Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ward Stories: Poetry

Ward Stories
Organized by Dan Frey, Editor in Chief
Four poets are featured in the winter 2016 edition of Ward Stories: Nigel, Bonnieblue, J. Cloven and Jeffrey V. Perry. “Wonderland in the Asylum” is both trippy and frightening, especially if you have ever been inside psychosis. I know at times it can seem like the greatest escape. “My Journey” will make you repeat to yourself its repetitive chorus, so be warned. Everyone should have an admirer like J. Cloven in “August.” And lastly, Jeffrey V. Perry, a senior employee of our parent organization, Baltic Street AEH, asserts that the peer movement in mental health has come a long way. Many people working in the mental health field are “Angels Now at War,” fighting for the rights of their peers who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness.


Wonderland And The Asylum
By Nigel

I want to visit Wonderland again
I want to see The Mad Hatter
And say hello to the March Hare
I want to watch the Cheshire Cat disappear
But I am locked away in the Asylum
They say all these things are part of my illness
The imaginings of a disturbed mind
They give me pills to calm me
But I want to visit Wonderland again
The doctors think I am mad
They think I will always remain in the Asylum
I want to be free again
And play games with Tweedledum and Tweedledee
I even miss the screams of the Red Queen
Wonderland was a beautiful place
I know things were a little strange
But I felt happy and alive
Will you help me escape from the Asylum?
I have no friends here
My life is passing me by
Perhaps if I sleep awhile
Maybe I will find a way back to Wonderland
In my dreams I may find some peace
Please don't wake me up
I want to sleep forever and dream of Wonderland

My Journey
By Bonnieblue

My journey has been fierce
At times, it has been a battle field
I have cried and my screams piercing
Running, running, to where
Anywhere, but here

Fighting to grow, to live, to know
Being ill, treated poorly, why
Running, running, to where
Anywhere but here

Having a child to love to grow
Fighting for child to live, to play, to know
Running, running, to where
Anywhere but here

Living a lie, dying slow, hurting so
Working hard, loving job, lonely though
Running, running, to where
Anywhere but here

Losing loved ones who are dear
Heart is broken can't repair
Running, running, to where
Anywhere but here

Having two dogs love unconditionally
Wet kisses constantly
Running, running, to where
Anywhere but here

Too much clutter in my mind
Not enough space left behind
Running, running, to where
Anywhere but here........

August
By J. Cloven

it has been so long
your voice so deep
no longer at your mother's breast
i must confess
that i always wanted to see you
grow into the young man
you have become.

Memory serves me
we used to stroll you on the streets
of sun-stained Chula Vista
you were the best man
at my wedding
god bless you and your splendor
and the grace that he has brought us back together.

your name is symbolic
of a love once shared
the sun blazes on in August
August is majestic
August is grandeur

Angels Now at War
By Jeffrey V. Perry

We believe that people can help people!
One can't be trained to be compassionate!
Experiences are valuable!
First, we must recognize other people as people

This is different than those who are asked
To do just their job or do a task;
Those who were taught to don a completed skill,
We too know experiences earned are real.

We will say that we can, because we have.
And there is no theory on our behalf.
We are those who have been suppressed.
We overcame a system with success

The system did not ask for us to come.
It has been common sense we have spun from.
Systems cannot be asked to change themselves.
From out of systems we come back to help.

If you didn't know, there is a peer movement
In mental health growing that we represent.
A Peer-run Agency, started on Baltic Street,
Where, experience-based services compete.

We offer many, who are underserved,
To share their voices so they will be heard.
Because, we use a peer to peer experience-based,
We know our lives are far too great to waste.

Now Baltic Street A.E.H., Inc. employs
Through many programs, hundreds, it deploys.
With hospitals and community, it does give
Self-help, recovery, jobs, and a place to live

Baltic Street has been here almost twenty years.
It helped in the movement, peers helping peers.
Now that Mental Health Agencies are on board,
I believe the peer concept struck a chord.

Witness this day where peers have paved a way.
Now government listens to what peers say.
It has been amazing to see this swing,
One day all the angels in chorus will sing.

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