type rhyme to convey his thoughts, his message is hard-hitting and poignant. Mr. Williams is speaking of the everyday events which most people take for granted, but which are difficult to manage if you are in a state of psychic distress.
Eileen McManus is a voice we have not heard before but will most assuredly become familiar with in upcoming issues. Ms. McManus, too, is contrasting the way in which one functions when they are emotionally healthy, with the stark terror one faces when illness strikes. Perhaps the diagnosis that we should "just be happy" is good advice.
Rituals of Our Lives
By Cecil Williams
We look in awe at the sights of the City
Going into the pharmacy for another refill
And never gaining everybody's solemn pity
Because we have been labelled mentally ill.
On which road have you travelled, my befuddled friend?
And do you wonder about how your life will end?
You go to pray at the synagogue or church
To find the love of God in your aimless search.
And we have found answers here to provide us skills
What comfort from our distress we gather from these pills!
I ponder why I am disillusioned and think so funny
And why my lot is so concerned about where I'll get the money.
And just when I think the sun will shine for a brighter day
Another peer pushes a pedestrian on the tracks of the subway.
But the decision to sit and put down these thoughts in rhyme
Certainly cannot be construed as a heinous crime.
We found love at the picnic in Central Park
Exploring for the nest of a robin or a lark.
The way I see it is she never thought me too clever
Saying that I could be right but she thought hardly ever.
There doesn't seem to be a hospitalization for me
And the diagnosis is that we should just be happy.
As I try to contain the form of this clumsy verse,
The condition of a fellow consumer has gotten worse.
But we must not give up the daily fight
Yet another day goes by where we only have to write.
Fall to Earth
By Eileen McManus
Sugar sprinkled days, hot coffee days
Bright sun and cool air in the mornings
My skirt wrapped and blown gently by the north wind
I rode the trains by morning, listened to phones and the click
of the city sounds
Typewriter! Fax! Computer! I made dinner by evening
Content with my days under the sun
Happy and warm, like a cat purring in the sun
I never dreamed my life would become this: Dark walls, tears,
hiding in my bed like a bear in a cave
I never dreamed I would be cast out from the music of life
among those healthy
Thrown into darkness by a slip of fate, my life jolted by the
inadequacy of a neuron
I face my days with fear, fearful of the pounding of the city
Frightened and envious of those more blest
I cry the tears of one fallen, One who fell like Pegasus,
wax of wings broken from flying too high, melted by the
warm and merciless sun.