Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio (5)

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Panic Attack

 

I

It can happen out of the blue, during a date or

a work meeting; no common sense. Unexpectedly.

 

II

When you’re away from home, or snuggling, cosy

watching a film. Even in your sleep. Disturbingly.

 

III

Could be the fear of the unknown, or a visit

from sweet grandma. Unreasonably.

 

IV

Might cause you to hide under the blankets or bury

your head in the sand out of anxiety. Bitchy!

 

V

Inability to breathe like you’re drowning or losing

the plot like dad’s auntie Angela. Overwhelming.

 

VI

Your heart pounding out of your chest,

like a wild horse needing taming. Scary.

 

VII

Nausea and an upset stomach without

a crazy night out as an excuse. Embarrassing.

 

 

 

VIII

As well as numbness, tingling sensations,

a choking feeling or dizziness. Uncomfortable.

 

IX

Palpitations and a racing heart, like mum on a bad

Day, but it won’t kill you, for it’s not a heart attack. Relax!

 

X

Rarely goes on for longer than the BBC news, usually

lasts as long as the adverts or an episode of Eastenders. Unworthy!

 

XI

Just remember to breathe slowly, you’re not on

Jeremy Kyle. You’re safe. Respectable.

 

XII

It’s nothing more than instinct learned from primitive

Times – you wouldn’t remember. Don’t fight it!

 

XIII

It might look like a gigantic terror, or a naughty

Gremlin, but you can beat it. Easily.

Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio (4)

For Once

 

The weight of eyelids

is overwhelming. Legs

refuse to move. Mind

has no willpower

while body stays still

under the covers.

I won’t make it to the gym,

who cares? What’s the point?

 

Today is the day I will get up,

shower, clean the kitchen,

make important phone calls

and tackle the ironing.

Today is the day I lie in bed,

feeling exhausted, without shower.

Just a little longer, the bones plead.

Why not, agrees the mind, for once.

 

This poem is about the battle I fought so many times with my body, for little things like getting out of bed in the morning, for example. Not so often anymore, yet sometimes I still get these struggles. But that’s ok, it makes me appreciate even more my successes. If you face the same challenges, be kind to yourself and celebrate the good days!

Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio (3)

Grief

 

She started to grow in my womb,

but she also grew in my heart. I don’t

know when it happened, but I loved

her so much. She was perfect. How

could she not live? Even now I often

wonder what she would look like, what

she could have been? My baby girl

turning into a moody teen. Her perfect

little hands covering my fingertip.

I still feel the soft but firm grip.

 

Today I am sharing a poem that brings back very painful memories. Grief is an emotion that had also a very important role in my past and present mental health issues. Surprised me greatly during therapy how ignorant of this whole process I was and this is an emotion I still struggle with in the present moment. But, who doesn’t?

Posted in Poetry

Song of Myself (1892 version)

By Walt Whitman

 

1
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.
Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio (2)

Guilt

It may be spoon fed to you before

you can choose, like a need.

Honeybees feed on dandelions

after a long bad winter, but this

is no nutritious food. A creeping

buttercup weed, sneaky undesirable

pest, secretly sprouting. Fast growing

deep roots you can’t see. Extermination

is necessary or it will take over a flower

bed. It’s tiring! Guilt binds you, keeps

you in the past, takes over thoughts

and feelings. It’s a hard battle that you

have to keep fighting without rest –

being vigilant and attacking at the slightest sign.

 

This is the second poem of my sequence about depression. Guilt has been the main culprit in most of my mental health issues; my parents gave it to me, not intentionally for sure, they thought they were doing the right thing and they definitely did the best they knew. I have made peace with them a long time ago because I love them, but I hate that they did this to me and my work in the last few years has been to get rid of this guilt and keep my life flourishing with feelings of self-love and worthiness.

Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio

Mask

 

There’s a woman staring

at me. I don’t know her.

I’ve seen her before

playing different roles,

wearing different costumes,

answering to different names.

She laughs in awkward moments.

Speaks without thinking.

Learns useless facts.

