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The Most Powerful Me

I’m the child reaching out to the storm,
Knowing the lightning is looking back at me,
Watching over me.

I’m the child shouting into an empty field,
Knowing that the echo is calling back,
Listening and speaking to me.

I know the horses in the overgrown paddock,
My bicycle is a horse too,
We all know each other.

I remember the dead fish floating in the lake,
Looking at it, enchanted by it,
Wondering who he was.

There were fish on the fisherman’s rusted sink, too,
I hovered to watch, and loved
The way the pelicans gathered with me.

That dog was there every day,
I went that way just to see her,
To ask her to follow me home.

The seagulls had names when I fed them,
Like Snoopy who played chase with me,
And knocked at the caravan door.

The most powerful me was there
From the very beginning.
When I was a child.

She got lost somewhere along the way…
Forgot those things except in dreams,
But I am finding her again.

Not a maiden chained up in stone fortresses,
But a daughter of dragons building sand castles
Decorated with seashells and feathers.

I am a woman of the birch grove,
A changling sidhe,
A visionary of wonder and imagination.

I create chaotically from chaos,
Like the storm that brings the rains
That nourish thirsty deserts…

Like ocean waves carving cliffs,
Trees seeding from fire,
Volcanic ash carried by winds to nourish green lands.

I come from sea people, sky dragons,
Earth wisdom, and the hot fires
That I have walked through to get here, now.

To get to where I am going.
It’s just a stop on my journey of many lives…
Many ways, many forms.

Just one stop where my only task
Is to remember that powerful child,
And be her without apology.

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Ignite The Fire Within

I am surrounded by a great fire dragon
Who has no tolerance for excuses.
I have looked into my own shadows
And seen an imperfect being that I cultivate.
My flames will not be extinguished
By those who refuse to do so,
But will be fanned by the winds
Of my own speeding wings
And the pounding drumbeat
Of my courageous, stormy heart.
I am born of thunder and lightning,
Nourished by ancient trees and oceans,
And lifted ever upwards by the force
Of wind and flames
Erupting as dragon fire!
I know my name,
I own my power,
And I cannot be defeated
By the ignorance, arrogance, or fear
Of souls far younger than my own.
This is the sound of my roar!

Bullshit Scented Fear

I call bullshit.
I smell it like I smell the fear
Of facing ones own bullshit.
I put that bullshit in a paper bag,
Breathe dragon fire into it,
Set it alight and leave it on your doorstep
For you to face.
Why??

BECAUSE I MATTER.
Because you saw me,
We both know you did,
Any claim otherwise is bullshit.

Because you drain me of my energy,
Drink from my bottle,
But never share from yours,
Then say it is always about me
When I’m left thirsty and confused,
And we know that’s bullshit too.

Because I try, I apologise,
I keep my end of bargains and compromises
As best I can,
But I’m still left in the gutter
When you have something better to do.
That’s called being selfish,
That’s called bullshit.

“My day is stressful…”
But I will still joke with you.
“I’m going out”
…No comment about my day,
Just you and your friend’s stuff.
But I will still joke with you.
You deserve fun, to relax,
To not deal with me,
Because I am just so, so awful
That I have to be ‘dealt with’.
“Ok, cool, can you please call me after?
I had a pretty shit day
And it would be nice to say hello,
Get some support, etc…
I got in trouble today  ”
18:48, 19:25…silence.
“?”
19:45 –
“No worries, I’ll give you a call
When I get home. Love you.”
Am I okay? Does it even matter?
‘I love you’ is becoming a signature,
Dry of meaning, devoid of action, sentiment.
But I let it go. You’re out. It’s cool.
I get it.
I need you, but I get it.
I can wait, I don’t call or try to stop you.
It really is fine.
But 21:18…
It’s getting late on a week night,
I’m struggling now,
The tears have stung my eyes for hours,
I’m alone and need love,
I just need someone to ask…
Are you okay?
I ask “How are you going??”
Silence.
21:30…you don’t answer when I call.
I’m alone,
I’m upset, I’m in pain,
I haven’t heard anything for hours.
What did you think
I would be like on the phone?
I matter more than this.
It’s not hard to ask:
‘Are you okay?’
It’s not hard to say:
‘I’m thinking of you, don’t worry.’
It’s not hard to say,
‘I’m on my way home,
Will call really soon,
Hang in there.’
But it is too hard, it seems.

