Poem: Voice of Madness – complete

Here follow all three-as-one Voices of Madness: self, other & the gods.

(pdf without images at the end of this post.)


dedicated to Axel Neumann
a leading European clinical psychiatrist
who became a structured psychotic
(one who can transmit that state to another)
and died of the drugs they gave him after each
increasingly frequent episode
and which he knew would eventually kill him

Voices of madness I: Self

(a series of related quasi haiku)

Esther Hannah 1858 Chronic mania with delusions

when the chattering mouth inside
engollops the whole world
now so many tongues
screaming back at you!

The union of
all and everything with
Mighty Me and
Mini Me

the wastrel candy wrapper
scudding across the ocean of bedraggled pavement
talks in sign language
only I can understand
and so we are friends

gazing into my dog’s soft eyes
drowning in kindness
we long for the oblivion
of everlasting life

suffering so extreme
I am King
of the charnel ground
I survey
in ostracized isolation

Woe is me!
Alone at last!
Alone again!
Alone forever!
Alone alas!

I have dug deep into hell
where you can’t see
fresh air
green fields

now worship my many manias
which you good people
with your many conventional insanities
have driven me screaming into!

once I jumped off the mountain peak
and started gliding far above
and you all down there far below
there was no turning back
so here we are
alone together again!

Captain George Johnson 1848, homicidal maniac

I screamed…
and the other person
in here with me
jumped almost out of their skin
and into mine!

you people are all so dumb
and sanctimonious about it
you’ve driven me
out of my wits
and into the arms of demons

I know a little devil
she’s right here
do you want to see her…

don’t ask me how
but I know
for certain
this nightmare will never

I could cry
all the tears
for all the girls
and it would never
be enough
to slake the thirst of this anger

Harriet Jordan 1858, acute mania

teeth and nails are my claws
my gaze lightning
my speech a bloody knife
my body a writhing sex crazed she devil!

when I see you
I feel the urge
to squash that banana!

how many years ago
was I a happy child?
that life has left me…

the apples are falling
falling, falling
I will soon drown
in that well

if only you could touch me
you might see me
if only you might see me
you could touch me

I am the veritable Queen of Ireland
but you FOOLS
have put me in a straightjacket
though one not nearly as restricting
as the ones you wear yourselves
over your taut middle class heads

I yearned so much to fly
that after I leapt
I simply refused to come back down
to earth

on the ride home
after our time together
after reading Kafka’s trial together
the train kept
telling me, telling me, telling me, telling me
you’re mad, you’re mad, you’re mad, you’re mad
you’ll die, you’ll die, you’ll die, you’ll die,
you know it don’t you, you know it don’t you,
you know it don’t you, you know it don’t you
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
then tears flowed down
but somehow I made it home
through the mist of sadness and madness
and slept for a day and a night
and woke up
blessed and

Voices of Madness II: other

(to be read with urgency)

housewife clutching her handbag
banker grasping his hat
cyclist grabbing the lamp post
sixteen wheeler squealing his brakes
bridge groaning and cracking under the load
wind whistling Dixie blowing away souls….

pistol-whipped deputy
terrorized step daughter
Mumbai street beggar
Sri Lankan leper
Madagascar pirates
East End slave traders
Wall Street raiders
DC rapists
City of London warmongers
Zurich mass murderers
crestfallen gang bait
heart absent crack zombies
genetically suicided farmers
thumbless hitchhikers
selfish greedy meditators
rotten teethed politicians

mouldy constitutions
historical documents wormwooded powder
fleas in the palace sheets
ticks on royal arses
donkeys braying in the storm
genders flotsam and jetsam
masts upended and shredded in coral below
frogmen marching
geese straying
clouds mustering
storms gathering
whales bemoaning
rats scampering…

who’s last to leave this stinking ship?
who’s last in line for the universal basic dole out?
who’s giving vegetables to the soup kitchen?
who even cares?
where does the Pygmy get his next meal?
who’s killing the next sheep in Himalchal Pradesh?
who’s next in line to the throne in Bhutan?

