IMH Institute of Mental Happiness ~ Journal of a Woman, a Writer, a Mother ~


By Yohanna Abdullah


The wait started since a month ago

to see my precious children

born of love and lust

two people who trusted one another

never to wreck the matrimonial bed

with seeds of infidelity


Yet one fine day one such seed was sown

for the eyes innocent and blind blinded,

struck dumb in shock a third party in the holy bed

the bed holy no more

slept no more

except to rest tired, separate minds


Hearts once united now in discord

they play to different songs

one of trysts and wanderlust

one of madness and despair


In the hearts of hearts

lies a tiny seed

which wish to grow into a tree

to shelter injured souls with a past, a history


Her story was one of struggle and mists

misty tears to tear the heart,

mind, soul apart the tree must grow

to great heights to tell the tales untold

For the children must not be hurt

for the sins were not their own

what did they ever do but to exist

between the loins of Eve

ejected painfully into this world to breathe a life their own


Their lives Short Bittersweet

for dad is not at home

mum goes in and out of a hospital for beautiful minds

a mind which sees angels

in the sacred sky scattered are petals on the street

songs of old delighta soul injured beyond repair

transformed to lotus pink to ride the river of life


And thus she waits

armed with a pencil and a paper

to record her fruits of minds hells and mosaics she drew

with a pen she threatens to kill mere mortals

who stop from her so journ many nurses and auxillary police circled her

and pinned her down to bed tied five points, sedated her wilderness abated


A week and two passed

another two flew by she waits a mother in waiting

to see the seeds she sowed

A visit from two precious seedlings

now 15 and 17 why did they forget her

in her prison of love wasn’t it love that brought here there

or was it hate and despair


It was love and wander lust

it was impulse and desire

to be with a love gone by

answered like a prayer in the gust of the azan sky

A love censored and not terminated in despair

not wanting to hurt her little children and elderly parents no,

not no more


Yet love comes unbidden

love is not dictated as such

petals of frangipani flowers bloom afresh seeds of laughter, love and lusts own anew

Her two seedlings of love crushed

their hearts only the heavens knew

their mum a betrayer of sanity

insanity she drew around her crown of thorns clothes of roses she grew


Her week of wander lust will pay a price, but at what price?

she calls her precious onesat last she appeals their presence

a visit to her prison-haven for loving hearts, beautiful minds


They said Yes, Ma will come a-visitingand she waits,

trustingcards, precious she made for all her loved onesson,

daughter, mother, father to say how sorry she is

how proud she is of her brave ones

Can love be terminated by a week of abscondment?

can love be betrayed by neurotransmitters gone haywire?

a bipolar brain which seeks greater and greater heights

of delusions and insights


And so she waits,

counting the minutes and seconds

a mother loves her brood no doubt

but this was a brooding broodin the throes of teenagehood

Could they be angry?

her daughter if not her son?

Her shadow who has a role model

all of the wrong kind?


Her own mother, her fatigued caregiver comes

her beloved dad more often their child,

their precious

they knew needs them in the most trying of times

Age means wisdom that life has taught countless of times

death of a cherished son at 17 sickness of a brilliant daughter 14 years and counting

When will she heal at last

is there a cure for her disease?

like any other diseases it doesn’t just disappear into thin air no amount of wishing and praying could?


She has tea and cream crackers and writes for she is a writer

her hurts she heals by writing

her secrets she share with the world

her sins told she feels unsure but a little better

For doesn’t everyone sin?

and in mania does it count as sin?

for her sensible mind is cast to the winds

impulse and passion reign supreme


The digital clock ticks

It is now 2.20pm today she has been incarcerated for a month

yet five whole months she has been in and out of her prison

Institute of Mental Hospital

Institute of Mental Happiness


Happiness comes with a pricetears abundant is one of them

free flowing at the oddest times

sobs to tear the heart out

A Buddhist lady hugs her as she prays her morn prayer

“Child, here is only temporary you were sick when you came

but when you go you will be well

take your medicines for they will surely cure you

don’t cry my child for this earth is not forever and surely your stay here will not be forever”


I finished my prayer and returned her hugs

and accepted her gift of rolls of toilet paper

to dry repentant souls and aggrieved hearts

“Auntie, I am not new in this place and game

14 years I have suffered and not

I have rode the highs and lowsI repent to my dear Lord

He never forsakes me and surely never will

He loves me more than I love Him

I cry my heart to Him it relieves the pain dear Aunti

eyes I know my so journ here is temporal like lightning


I count the ticking ticks and tocks

in my mind I wonder will my two little loved ones

come to mummy in hospital

are they tired of this routine?

at least once a year they make this pilgrimage to this inn


This Inn of Happiness leaves trails of tears

it is happiness to me but not to them probably

their tender hearts bleed each time I call them

to meet in my sanctuary a sanatorium for those with aberrant brain chemistry

Surely they have got used to it?


It has been 14 years after all but no this attack was too great

it took five months of their lives away from mummy

never before had an episode lasted so long why mum? why mummy?

Who is taking care of me while you are gone mama?

thank god for grandma and grandpa but they are old already

soon they will be ailing and passing then who will take care of us?

who will take care of you?


We will be adults soon and have our young lives blooming what about you?

how often will you fall sick again?

Mama, again and again?

I know my babiesI

somehow have to hold it togetherI

cannot afford to be sick again

grandpa is getting more ill

diabetes and heart problems and now his kidneys are only 1/3 functioning


By God’s grace and only by His grace

I will find my cure and way

to check this errant monster to cast it to Hell from whence it came

I promise my dear ones I will live my life chaste and pure anew

may Allah not wreak his wrath on me

for all my weaknesses and sins


I can be strong I will be strong

I will summon my every breath

to tame this beast in me

help me my children

love me

be there for me


And so the clock which watches me

says it’s 3.30pm

I wait my children I wait for your love and gift of yourselves

please do come

don’t ever abandon the one who brought you into this world

in pain, love and laughter

please be here for me dearies now and forever


Epilogue – like clockwork Ayesha and Hykel came when I finished this longest poem of my life.

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