I’m Not Mad


I’m Not Mad

They think I’m mad,
an aged mind that’s
simply given up.

They talk to me slowly,
check I’m not cold and
feed me like a baby.

I gurgle and dribble,
but I’m not stupid,
just confused and lonely.

Here they come again,
tucking in my blanket,
smiling but not smiling.

One day soon,
when I can remember the words,
I’ll tell them to stop.

Mike Jackson

Job Advert



I recently read a poem by Joe Moran called ‘Job Advert’  which I found highly entertaining. So I have taken the liberty of copying the style of this poem and have written a job advert for an Assistant Headteacher. The more serious parts were taken from an actual advert.

We are seeking to appoint

an exceptional Assistant Headteacher

from the start of the academic year.

You will have a track record

of outstanding classroom practice

and the ability to lead

improvement in academic standards

and student outcomes.

As a member of the SLT

you will play an important role

in the overall leadership

and management of the school.

In addition, you will have

one or more of the following attributes:

an ability to read minds,

a skin thicker than that

of your average rhinoceros,

a lack of empathy.

You will be able to

upset the majority

and satisfy the minority,

while at the same time

taking the blame for everything.

The capacity to annoy parents

with an ill-chosen turn of phrase

or a withering look,

would be an advantage.

Being able to ingratiate yourself

with governors, Ofsted inspectors

and the Headteacher

is desirable

but not essential.

The post is for life

and you will begin on a salary

far lower than that of your predecessor

and with an inflated workload

and as an employer,
we are committed to valuing diversity.

Mike Jackson

Rearrange Me ‘Til I’m Sane



I’m sat in this chair
in a place, they call home.
I don’t recognize it but
it’s where I live.

There are other people here
just like me,
old and frail,
lost in this strange world
we call home.

I’m sat in this chair
looking out of the window
staring at my reflection
not recognising the person
looking back at me.

A stranger.

He’s old, so old.

Wispy hair,
a wrinkled face,
gnarled hands.

His whole body
wrapped tightly in that chair.

A warm blanket
holding him  fast
less he escapes.

I try to speak
to ask the reflection who he is,
but only spittle and strange noises
fall from my mouth.

I watch him dribbling like a baby.

Young ladies in blue uniforms
start to rearrange me,
wipe my chin,
straighten my cushion,
tuck the blanket around me even more tightly.

They smile at me,
their words sound kind but meaningless.

I want to answer them,
but the words won’t come.

They think I’m mad,
an old mind
too tired to work any more.

I so want to talk to them
about my life,
my dreams,
the love and the heartache I have seen.

Instead, I simply dribble and gurgle.

They respond by smiling and
rearranging me again
in my small world,
another shift of the cushion,
more tucking in.

If only these Angels in blue
could get inside my head
rearrange my mind,
and make me sane again.

Mike Jackson