Snowdrift Of Unique Flakes

This poem’s for girls and boys related to me, by blood, and by shared education and culture.



Catch breath – you’re born into the thick
………………….of it, of billions and billions

Of sun-exploded-once-upon-a-long-ago-time atoms
…………………..made heavier to make you possible!

Viral fragments in a dark cosmos, knit into our DNA
………………… overcome disease, erupting hopes

Shine in, become us. Become this church, and sea outside
…………………..circling round it at high tide, become the sunshine

on your faces, small, expectant, looking about. Printless in front
………………….of you, your futures stretch unseen, like sand or snow.

What questions will you both ask? What extraordinary powers
…………………switch on? What, unimaginably, will become results?




Wiped off the *coal-black board, like chalk, like a smile wiped
off someone’s face, that second by second quality of dark aliveness
Was wiped off my brain. It was as if it never had been.
…………………………………………..Not a thought (intelligent or stupid)
Could be reborn, phoenix-like, in the ashes inside my head.
My brains just couldn’t join incoming sensory data with ideas to match,
Nothing made sense! (it was my own fault, I felt guiltily}

Exploiters sniffed me out, as prey. Harangued by bullies
I nonsensed, drank in their contradictions to get through, bodges,
Fudge-factors, were better than abject black vacancies.

Head-insides get like this after decades of swallowing anti-psychotics

No-one understood what I meant.

In the end, the ability to tell real from false, was disabled so badly,
You’re stuck right back where you started. Just as ill as when
you needed the help of anti-psychotic medicine. Ii re-creates illness!

////////////////…… Instead of smiling. I grimaced an appeasing rictus,
Cravenly flattered everybody, whether powerful (medically/politically) or not –
what rubbish am I talking? – I flattered everybody whose brain worked,
And was aware. Mine wasn’t.

Unthinking “Is it catching?”s (we don’t want to get it) “Don’t stare
she’s a freak” (covertly staring) “What’s she taken?”s were dished out
Wherever I went

Dramas, like my unconsciousness, and near death, spark interest. Some day,
Someone idly wonders …… “What medication WAS she taking? What medicine
Writes people off? Re-creates disabling illnesses?”

…. Discovers why, shouts, in the blinding-road-to-Damascus instant, “YES! –
The years of complaints from patients on anti-psychotics have meant



……………………………………………………………OR RE-CREATE ILLNESSES!


There are very few references online describing these results – mind sogginess and stupefaction, fatalities also – of taking anti-psychotics (unmonitored) …. Online articles I’ve read insist mind-sogginess and stupefaction are caused by schizophrenia, not by the medication – one added that the medication worsened what the schizophrenia caused. In my experience, the medication caused an inexorable and increasing stupefaction, which was terrifying because I’d learned not to trust the very people, psychiatrists, supposedly there to help me. The thought of “not getting what you mean” tactics was too dreadful to consider, let alone risk. This switchback, this reversible cause/effect mechanism, is extremely interesting. It casts light on what is unknown about transmission, pathways and inhibitors inactivating the hosts of brain biochemicals, like dopamine, now being discovered.

One article went so far as to state that all schizophrenia sufferers have retarded IQ’s from early childhood, and are incapacitated, and bizarrely brain damaged. It talked as if schizophrenics are uniform, identical, like light bulbs, and all of us switched off. Identical darknesses, not real people at all.

Gothic nightmare stuff, in fact. A Frankenstein re-issue, propped up (so it pretended it was real and science) by a technique called “meta-analysis”. The use made by invoking (and repeating) this phrase “meta-analysis” in this article, was cherry-picking anything from other people’s research that could be made to back up a preconceived Gothic nightmare idea.

No more than an array of pejorative value judgements, which are not science, nor is it scientific making public the worst possible dehumanising ideas about schizophrenia.

Let’s take 10 minutes, and refresh ourselves!


The pub is an institution. You can exchange
cash for a pint and join in the banter
or work behind the bar for cash in hand like Lynne
who is missing a lovely bright spring day by working. Blossom
blows by the open door, a bumblebee stumbles through the sunlit air.

