Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio (7)

No – not saying it

 

“We want to go to the cinema tonight, could you watch the children for us?”

Mind: No. I’m so tired, I can’t even hold a cat by its tail!

Mouth: Sure, bring them over.

 

“Hey, fancy coming over for a photo shoot? I need to practice for an assignment.”

Mind: No. I have a book to read on the joys of tidying.

Mouth: Of course, what time?

                       

“I’m going to Trafford Centre for some shopping, do you want to join me?”

Mind: Again?! We were only there the other day, five years ago.

Mouth: Yeah, it’ll be fun!

 

“Can you work my shift on Sunday? I really want to watch this match!”

Mind: No. Are you kidding? You’re going to lose, anyway!

Mouth: Only this once. Enjoy!

 

“Mum, can I have some money for a game tomorrow?

Mind: No. No more games until you’re old enough to retire!

Mouth: Ok, how much?

Posted in Poetry

Creative Portfolio (6)

The Moment

 

“I don’t know you anymore”,

you said.

“You used to go to work every day”,

you cried.

“You always found new possibilities,

always exploring, never unsure”,

your voice trembling.

“Even grandma said

you’d never stop surprising her,

it was in your DNA”

you were sobbing.

“I don’t understand”

 

“I’m still here”, I said.

“It’s like a tree in the winter, lifeless…

It’s a tree, nonetheless.

The winter will give way to spring,

the grey branches will turn green

happily bouncing with energy”,

I continued.

“Summer will follow with bright flowers,

juicy fruits, quenching and deliciously

refreshing”, I think now I was smiling.

“It will still be me in the autumn,

the leaves falling and leaving a warm tapestry

on the floor, made up with coloured patterns

and soft textures”. By now I was convinced.

“Just remember, if winter returns

and I turn blue again, it won’t be permanent”.

 

This poem refers to the moment when I realised the extent to which my depression was affecting my loved ones, and the moment I decided I had to kick it in the ass –  not easy as it sounds here, but a good start.

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 Reviews

The month of July

Today I thought I’d review my first month taking this blog seriously. The month of July saw me organising a schedule for my posts and this is the third week in a row that I fulfill this schedule, which is an achievement. I have started the blog just over a year ago, full of ideas and enthusiasm. However, the last twelve months were not easy for me, with my parents’ health, my studies, trying to organise a wedding. It has been a little chaotic – to put it lightly.

So, this Summer started with my fun Hen do in the Algarve at the end of May. The weeks coming up to it saw me running like crazy, spending long periods at the library in the university, trying to cramp up the work of a whole semester into some four or five weeks, including a job and family and house commitments. There was no way I could have succeeded, and from the beginning, I was a fool to think I was in with the slightest of the chances. But, I guess I had to try and I gave it my best shot. At least I managed to complete my creative project and reflective commentary and I got part of my dissertation done. It is something! However, a moment of realisation came when I knew I would not be able to graduate this Summer with all the workload I still had to do and I thought I’d better go back and do it all over again. I won’t be able to repeat the modules I have completed again, but there is a chance I can go back to do the ones I have not submitted any work for and I have written to the course leaders to ask for that opportunity. I am still waiting to hear from them, but I’m hopeful!

Therefore, I decided to dedicate my time to the blog and make it the best I can. So in these last three weeks, I have posted three poems from my mental health collection; “Mask” on 17th July, “Guilt” on 24th July and “Grief” this week on 31st July. These three poems have been workshopped and edited many times and are very close to my heart because they refer to very personal and intimate experiences. I feel very proud for having shared them here on my blog and I hope that they can reach others who have gone through similar emotions and help them feel less isolated, this is the reason why I wrote them in the first place. So far I have mainly opened up about my struggles with mental health because recently that old friend has come to visit again. Pretty soon I hope I’ll start writing about how true friends, family, hope and will power have helped to come a long way since the moment it all started.

I also shared three different quotes with related photo collages. This is the fun part for me to find inspirational quotes and photos that relate to them. I wrote about the English language and I am finding it fun to explore a different word each week. I intend to explore more serious grammatical issues in the future, maybe when I am more settled into this new habit of writing regularly.

In these three weeks, I had a go at translating a Portuguese poem by Fernando Pessoa into English and I shared section one of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” last week. It was only a cheeky dip into two of my favourite and inspirational poets, more to follow on them.

In conclusion, I would say the month of July has been like a sneak preview of what’s to come. The posts have not been too long and the themes approached could have been developed in more depth, but that will come in due course, slowly but surely!

Thanks for reading xxx

 

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 Reviews

A poet is a feigner

Autopsychography

by Fernando Pessoa, translated by Richard Zenith

The poet is a feigner                                                                                                                       who is so good at his act                                                                                                                   he even feigns the pain                                                                                                                   of pain he feels in fact.

And those who read his words                                                                                                         Will feel in his writing                                                                                                                       neither of the pains he has                                                                                                             but just the one they’re missing.

And so around its track                                                                                                                      this thing called the heart winds,                                                                                                   a little clockwork train                                                                                                                     to entertain our minds.

‘Autopsychography’ is Portuguese Fernando Pessoa’s (1888-1935) most translated poem. I think the reason why it has been repeatedly translated is the fact that so many authors finding an echo in Pessoa’s words. A poet fakes his pains, even when the pain he portrays is the pain he indeed feels, and it’s all in the name of the creative process. When I write about my own emotions and feelings, there is always a creative process that alters the pain as it is described. Below is my working translation. Any authors with any thoughts on this?

Autopsychigraphy

The poet is an actor.                                                                                                                     He acts so sincerely,                                                                                                                       he even pretends it is pain,                                                                                                             the pain he feels truly.

And those who read his works,                                                                                                   in reading his pains can feel,                                                                                                           not the poet’s fake and real pains,                                                                                            but only the ones they never felt.

And so, entertaining the reason                                                                                                     rides this little clockwork toy,                                                                                                         that we call the heart,                                                                                                                       round and round on its track.

Thanks for stopping by xoxo

 

 

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

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.

Eva Harmoni

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