Poetry by Jeff Green


Mistakes like these

by cricketjeff on July 2, 2009.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

Gutted: Part of a derelict psychiatric hospital just north of Birmingham, quite an eerie place.

Bare walls still hold the echoes of unwanted tortured dreams,
      From minds that couldn’t hold the world at bay.
This room was once the shelter for a man who lived in screams
      And never found the strength to run away.

A mother who, unmarried, wouldn’t give the father’s name,
      A child abused and too afraid to speak.
Society’s the patient and its structures are to blame
      When nobody will help the poor and weak.

No lock and key’s the answer to a mind that’s lost in fog;
      Mistreatment by the world is not disease,
But innocence and ignorance are not a pedagogue,
      Intransigence is deaf to many pleas.

Now changes to perceptions have brought closure to the wards;
      The tales the walls contained remain untold.
No iron beds or wooden chairs are dragged across the boards,
      The grounds where patients walked have now been sold.

Just here and there a photograph, a memory, a word,
        Sheds light upon the errors of the past,
But we should not be arrogant, our world is still absurd,
        Mistakes like these will never be our last.

Author notes

Please credit Simon if you use his photo: http://beakerst.shutterchance.com/photoblog/Gutted/