This poem talks about the journey into and then back out of depression. I’ve been there, read the book, got the T-shirt, cried the tears. Oh Yes – I know the way to nowhere and I’ve had to learn the way back.
This poem is about how things were when I was at primary school. I’ve changed the name of the teacher but he could be one of thousands. We no longer see his harsh methods as either acceptable or effective but when people were brought up in such times and did as was expected of them did it make them bad people? I don’t really think so.
Sir to you and me
Had a strap
A collection of straps Different colours Different lengths and widths All stung outstretched hands When Mr O’Brien spoke Everybody listened And he drank warm milky coffee With skin on And he had seahorses
Stood straighter than straight He had two pens for marking Red and green Hard and soft Red crosses stung hands Green a chance to correct Good! Meant good! In any colour
Mr. O’Brien Taught right from wrong Imposed his discipline With fairness In an old fashioned Outdates, discredited way Mr. O’Brien was never wrong And he drank warm milky coffee With skin on And he had seahorses
Mr O’Brien Taught what he knew Knew what he taught Held his beliefs firmly Led by example Cared deeply Seldom showed it
Jack O’Brien Was an old man With steely eyes Age set free a thin Wry smile And bent his once Rod straight back And his hands shook As he spoke and he spoke of the past and the pupils he taught
When Jack O’Brien spoke Everybody listened No more straps And he drank warm milky coffee With skin on But the seahorse Were gone
I’m awake Not un-sleeping But awake More awake than ever Awake to today Awake to tomorrow Awake to life Awake with your voice in my ears Awake with your smile on my face Awake with your hair in my fingers Awake with your fragrance in my mind Awake with your taste on my lips Awake with your wonder in my heart
You may sleep Wrapped in my arms Head on my chest Breathing shared air Skin under my skin Scent on my body Warmth by my side