The carpet, so red and opulent under electric light
is bleached and frayed with cigarette burns by daylight.
Three men are drinking, leaning one hand on the bar,
the fourth, Bruce, sits apart on a barstool.
Brown-eyed Paul assays: “It’s a lovely day.”

Bruce fixes him with flint-brilliant eyes, grins evilly:
“Then why are you stood in here?” John, tall,
with a mop of springing curls, grins and drinks his Stella Artois.
Lynne wipes the bar and listens, acne-scarred Steve
starts a discussion with brown-eyed Paul:

“Look, you get on the tube at Blackhorse Road
and it’s ten stops to Victoria. Kings Cross is the fifth
there’s five more stops, right? Half way must be half
way in between the two halves of five stops,
between Kings Cross and Euston.” “That can’t be right because

the next stop, Euston, is the sixth.” Paul is puzzled.
“Steve, you’re a cunt” says Bruce, his eyes flint-brilliant, stony.
Lynne doesn’t turn a hair and John butts in:
“You haven’t allowed for the intervals Steve.”
“You – eh?” Steve looks at John with belligerent respect:

“You travel an interval, then there’s a stop. After five intervals,
and five stops, you’re at Kings Cross, halfway exactly.”
Bruce can’t resist it: “Which, if you think, is nonsense, John,
because there’s a different distance between each fucking station!”
Steve protests: “It’s halfway on the map!” and John: “The map’s an idealisation.”

Sarcastically: “Thanks John!” Paul’s brown eyes are puzzled still,
he turns to Lynne and Lynne pre-empts him: “Another Castlemaine?”
“Cheers Lynne. I’m lost with all this talking!” Lynne is slab-faced,
curt with strangers, she never meets their eyes, but because Paul
is a regular, she gives him her sweet and unexpected smile:

“It’s only talk. That’s two pound fifty please.”
Steve plays the exclamatory, flashing fruit machine,
he has backed off but Bruce won’t let it drop:
“As John says. It’s only a map with no real meaning
except for cunts like Steve who get things hopelessly wrong!”

Lynne glances at her watch then stares
through black-fringed eyes into unfathomable distances,
this is her job. The men are here through choice.
John drains his Stella, nods to Lynne and leaves
and a ladybird alights on the pump for London Pride.

Schizophrenia affects various people in a large variety of ways, like any other illness. Cancer sufferers aren’t uniformly identical either – no-one dreams of thinking that, or expecting sufferers from TB to be exactly all the same. All human beings are uniquely different. I’ve met disorganised thinkers, mad or sane, in hospitals, at school, everywhere, like nice or nasty people. They can be Consultants, patients, or that man in the shop. Everyone can be snowed under by influxes of sensory information. Disturbing experiences happen to every human being. I saw my crippled mother sneered at, and taunted, by her successful sexual rival and it creased me up that my father could be in such a sexual coma he was blind to what a nasty bitch his mistress could be! It could happen in our own home, too.

Suicidal despair is something we all know – so is the local boy in the photograph, it’s gut-wrenchingly human to feel this, to know times like this. But we can’t always be kinder to each other, recognising our common humanity looking back at us from the eyes of another person. Humans must learn how to cope with our own, and each others’, despair. We’re all unique snowflakes (one of my daughters told me that one, only back to front as a gibe, a joke. “Doctor, I have a dreadful problem – I’m a unique snowflake (SOB SOB)” I’ve used it as the title of this section because I found the joke/gibe funny, and thought how true it is!




….. Is softly grey (so fashionable) and everything happens at once.
Descendants of childhood blackbirds, titmouses (don’t worry –
nothing abbreviated vulgarly, I’ll keep things Non-conformist middle class),
robins, sing beautifully, immediate grey-muffled sun-moments
send rich hormone cocktails (sic) bubbling, springing (sic) through the blood
of birds. Courting, fighting tunefully (to annex/invade lebensraum)
mating, starts at once. Sunlight is so high-pitched, it’s spring, so it’s
intense enough to cause all this. Miles-deep cloud diffuses, doesn’t stop
it taking effect.

Air’s warming up, past collective madnesses are running
through my head, leaves are released like springing-back
elastic (sorry!)

