Owen Dureke Poems

Owen Dureke is a poet from Tralee Co. Kerry, Ireland. He is published in the following four anthologies: Breacadh, (ed. Rosemary Canavan) Mermaid’s Purse (ed. Emma Cooke) Hearts of Kerry (ed. Noel King).and Doghouse Book of Ballad Poems (ed. Noel King). Versions of his work are also published online. Amongst his many influences are the poetry and songs of Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg. He is currently a member of the Paperback Writers’ Group. He is a survivor of mental health distress.


(Based on Ginsberg)
Nazi concentration camp played in full stereo.
The delusional hypothesis conceived gestated.
Paranoia given birth:
Hitler and Mussolini,
plots, murder.
Did Insulin and Metrazol controlled dopamine?
Stayed in the hospital three years, discharged,
until the next episode…
Naomi died a former shadow.
The Left and right sides of her brain severed by lobotomy-
crude surgery to cure symptoms?
Muse of Beatnik’s Kaddish
to anti psychotic God of Abraham,
and you


St Finan’s Blues

I remember the home in which I was a prisoner
of positive and negative symptoms.
The white walls the hopelessness the smell…
Kite high on voices delusion psychosis
walking the country lanes of how town,
I screamed ‘Beam me up Scotty’
into a wooden communicator,
‘Hurry the “Klingons” are coming.’
The house on the hill where I ate
a boiled egg toast for breakfast,

Shoe leather meat potato with no gravy for lunch,
supper was delicious to disgust.
I could have eaten the whole tuck shop!
Sleep eluded me with time ticking away at a snailike pace,
heavily medicated three times daily
I shuffled around the corridor like a zombie!
Shouted at the devil, goosetepped my brown shirt paranoia!
I wondered when in God’s name was I getting out of there
listened to clients’ bits and pieces told them my story
smoked cigarettes with them.
(mostly theirs…)
Nurses tried their best to ease our pain,
we the afflicted the bewildered the sick!
(Whatever your politics dictates!)
Having been inside twice
Wellness is a respite of fresh air.
I tell you most solemnly
thank God they are closing that hole down!


John Forbes Nash Jr.

Nineteen Forty-Seven
in Princeton University USA.
He chalked up his PhD with an idea
to originate game theory…
Love and marriage!
Voices. Hallucinations seen as integers!
The positive and negative smell of chemical warfare
fought in his mind as Paranoid Schizophrenia
strait jacketed in a padded cell!
Did Insulin Coma Therapy later medication drive out those devils?
He walked the desert of psychosis delusion and hospitalisation
But wait…his beautiful wife, carer and
many shed tears at the
sighting of his promised land…
He again chalked up greatness
in Stockholm as he was honoured with
the Nobel Prize Nineteen Ninety Four.
Congratulations blessings
Brother survivor and Friend
Custodian of wellness
The beautiful mind recovered…

NOTE: If you wish to submit poetry or stories in this section please email Brian at voicesireland@gmail.com