Are the wayward plants,
With stalks misshapen,
Tangled roots and
Wilting leaves -
Ostracised by the Sun?
Are they terrified or
Our disabilities have entrapped us.
In stain-glass windows but -
We are the trinkets
Who shine at the street bazaar.
Far from infallible,
We are not the soaring superheroes,
Or locked within our wheelchair’s embrace;
We are human.
Rising to great heights by a
Banishing The Toy Soldier
Amid the carousel of pushchairs
And ticket wardens …
Your peach-coloured voice
Plucked me out,
Amid a sea of swarming beige.
You spoke to me.
Unphased by the man shielded by
The nameless, blindy’s mask.
Your insightful eyes saw through
Invisible distances -
Far-reaching what mine fail to see.
You asked me:
What’s the best way to Waterloo?
Engulfed in your enigmatic flutter,
My second sight took hold.
I became an equal -
Eye-to-eye in a field full of lions.
She saw me as a man.
Just as capable of being
The monkey of all cunning…
As I am at making mistakes
Indifferent to the cracks they leave behind
Amid a blink - I wore the crown in my jungle.
Proud to be who I am,
Proud to be blind.
Fixated on the ceiling's sour glare
With visions bleaker than
Watch me as I scorch the blackened sky,
I say to the empty room.
Let me sink the clouds,
Flood the earth -
All in vain, merely a whisper
In a chasm thick with petrified screams.
Afraid of the world ahead,
Catharsis found in hibernation.
As cacophonous thoughts chastise,
The remnants of rumbling thunder
Fuel taunts of phantom pain.
The idea of being trapped in titanium stilts
Far worse than that of the one-legged man,
Liberation hidden among the twisted depths
Of the closed minds of gatekeepers.
How I dream of hopeful worlds
Awash with chamomile -
Freedom found by bursting
Through each hollow cocoon.
So, I will my wilting legs
To morph into the trunk of sturdy oak.
I wonder - did the soldiers sobbing shrapnel,
Sheltering from bullet rain
Ever get to choose?
One foot dangling -
I try it on for size.
Butterflies pave the way -
Bullet holes wrapped in
Unseen Figures Villanelle
I creep on cobbled streets, illuminated by the lamp’s evening glow,
Revealed by the click-clack of heels. I am betrayed,
As prying eyes rise from down below.
That terrible down below
Where majestic beasts lay,
Where those who live to devour girls’ supple skin go.
His spotted coat emerges… my senses slow.
Soon to be social carrion; I say,
Fogged eyes fail. I hear him crow,
Stoic face etched, I stay,
While ridiculing laughter bellows.
A brief hiatus. Then, the approach.
Like a rag-doll, I lay,
With nowhere to go
The prowling hyena smirks, grateful for the show.
Bone-crushing jaws sink as I lay,
He takes his time, not slow;
Added to the casualty list…his inventory of prey.
Clinical lights set a blinding ambience,
For absent-faced nurses,
Who absentmindedly process people…
From waiting room to ward -
I sit with wobbling eyes closed,
In search of stillness -
But, realisation strikes;
Despite my squinting eyes
Pressed against the telescope,
I missed the lighthouse.
So, I’m clamped down…
And with my saucer-shaped pupils
Prized open, he cracks stinging droplets.
Then he says: all done!
As though bandaging a child.
As I’m carted to the consultant’s office,
I clamber for calm.
While they poke and probe,
Are they no longer within orbit's reach?
I watch them scrupulously scowl at the scans.
Rancid. A concoction of fear
And symptom -
I slip up. Blurt my truth.
And in search of confirmation
Of a job well done
She hijacks my hypothesis…
The words hang heavy like sodden clothes.
And the sound of hushed voices implode
As I'm passed from opinion to opinion -
So that she can marvel at her work.
It backfires when,
the condition is stable,
Fills the room.
I was seventeen when the pain struck once more.
But, with a mind absorbed by the clink of newly cut car keys,
I could ignore the fingers
That snaked around my spine.
When I cast my mind back,
Sweet, nicotine-infused smoke from Geek Bars
And the musk of Paco Ruban still invade my senses -
In the hope that dousing myself in a whimsical dream
Would transform me from a boy into a man.
