The Owl and the Chimpanzee

Library colleagues across the country have been sharing poems for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Here’s one  by clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist Jo Camacho which beautifully articulates the internal battle many of us face when the more primitive part of our brain (the chimp brain) takes control.

The wise owl within all of us is seen here fighting with the chimp who seems determined to make the situation worse, despite its fears of the situation worsening.

The owl and the chimpanzee

by Jo Camacho

The owl and the chimpanzee went to sea

In a beautiful boat called The Mind

The owl was sensible, clever and smart

The chimp was a little behind

The owl made decisions, based on fact

And knew where to steer its ship

The chimp reacted a little too fast

And often the boat would tip

The waves would come and crash aboard

The chimp would start to cry

Large tears would roll right down his face

Afraid that he would die

The chimp and the owl would wrestle at night

When the world was quiet and still

The chimp would jump up and rock the boat

And the boat would start to fill

Then the owl stepped in and grabbed a pail

And started to empty it out

And the chimp would start to get quite cross

And would often scream and shout

The battle continued night after night

Until the chimp started to see

That if it let the owl take control

A more peaceful night it would be.

You can find other poems here

7 poems that teach us about mental health (

Jan Godwin

Clinical Librarian

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