The Orb


Matt McNichols


n the midst of plainness, bleakness

Absence of joyfulness, hopefulness

The only viable option for activity

To lie in a simple bed

And stare up at a fluorescent light

With nothing but my thoughts to entertain and torment

So is the life of a psychiatric hospital stay

Within the heightened scrutiny wing

Of us seemingly helpless, shoeless souls


Out of the barrenness of my Spartan surroundings

A thing of mysterious beauty emerged

From the quite ordinary light

Stationed directly above my reclined body

A mystical shape-shifting orb of powerful luminosity

Complete in Technicolor and translucent quality

Dangled and danced among the background

Of a basic incandescent glow


Slowly, effortlessly, the hypnotic radiance

Of many shades and cosmic colors

Descended, growing closer to me

Me, transfixed, unblinking, mesmerized by the orb

How long my spellbound encounter lasted

Cannot be known


The descent continued in a strangely meticulous manner

And the ethereal phenomenon made its final transfiguration

Into that of a crystalline apple

A biblical apple, I intuitively reasoned

Of knowledge, transcendence, and wisdom

Simply reach up, touch it

And all I would ever dream of knowing or being would be mine

Yet at a heavy spiritual toll


This monumental temptation hovered precariously above

The enticing, alluring orb sat, within reach, for moments on end

Unable to look away but resolved to resist

Ultimately prevailing over the apple’s seduction

An internal sense of triumph prevailed

Just another night behind these locked hospital doors