I was thinking about mental illness and how it renders people invisible on the street and in the privacy of their own homes.  How people can sink away into darkness, unable to access the support needed.  Thinking about how the call of "officer down" creates an instantaneous and focused energy on getting to the individual who has been downed, securing them and getting them to treatment and the laser-like focus on getting the bad guy who felled one of the tribe.  Thinking that should be how we are with everyone.  That the call "human down" should go out and bring immediate and focused attention to stabilization, harm reduction, and hunting down the demons who know our "true names."

Human Down

His desolation, a relentless sun.

Carving shadows from the east

out of shriven mornings and

mourning afternoons, 

he weeps but leaves no trail.

Within the distance of touch,

an endless expanse

of  life-deep, giving waters.

Bound to the ground

on which he chose to stand,

it is a moon's travel,

forever out of reach.

The people walk

between him and the deeps,

do not notice as he sinks, so quiet,

passing invisible, though in plain sight,

with each withering beat of the sun.

Fiona Mackintosh (© 2011, 2018)

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