Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010


by Merlene Fawdry Pugh

Another day wasted
in shadowy contemplation
the promise of peace; eternal peace
as the pitiless cycle
of mental illness
spreads tentacles of contagion
holding me in quarantine
re-shaping thought processes
into self-destructive impulses
the need to escape
suffocating in its intensity
cutting off each breath
of rational thought.
Loved ones fade
to the edge of my torment
faces blurred
unreachable, untouchable
against the corrosive onslaught
of words his illness spits at me
cankers of the soul
ulcerated with the years.
The episode ends
as a sliver of sunlight
beckons through the darkness
promising a new beginning
to match his vows
of repentance
but I struggle to emerge
to greet the new day
my wholeness excised
during the long journey
though the dark.
But night-time returns
with ominous regularity
and the flagellation resumes
flickers from his lexiconic whip
flaying my spirit
and I retreat to a place
beyond his reach.

Added: 17.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


A rhythm of experience that is honest and true.