…. I stupidly succumbed to rubbish advice
from ego-tripping educational psychologists. Succumbing
meant kidding myself truancy was school refusal, and avoiding
having to take charge. Hiding the fact I daren’t.
(a devious middle class graduate trick)
……………………….Then creating problem-concepts avoided looking
at the burning desert glare of scapegoating, by so-called friends, or
fronting the same from local political party members, because
whispers tattooed my schizophrenia hashtag onto me and us.
……………………Husband, son and daughters colluded, inflated barrage
balloon illusions to protect each other from
the unhappiness and fury that stared back at us
out of each other’s disbelieving faces

………………………….Saying “Good morning”, believing “ordinary life”
can happen, means it does, saying so makes it real.
……………………………………….And policing each other’s collusion
keeps our species alive and going.
…………………………………..Of course no-one blurts aloud what they’re thinking –
but ad libs, buys a moment, mouthing a cliche does it, we wait
for someone else to commit themselves first. We’re onstage, in front
of lots of others! Missed cues, lost nerves, or corpsing terrifies
or embarrasses us with pity: ”OMG Forgot his lines! How awful!
……..Wherever our galaxy is hurtling us, at incredible velocities –
relative to other galaxies – the show MUST go on!

For whom? Who, d’we reckon, is watching?

Hearing intrusive thoughts as if voiced or spoken, though inside one’s head, is very common. Nearly half, well over a third of humanity, has hallucinatory experiences, at one time or another. LSD, skunk or glue, don’t give you hallucinations, but trigger the capacity for having hallucinatory experiences, common to us all. The potential, or capacity, must be there in the first place, for hallucinations to be possible at all. (Ordinary student volunteers in drug trials of LSD-type substances experience hallucinations too – it’s a human capacity and in each of us – no-one can say only potential nutters swallow or jab illegal drugs into themselves, therefore it’s only them who can trigger their capacity for hallucinations)

Where’s this everything’s gotta be perfect daft idea come from? We’ve evolved to wing it long enough to reproduce, not to throw a hissy fit because our diamond slippers pinch on a hot day! (Duh! Perfect in Mind and Body ideas sell us shampoo cars pharmaceuticals governments… )


Heavy plants mobilise, purposefully tyres tread patterns onto,
Into mud, grass yields, lives on. Metals exhale

Stinks, make suck squeeze bang blow noises, threaten
Splatter-injuries, unless you watch out warily, stilled, they drip oil.

Snow rains rain snows, out from dark purplish light-swallowers
Condensed in air layers moving above us. February. Birds
whistle aggression, in lovely, melodious, ventriloquial, liquid sounds.
bigger-than-them predators listen hungrily – bird-movement seen
At the source of singing – attract SHOCKWAVES catastrophe –
daylight blotted out “You’re DEAD your blood’s my dinner!” …. FLATLINE …..

….FLAT DARKNESS… A hunched-in-{not cheap}-overcoat man, wearing
Greenish-shaded moon-lensed-specs greets me, over-friendly, (I catch myself
thinking) as he lopes away. (Why am I so eager to find fault?)
Anything’s possible –
…………………………..the offered cards fanned out – so, pick one? Let
whatever happen? (that weirdo made me wary, just possibly a threat?)

A squirrel, bristle-furry as a seeding dandelion (insulation keeps hot blood heated)
bounces down a terraced walkway serving a decrepit pavilion.
(shut doors face opportunist kids rats squirrels
woodenly, expressions blank)
It moves like a coil of springing wire, keeping warily aware (of me)
I keep its peripheral vision busy, it keeps to an escape distance, continuously.

Birds sing dares at indistinct pre-dawn, hidden, in doubly dark gutters underneath
House-tile overhangs, inside dense=profiled shrubbery darknesses.
Dare each other, and dare predators, snatch at life wholeheartedly, grabbing
Anything they can – snatching at it (faster than the others) is the best game!


….The Oresund Bridge looks big and good and beautiful, it opens more channels of communication between Denmark and Sweden.

Millions have been invested to bring such ease of travelling and communicating about.