Loves without measure.

Cares for everyone.

Smiles easily, frowns easier.

Sometimes she runs around

like a drunken chicken.

Dances away her fears

and sings out of tune,

if she thinks no one is watching.

Often, she cries herself to sleep,

lonely tears. Once upon a time,

she had hopes and dreams,

but now she has no future.

 

This week, I am starting to post here the poems of my creative portfolio. I have completed a sequence of poems based on my experience with depression and anxiety for my creative project. ‘Mask’ is the first poem of the sequence and describes the beginning of that painful experience. If anyone of my readers can identify with this, please drop me a line with your thoughts. Or if you know of anyone who has experienced something similar, share the poem with them. I will post a poem of the sequence every Monday and, as you will see, there was a time when I didn’t know who I was anymore and I thought my life was over, but things did get better and stayed better.

I am also hoping for some feedback, any suggestions that can make these poems better.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Posted in Poetry

International Women’s Day

My Daughter

 

She’s a chair. Not a comfy one,

but a corrective and supportive chair.

Not the kind of chair to sit and relax,

but at times you’ll feel the benefits.

 

She’s a sunny day, not too hot, just

right. The sun gently kissing your skin

and the night breeze making you feel

lazy, wanting to stay out until late.

 

She’s chicken soup. Good for the body

and soul. Whenever you feel down,

she’ll pick you up will carry you all

the way until you’re fit again.

 

She’s a pair of bright yellow wellies, rubber

duck shaped. When under the rain, no

matter how dark, cold or wet, she’ll remind

you of better days,

making you smile.

 

I dedicate this day to my daughter, who is an inspirational younger woman and makes me very proud. I wrote this poem for her in 2014.

Posted in Poetry

Red Clogs

My most memorable possession as a child,

was a pair of clogs. Of course it had to be shoes!

They were red with a black stripe and were on

my feet all the time, day after day! Those clogs

had the courtesy of moulding to my feet. But

I also appreciated the fact that they were so

easy to put on; when you’re five, not having

laces in your shoes is clearly a bonus. I would

get up every morning and put those clogs on.

They were like gloves but for the feet. Once

my mother put them in the bin, but I went back

to rescue my favourite shoes, and started

wearing them again. Although they were deformed

and almost certainly smelly, they were still perfect

to me. I have photos of a five year old me wearing

those clogs. I look superb in my flowery skirt with a red

and white top, but the real honour came from my red clogs.

 

Today I decided to publish one of my first poems, what I like about this poem is that he reminds me of the simpler and easier days of childhood. Whithout judgements and when it was so easy to feel superb.

Posted in Poetry

Wintry Horizon

It was an icy winter day, my parents handed

me to a stranger. We went on a train, to another land.

As I waved them goodbye, I didn’t know

I wouldn’t see them again, after that day.

I wouldn’t come home after school to my

mother’s honey and cinnamon cake, ever.

I wouldn’t be doing my homework at our

kitchen table listening to her singing

while cooking dinner. Nor would I smell

the herbal shampoo in her hair when she kissed me

goodnight. I would never see my father again,

reading his newspaper while smoking pipe.

In this other land, the house didn’t have the sweet smell

of pipe tobacco and no one was afraid. We went for walks

in the park every Sunday afternoon. We were happy and free!

But I can still see my parents becoming smaller and smaller

before they disappeared in the wintry horizon forever!

Posted in Poetry

Depression

I know you want to

help. But, 

when I’m sad,

don’t try to make me laugh.

When I’m low,

don’t try to cheer me up.

When I look fed up,

don’t try to solve my 

problems,

I don’t want solutions,

I want to be miserable 

and cry my sorrows.

I want to feel my grief 

deep inside,

and the pain, all of it.

Yes, I know there’s 

a hole on the sofa, 

with the shape of my 

bottom. And I know 

day time TV

is depressing,

I don’t need a friend to

tell me that! And no,

I don’t want to go

to the cinema!

If you stay, 

stay in silence, 

invisible. 

And if I speak,

just listen.

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