This poem was 'triggered' , but not 'inspired' by my own so called 'treatment' on a mental health ward in SE Wales between 2004-6 as well as by the very moving, " The Day Room" by the poet Kit Wright.
COCKTAILS IN BABYLON:
Clozapine / Diazepam / Effexor / Olanazpine
The Radio in my head is playing over & over
telling me this is - The Final Count Down.
It clouds the windows of perception now chemically adulterated
here in the suburban asylum.
The DJ appears to be the Doctor wearing a white coat now dirty
speaking only in broken English he takes down the medical history
never making eye contact - here on the Acute Ward.
The Morning Drug Trolley clatters in at 7.45 am down the green linoleum corridor
ready to discharge it's awful contents lethal as Class A drugs all freely available here
given out like so many brightly coloured Smarties by stony faced staff in dead silence
- for we have no 'talking therapies' here : the health Minister does not think it suitable.
This is no Sweet Shop - the windows all have bars and cannot be opened
the air stale with the stench of nicotine hanging in a bright cloud above our heads
together with the smell of last night's supper and the scent of unwashed urine
here in - the Day Room - on the acute ward.
If we resist the threat of, 'deadly restraints' or ECT should we step out of line
or worse of all should we refuse our medication .
A drug can be prescribed for ever treatment - Borderline Personality Disorder / Clinical Depression /
Bi Polar / Schizophrenia or even 'challenging behaviour' our society cannot tolerate
unless it is medicated to point of comatose hitting us straight to the cortex like a silver bullet
eliminating thought all processes ,
but the Radio in my head does not stop . . .
it is playing The Final Count Down over and over.
Here stranded in the Day Room my throat is parched my palms are sweating I am terrified here
alone behind locked doors not knowing what transgression
I have committed as no one speaks to us: here we are invisible sitting here on the
dirty sofas watching the 36 inch TV blaring out endlessly day & night
OT. is a choice of playing Bingo or listening to CD's all organised by a fully paid up,
'mental health professionals':
It is hard to know the sane from the insane sitting here in the Day Room
with the Psychiatrist thinking he's God so we wait for the next humiliation to befall us
evicted from life and even the security of our NHS beds
late at night we can be moved at random . . . to some other place . .
Crackers / Nuts / Looney / Bonkers / Barking
Sitting on broken plastic chairs in the dining room at the sticky tables we await the tea trolley once again
staring out through grimy windows as the magnificent chestnut trees sway outside in in sympathy
for us scrabbling for the tepid tea poured from a broken pot before the milk is gone:
we dare not ask for more:
in the endless Day Room ...we await these but assured of our ,'recovery'
Metazapine / Thorazine / Fluoxeitne / Tamapazapam
Cocktails in Babylon,
but the Radio never stops . . .
@ G .K Brightmore 24/ 09/ 11