consumers now

Psychiatry 3: After Asylum – Poem 36


in the game
they’re referred to now
as consumers
with services delivered
to a place called home

but I used to know them
a little better than that

they were
ella and ferdie and max
and eddie and pinky and b-ee-ill

they’re long gone now
and never come to mind
except on visits
to deserted day-rooms
and haunted dormitories


© Frank Prem, 2016

Next – Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations – Introduction

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final discharge

Psychiatry 3: After Asylum – Poem 35


in it’s serenity
the town cemetery is a beautiful place
the granite-work and the statuary
hold a sombre dignity
in the peaceful air
a contrast
to unmarked mounds that are
little more than gentle blemishes
in the waving grass
that surrounds the wandering path

many histories lie here
pioneer spirit and gold
plague disease and chinese ceremonial
anglican
jewish
catholic
and unwanted

on the left side
towards the back
inconspicuous and out of the way
are those unclaimed who are
at last
in possession of their final discharge

released
from the paternal care
of the mental asylum


© Frank Prem, 2016

Next – consumers now

Psychiatry 3: After Asylum

This short section of my psychiatry memoir includes only two poems, but to me they were important realizations and still seem appropriate to highlight.

When I undertook my training as a psychiatric nurse (which was completed in the early 1980’s) no-one could have predicted the changes that would shortly revolutionize the industry of mental illness care through closure of institutions and establishment of new wave services – smaller services, more immediate, in your own home, part of normal general hospitals, and so on.

Now, in hindsight, we can look back and evaluate successes and failures, but back in the 1980’s we had no idea.

I won’t be including any supplementary notes for these or later poems, but am happy to respond through comments to any questions or thoughts. Hope you enjoy the pieces.

The section begins here.