Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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Our featured poet for this issue is Lynn Morton Nangano,
whom I had the pleasure of "chatting" with one night over
the internet. Lynn is a clerical worker at South Beach
Psychiatric Center. Her list of influences is eclectic:
Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot, Kurt Cobain, Carl Sagan and
Chopin to name a few. Her statement on poetics is as
follows: "I enjoy both science and the creative arts, and
I think this is reflected in my poetry. I get satisfaction
from writing a poem that is well-structured, intense and
has meaning on many different levels." In my opinion,
Lynn's poetry succeeds on every level!
I usually don't do this, but I've included one of my
own poems since "Wednesday's Child," like Lynn's
poems, contains the voice of the angry, unsatisfied
child within us.

By Lynn Morton Nangano

Circles we tread around the rose bush
That is how our lives are led
Barely grasping the stem with its thorns
Flower not had, soul never fed

Never to return to lilac-scented springtime
Motes of dust in morning sunlight streams
Quaking spirits that aspire to the stars --
What has come and ruined childhood dreams?

"Breaking Up"
By Lynn Morton Nangano

Needing to achieve a state of mental health
I want to laugh
And picture you, crouching like
a stupid duck
On a conveyor belt
A robot arm stamping you

I wish to be mechanical
about the process, but
The cogs dissolve in the
cosmic machine
When I am on the receiving
End of pain.
By Lynn Morton Nangano

My mind is a Pandora's Box
It seems I've lost the key
The phantoms fly around my head
They like to torment me

I cannot force them back inside
They writhe within my hand
I can't decide not to decide
I cannot take a stand

If I think white they tell me black
And then my thoughts are gray
The whole world's twisted to deceive
My fear stands in my way

I fear I'll never find them gone
They'll follow me to Hell
What will the future hold for me?
The demons never tell

By Lynn Morton Nangano
Getting nowhere
As the wings of our minds beat
Too quickly to perceive
With a monotone droning

Above an endless sea
Our broken wings careen
Night flight from an unfathomable

We dare not speak
Our only voice the
Unproductive hum
Of the wings of our minds
Getting nowhere
(For Kurt Cobain)
By Lynn Morton Nangano

Inconsolable child
Deep-damaged and voracious
Cookies, toys or sex?

Wail and hyperventilate
And thrash against the crib
A pale and tender pith

What does this empty, odd-shaped hole
Need to fill it up so clean and tight?
Please, what do you need
To make your life complete, neat
All the pieces snugly hugging
Every string tucked in?

I want
My world a womb
I need

Wednesday's Child
By Cindy Sostchen
"Wednesday's Child is full of Woe
Thursday's Child has far to go…."
-Nursery Rhyme

I slipped easily from a stranger's tomb
after thrashing like thunder in her amniotic sea
but while I was born, this turbulent seed
she slipped too easily from me

Wednesday's Child was full of woe
I lay in my crib like a misshapen stain
and raging tornadoes of blue wind in flame
encased me in pyramids of pain

So I'm here in my cradle
my prison cell earth
where I'm thrashing still
for the sin of my birth
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