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Re: I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...
Posted by: John Hunter PhD ()
Date: August 04, 2020 01:47AM

Thanks, Facet

In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson quotes Dr Samuel Johnson, who says, "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man"... and right now I'm finding it hard to fight the urge to be angry and full of hate for the people who have hurt me. I don't want to end up like the person in this poem... I just want to find peace... but I really do understand how this can happen to someone who loses the love of their life:

Dr Johnson (2009)

There’s an old man I see on the corner
He screams at me as I walk past
His eyes are black with bitter hatred
He tells me this day is my last

On his body the sores – they are weeping
Leaking pus over malnourished bones
On his urine-soaked rug he’s been sleeping
Soaking odours of rank, vulgar tones

His coarse hands they tremble with fury
At every sane soul that he sees
He laughs, flashing untreated growths
Taunting all to enjoy his disease

With his fingers he scratches the tarmac
Then himself with the black, bloodied stumps
Lacerated, he sheds crimson whimpers
And then gnaws like a dog on his lumps

At a young boy he spits rancid phlegm
At a young girl he whispers abuse
At a priest he sings praise to the devil
At a couple he gestures a noose

Without warning he wails like a siren
Howling pitiful, piercing, sad cries
Now his dark holes – they are seeping
Dirt-stained tears escape tormented eyes

The old vagrant was once Dr Johnson
– a man who at one time had shone
It’s been thirty-five years since he practiced
It’s been thirty-five years she’s been gone

“I knew him back then…” said a stranger
“He just lost it…” he started to say
“It was like someone reached in and took out his soul…
… like both of them died on that day”

So often I’d walked past the old man
Yet only today it would seem
I saw to the root of his hatred
– to the source of his maddening screams

So much praise is bestowed on the stoic
And while there is worth in control
There is also a splendour in falling apart
– stating boldly “I’ll never be whole”

As I looked through new eyes at this vagrant
I saw not the old man broke and torn
I saw a beast formed by the fiercest love
I saw beauty in its purest form



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2020 01:49AM by John Hunter PhD.

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Re: I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...
Posted by: facet ()
Date: August 06, 2020 06:25AM

Hi John,

That is a powerful piece of writing isn’t it ! I think I definitely conveys the feelings.

I liked the poem that you shared in a previous post too.

It isn’t easy is it? Nor pleasant. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times or more before, though it will pass. Take good care !

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Re: I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...
Posted by: John Hunter PhD ()
Date: August 07, 2020 11:45AM

LOL.Thanks for the kind words

The previous poem ("Invictus") was written by WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY and published in 1888. It was Nelson Mandela's favourite poem, and it's brilliant.

The one above ("Dr Johnson") was written by John Hunter (not PhD yet) in 2009. I wrote it for a friend who had just been broken up with, and who had - in an email to me a few days before - really fallen apart, and revealed just how hurt she was. A day after sending me the mail, she apologised for being so open, and was embarrassed by how "weak" she was, so I wrote it to let her know how I saw her "weakness".

It's based on a few people I met during my first manic episode in London - one was a homeless man named Roy who slept in the Earlsfield library, near to where I lived. While in my manic state, I befriended him and found out that he had once owned a painting business, had been quite wealthy, driven sports cars etc., but something had happened to him and he had turned to alcohol... (I actually took Roy to Wimbledon with me in 2003... the tennis tournament... which scared the life out of my housemate, and which is a source of much laughter to my friends... who find my stories of mania exceedingly entertaining.)

The second person it was based on was a homeless man named Joe, who I'd seen screaming at passers by in Garrat Lane (Earlsfield). Again, since I was manic (and fearless) at the time... and believed that God was speaking to me... I went and sat down next to him, bought him a pie and some tea, and asked him his story. He immediately calmed down and revealed himself to be a sensitive man... but someone who was just feeling a lot of anger and pain.

We often don't express love properly to those we care about... which, as a repressed white guy with British ancestry, I've certainly been guilty of... but you can sometimes see love so clearly in the pain of loss. I wanted to let my friend, who is just the most incredible person, know how I saw her "weakness", so I wrote Dr Johnson for her later that day. She was actually in London with me in 2003, and she saw me at my most manic, yet she's never judged me and has always treated me with unconditional kindness and support. We are still good friends, and... although she still lives in London... has been an amazing friend for many years. If you're interested, I also wrote the poems, "The problem with you", and "The Line" for her... both of which are found in this book:

[www.dropbox.com]

I've clearly been in a manic state for the past few months, so I apologise for the strange posts. In my book, I quote John Dryden who says, "Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide", and I do think that, in spite of stepping across that line at times, most of what I wrote (in the book, and my PhD) reveals clear and creative thinking, rather than madness. I hope that you can find the value in the evidence I have produced without writing it all off because I'm "crazy". Assuming it's all crazy because, at times, I'm crazy is an appeal to authority, rather than a fair review of all of the evidence. It is a heuristic... a mental shortcut... System 1 thinking... employing the peripheral route... it's relying on the intuitive mind when you really should be engaging the rational mind... and I hope that I've conveyed the danger of doing that :)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2020 11:48AM by John Hunter PhD.

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Re: I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...
Posted by: facet ()
Date: August 08, 2020 12:59AM

Hi John,

Yes lol, completely, I knew it was a ridiculous suggestion hehe.

Thank you for sharing the poetry, I will most certainly have a read !

Friends and family are great (providing that they are not abusive types), they are often the first to tell us where we’re going wrong .. aka getting involved in something that’s not good for us but do we listen??? Haha lot of the time? It’s a nope.

#imgoingthehardwaytryandstopme - me entering the new age :D.

It’s like with the ‘crazy’ thing you mention, sometimes that’s down to abusive people attempts to rewrite reality for their own uses, which is by all means not everyone who says it ... because there are those who need to use the word ‘crazy’ because they are faced with something that they have not had to comprehend before or just do not currently understand or do not need to understand.

That’s why others viewpoint (within the contexts) is so valuable, because we’re all here with our different views and working those together now and then, a bit like in physics and science etc, means that progress is made in understanding.

I do not devalue your book, not at all, though the book must be a book.. it is far too detailed in personal information. Boundary respecting people may not entirely enjoy the read though that is just one perspective and of course not the only one that there should be.

It is always up to you at the end of the day, and the work is still valuable to those who search for answers.

Facet

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