Poetry

Aloe Vera

I was a husk filled with things that weren’t me,

and all the problems I’d had

were squashed down so tight

I didn’t even know they were there.

 

Now the spell is broken and I’m returning to myself,

those crumpled seeds

are sprouting

and forcing me to re-live and re-live and re-live

in a never-ending loop.

 

Until I hear your voice.

Then, it all stops,

leaves dropping in the wind.

Your careful words are a salve

to these self-inflicted wounds.

They will not heal me completely, but they help.

They really do.

Uncategorized

Oh…I’m autistic

Greetings, everyone! Today is apparently the day for a long(ish) post about things on my mind.

In late January, I was formally diagnosed with autism, and it’s taken me a while to fully process it. Though I knew I had many traits and spent last year writing things down while I was on the waiting list for assessment, it still came as a bit of a shock to me.

I think I still had that small nugget of doubt, and when that was finally snuffed out, it sent me into a bit of a self-analytical spiral. I also had a massive meltdown where I simply couldn’t stop screaming — it’s an odd thing to have your body doing one thing while your mind is observing everything from a 3rd person view. And I was highly impressed at the sheer range of my voice. Honestly, I think I could give a banshee a run for their money, or a Camaar fish wife (if anyone gets that reference, I’ll give them a cookie).

I think the meltdown was not only realisation, but sheer frustration that it’s taken 28 years for people to see it, and one of my main thoughts was what would my life have been like if I’d known earlier? Would I have been bullied at school so much? Would I have even attended the schools that I did? Would I have had better advice on relationships and more understanding of why I can’t handle certain situations? Would I have felt so pressured to get a ‘real’ job that I accepted the first offer I got and spent three years struggling and pretending to be perfectly fine when I felt like hiding away and covering my hands over my ears through every shift?

But what I realised was that it doesn’t matter, because you can’t change the past. All you can do is look to the future. And I’m now in the process of getting the support I need.

I’ve also been suffering with anxiety and depression due to various other personal situations, and the whole lot combined has left me completely drained. However, I can’t live life as a complete recluse, and as much as I find it extremely difficult to talk to people — whether I know them or not — and experience a lot of sensory overload whenever I go out, I still have to do ‘basic’ things like going to the doctors or buying food.

I also know that as my poetry collection and my latest book are now out, I should be trying to promote them as much as I can, which includes going to spoken word nights. Which are nice in theory, as I get to listen to a lot of other artists, but not always so great in practice due to the sheer social nature of them.

Last night was one of those occasions, and not only was I uncomfortable the whole time, but after it was over, I felt like a group of bulbasaur had leechseeded me. I could barely walk properly, and my mind had died completely. Don’t get me wrong, I did hear some great poetry and got good encouragement for my own, but I honestly have to ask myself if that level of exhaustion, and the week or so of anxiety leading up to it, was really worth it.

Thing is, I don’t have an answer. I doubt I ever will. All I know is that one side of me wants to get up and perform at every one, while the other wants to stay home and play scrabble with my partner (who is a significant rock in my life and does all he can to keep me grounded when I feel like everything is beyond my control).

One of the definitely positive things I took away from last night was that I wasn’t the only one struggling to do what I do, as one of the other performers has autism too. There was also a spoken word artist with ADHD and one who is Dyslexic. So the sheer amount of creativity neurodiverse people are capable of despite their struggles is something truly inspiring.

Anyway, thank you for continuing to support this little blog and my creative efforts. This post has been quite therapeutic, not only as a way of recovering from yesterday and other stuff, but also because I’m enormously anxious about a phone call I’m expecting (I wish people would give specific times for these things). But I’m sure I have rambled on long enough, so…

Kate out!

 

 

Poetry

Jokers

Thank you for your hands that keep me safe

Reassuring with a gentle grasp

And strong enough to withstand my anxious clutching

When it all gets too much.

Thank you for your attentive gaze,

For seeing the things I so desperately try to hide from the world

And doing all you can to help me out on days I struggle to raise my head.

I offer the same to you. When you need me, I’ll be there.

We are both jokers who have finally found each other inside the deck

And nothing will separate us from now on.

 

 

Poetry

Toxic

My lungs hunt for fresh air,

snatching in every touch of breeze they can.

But recently the freshness can’t be found.

The air is choking. Curling smoke and fumes

culminate into balls and whack themselves

into my system.

I can feel it, but no one else seems to notice.

The vapour from their own breath

comes out black.

Poetry

Say it

Say it. Let the sound fill your mouth

like curry, full on flavour and spicy

enough to set your breath on fire.

Then spit it out. Let them know

the wine is sour,

and the alcohol content cannot make up for it.

Bottle their gasps for later,

you can use them at the lightshow

when they try to blot you out.

And, with their retorts,

take off your cloak and mask

so their ice-words melt from your brightness.

Show them the spectrum,

not the gradient.

Poetry

Untitled

Untitled, I am simply me

to walk around and sketch the day

as I please. Or that’s what you might expect

if you spy me from a distance,

the woman who can take her time doing this and that,

including moulding time itself into whatever shape she likes.

Underneath the glass, however,

I have a structure that demands I do something deemed as an achievement

each day, and my body won’t let me rest

nor will my mind,

and in those rare times when I beat it back

guilt wraps its fingers around my heart and squeezes

until the enjoyment of whatever I’m doing for fun

turns dull and grey, as ash in my mouth.

Poetry

Symptoms

The catch in my throat

cannot decide if it’s there because I have hayfever

or because I have to wave you goodbye for now.

Same with the ache in my head

and the water at my eyes.

In one case, I’m not myself for a while.

In the other, I’m only functioning at half capacity.

The remaining half…

well, that followed you.

Poetry

Crude

Pine fresh, they say
stepping from the dark pool
that was flora, that was fauna,

that was lost, that was found
and now is used. Its lifeblood spilt.
Split into molecules, measured for worth, for potential
for making cloaks of green paper
with no chance to rest.

The ghosts of it chant as they chug from engines
itching to join the mists and rain back into the soil that was home.

Some do, only to find they have become poison and turn the earth black.

Poetry

King of Cards

The spade is painted across the walls. His symbol.

The elite, the top

come to claim the castle and make the king bow down.

 

The world shifts at that moment

and for him, the situation is tilted and cut

into only a semblance of what it was.

 

The castle is no longer a castle, the king no longer a king.

A shack and a pauper

are now what he faces.

 

He looks down at his body.

His proud chest piece reforged

into a string vest of trowels.

 

Poetry

Moon song

It’s tough work, drawing enough of yourself

up from the well

that has grown brambles and roses all over

to prevent anyone snatching it away.

No longer can an echo bring up droplets from its depths

to sprinkle as greetings

when greeting is the last thing you want to do.

Even the sun offering its hand

can sway you only so much,

but the moon is the one who whispers to you

urging the water inside

to be spilt only when necessary

and fully charged by its silver.