But as agony took hold.
I sought refuge in pills and positions,
Trying to outrun the thief you cannot banish,
By dwindling coins before he got the chance.
All the while, I wove a patchwork of kind untruths
Into the lives of all of those who cared.
In the hope that the idealist thread
Would sew my broken body back together.
All too aware that those coiling reptilian hands,
Constricting around my vertebrae
Were forewarning the silent screams from a brain
That oozed blood-stained tears.
Stretches and cigarettes became my weapons,
Hospital, a defeat I wasn’t ready to admit.
Then the seizures and flickers of swirling shadows came,
Like a preamble to the blackened world
I would soon endure.
But the fading lights of my residual vision,
Allowed for surging determination.
The Words I conquered
Here are some pointless facts about me:
I love chocolate.
I dream of verandas and straw sun-hats,
Absorbed by the sound of stray granite dragged
By the outstretched arms of open water.
As a child, I loved the dark.
That mass of velvet sheltering me from
The acrid odour of cigarette smoke,
Muffling unfamiliar rasps from the
Mouths of men who I didn’t know.
I’d long for days when I woke
To the sound of feet encased in sandals,
As Grandma clattered in the kitchen and
Grandad mowed the lawn.
Aas I grew older,
The mass of velvet dissipated -
As I clutched onto fag-ends of candid conversation
Where Grandma uttered the words…
She’ll be blind by the time she’s 16
As carelessly as a magpie burrowing in a cuckoo’s nest.
My adolescent mind guided by a goading mantra;
Nights spent with lights switched on,
Cowering behind closed doors,
During the day, nausea swallowed my will to eat.
Fear etched like invisible ink,
Obsessed with a disfigurement only I could see.
But, like an eclipse blocking the sun,
I wallowed in my created darkness.
Peace found as thoughts transcend into feathers
Wavering in the wind.
Bound By Ignorance
Cheeks flushed with
Skin the shade of raw meat,
I heave myself up the
Boundless flights of winding stairs…
Like an otter navigating this domestic mill race,
A paradox burdens me
Incited by the nimble minds of the able-bodied
Their privileged lives unphased by obstacles.
With legs akimbo,
I picture sweet smiles and unsavoury voices,
As they watch me trip up
The sixth step for the third time.
Marooned. I gasp at a handful of promises -
Like a basking shark washed up on dry land,
While they gawk at the decomposing mass
Beached among the rocks.
Impaired by my legs’ inability to bear my weight,
Disabled by the shackles, they refuse to loosen.
The Byzantine Princess
As she swept within the fortress’ walls,
With ice-blonde hair flowing…
Her reddened eyes the colour of beating hearts
Fixated on what lay within the stone labyrinth.
Hiding from the callus Shaman -
Who lives to flay porcelain skin
For the promise of good fortune;
Who drains goblets of purified blood,
And binds locks of platinum hair
To yield auspicious gain
Among those who bargain for prosperity,
Unwilling to pay the price of greed.
As time went by, the walls began to falter.
With her narrowing eyes transcending into slits of fury
His sallow face emerged among trembling rubble.
And soon, that eggshell form.
Encroached the space around her.
As the ramparts crumbled
The Princess rose from a place unknown…
Towering over the decrepit man
And waved as he clawed at her wavering feet.
The Madness in the Masquerade
There’s madness in this masquerade.
For years, I couldn’t tare myself away,
Like the sweeping miracle of magnetism -
Grappling with two unlike identities:
Me, with my disability trailing alongside,
Verses an outline of a woman.
Invisible. Disembodied by
A preordained path …
Aghast by this absurd facade
You appeared. Your friendship ike sand,
A treasure the ocean shyly left ashore,
And in your kindness, we built temporary castles.
But, for now…
The drawbridge and spirals we leave behind are
Impervious to the sea’s icy grasp.
Each grain, a fragment
Of quiet understanding.
Congrats, you've uncovered my (not so) secret stories. I'm Alice, a partially sighted writer passionate about depicting worlds that reach beyond what my eyes fail to see.