Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

#Tanka 26 — Oblivion

Busker plays bagpipes;
man lies on pavement nearby,
comatose with drink.
Lullaby, sweet lullaby.
Sink into oblivion.

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10 thoughts on “#Tanka 26 — Oblivion

  1. I can see the scene so clearly! I think that is the gift of a great writer!

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    • Thank you, dear Joss 🙂

      It was a surreal and sad scene I came upon when out shopping in the town centre this week. The man was lying there on a crowded street, hugging an empty beer can, and everybody was skirting around him as if he was invisible. His skin was such an awful grey colour and I couldn’t see him breathing. I thought he was dead, but when I asked him if he was OK, he said “Yes thanks, but I’m just…” He didn’t finish his sentence, although there was just a vague spark of amusement in his eyes, when I added, “Good, I was just checking, as I thought the bagpipes were rather a strange lullaby for a sleeping man!”

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      • This is so touching. Thank you for seeing him! AND speaking to him. I have an adult son who is schizophrenic and people often think he is invisible.

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      • I used to work in psychiatry and saw it very much as a vocation. I also once dated a schizophrenic guy, who was the sweetest and most creative person, but sometimes he stopped taking his medication and things went very wrong for him. I was good friends with his parents and at great pains to reassure them that his illness was not their fault. They were always so kind and caring to him, but at a loss to know what to do when he had florid turns. Every time he needed admitting to hospital, they felt that they’d in some way failed him.

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  2. I can picture this scene very clearly.

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  3. I’ve passed by that scene a few times!! Wonderful Sarah!

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    • I guess there are all sorts of reasons why people walk by someone in that state, fear being one of them, hardened hearts, busy-ness etc. But I do think in the UK there’s this feeling that it’s the responsibility of various official bodies to sort out, such as the social or psychiatric services, local councils, etc. The trouble is, these bodies are often underfunded and not able to do their job properly.

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