I Am Autism

I am all your fears multiplied 

I am all your senses intensified 

I am all your blinding lights in agonising magnification 

I am all your irritations quadrupled 
I am all your needs made life or death 
I am all your demons emboldened 

I am all your plans unstuck
I am all your sleep disturbed
I am all your time stolen 

I am a constant storm 
I am too much wind, too much rain
I am too cold, too hot, too buffeted  

I am “look at this”, “look at that”, eye for detail, nose for detail, “food’s gone bad” 

I am your calm denied
I am honesty at all costs
I am fairness at all times 

I am all your conversations distracted 
I am your tiredest morning every morning
I am at once too much and not enough 

I lock you in when you are out and release you when you are in 
I am too full of noise and too quiet 
I am not so much different as more 

I am the warrior within; the inner strength you cannot see
I am a desperate thirst for knowledge, for proof, for fact

I am all you are always 
I am never apart from you

I am the wild stallion you tried to make cart horse  

Let me run and you will see 

I am Autism 

The Eco Whisperer

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I want to be an eco-warrior and stand a-top a mound
Wave leaves and flowers like flags for the earth
And call to all around:

“Don’t kill the animals! Don’t poison the plants!
“Don’t burn trees to the ground!”
“Leave beauty where you see it.”
“Don’t covet all you’ve found.”

I want to fight for truth and hope
Teach sharing, caring ways
And show each human how wanting less will bring us better days

Let’s look past borders, let’s empower the poor
Let’s end this greedy phase
Give hope to future people
And the children that they raise

I want to change the way we teach: setting children on course for greed
Drive minds instead to long term plans
With warnings they must heed:

Give up your ego, give up your bling
Give time to thought and deed
See wealth for what it really is:
Taking more than you need.

For it is our greed that got us here:
Our desire to own and win.
Our minds must change from envy and respect
To avoiding this huge sin.

Quiet, committed thinkers
Are the role models for me
No Bransons, Trumps or Windsors
May ever come for tea

Admire the ones we’ve never heard of
Who never took a dime
Who ask for nothing in return
Though they’ve given so much time.

I’ll never be that warrior
Up high for all to see
I fear for the attention
And the conflict aimed at me
But I will heed my own message
And write for solidarity:

Power to the future
The animals
And the sea
Destroying nature is not progress
And growth?
That’s for the trees.

Pulse

No more BBC news.
No more cheap, fizzy booze
No more trolley-bumping blues
No more bargain-mad queues

The TV is off
There’s washing to be done
I have tea
I have Bach (The iPod is on)

Guitar strings plucked crisply
A fugue in my head
Preludes my anxious mind
For calm instead.

Overpowering the beat
Of a cortisol heart
Softening my movements
Challenging my part

Intricate simplicity
Demanding yet giving
Slowing my thoughts
Music for living

A tune from the past
Confident and kind
Playing memories, plucking heart strings
Time in other times

That moment in this moment
That past living here
Creating a space
A pause in the fear

To listen, to feel
Tempos setting the pace
Tranquilised neuroses
Finding my place

Being a Grown-up

Being a grown-up…

… is all about acting like you know best
even when you don’t
and pretending to have all the answers
even when you don’t…

…and getting paid for dressing up,
riding on trains,
and playing with money

It’s just like being a child really
only you don’t always get to say where the money goes…

…unless you’re a politician.

So when I grow up
I’m going to be a politician
then I can carry on acting like a kid.

Apparently…

Real women are worth more than cosmeticsI want to live my life but silver strands sparkle on the crown of my head
And apparently that’s not good

I want to appreciate my face but laughter lines crinkle at the corners of my eyes
And apparently that’s not good

I want to enjoy my body but my breasts are only a handful each
And apparently that’s not good

I want to walk with confidence but my rounded womanly arse fits into size fourteen jeans
And apparently that’s not good

I want to embrace my womanhood but my belly tells of three big pregnancies
And apparently that’s not good

I want to wear little dresses in summer but my arms are pale and cushiony
And apparently that’s not good

I’d like to smile as I show and share the history of the pink circle of red veins on each cheek that remind of a day I strongly and bravely pushed out a ten pound nine ounce baby boy. What an amazing feat to remember every day as I look in the mirror.
No. Apparently that’s not good.

