Poetry is New Thoughts

 

Writing is a way to think about something in a different way.  If you are stuck and feel like you have no options, I believe in writing what is going on in your mind.

Perhaps poetry is a thinking about something in the most powerful way. Because you have to define it. Pick out something that is a symbol or an analogy. 

It is also a way to strip everything else away. Again, I am a big believe in free writing.  Just keep writing until you have expressed yourself and got out somethings you only knew subconsciously.  However, then reducing the free writing into a poem distills everything into something manageable. Or perhaps you focus on one thing.  Figure things out and move on.

I remember many times, being upset and worried about something and wanting to get it down on paper. Part of that is that as a writer, I want to use it in a story or poem. But I also wanted to write it down, define it so that I can get it of my mind. What I found many times that the words on the paper came out differently than I expected. Because I was accessing a different part of my brain, I came up with different ideas about my problem/

When my son was young I wrote a poem about his autism.  It actually began as a celebration of who my son was.  The title of the poem is Advantages of Autism.

This is another power of poetry.  It helps you to savour the things you are grateful for.

Here is the image of me pushing him on a swing that was my inspiration for the poem.

One hand on each knee, you require, a push every time

you swing back to where I’m sitting.

 I say silly things

and you laugh. 

But sometimes you are within yourself

just enjoying the movement and I am quiet, too.

It’s okay to be within yourself sometimes

and just feel the breeze; watch the sun behind western clouds

telling us the day is fleeting, but right now is beautiful.

Right now is enough.

Pushing someone in a swing gets old pretty quickly. I was probably on my way to calling it quits. But then I was able to just be in the moment.

This poems also helped me figure things out about his autism. While our families challenges were small compared to some families with a child with autism. At times, there were things we struggled with.  He was in a special program and unti he was five we had to work on him learning pecs.  This is picture exchange system.  People use pictures of items to get their desired things when they cannot speak.  We were also looking to have our child engage with sensory experiences.

So I enjoyed pushing him in the swing (mostly). But then as I worked on the poem, I worked to explain why it was important to do things like swing.

Here is the analogy:

You could get use to the swaying

like a beginner on the tight rope.

Once steady, you could make sense of the world around you.

Or like a cheap maze game where you waggle the game to get

the small metal balls through obstacles and seated in the divot

that wins the game, your sense of self would roll around

and sink into the right spot.

This stanza helped me to encourage me to keep going.  It allowed me to nail down what it was like.  People with autism have sensory disintegration. It is a multidimensional syndrome.  But we wanted to expose him to the world.  Have him interact with it and perhaps identify who he was in the things around him. 

 

 

 

I believe 

I believe I can cure your autism

with each push of the swing.

Once the movement terrified, you

unsure of where you were in space.

Then you loved it and I would push you

like a normal kid, like I pushed your sister.

The mind and sense connected, I know.

You could get use to the swaying

like a beginner on the tight rope.

Once steady, you could make sense of the world around you.

Or like a cheap maze game where you waggle the game to get

the small metal balls through obstacles and seated in the divot

that wins the game, your sense of self would roll around

and sink into the right spot.

I know movement is good.

I want to believe it’s magical.

So I give another push,

feeling I’m pushing you forward

One hand on each knee, you require, a push every time

you swing back to where I’m sitting.

 I say silly things

and you laugh. 

But sometimes you are within yourself

just enjoying the movement and I am quiet, too.

It’s okay to be within yourself sometimes

and just feel the breeze; watch the sun behind western clouds

telling us the day is fleeting, but right now is beautiful.

Right now is enough.

I make you sign for more and then give more pushes.

Even once I’m ready to be done, you touch your fingers together

and I go on.  We will make a little more progress on your therapy today.

Our destination is not linear.  It’s back and forth.  Back and forth.

And right here.

(Published in Leaf Garden Issue 8:  http://leafgardenpress.blogspot.com/2010/03/leaf-garden-issue-8.html)

One thought on “Poetry is New Thoughts

  1. I really appreciate this post so much. As someone just starting out in poetry it really helped me to see how you took your emotions and explored them through the poem-combining different elements together. It’s really such a beautiful tribute to your son.

    Liked by 1 person

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