Saturday, March 01, 2003

Sandy Jeffs

Special Australian Section

The Social Worker

The social worker
thought I was cactus
a dead loss
a blight on the world.
The social worker told me
I had: reached the end of the line,
and I believed her
thought I was history
a story with a crappy ending
a nobody who
walked in the shadows of others
and cast none of my own
a witch who made others miserable
a carbuncle on my friends' lives.

I festered and oozed
and sealed the puss of my madness
in the scab of my life's retreat
which had: reached the end of the line
so the social worker from Hell said
condemning me to another Hell
which had nothing to do with being mad.

My Life

My life
is only a breath
shallow at times
barely feathering
the myriad faces
that glide the ways
barely giving comfort
never taming the ghouls.

My life
is only a breath
that fades into
the moon's
asylum of beggars
and angels.

When they frame
the shadows of
the nether world
in a golden cage,
into which I come
and from which I leave
angry and mad,
let them say:
she was the maddest of all.
And I shall say:
my life
is only a breath
its hush speaks words
falling as a crescendo
upon the mad world's deafness.

Sandy Jeffs has had four books of poetry published. Her poetry invites the reader to experience the agony and humour of madness, the tragedy of domestic violence and the trials, tribulations and celebrations of midweek ladies tennis. Sandy often speaks to community groups, GP's , schools and university students about mental illness, hoping to raise awareness about the myths that surround this misunderstood phenomenon. Sandy lives on the outskirts of Melbourne with her friends and animals.

Coral Hull Spike Rotundo Sandy Jeffs Michael Furs Mike Katzberg Elizabeth Kelso Lori Williams Danny P. Barbare

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