Manic is the Dark Night

by Michael Lee Johnson


Manic Forest Deep into the forest
the trees have turned
black, and the sun
has disappeared in
the distance beneath
the earth line, leaving
the sky a palette of grays
sheltering the pine trees
with pitch-tar shadows.

It is here in this black
and sky gray the mind
turns psycho
tosses norms and pathos
into a ground cellar of hell,
tosses words out through the teeth.
“Don’t smile or act funny,
try to be cute with me;
how can I help you today
out of your depression?”

I feel jubilant, I feel over the moon
with euphoric gaiety.
Damn I just feel happy!
Back into the wood of somberness
back into the twigs,
sedated; the psychiatrist
scribbles notes, nonsense on a pad of yellow paper:
“Mania, oh yes, mania, I prescribe
lithium, do I need to call the police?”

No sir, back into the dark woods I go.
Controlled, to get my meds.
Twist and rearrange my smile,
crooked, to fit the immediate need.
Deep in my forest
the trees have turned black again
to satisfy the conveyor:
the Lord of the dark wood.


Copyright © 2007 by Michael Lee Johnson

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