Denmark also invests heavily in doctors, nurses and cleverly equipped psychiatric hospitals. There’s such a lot to find out, already more and more is being discovered about dopamine, transformer dopamine associate biochemicals, inhibitor and activity-triggering compounds, and various possible pathways among all these. Our previous ideas seem appallingly crude misunderstandings of the delicate subtleties of brain biochemicals that are now being revealed. No surprise, then, the seemingly reversible mechanism of neuroleptic medication! Using lethal medications, unmonitored, so casually and crudely, now looks unspeakably silly.

Medics aren’t infallible! Like the rest of us, they’re human. At one time broken arms or legs were amputated, because medics didn’t (or wouldn’t) know broken bones could mend. Not so long ago either – I read about it in a story by Mrs Gaskell, she lived at the same time as Charles Dickens, when Victoria was queen.

Hygienic practice took centuries to catch on, (and innumerable needless fatalities) . We’re always finding new things out, or re-discovering thousand year old Moslem medicines, or shoplifting good medical practices from all sorts of other cultures. As other cultures shoplift ideas from ours.

Wouldn’t it be big and good and beautiful to invest, like Denmark, in happier (so more productive) mindsets for us all? In Britain? In Africa? In the Americas? In Europe? And in Asia? To bring genius to this wonderful melting pot of a planet (tongue in cheek – how many twits will take this epithet literally and bang on about global warming like we’ve never heard of it so need a frightful telling off?) What’re we waiting for – more ridiculous lies and pretend-science excuses?

A black poplar, an old-fashioned way of marking the frontier of cultivated land from marshland. You can see another 2 or 3 black poplars growing between the flood relief channel and reservoirs.



See, maths is seeing what surrounds us
in another way, it’s knowing our surroundings
differently. Eg
………….Multiply a drawing of a line by itself once
is called squaring it – a picture of a square is what you get – multiply
it by itself 3 times? You’ve “cubed” it – 3 dimensions –
multiply it by itself 20 times?
………………………….Doing it’s thinkable, but what’d we imagine
the figures on the glowing screen in front of our hair and skin and eyes
could possibly be implying?
……………………………………Maths can give the least common-sense-obvious
results, but ones, in Wolfgang Pauli’s mind, that are
…………………………………astonishingly beautiful. Vast structures,
super-clustered galaxies seen from Earth at night, are made possible at all
because, on a minuscule scale, their component

……………………………………negatively and positively charged particles don’t
collapse and wipe each other out. Pauli’s Exclusion Principle describes
why not. Pauli couldn’t

…………………………….believe in himself, said his maths was madness when
he first saw with it, but his eyes and maths
…………………………………………have proved each other to be right.

Who doesn’t want a beautiful mad brain that can dream up this sort of maths to express ideas? – Don’t knock schizos! – Humans have competed and evolved successfully because gene patterns for intuition, low Latent Inhibitions, and multiple left-right brain hemisphere connections, are thrown into aliveness (when babies are conceived) all the time. Thinkers like Wolfgang Pauli, Albert Einstein and John Nash are the results, and either in close family relations, or like Nobel-Prizewinning mathematician John Nash, they are themselves sufferers, are people with schizophrenia, like markers of the potential for genius. Sir Lindor Brown, the physiologist, is great-uncle to me, the schizophrenia sufferer writing this narrative text. Of course I think I’m part of an evolutionary leap forwards!

A bit hit and miss perhaps. When John Nash – the movie about him was called “A Beautiful Mind” – was asked why he’d accepted his strange aliens-from-another-planet-invading-earth ideas, he replied that of course he accepted them implicitly – they came into his mind in the same way his mathematical ideas did! Evolution’s slapdash at times, but makes possible intuitive brilliance of mind for us, to keep humans up riding the crest of a wonderful, alive and racing curl of the highest breaker yet.


FLY TWP (Welsh phrase for cleverly acting thick to avoid helping/to see who’ll bite)

Opposite the council recycling tip
Is a smudged-by-binbags heap of fly-dumped rubble, dried elderberry
Bush scaffolding, has been hewn, and added, to the impromptu
Sprawl. It’s a road’s-width-distance from the metal-spears-fence
and fortress lockable gates protecting true from false.

Cross-referents of coercion-by-pretending-
Not-to-know, simultaneously-expecting-rubbish-to-be-lost-
Successfully, or “Aren’t I bad? Admire it!” sneakiness, or
Legalised-in-bye-laws-obstructiveness buzz over
The conjunction of these tips head like flies, and mesh.

Every jubilant bird in this Gulf Stream warmed northern bit
Of the tilted planet, has laid an egg, or caused said egg
To be fertile. Hawthorn blossom’s silent in its shouts
Of joy, because a spring sun shines.
Light organising
Thickly sheafed and out-thrust hawthorn shoots, into
Optimum spatial display, to get at it. Awareness of all of this
Buried inside the onion of my head, makes me aware
I belong in it, right here, because
I too do “clever-stupid”.


Same graffiti can be seen preserved in the ruins of Pompeii, and decorated the toilet walls in the all-girls grammar school I attended. ‘Course it’s funny, we’re people!

Don’t you love the highmindedness! Its effect is only heightened by contrasting with the willy drawing that went before. And the subject matter of the poem following is happening simultaneously. Weird lot, aren’t we?


It’s the quiver, slight shared glance,
Because (once again) my response shows I can’t
Assess the situation, quickly. Can’t recall
Last week’s, or yesterday’s
State of play, instantaneously. I have
To do a deliberate thinkback
Make a conscious effort.

The quivers show me they’re aware,
Show me the over-4-year-recovery process is
(still) incomplete. The recovery is from (1)
Anti-psychotic-caused stupefaction, (2)
Almost being killed off by them.

Like an unpopular soap character?

That consultant psychiatrist (like others appointed
During no-hope-caring-for-nutters years of non-
investment) didn’t give a shit about healing, but
had a wholly different personal agenda. S/He wanted
that career rung because it puts one into position, then,
to apply for NHS Executive status.

Patient-importance is indirect. Patient-outcomes
Provide good stats for getting one’s application
Onto the shortlist for interview etc. Everybody knows it,
No-one ever says it. Breathing out the words aloud nips
Careers fast, like air frost nipping or blackening fruit blossoms,

So, s/he’ll apologise for stupefying, almost assassinating, me?
Get real. S/he’s more likely to expect me to say sorry. I wrenched
Spotlights so they shone onto attention-grabbing me!
Disrupting private plans unnecessarily, so you see why

If I, a “MENTAL” patient, say this, the grave lights of tut-tuts
Must be switched on? Why they show everyone “PSYCHOTIC” symptoms,
heads are shaken, her “PROBLEMS” said to be “PERSONAL”?


​​My strawberry plants flowering ( in growing bags on concrete out in front of my mid-terrace house)

Like everything alive, fed shit, rain and sunlight, they’ll put up a fight to exist. long enough to establish themselves so they can reproduce (sexually) and propagate themselves (asexual reproduction ie cloning).

Their beauty and dreadfulness are undreamed of, but happening, like mine and yours.

IF …. 42 (for Douglas Adams fans)


But sun-flashes off glass as any window opens
have nothing sensible to mean at all! Almost, teasingly –
but never quite. Is it wrong, or right, expecting meaning, sense?
Superstition expects a watching sniper, ready to put

a bullet-hole through the bottom of the water canister
just as the dared-it-went-out-for-water civvie reaches safety?
Uttering words aloud in open air is dangerous!
So’s wondering which came first, the word, or the idea “God”?

Do doctors, illuminating surgeries with heavenly sunshine, make
things peaceful? Do radiant words, like “science”, sell us
commodities that’ll guarantee our safety for eternities?
Dare we trust our throats enough to swallow, when a death

by mistake – oops! – is badder than a crash, blindness in darkness, and
a dragon’s gullet bulging as it gulps hope down, digests, destroys the sun.
Hatred, fear and disappointment give way to rip your face off
Fury! Makes the darkness absolute. Mathematics, kind like a twig

Of leaves in a dove’s beak, predicts we’ll see what we expect. Total internal
recognition of this, though unspoken, – like maths, before it’s manifest
inside the mind – occurs. Where in the brain does maths arise? Does it
come out of the same part that finds sense, when sunshine flashes arbitrarily

off windows being opened? The mad part? – our luck’s holding.