James Poulter: Since The Day I First Experienced Psychosis

A short personal reflection expressed in poetic form, which focuses on the tumultuous effect that mental illness can have on an individual’s life.

A small boat on a dark, calm ocean at night.

The rain came down and the levee broke

The straw broke the camel’s back

Camelot disintegrated into war and enmity

The first spark of molten lava rose as the earth fissured.


All I know, all I am, all I pertain to be,

Is contained within my mind

Yet my mind dissolved into molecules that floated away on the current

Far from the safety of shore.


I camped out in the cave by the sea

Ancient memories of deep wrongdoing

I left everything behind, including my clothes

And walked naked into the pitch black night.


I travelled so far from my family, my friends, my culture, my past,

I took all that was pure and holy and innocent

And drenched it in the mud of earthly sin

Trampled underfoot and cast to the fire.


My mind fractured, a boat on the ocean without a sail,

The demons seized on my weakness

Filling my consciousness with wild fantasies and impossible dreams

Torn, broken, delusional, aggressive, in pain.


The water once polluted cannot return to its original purity

And yet I am a child of God, a lamb of Jesus, a star in the sky

Created to return to my original true self

Only Buddha Law can save me now.




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