for a long time

Psychiatry 2: Student Daze – Poem 12 

we huddle in a group
while the secure door
is unlocked to admit us

a small man
wild grey hair
unmatched eyes
rumpled shirt
greets us
sing-song style

hello boys and girls
how are you all today
are you visiting the wards
on your first morning
that’s lovely

who is he
what did he do to get locked up
he looks so strange
has he been here long

oh prospective students
was the Nurse-In-Charge
of the locked ward

he has been in charge
for a



© Frank Prem, 2016

Next: the most important thing

Notes on: for a long time


19 thoughts on “for a long time

    • Hi Arris, Thank you. The whole mental asylum/institution experience has to be viewed that way, I think.

      I’m inclined to think that from the perspective of the resident, it was more real – it was their whole life back around the earliest days I am writing about in this set.

      Anyway, I hope it’s a good read as it unfolds.

      More tomorrow.




  1. I like your poems about the asylum best of all. I feel there is an undertone there under the humour on the surface. Did you know that the poet Tomas Transtromer was a Psychologist? When an admirer once asked him how his work affected his poetry, he said it was odd that people seldom asked: “How has your poetry affected your work”.
    Anyway…keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder how “shocking” and upsetting it must have been – to be suddenly thrust onto a ward – text book learning and examples can’t compare to the real life introductions …. and as I’ve read through the comments, clearly, more than just a huge jolting wake-up call.

    Liked by 1 person

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