I love you so much.
“Okay.”
You’re the person I want to be with.
“Mmhmm.”
I’m sorry I’m difficult sometimes,
I’m trying really hard,
Things are just really rough recently…
“Okay.”
I feel alone with all this,
I’m scared,
I’m so overwhelmed,
Everything is riding on this…
“Mmhmm.”

It’s my time,
But you want to do something else,
And I will be left
With nothing to do but dwell…
So I suggest going home early,
I compromise for you.
But misunderstandings happen,
You give me nothing…again…
My feelings get worse,
I am scared,
You are confusing me,
I need you.
I don’t want to go home,
I’m not okay.
But you have better things to do,
Endless scrolling,
No way to act on it,
Because I was willing to act on it with you,
But you said you can’t act now.
So why is this more important than me today?
Why is my time being cut short – again –
For what is not imminent?

“If this situation were reversed,
I wouldn’t let you go,
I’d be with you, make sure you are okay,
Be your partner, love you in your time of need…”
You take me to a station.
You expect a hug,
Like your decision to scroll pointlessly
Being more important to you than me
Hasn’t hurt me deeply.
Hasn’t re-demonstrated
That I don’t matter to you.
Again.
I wait, hoping you will come to your senses.
You don’t.
I leave…what else can I do?
I hear the car,
I panic, this can’t be happening, surely??
I come back…this can’t be!!
You LOOK INTO MY EYES…
You drive away.
You humiliate me.
Silence…for hours. Then:
“Hope you’re okay…”
I wasn’t okay when you dumped me there!
See previous stanza!
What do you think?
What do you really think?
That I would pat your head,
Tell you it’s fine,
Tell you it’s all my fault?
Again?
Dragons don’t chase
Lost causes.

Who is it really about?
It’s about you.
Your bullshit, not mine.
You had a win, and made yourself a victim.
You choose to stress about
What doesn’t need to be stressed about now
To ignore my world falling down around me.
Because you avoid.
You avoid responsibility, fear,
True meaning, depth, change, growth…
Even though you say this is what you want
In a person.
Energy to play,
But not to see if I am even
Still alive!
Pick up the damn phone,
Love is something you fight for!
But you run away,
Drive away,
Let it walk away.

This is what it feels like,
To be left with nothing.
Silence.
This is what I have endured!
Why I keep bothering you
With my anxiety,
Tears, fears, confusion!
I call bullshit.
Not mine…mine has been called
Enough times,
Faced enough times.
Yours.
It smells of fear,
Of running away, avoiding.
It’s not mine.
I shouldn’t be hurt by it.
This will keep happening to you,
Over and over and over again…
Because the bullshit
Is yours. No one else’s.
I’m not the first
To confront you with this.
I won’t be the last.

But your bullshit
Will not be mine
To clean up.
I have chased you
For the last time.

Dealing With Emotion Musically

How do we cope with bad days? Human people are a continual mystery to me…making me a good geographer, because I realise I should never count on my early impressions to be true. But it can also be painful, frustrating, and deeply isolating. I find music helpful, I like to play my dodgey op-shop guitar.

I don’t have much in the way of skill. I can play just about any instrument I pick up in a basic way…but struggle to progress beyond that. Mostly due to lack of patience, lack of time to practice, and lack of capacity to cope with the visual/tactile responses music causes me to have. But sometimes those responses can be manipulated in helpful ways. Playing music can bring my emotions back into balance, and counter the tactile sensations that intense emotion causes.

So here we go…maybe there are some ideas in here for others. I think even listening to music can be helpful…pick what works for you, and let the feelings come out with the music, and don’t be afraid to switch genres quickly according to how your heart changes as you go. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with music as a way of coping/expressing/dealing with neurodiversity challenges.

To Love A Cat

My other self wanders with a cat

Who wears a moonless night,

Obsidian heart blooming

Like a cosmic flower

That shines into forever.

Whose playful eyes reflect

The emerald green of unseen worlds,

And gleam with the secrets

Of a time traveller in disguise.

 

Now, I walk with a patchwork cat

Of stray bits and pieces,

Stories stitched together

With whisker threads and yarns

That will be told for all time.

Whose knowing eyes have seen

Memories of tomorrow’s dreams,

And cast a golden gaze

Into shadowed worlds without fear.

 

Our paths cross in ghostly woods

Where golden sunbeams breathe

Warmth into deep shadows

On the edge of night and day.

Where time is a line between

Planetary movements

That creak and groan, slow and massive,

Like the ticking gears of a clock

Suspended between multiverses.

 

Here, cats choose their human soul,

Drawn to the horizons

Of dawn and dusk’s sigh

Where worlds come together.

