AutLoud is first and foremost a space for and by Autistic Adults in Ireland. There are plenty of topics and ideas discussed here using language. Most share one thing in common, they were written to first inform and then entertain. The poetry corner is different. It celebrates the beauty of the language itself and the creativity of our community. It lets us explore topics that need to be felt to be known, to be sculpted to be shared, to be experienced to be understood.
Our Creative Corner, including this poetry corner, is about celebrating the talents and abilities of our community of autistic adults. It turns out we are a really poetic and surprising prolific bunch. Who knew! Anyway, our Poetry Corner has been launched in celebration of Poetry Month, because April is not just about Autism.
This is a collection of Poetry. Some is quite light, but most are not. This poems are real and raw, but no less beautiful for that. The collection isn’t linear, or curated, or in any particular order. You can read from the top, or simply choose a title from the list that pulls you. Either way, browse, enjoy and feed your soul.
Table of Poems
By Jacob Wordsmith
There’s a secret I’m too scared to tell
Maybe my heart beats for boys as well
Maybe I hate how the mirror fails to show a female
Maybe I’m autistic and you missed it
But that’s my fault
There’s a mask tasked to halt questions of any class
This mask helps me breeze past any mass
And never be asked who is the real person here
A mask crafted with gold and fear because the news has made it clear
The threats I’d get if I loved a Ruth and a Roy
If I didn’t feel like I was a boy
If flapping my hands gave me joy
The different eyes I’d earn when you saw the lie burn
To the tune of Jim Carey saying “Smokin”
And even without violence I’m a freak or a token
So instead of being laid to waste I took my face and I lost it
Now I lie with the other monsters in the closet
But there’s no fear factor when you’re faced with an actor
There’s less pity and rage when the world is stage
With a script perfectly lipped without a word tripped or a line clipped
And you connected with the mask met at the door
Without it will you want to be my friend anymore
Maybe I’m weird or wrong or a bore
Those who’ve seen beneath adore but there are people who think I need to be cured
Because these are just silly teenage dreams
Or it’s a phase going on longer than it seems
Or it’s the vaccines
Why can’t it just be me
What you don’t see is my mask of gold has me blue
Because it’s exhausting pretending to be you
I collapse in bed because I’m through
Scared to start this all anew
And I want to show you who I am
Really I do
So I’m waiting for the day my nature isn’t chit-chatter
The day I’m not at risk of being battered
Or your image of me doesn’t shatter
I’ll tell you this secret
On the day it doesn’t matter
Summer in the Garden of my Mind
I sit upon a wooden swing
Suspended from a cherry tree.
I watch the clouds go sailing on,
In an endless mirrored sea.
I taste salt crystals on my lips,
Deposited by pearls of sweat.
I hear the fragile flowers growing
Creeping slyly toward the sun.
I smell the scent of fresh breezes,
Cool, and soothing my sun-cooked body.
I feel beneath my naked feet
A luscious, green, velvet carpet.
I sit and watch the world go by
Enjoying summer in the garden of my mind
such a harsh word
for a fragile nothingness
defining the undefinible
crushing all hope that is left
the movement of the fear and emptiness
makes a fine soundtrack
to needing and being refused and
to the countless tears shed
on the face of society
such a horrible word
white walls of insanity
swirls and spirals
of collective fears
on the clear surface
of eternal mirror
of life and afterlife
and something different
from the deafening screams
of this empty world
silence of the mind
can be louder then
anything else existing
but no one ever hears it
A Trio of Limericks
Not what we ordered, who’s to blame?
Can’t you see he’s not the same.
Hide him, quick, faster,
They might see he’s different, the shame.
The Impossible Ask
It turns out I ‘m neurodiverse.
A blessing, but also a curse.
To take off my mask,
You see, trying makes it stick worse.
The Fight Song
I am a Human, Autistic,
Not Savant, Hero, or Mystic.
Which I want to be.
So don’t dare call me Allistic….
Forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on,
Or my shopping list, my purse, my phone.
Rush to find the ‘safe place’ I left them in
Galloping from room to room,
Out of my mind with urgent searching.
There they are at last!
The shopping list a bookmark, purse a paperweight,
Even my phone is found, in the bathroom sink.
Now, where did I leave my keys?
A crisp, bright winter morning,
I saw a fox
Sharp teeth glistening white
Glossy, soft auburn fur
Magnificent bushy tail
A second look…
Tongue blue and lolling
Deep angry slit across the belly
The hint of intestines
A brutal scene
I cried for her
I couldn’t look away
drops of the evening
are falling on the translucent
surface of the day
covering it with its
slowly turning it around
making its saintly whiteness
the wildness of the world
comes alive, lurking
in the shadows of
many minds, and something
changes forever, the wild
people into a disturbed
dance, and they dance
all night, turning and
twisting in the ecstasy
of the midnight
dreams of darkness
seen through the colors
of the eye in your mind
wishes are granted
and broken again
eyes open for a second
and close again
and new visions appear
in place of the shards
left by the past
cutting your soul as
they are extracted
the distanct ringing
of the alarm clock
sweeps away everything
only vague memories
to knit you socks
With the pattern
of your favourite river
with watery ripples
to the sea
Depositing deep pools
on its way
who crossed its path
for wild ones
who flocked to its banks
This was my pattern
It would emerge
knot by knot
night by night
from my needles’ points
my soft spun yarns
I would lean into complications
pick up dropped stitches
to clothe you in their beauty
for you to see
what I could make you
I guess I wanted to knit you
But I could not unwind
the shimmering skein
I chose for you
One holds the threads steady
one winds them round
I yanked its threads tight
into a tangled mess
A thousand small cuts
broke it apart
What was left
Just short ragged strands
Each And Every One
By Polly Rose
It’s lovely having all one’s friends in one place.
Accessible, always there, providing comfort.
Each one with different
Titles, Interests, knowledge and wisdom.
Each one with a different
A different story.
Some are older a bit battered and worse for wear.
Some new and shiny, full of colour, calling out, ‘Look at me!
Each one has value and lessons to share.
There’s joy. There’s laughter… tears, horror and drama.
They prop each other up, one behind the other,
So that one and all can be found, seen and appreciated.
Each one different
Bound and made of the same material.
I can hold and follow word for word.
Worlds with in a world.
And for each and every one,
I am all the better.
Three Poems loved by the editor who set up this page. Mainly because I like them.
Poetry Foundation website. Huge library of poems but also articles, debates, etc.
Poetry Ireland. Organisation support Irish Poetry and Irish Poets
Poetry Section from the Art of Autism
Poetry by Jacob Wordsmith- A collection of beautiful works by the author of Mask