then tomorrow…

Oh, great myth of tomorrow!

Tomorrow nothing changes.

Tomorrow looks at faces,

Says words.

Stays damned.

Give up hope

Of rescue, go native,

Become the beast

Which gnaws the brain.

Spit poison at the weak to numb the pain,

If you must. Reflect

Sour sunlight’s stinging daggers

On one outwardly more wretched. Yet,

In the evening,

Still no redemption will come.

Necessity Is the Mother of Indifference

Posted in Mental Health, Poetry, revolution, shopping, writing with tags , , , , on July 24, 2013 by Graeme Cooper

Street’s transitory intransigent heart,
Cracks like a mortuary paving slab inviting,
Unwary, undead, disease-ridden feet to catch,
And trip, unfalling this time,
A tiny but timely reminder unheeded,
By suited commuters of the ruin,
That lies within, underneath,
The hearth of their happy homes built,
On the ancient burial ground of Capital’s disposable minions,
Yet to come.

Gas main and underground trains shake
As tectonic plates of a century prematurely aged,
Stutter uncertainly, unsure,
If we have seen the final fin de siècle, concerned,
That the fireworks were not enough.

Turning complacent from the setting sun,
I endure starving faces and neglected children on BBC1,
And refuse the news for another channel which serves,
Understandable, unchallenging reality with a narrator colloquial,
And rinse my mind by absorbing myself in,
Which girls will he pick? Who will make the best cake?
To take away the lingering taste of,
Inevitable crumbling low-key catastrophe
Which unfolds next door (or close) nightly,
And creeps into my unconscious dreams,
So in the morning which I knew would come,
My defence manifests as malevolent indifference,
Towards those that are not us.

Unable to psychicly afford guilt to crack,
My insulated isolation, I buy back my humanity by,
Credit card for ” just two pounds a month” , take,
My mundane daily (fair trade) drugs and am,
A smiling global citizen, city zen again turning,
A blind eye, belligerently blasé about the blood,
Spilled on faraway sand to fuel my rush hour rage
On a motorway through no mans’ land.

Once stress was an enemy to be busted. I,
Turned to yoga then whalesong then gave up and worshipped,
Prozac and sleeping pills,
But now pills are passé and we are slaves to interactive tablets,
Since my phone became I, phone, I run on stress,
It holds me together, I hold it close,
With caffeine and codeine to take the edges off.

Too cynical to believe the ad man’s promise that I grow better by consumption,
But resigned to the truth that without it I cannot function,
Too savvy to want what I don’t need,
Too wired to deny that I need what I don’t want.

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