Reasonable Delusions of a Religious Nature (Tim Heffernan)


reality  or  phantasmagoria,  desperate  love  on   a  rented  bed.
insanity or elated perception, a numbed litany that will be said.
lie that winter  freezing on oil stained concrete.  she  would not
let  you  in  nor anoint your wearied  feet.  dreams  escape from
night  time persuading  you  to  begin  to  see  the  visions  from
without as the visions from within. lyrics spiral from your head
and you tell that they too would see, but your mind  is  jammed
on 45 while the world revolves on 33. thirsting  for  guidance at
4am you tear  the  news  from blinding twine.  this  will  be your
medium now you are drawn to the divining line.

escorted to jerusalem

spit syllables at your father and blaspheme the missing lord  in
the antiseptic stench of some sterile casualty ward. wake up  in
an  ambulance  moving  somewhere  they won’t explain. escort
lights  pulse  blues ahead and charge the wiper-scourging  rain.
pause in a half-way  hospital  and  repel  the  dribbling  syringe.
feel the weight  of  mocking wardsmen:  needle  stabs  to  make
you cringe.  strip past your nakedness once they’ve pushed and
shoved you in.  squat in the blurred baptismal bath while some
angel records your sin.

mainstream communion

smile weeping in the rec room as music sings  your fame.  each
new lyric is offered  in  devotion to your name.  queue for mad-
house confectionery  fed  from  gleaming   stainless  steel. pick-
me-up on obscured mornings:  at night-time so you-wont-feel.
attempt to  read  her  letters  through  dazed, dilating eyes. you
cannot write the answers as you know that someone lies.  walk
rigidly  with  parkinson: you are dealt  another  pill  to  counter
common side-effects  of  chemicals that hold mind still.  slouch
the light-time  in  a  stupor in  between  the  times  you  are fed.
you  wish  to  obliterate  the  hours  before  escape – a  ward  12


you look into a mirror and recollect a face.  confess  your  grand
delusion: leave  this  unholy place. promises  of  armageddon to
be unleashed when you were dead. the  asylum  had  been  your
shelter: the  atoms split inside  your head.  read  six  sane  years
later,  how we just missed world war three.  this was  your  mad
delusion. is it  truth  that  you now see? each  spring-time sense
the surge of see-saw swings  to  be swung: tranquilise sensation
so these spring songs can’t be sung.


Tim Heffernan lives in Wollongong where he is an active member of the South Coast Writers Centre. He was born in Hay, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee and after spending most of his life swimming upstream, has mysteriously ended up on the coast. He first published in the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser in 1985 and in 2015 was commended in the Joanne Burns Prize for his prose poem ‘butterflies in Iraq’, published in Spineless Wonders’ anthology Out of Place.