Delirium – November 2015

Catherine Heath

May 2020

We're in uncharted territory:

Black delirium 

Of twisting lines

(This last frontier

Of mine.)

More of me,

The feelings die--

Birds spread their wings;

Fly, by and by. 

Miles away in Leiden,

Dallying in darkest dreams--

It seems that friends are

Endless wellsprings…

Could you tell,

I'm breaking?

Softly questioning

Those parts of you 

Still questing--


So far from home.

The vision perturbs me;

Ridden with symbols

(Written in light). 

The flight of fancy hardens

In the sight of reason. 

You and me--

Life's pirate crew;

True adventures 

Through and through,

Indelicate cavorting

(And the thought of stopping,


Decaying bones

Of dead men tell no tales,

And so I fail to see.

We know not where to go

With nought to show

For heartache. 

Breaking slowly, 

Minds are seeping

Through the cracks--

No turning back! 

Attack of counting crows, 

--Slow, now--

The eerie glow 

Of night

And fright of scarecrows

Guarding empty fields,

And flight of angels

Who don't want to feel. 

A real show of honour,

Riddled with guilt,

And sunken to the hilt 

Of agony. 

The flattery of crowds,

They’re bowing down, 

(So proud--

Of meagre deeds)

Feeding from the lies

Of people, by and by. 

Slowly, die--

Choke of air,

And, addled with despair,

We no longer care

For what was there. 

We do it to ourselves,

Manufactured obsession--

Depression with melancholy

Adding in a dash of despair--

Railing against the cold,

Hard bars

(the cage we were born in)

Torn from old books

(worn with a look

Of surprise.)

The demise of sanity

(and affected vanity)

Of tortured souls,


Seeking to be whole--

Told what to feel,

Mistaking mirrors

For what is real. 

A deal with the devil,

An everyday evil

Mesmerises us--

And the dust of youth

Settles on old chairs,

The creaking stairs,

And party hats settle,

In the absence of shoes. 

(Sticky rings of drinks

Show we were on the brink

Of something.)

Like the collapse of a dying star,

The bloom of youth is gone,

Sucked by vampires

Enthralled by beauty,

Seduced by parlour tricks.  

Credit: Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash