Me – a poem by Matthew Tubridy


Down, down I go, into myself, into the depths, where everthing is grey.

I notice my slippery self, my brain is communicating with me with loudspeakers,

There is no one there. Just me.

I have split up like a broken mirror and the different parts are fighting. I walk over the broken bits but my feet turn to dust. The characters in my mind line up, the opposite of cheering, gaudy.

The grey is everywhere, what is the solution?

I see myself with no face, I can say nothing to myself. It is the characters that talk.

When I leave the teddy bears take over, shouting and screaming.

I am in a cardboard box, hiding, who do I want to be? They have taken over.

Out of the mountain, in the river is the quickest way. Down to a tranquil sea, where I am I, where I show kindness to myself.

There I am again, relieved to be out of the mountain with it’s creatures.

I lie on a raft on the sea, the weather is peaceful. At least I am here, I hear myself say.

The Lady of the Lake – a poem by Eva Burke

The lady of the lake She

stood in shrouded beauty

On the emerald shores of

the lake all around her reeds

glistened with dew drops at

her feet None knew who she

was Or whos come to pass

She was a figure of twilight

with respect she visited last

the lake was her solace her

comfort it did keep misery

loves its mistress she was

one to see the night was

getting colder her breath

was an icy fog she treaded

softly along the waters edge

and sighed over her loss

yes a man had drowned

here so many moons ago

his name was Daniel as her

love into a spinster she would grow

Daniel never knew her love

she had come to say

goodbye Daniel drowned

through suicide She remembered

his last goodbye A prisioner of the

water he did die black

ravens circled over like

beasts in the sky Just a

watery grave beneath

symbolically these shores

did weep She took her

hankerchief to her face

and dabbed a tear stained

cheek what a figure she

did make None knew her

name or age Just the lady

of the lake

Carlow Town

By the Drogheda Phrenz Group


We’ve been lucky this year

It may be hard to believe

Some trips to arrange

Lotto funding we did receive.


It’s to Carlow we go

And it looks like the train

We all have a travel pass

So nobody’s paying.


We played plenty of pool

And snooker as well

Kieran is happy

It’s easy to tell.


The rain came down

But it didn’t dampen our mood

A look at the museum

And then back for food.


So it’s Jimmy the taxi

He really was sound

He even approached us

With a phone that he found.


It’s venison on the menu

It was a delightful sight

Would you eat that again Owen?

Yeah, I think I might!


And true to his word

Three nights on the trot

The dishes were large

But he ate the lot


The breakfast as well

The plate was stacked high

You’ll never eat that Owen

Sure I’ll give it a try.


Amanda also loved the food

And each night cleared the plate

Relax for a while and

Good times with her mates


Tremendous food

From a hotel with class

The Talbot in Carlow

You really can’t pass


All’s going well

We all want it to last

But as Frances states

It’s going too fast


So I set the clock early

But not for the gym

It’s a steam room and sauna

A jacuzzi and swim


So the bag is packed

I’ve left nothing behind

We meet in the lobby

A better group you can’t find


Carlow’s a really nice town

With a Liberty Tree

If we ever come back

You can count on me.

Stigma and Friendship

By Barry Hurley, Mental Health Advocate, April 2017

Imagine your life stops for two weeks then starts again. Nothing has changed, except, you have been told you have schizoaffective disorder.

What do you tell your family? What do you tell your friends? You might consider telling your boss, but what if everyone at work finds out? Serious questions may be raised about your abilities. You might be seen as unreliable. How must that feel? If you tell someone that could be the first thing they think of each time they meet you. Common reactions from people diagnosed with mental illness include:

Shame: ‘I hope no one finds out’

Terror: ‘What will happen to me now?’

Grief: ‘My life is over.’

Disbelief: ‘It must be a mistake.’

Anger: ‘Why me? It’s not fair’

Fear of isolation: ‘No one will want to know me now’

Mental illness can be a very disempowering, isolating and lonely experience. So, during Green Ribbon Month, don’t let people be isolated and alone. Be a friend – because:

‘When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state, 
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope, 
With what I most enjoy contented least; 
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state, 
Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.’

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29)

So, be there. Reach out. Don’t let anyone be alone. That someone could be you