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Scream!!!--a Bipolar Odyssey

by Wayne Thomas (Age: 67)
copyright 07-21-2007

Age Rating: 13 +

Springing from my bed
Bare feet stepping on old braided rug,
Washed up and shaved at 2:00 am
I scream in strained silence
In the oily black house,
Nerves taut
Like the strings on my guitar--
Fearful for what might be,
Dreading what might be
Happening to my body,
Happening to me.
I'm not ready to be old;
I'm less ready to die.

Along down my unwashed New Jersey window,
The rain swarms like fire bugs
In the light from the vague street lamp
In the slate-gray New Jersey sky.
I listen to the whining of tires
On the slick, wet roads.

I hear the rain, now,
As a living thing, hunting me,
Pounding on my roof and walls,
Demanding entrance to my overbooked brain,
Now streaming down the window panes
Like tiny flash floods.
My mind whirls from lack of sleep,
And I wonder, half-aloud,
How many sunrises do I have left?

The day sweeps by in fits and naps,
And all too soon
It's late at night, again,
The television is on, reminding me
That no matter what car I buy
Or what brand of beer I drink
There's no one beside me.
A wave of guilt rolls across me,
Prickling me with icy fingers.
The front door is closed and locked.
As always, I'm here alone.

I seek solace in my books of poetry
and manuscripts of my own precious poems,
caught up in my too-short life
like a fever.
I pace the floors,
wander into the bedroom,
smile down at my sleeping wife,
her face silver in the wan moonlight,
linger awhile,
and wander barefoot through
the empty house,
eating a bowl of ice cream as I go.

And I hear the wind come up,
lashing through trees and flowers,
pressing on the house itself--
the rain again, the endless rain,
like bullets hammering against the glass
and roof
and walls
and brains
and the bare steel sheath
of the window mount AC.
I'm inside a drum.
It's all through me,
I can't escape.

I flop onto the sofa
pressing my hands against my ears,
quoting scriptures and poems,
anything I can remember
to drown out the incessant noises
the scrambled voices from my weary
but wide awake brain.
Control slowly slipping.

Arpeggios of pounding rain
feed those voices echoing in my mind,
a sanctum less and less my own,
dragging fragments of thoughts
around my head
faster and faster
like the Daytona Speedway.
I lay back and look up at the ceiling.
One of us is going round in circles.
I sit up, rocking to and fro, to and fro.
There's nothing left.
The border is crossed.
I'm losing my grip.
Hot tears flow unbidden.
Again, without sound or words,
I scream.

Visitor Reads: 2118
Total Reads: 2163

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        11-11-2016     Sarah Anne Campbell        

Absolutely beautifully written and very accurate on the side of Bipolar disorders. I felt like I was in that perspective completely!

The way it was interpretted was just spectacular and I would love to read more from you, a huge pat on the back!

Absolutely beautiful job

        07-27-2016     Jacqueline Ives        

Very well written, evocative description. I don't know that I could add to comments already made. Except to say: the writer seems to be alone yet his wife is in the house. I guess it is possible to be with someone yet alone, and perhaps this even adds to the effect. Bi-polar often combines with a lot of talent, even genius e.g. Vincent Van Gogh. Also, I have a friend - we have a family friend - with bi-polar disorder who is one of the best people I have known.

        03-30-2014     Mike Farr        

Hello Wayne,


I have known people with this disorder, they are subject to severe mood swings, one minute they are painting their GTO, and the next they are destroying it with a baseball bat. (A real life incident) as long as this guy takes his medication he is a lamb, a really big frigen lamb, thank God for B.P. medication, because he sat behind me at work in a cubical.


When I was in High School my family was told that I did not have Bipolar Disorder, I was just an on and off Bully, and would grow out of it eventually.

They are still waiting.

However, I do not Bully with a baseball bat; I find that (Microsoft Word) works just fine.

But seriously Wayne,

You did a great job on this piece; you have educated me far beyond what I ever understood about this disorder. Nice Work.

        05-09-2008     Jade Luke        

It's funny... I may be young, but I know what this feels like. My body doesn't work like it should and there were several times in my life when they could find no scientific reason I managed to live. WHen every night you know you may never wake up, sometimes it's frightning yet sometimes it's a comfort. Good poem. Just remember even if you never wake at least you have someone who loves you and always will, and more than likely there are people up there waiting to see you again, cherishing your every eartly laugh.

        09-02-2007     Emily Garwood        

its interesting to see what people think about as time goes on this kinda reminds me of my grandad as he constantly said he was too old and he was going to die he said the same thing over and over for 5 years...but instead of poetry he had me obviously my grandma too but he was my best friend and it hurt so bad when he'd start on my "i'm too old..." i've realised you can't think about whats gonna happen u just have to enjoy life and whos around you and live it to the fullest. this is a brilliant poem though and i loved it everything just flowed and the structure was great too keep up the good work


        08-10-2007     Richard Reed Jr        

Awesome write with powerful words and imagery.
Tends to draw the reader into the poem although it sort of' makes my skin crawl a bit -yet without life there can be no death and as I am 'wont to believe; without death there can be no life.

Great write Wayne,


        07-28-2007     Frank Fields        

As with all of your works, this one is especally dangerous to be given only a cursory reading, then for anyone to have the courage to offer a commnet.

It is a chilling presentation of sunset days that come unbidden, but even though unwanted, refuse to leave like unpleasant guests.

Still, there is tangible imagery of a world of comfort, at least one which balances the scream which most of us will endure.

An excellent write!

Frank :)

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