Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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Leila Hollis has written over 750 poems; many of them have been published. She has returned to college to complete her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and would like to do Poetry Therapy. Ms. Hollis hopes that people reading her poems will understand that they are not alone in their suffering, and will continue going forward as she has. This is the type of message that we, at New York City Voices, like to hear.


The Haunting

By Leila Hollis

fog, you engulf me
silently creeping around me
you frighten me so

swallowing me, as you once did
would be so easy, but
I will not let you

when I enter you, I am blinded
unable to see where to go
though definitely know where I am heading

I am alone and afraid
you can overtake me, but
I will not let you

you are my unconscious thoughts
(dreaded ones from out of my past)
coming forth to haunt me now

release me, retreat, let me be as I am
you are the power that can break me, but
I will not let you

after an eternity I reach my destination
SAFE, I HAVE SURVIVED
although you come silently, paralyzing
great cities....

you may no longer conquer,
for ....

I will not let you.


As If It Were a Kaleidoscope

By Leila Hollis

as if it were a kaleidoscope, i peer

through a tiny opening in my mind

through which i view in vivid fragments

undeciphered memories

perceptions of time evolving and dissolving

from and into themselves again and again

as waves of individuality hasten toward

and depart the shores of interdependence.


Land of the Lost

By Leila Hollis

vaguely sensing someone calling me,
I cautiously open my eyes, focusing
on image appearing in doorless
doorway

"Schneider," it calls once again,
"medication time"

mechanically rising from my
institutional bed, I shuffle
towards her, my head going along
for the ride ... totally detached
from its body

she stands guarding her precious
cargo (little keys to future
mental health) coming in all sizes
and colors; a sea of pajamas
swallowing her as disciples waiting
for the chosen one to redeem them

street-clothed doctors hurrying
through swinging doors (as if into
pylons) transporting them back
to their world ... the world of reality?

with last visitor having descended
the "forbidden elevator" (leaving
behind a world of screaming
isolation rooms and doorless toilets)
and medical needs having been met
i once again face the eternal darkness
of night ... night which seems
devastatingly different when viewed
through the iron mesh of
Jacobi's window.
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