I don’t just hear voices …. by Elisabeth Svanholmer


I don’t just hear voices

I hear life everywhere

I hear the bricks in the wall

calling each other’s names

I hear the peach in the fruit bowl

ask the apple how he’s doing

I hear the dishes in the sink

shrugging and yawning

I hear the rubbish in the bin

complain about smells and confinement

I hear my dog dead and decomposed

pitter-patter around in the kitchen

I hear the swallows chatting brightly

discussing far away travel destinations

I hear the plants in my garden

gossip about the cat next door

I hear the strawberries

beg the sun for a kiss on the cheek

I hear the sun coaxing the brambles

to come meet her in the clouds

I hear spiders, flies and ladybirds

requesting some peace and quiet


I don’t just hear voices

I hear the panic, the exaltation, the pain of the world

I hear the lonely corners of my house

humming mournful tunes

I hear lives not yet lived

and deaths unkindly denied

I hear nothingness pacing the streets

disturbing young children’s dreams

I hear lovers found and lost

and unborn babies despairing

I hear souls long gone

telling stories from other worlds

I hear cries from oceanic depths

and screams from endless skies

I hear the waves of rage

crash against stony shores

I hear the abandoned, the resigned,

the terrified and the lost

I hear the darkness of the night

talk of fears never faced

I hear sighs, sobs and coughs

of poems hiding away from harm


I don’t just hear voices

I hear more than I can bear

I hear the space between atoms

and the darkness between stars

I hear death breathing down our necks

and I hear decay melting away solid ground

I hear the universe held in the arch of time

and I hear eternity caressing the human mind

I hear the splintering of broken trust

and I hear tales to fill me with hope

I hear so much

I hear everything at once

I hear

I hear

but how I can bear to keep listening?

Find out more..

Elisabeth Svanholmer  will be speaking on November 18th in Cardiff at Compassionate Approaches to Mental Heath – a one day experiential event designed to inform, inspire and empower people living and working with mental health issues.

Please book now to join us in Cardiff. Limited £35 tickets – sponsored by Welsh mental health and wellbeing charity Gofal – are available for people with lived experience and their supporters.

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