The cat and her person,

Bonded for life, but still

No more than a whisker in time:

I’ll love you defiantly

From the many worlds within my heart.

 

To love a cat…

To be loved by a cat.

 

Dominion

*Full disclosure: I am not a vegetarian. I am what I describe as an ‘ethical eater’. That means that I do not inherently believe that eating meat is wrong, nor do I subscribe to arguments that humans don’t need to eat meat. I am, however, fiercely against the human removal from where our food comes from, our disrespect towards the animals that give their life to become our nourishment, and the methods of farming that have reduced lives to units of production. My approach is to eat very little meat…which is what is actually healthy, not giving it up entirely…and source it from hunters, or ecological, ethical farms (on which I have worked, and from where the above lovely creature was encountered); and/or to intentionally select the unpopular cuts of meat in order to challenge the huge waste culture based purely on arbitrary industry/social construction of the concept of a ‘prime cut’. My poem is written in protest of the industrial farming culture, the dismissal of animal lives, and the ridiculous notion that meat magically appears on supermarket shelves. An animal gave its life to nourish yours, that needs to be recognised and respected…big time.

These binds that tie
Cow and I.
A kingdom divided
By the process line
Shall surely fall.
Flesh no price can buy
Hear them cry.

Wolf dressed not as sheep
But shepherd…
The Lord never opens
His eyes anymore…
They’re too sore.
A good shepherd is hard to find.

Fields run red,
Sacrificial wine
Of forgotten swine.
Peepers in the dark
Close one last time…
Soul sold
For a prime cut
At no extra cost.

Deliver us
To cold shelves
Plastic wrap, label slap
Stamped use by…
Use by abused by date.
Land of milk and honey
And neon aisles.

Horror film on the plate
Each slice of trauma that I ate
Realising too late
But still in time
To repent the crime…
I am human enough
To be humane,
To sacrifice convenience
To spare them pain?

Wretched creatures,
Have mercy
In my place.

Up The Old Red Rooster!

Stolen ruler
Stolen prawn
Frozen apple
Noisy yawn.

Roller coaster
Fifty cents
Toothless tiger
Home-made tents.

Ginger kitten
Drunken songs
Roo tattoo
Rubber thongs.

Power sneeze
Winter stew
Documentaries
Eyes of blue.

Oily hair
Cups of tea
Tobacco newspaper
By the sea.

Roman Catholic
Man in the moon
Faithless hero
I’ll see you soon.

* The poem title “Up The Old Red Rooster!” is a proudly proclaimed statement my grandfather would often make while intoxicated, promptly followed by ‘More Piss!” It remains one of my fondest chuckles to this day.

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Remembering Amos Street

She opens bairn eyes,
Lids all a flutter with sleep,
On a morn soaked bright
In golden day.
Yet though she cannot see
Beyond the glare that
Upon her lashes dance,
Senses crisp adhere to
Her simple pleasure:

The warm scents of the old house –
A soft breath of talcum powder
Floating gently amidst
A sea of spice;
Dark tea leaves
Steeped in rich aroma
And the metal taint of
A tin kettle.

The sounds of an awakened day –
Her arrival from sleeping dreams
Greeted by the rock doves
Good morning coo;
Grandmother coming and going
About her chores,
A hum in her bosom
To echo the crackling
Vinyl songs of old.

As between crisp linen she lay,
No more than a child
Her waking days so few,
A simple thanks for humble riches
Emerges as a sigh.
Many years from now,
On a morn such as this,
She will awaken once more –
Grown under weight
Of sorrows and trials,
Her own days gathered into wisdom.

On that day,
The innocence of infancy
For a moment, precious and still,
Reminds with reminiscence
What happiness can be.
But for today, this bright and golden morn,
There is nought but content
For so little,
And yet so much.

Moth Wing Skin

Sometimes I inhabit a moth wing skin,
Pressing into my shoulders like a tattooed cloak,
Or my love’s embrace.
It bleeds into me…
Seeping intricacy into my plain-ness,
A power to persuade and dissuade.

Moth wings are a gentle armour –
Fragile whispers of strength,
And the humility of mock eyes
To see when my real ones
Are afraid to look.

My moth wing skin tingles in the light.
It flutters because it is shy,
But yearns to be seen,
Yearns and aches
For glass candle flames,
So much like the fire that burns within.

When my moth wings touch you,
They leave a powdery impression
Swept lightly against your skin…
Brush it away, or hesitate –
And let it creep into you too,
Sinking slowly together, merging…
We are a luminous fire
In the depth of the night.