The Waterroom [1]

by Seán Crowley


Dreaded, damp and dark as pitch

Standing, slipping on this sliding floor

Wet walls, wet floor, cold in its wetness 

Shivering, slithering silent cold

If I could see, I would see my breath.


Silence till you scream and shout, rasping

your throat, throttled by tears, salty sweet,

The rest is rather bitter

What could I have done?

What hell, What hell did I give another?


Forgive me, forgive me please my brother

Let the light in, or let me out

I cannot see my way, in this

Dread and dark, damp and bitter cold

They turned me round, and round so now

They won't let me out, won't let me out,

I can't find my way-


1 - Waterroom: an 18th century psychiatric treatment, where the mentally ill or disabled patient, was disorientated in a dark room, which would contain a deep water pool. In trying to escape the room, they would inevitably wander into the pool, the shock of this was the aim of the treatment.