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Step One – I am Mad

Step One – I am Mad


A poem that looks at the issue of medicating one’s brokenness. By the way I don’t smoke any more, but there are many other forms of medication. The picture is from Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse, another great self medicator. Gold and shadows and the force that drives the green fuse. 

Step One—I Am Mad

I am mad

to stand outside

on cold mornings

and smoke crafty cigarettes.

Then to take

vitamins and little pearls

of garlic and cod-liver oil.

To run

on a machine, or tramp

though the valley with my dogs.

I take

blood pressure tablets,

feel the squeezing armband

of my systolic over diastolic,

and always the tension of my madness.


is the frontline

between my presence

or my disappearance from this world.

I wonder

what would it be like to relax

and not hold the tension between the two?


mother and father,

harmful or healthy,

pressure and release.

To hold

left and right,

dark and light,

to wait for the reconciling third—


one who

walks between,


inner dilation,

deep appreciation,

radical acceptance.

Where life

breathes over me

in moments of tranquility

without the need for nicotine.

Could this

be the road of returning sanity?

The way

to pass through the aperture

of freedom to an unforced future.

Where I

no longer store all that anxiety

in my neglected body and then have to medicate it.

Where I

can breathe it all out in a moment of relief.

Where the

deepest breath will fill the lungs of my deepest me.

Read More in ‘Arriving in Magic’ available on My Website