top of page

You've got mail- 'The Owl and the Chimpanzee' Poetry about Mental Health

The Owl and the Chimpanzee

'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'

This poem by clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist Jo Camacho 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.

What this poem teaches us: Internal conflict is normal and human. If we can learn to control our primitive, scared brain more often and listen to our inner owl, we’ll enjoy a more peaceful journey


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page