Each dark thought a block
that builds higher walls.
Damp, dirty and crumbling
but nonetheless impenetrable.
This thing has many names
like the Blue Plague or Black Dog.
Mine has no colour but grey.
It is not anger turned in, it’s nothing.
There are no ups or peaks.
Just a flat unending bleakness,
an unchanging dull landscape
marked only by my exhaustion.
Outside, if I wash and comb my hair
I appear the same as I always have.
You cannot see my shriveled insides,
or a kernel where my heart once beat.
Will this dread thing ever leave me?
It surely is a most miserable companion.
This jealous lover that tries to isolate me,
I know will not have the final word.
Lesley Williams worked in mental health services for more than thirty years, firstly as a psychiatric nurse and then as a social services worker. Like many of us, Lesley has also witnessed mental health problems within her own family. Since Lesley retired from work she has been involved in a small writing group and has recently had one of her poems called The Lake published in the BlackBough online poetry magazine. Lesley lives in Swansea, South Wales with her long time partner, Ray, and with Toby, their much loved canine companion.