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Poem: Madness


Do you think 
You are capable? 
Can you imagine a Time 
When you could go mad? 

How far removed 
Are we now? 
How many steps? 
What would it take? 
A series of deaths? 
A series of blows, mental, not physical. 
We can take those. 

How many stumbles 
Into the mire, 
Before we begin conversing with ourselves. 

Preferring it over the conversation of others 
Rather than deal with the World
That doesn’t care anyway. 

That World 
Doesn’t exist anymore. 

Only the reality 
Of your own mind. 
Are we really so far removed? 
From those dirty, shuffling shadows 
We see in the street 
And ignore? 
Could that be 
Us One day? 
Perhaps it won’t take anything… 
Arise one morning 
And everything you knew has changed. 

But you don’t care 
Because you don’t analyse 
The way you used to. 
It’s over 
And you don’t even know it. 

How many steps?

(The first Poem on this Blog). 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is a really interesting and thought provoking poem you’ve written Tony. I think many of us teeter on the edge of acute madness at various times of our life. I’ve often wondered the same thing, as I’ve known several people who have been active, productive members of society and suddenly their life seems to fall apart, so severely that a couple have become homeless. Without a family or strong friendship circle (or a mega bank account), the difference between life as we know it and hopelessness is just a hairs bredth away. Job loss, relationship breakdown, illness, most people can easily go under without financial or emotional support. It’s quite a frightening poem you’ve written really because most of us think it could never happen to us but it could, in a matter of weeks or months.

    I’m interested in what motivated you to write this poem? Did you meet someone in particular or was it someone you saw on the street? I always think when I see a homeless or mentally ill person “I wonder who they were? They were someone’s child/parent/partner/sibling, I wonder what happened and what decisions they made in their life to bring them to this place.”

  3. Did you write that poem its fantastic. Glenda stayed last night and she was raving about you, how lovely you are, how talented you are. She's been telling everyone about you so I've told her to get on to your blog. Have you had much feedback about being a dad. Luv Helx

  4. Thanks so much Hel. Yes I wrote and yes I'm getting alot of response re being a dad-to-be... thanks for coming by and hope to see Glenda here too..

  5. I was moved by your poem. There are many layers to it, not just the madness. Mental health is also an aspect of "Homelessness."

    You wrote:

    Are we really so far removed? From those dirty, shuffling shadows. We see in the street. And ignore?

    This is a strong poignant statement in context, and it also reinforces the stereotypical view of people living on the streets. Are the "Homeless" always seen as "dirty shadows?" Unfortunately, they probably are.

    It is also poignant when you write:

    "Rather than deal with the World
    That doesn’t care anyway."

    There is a lot of work being done to try and alleviate homelessness in Australia and overseas. Australia does care and it is working hard to help those that want to be helped. "The Road Home - The Australian Government White Paper on Homelessness" addresses the causes of homelessness providing support for victims of domestic violence, and introduces a policy of ’no exits into homelessness’ from hospitals, mental health and drug and alcohol services and statutory care.

    Yes, things can't happen over night as most of us would like. This does not mean that no one cares.

    Good writing Anthony :))


  6. Thank you for your insight Ms_Ozzi... I do realise that people do care and that the Government discussed it recently as you say.. the poem was made after walking from Town Hall in Sydney to work and seeing a couple of people who have clearly lived in the streets for years and watching the reactions of those nearby. And probably also contemplatng my own mental health. But I hope your right and that something changes as Homelessness has always been a problem.. and something I seem to care alot about.

    thank you..

  7. I came , ive seen and im impressed !!!
    Being homeless isnt a choice , judgement shouldnt be given , these people are human , not animals to be shamed when they have had to swallow whats left of there pride to live the way they do or die .
    Trying to hold on to what little honour they have left is hard enough ,, being kicked when they are already down is death to them .
    Death , but an unfortunate fact of there lives .
    Good on you A.J for bringing to light a subject people pretend doesnt exsist .

  8. Thank you so much for coming over Michelle.. great to see you here.. hope you drop in weekly.

    Yes it's hard to see these people in the street. The genuine ones don't ask for handouts..they have a semblance of pride.. id like to do more for them..
    thanks again my dear

  9. Ooh loved this! Really spoke to me, Things that have crossed my mind at times before.

  10. Thanks so much.. the mind is a fragile thing.. i wonder what it would take for us to snap.. surely we all have our breaking point..

  11. that a fantastic poem mate , think it not too hard to find yourself there in is world.
    love the painting too , sooo dark its evil.
    Ginger pappy

  12. thanks a lot Ginger pappy - much appreciated..

    yeah, im halfway there already...


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