So I’ve lived and laughed and have a healthy pear shape and have had three children and my arms make me look like a mother and not an athlete. My face crinkles at the forehead from thinking deeply and I look like what I am and what I’ve done.
But apparently that’s not good?

I should hide my grey to pretend I haven’t lived
Enlarge my breasts to pretend I am not a pear shape
Slap filler into my wrinkles to pretend I haven’t laughed
Laser my veins to pretend I have never struggled
Straighten my kinks to pretend I’m not a woman
Tuck my tummy to pretend I’m not a mother
Suck out my buttock fat to pretend I have never enjoyed food
Painfully pierce the lines of concentration to pretend I have never had a thought about anything.

Apparently I’m worth it…
So that’s good
Isn’t it?

The Measure of Success

When the given way to success is not your way,
And the arrows point so as to wound your heart,
It is hard to walk with purpose.

When the one-size-fits-all shoes do, in fact, not fit but pinch,

You long to stray
Away

From

The

Path

And run.

Barefoot.
Through cool wet grass,
Shaking off the coat of expectation,
Exploring new sensations.

Ignoring the shouts of disagreement,
That signal failure to cope with differences.

It is not selfish
To want to know what we are,
To place ourselves.

Success is quiet, not showy.
Rows and rows of tiny achievements
Joined up like little stitches on a shawl
To wrap around ourselves
And hug tight, thinking,
I’ve done this and I’ve done that.
To afford time to feel
Settled and grounded –
To discover something that is purely you
And no one else
It is the best kind of success.
That inner germ of you-ness
With miniature tendrils quietly climbing
Just enough to curl around and hold onto a small life.
– And it is small.
It sits in a big world –
To find a place in this world and be happy to be small
Where the measure of success and the greatest achievement
Is peace within the folds of a calmer self,
Is acceptance.

Puppets

Where is Fate?

Is he sat on the clouds pulling our strings?
Or is he on the dark side of the moon manipulating voodoo dolls?

Maybe he wrote it all down a million years ago and he’s gone now?

Did he write the book of ‘Meant To Be’ and leave it out for God to see?

‘What will be will be’

Is it Fate’s will?
Or God’s will?
It’s written in the stars apparently.

When we die and go to heaven will there be a gate that the astronauts saw when they went to the moon?
Did Peter send them home again, saying, ‘It’s not your time’?
Or did he tell them to go to hell?

If it’s meant to be, will everything happen anyway however good or bad I am?
And if cleanliness is next to Godliness, why do I never see him in the bathroom?

This map it’s all mapped out on:
I think I’ve got it upside down anyway

I Find You There

      I do not find you at your grave,
      Although I stand and read your name.
      You’ve gone but still I search for you
      Where are you now your life is through?

      My hands on the arms of your favourite chair,
      Yes, I think you might be there
      My heart it aches with love for you
      You own a part – you’re in there too

      A happy photo smiles at me
      This is where I want you to be.
      A line in a song and I see your face
      And remember a walk in your favourite place.

      The love you left will never die
      Your life lives on in your family’s eyes.
      I’ll always miss your company
      But you live on in them and me.

      There is no end to the love that is you
      In others your life lives on, and through
      Your life you left enough
      That we might see and hold and touch.

      I rest my head now we’re apart
      And remember that which was dear to your heart
      Your values, dreams and chosen words
      Can still be felt and still be heard.

      I take a moment in my mind
      To think about the happier times,
      The thoughts and loves that we both shared
      Forever I will find you there.

Written on Wednesday 16th February 2011 – The morning of my Father-in-Law’s death, while thinking of my husband, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s loss, my mother’s, my own and my sisters’ loss and my brother-in-law (who has also just lost his father) and his family’s loss –

I want this to be relevant to others feeling similar losses so although written with specific personal thoughts and people in mind, have kept it simple, open and accessible and have naturally been influenced by other bereavement poems.

In front of me is a picture of my own father who died two years ago.

In loving memory of Dave Carter, Chris Wood, Roy Johnson
and the many others who are sadly missed