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For The Record

Joshua W.F. Hale © 2014

On a journey through the past and a trip o the fast to the last.

Times change and memories fade

behind broken eyes and shattered minds

Weeks turn to months and

years somehow go faster

when the beat picks up.

All the things best figured out

before the tide comes

with the moon.

Friends and enemies all gathered

together in the same wasted space

known as my sanity.

 

Who can I count on, turn to

lean on and hold up?

Why wasn’t I told the day I was born,

where all my changes were made?

Somehow you’re expected to go on

pay attention, give money to the needy

and advice to the dim-witted.

It always seems to be me needing to change,

adapt, conform, figure out and understand.

Constantly left with a sensation

of hopelessness.

 

Keep a big smile and your head high

stops the world from asking questions, from becoming suspicious.

What are you thinking when you find yourself sinking

deeper and deeper, steeper and cheaper.

So far down you find yourself up

higher than ever before,

but more separated than collected.

Not calm but uneasy. Do you believe me?

Is this something you can see?

 

Ripples and waves from many forms

of hydrogen bonding with oxygen.

Ice, water, and vapour, freezing cold then hot.

Like the rest of us, unable to make up our minds.

I won’t let the question be. What if I had done that this way?

I chose to live life for new, deviate from the consequence.

“Hello cowgirl in the sand. Can I stay here for a while?”

Hopefully someday I’ll find everything I’m looking for.

The endless list weighing down your/my heels

but someday I’ll find it. It and all its inner workings

fulfilling fruitful frustrations amongst it’s other selves.

 

Eventually everyone gets the Blues.

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The Dead Song

by Lisa Russell ©2014

 

My head is in the clouds

feet standing on stars.

I can’t see what is yet to come

but the wolves howl

and the dead sing

their song of mourning.

I sing with them

crying out for what could have been,

what will never be,

and the impossible.

All that seemed within my grasp

but was torn from me.

Hating the rain for diluting my tears

as it washes me clean

once again ready for the world

and all its misery.

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The Next Great Depression

It’s kept quiet, ignored, even ridiculed. It’s something most people would rather not think about, but youth depression is a growing epidemic in North America. According to statistics Canada, over a quarter of a million youth have a major depressive disorder.

                  Many suffer in silence, too afraid or embarrassed to speak to anyone. The amount of youth with depression has been steadily increasing year after year, but no one has reached a solid consensus as to why. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies argue constantly about treatments and causes but there hasn’t been any final word yet. It is swiftly becoming the most common diagnosis in Canada, with the amount doubling in the past ten years.

                  Depression brings feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and misery. Depressed people don’t take enjoyment from every day things that used to bring grins to their faces, withdraw from social activities and often have thoughts of death and suicide. Suicide is the second most common cause of death for young people in Canada, and it’s an issue that the government does nothing to prevent. According to the Canadian Institute of Health Research for every youth that succeeds in killing themselves there are two hundred who try and fail.

                  There are many treatment options available for depression, including medication such as SSRI antidepressants, MAOI inhibitors, benzodiazepines, atypical antidepressants such as Wellbutrin or desipramine, anti-psychotics such as Seroquel (quetiapine), and in extreme cases electroshock therapy along with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) among many other psychiatric treatments. These can be expensive and potentially routes to take however, and many depressed people just don’t have the money to afford them. There are a wide variety of antidepressant drugs used to treat depression, we all see the adds on TV for Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and a plethora of other medications. Though doctors prescribe them to young people all the time, many of these drugs, including Pfizer’s ever-popular wonder drug Zoloft have been proven to actually increase the risk of suicide in people under the age of twenty. Doctors and drug companies are aware of these deadly side effects yet they still aggressively market the pills to doctors and patients, spending billions on advertising.

                  Feelings of helplessness and isolation go hand in hand with depression. Thankfully there are some options youth have to talk to people who will really listen to their problems without being judgmental. There is a teen helpline available for young people, and an adult version for those who need to talk to someone and for whatever reason don’t feel comfortable talking to their friends or family, as well as a suicide hotline for those who feel that they’ve run out of hope.

                  This second Great Depression is a major issue nowadays and it is not one that should be belittled or ignored. Chances are you, or someone you know suffers from some sort of psychological disorder, and it’s not something to be ridiculed or kept in the dark any longer. Mental illness isn’t something to be waved away with a miracle cure, but if we take it seriously, and actually listen to the stories of the people who’ve been affected by it, then perhaps a positive difference can be made.

 

-Tj Brown © 2014


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Fading Fast

Joshua W.

 

This may be the last time I can hold on so long

Before I realize just how far I have gone.

I’ve never been able to see an end to this road.

And what does it matter with no place to go?

And what does it matter with no place to go?

 

Time ticks away, what memories should I memorize?

How can I learn what’s important this time?

What can I do with the heavy world on my mind?

Besides try to catch myself before I can die.

Besides try to catch myself before I can die.

 

You watch the days like the wind blowing by.

Glazed over eyes. Is too late? Is his mind fried?

When the whispering winds guide you away

How long do you think I’ll survive?

How long do you think I’ll survive?

 

When you live each day

Like it was your very last

Never say a word about regret

About the past.

How do you expect time

Not to catch up with you?

When nothing is left

And even that’s fading fast.

And even that’s fading fast.

Even that is fading fast.

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Whiteout

Lisa Russell

Standing with the sand between my toes

The snow starts to fall like ash

All around me

Enclosing me

Each drop landing on my skin

Like fire

Burning flesh

The road ahead I cannot see

But just two steps in front of me

Strangers are in the dark

Ones I don’t want to remember

Remember remember remember

They call to me

As the flesh blisters

They come closer

Deep into the storm

I must go

No one will follow me

To the edge of death

They stay hidden

Chanting

Yet I can keep them at bay

One foot in front of the other

No matter how much it burns.

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Vanier’s Vegetable Problem

Vegetables: beans, broccoli, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, carrots and peas; some of which you could only receive when on a diet or the vegan or vegetarian meals. All the vegetables are cooked then frozen, shipped to the facilities already on the verge of no nutrients they finally steam it to ensure that there is none left. Fruits: apples, oranges, pineapples, apple sauce, fruit cups, sometimes peaches and bananas 4 times a month. In one day the inmates calorie count adds up to 3,500, this does not include anything eaten on the side like chocolate bars or candy. Each meal they receive three slices of bread, which can be given away or eaten or saved for later. As for the meat they take turns in a cycle. They get chicken breast, Italian sausages and corn beef once a month and turkey (cold and hot) twice a month. There is plenty of meat that is commonly used but also unknown of where it came from like ground beef (hamburgers), roast beef, kabasa, cold bologna and little sausages whichever one calls “donkey dicks”. As for fish they get canned salmon/tuna and those on a diet get 2 real paddock filets.   There is a lot of junk they can order such as Mr. Noodles, king size chocolate bars, protein shake, meal replacement bars, cookies, rice krispies, candy etc. The inmates get to work to waste time and to loose time of their sentence, but they get a ridiculous third world pay. They get 3 cents an hour which transfers into 6 hours a day for three days they would earn 3 king size chocolate bars, 1 bag of chips and a pop. They don’t get money just unhealthy snacks. Vanier has inmates working in the kitchen part of daily routine is to make 6000 trays a day of food to be sent to all the other prison facilities in Ontario. The food the women get to eat is appalling but fresher than all the other jails.  

 

K.C.

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