Do we even keep track of collective sanity?
Do parliaments legislate it wisely or not?
Do Judges have it hidden in their undergarments?
Do gurus transmit it by tapping our head?
Do wives give it nightly to husbands in bed?
Do bakers transform it as soft daily bread?
Do young lovers dance it to being when they wed?
Do priests now invoke it when prayers are well said?
Do street chiefs impose it once they’ve earned street cred?
Do sheriffs arrest it with stopping power of lead?
Do scriptures impart it when ever they’re read?
Do blue, green and yellow surrender it to red?

world spinning into oblivion
axis tilting out of control
wave patterns cloud forms and gaseous eruptions
sending all animals into conniptions
humans abandoning human emotions
demons despairing of being fought against bravely
abandon the currency of mutual respect
and wallow in wanton lower realm scorn
spinning the wheel of samsara as idle indulgence
grown fat and happy with complacency’s sinecure
a cushy job nowadays
dime a dozen
no resistance
people are sheeple, people don’t care
herded and huddled, by fear in the air
demons in airwaves in food in the water
demons in herds being led to the slaughter
demons in cartoons with twisted cold laughter
demons in front of us, demons in back
demons defending, demons attack
demons inside of us, demons all around
demons in music, in all kinds of sound
airplanes in airports and rockets in space
chemical deodorants makeup on face
cancer run rampant tumors to spare
pathogens raging we’ve trillions to share
shoe leather waning, testosterone dim
down to mansplaining, denegrating him
she is no longer the one who bears child
she is no longer so kind and who smiles
she is a he is an it is a him
and if we don’t sink then we better all swim
swim now together
swim in the pool
swim in the ocean, let swimming be cool
swim in the court room, swim in the yard
swim into sanity, swim upstream hard
swim like the salmon come in from the sea
swim past the billions of you’s and of me’s
swim ’til were tired and beaten and broken
swim ’til the last line the ending is spoken.

Voices of Madness III: the gods

A broad river of cream
changing colours slowly
and slowly flowing forward, inexorable
thick, heavy, primordial, meaningful
deepening glory, deepening content
then suddenly!
black sticks shoot up in all directions like angry stiff fingers
harmony and wisdom broken in shards…
the dreamer awakes
into the everyday world
of this and that
and bric a brac.

Clouds know
from whence they come and where they go
Do you know
from whence you come and where you go?
‘Do you see my cloud dragons?’ asks a sky god
‘Do you see my coat of many colours?’ asks Jacob
‘Do you remember your past lives?’ asks the psychic

Zeus wields his thunderbolt, its searing flash
piercing the veil twixt knowing and unknowing;

Thor’s kaleidoscopic crash of thunder
echoes throughout the three times
into the deep beyond thought

Mercury’s mercurial messengering
mumbles unmistaken murmers of muttered moonshine magnificence

Kali minds her manners trampling on second thoughts
oblivionizing them nonchalantly
as she grinds the pestle and mortar of birth and death

Yama spits out the bones of every corpse he’s ever ground
between his molars of destiny
his subliminal indifference

Persephone, queen of the night, consort of Dark
glides from his loins, seductress of stimulation
sad beyond any measure of joy or sorrow

Ekajati, the one-eyed red one with one breast
breathes her majesty of mayhem
into the twisted bones of all her shattered enemies

HRIH! cries the Red Lady
the original dakini
born of the unborn
nourished in Ur and Swat
and now sojourning in international climes
where the modern world takes up her chant of
‘form is emptiness and emptiness is form
form is not different from emptiness; emptiness not different than form.
That which appears as emptiness is form –
and that which appears as form is emptiness.
The psychology of duality, sensation, sense connections, thought and consciousness – these are also emptiness and form.
So Shariputra’ she continues
‘you can only characterize form in terms of emptiness
and emptiness in terms of form.’

Exit Vajrayogini Stage Right.
Exit Vajrayogini Stage Left.
Lions to the right of us
Tigers to the left
Dragons in the sky above
Nagas in the lakes below
Demons in the rocks
Gods in the clouds
The taste of the sea in the mouth
The taste of the sea, the smell of clean
the remembrance of all knowing
held in the palm
of the god’s hand
a drop of liquid glory
known as water
small cells struggling
small appendages waving and wriggling
small microbial galaxies teeming into proliferate being
beyond counting, self birthing, self mothering, self engendering
the world of form a continuous kaleidoscope of extraordinary imagination
shot through with light
leavened with fantasy
the unbearable light-ness of Reality
a piercing sword
a fathomless mirror
a heart rending lament
in a world where hearts
now wander
lonely as clouds
between being and knowing and forgetting
between curses and blessings
between this and that
between feeling and destroying
between loving and hating
between agony and ecstasy
between enlightenment and confusion
between primitive and hopelessly civilized
between this and that
between self and other
between this and that
between self and other

each moment the Red One’s empty full-hearted challenge
to arise
like fish leaping from water
like bird leaving imprint in the sky
like letters written on the lake
like the horns on a rabbit
to arise
and remember

that we are all of the same elements
all of the same form
all of the same emptiness.


Spontaneously composed February 8-10 2022

© Baron of Bras D’Or 2022

Published by The Baron

Retired non-profit administrator.

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