Sunday, October 3, 2010



Somewhere between sleeping and waking
Lies the Flashback Zone.
Long nights holds no fears;
My slumber is black velvet
And dreamless.
Bright days contains no ghosts;
My waking hours are a frenzy
Of all too concrete thought.
But lie down
On a couch,
At ease,
Not a care in the world,
And the Flashbacks
What if he'd drowned!
What if he'd fallen off the wall?
Why did I do that?
What a stupid remark to make?
Age-old horrors
From almost forgotten films.....
'Give Us This Day',
A man drowning in liquid concrete;
The mouth slowly filling;
The eyes wide in realisation!
And everything is so real
In the Flashback Zone!
My heart races,
My palms sweat,
I even articulate
'Oh no!'
To an empty room!
I am wide awake,
Laughing at myself,
In an instant.
But my body is still fooled.
Long after, I feel cold,
Almost depressed.
And I think of soldiers....
Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
How can they bear it.....
The Post Traumatic Flash-back?



The mind needs stillness and acceptance
To reach its full potential.
The mind rails against stillness and acceptance
For it needs to plan, rule and dominate.
Say 'Be still' to your mind
And it will analyse the command.
How to be still.
Why to be still.
Where to be still.
What trigger to use?
What mental picture to paint?
What mantra to recite?
Even as it seeks stillness
It creates chaos.
'This is not still enough!
Where am I going wrong?'
Like sleep, stillness can evade us.
The sheep we are counting
Can huddle and bleat disturbingly.
The silly mind
Will seek for distinguishing
Marks on the fleece
'Wolf in sheep's clothing'.
Who said that?
Stop it!
Be still!'
'I am accepting'
I murmur.
But 'sheep' have bleated their way
Into my mind!
Shall we have lamb chops for supper tonight?'


Ana said...

Your flashback reminded me of my childhood when most feared the "flashback zone"!

Jae Rose said...

What a powerful piece...I can't imagine the flashbacks of war but you have created all the anxiety of remembering things best left undisturbed..great stuff..Jae

Deborah said...

You told that so well, and it most certainly would be a thousand times worse!
Both poems are wonderful.

George S Batty said...

I have often wondered how men of war handle the horrers they have seen. Some don't. It eventually drives them crazy. The ones I have personally met (and seem normal) do not like to discuss those horrers. They seem to be able to push them somewhere into the back of their minds. Still I have a friend that you can see the disgust and horrer in his eyes when someone will ask him. Then his face goes blank and he simply says that he doesn't think aabout it anymore.
nice usual

pegasus said...

Well done. I could FEEL it: the anxiety, the cold sweat, the embarrassment even while alone of realizing it wasn't real. Good job!

Elizabeth said...

And again, I really like both pieces and how they support and inform one another. You describe the Flashback Zone well and how it can terrorize us and prevent us from finding the stillness that we seek.


Margaret Gosden said...

OMMMMM! What about fish and chips in newspaper!

Susannah said...

I really enjoyed both.

Well observed and beautifully written.

My Sunday Scribblings

Old Egg said...

How clearly you illustrate the need to treat syndromes from combat areas seriously. We can laugh at our own memories but to have the reality of horror with you is terrifying.

Great rhyme.

Kat said...

but but but.... why should flashbacks be always horror ones ???

mind being still...!!!

got a flashback reading a book about Bhagavat Gita.

In this the author gives an idea for the mind to meditate and be still. And to achieve that one shouldn't let the mind wander.

He gives an example on how a mahout takes the elephant through the streets (okay... you people there can't imagine why elephants should walk in streets..!!)

The elephant can be naughty and would extend its trunk and take away bananas or coconuts from way side shops.

Hence, the mahout would give a stick to the elephant and ask it to carry it, in its trunk.

The elephant would religiously do that and behave itself.

Similarly, we people when we meditate need such a small trick to still the mind so that it doesn't wander.

Hence we are recommended to chant repeatedly some words or concentrate on the breathing, so that the mind is still and focussed.

Anyway, all that apart..... am coming home for the delicious lamb chop promised..!!!! :-)))))