Writing for children has always been what I wanted to do. My first goal was to write a children's book that helped children understand the word disability and what it means to be disabled.
Along the way I found my other voice through poetry. I also found a different kind of voice through painting. Some of my poetry and paintings are disability based, but most are not. Here is a sampling of my other work.
If someone just came up to me and was to ask me who I was, I would simply say,
I am me, a person with one head and one heart with feelings and a soul. I am a
collection of my family, peers, and all that surrounds me thrown together into a unique
package that is tied with a somewhat frayed bow.
I am like a toy truck with a square wheel.
A little boy's truck is as normal a toy as one would expect a boy to have.
It would be painted a bright color, kind of pretty, I guess, and used to carry cargo in its bed.
The little round wheels let it roll smoothly along the kitchen floor, but
because it has one square wheel, it clunks along in a not very accommodating
fashion. But it works, and so do I.
This same little truck has painted on it a big smile and shiny round eyes
that show determination. "I may be different," the little truck says, "but I can still carry a load."
And the little boy grows accustomed to the once annoying hobble and sees
no difference between his truck and others.
My voice, my mind, and my heart are my round wheels' strongest
tools. My square wheel is my body that is clumsy and weak.
My chair helps make life easier, but not complete.
I sit in my chair that rolls and spins, that looks like a monster made of man-made things.
So, look at me please and not my chair. I am a person with personality, opinions,
and my own unique flare for life and living.
I am a truck with a square wheel. Get to know me and my annoying wobble may very well disappear.
As we talk and visit over time, I am sure that your wobble will also be harder to find.
Highlighs of the Everyday Winter World
Huddled in duck down
With dull and muted thought
I gaze, glazed, at the fogged window
Counting the water drops on the panes
Against the colorless sky
Feeling sad and low and defeated in all that I am.
I have parked myself in the well-worn, overstuffed, over sized chair
Amidst too many pillows that give no support
Pretending to read Invisible Man
And searching for my own visibility
Sensing a kinship with the imperfect and the out of place.
I am forced to grasp the core realization,
The seed, that in order to survive
I must take time to lie dormant,
Embryonic to outside forces and influences
To fortify, rejuvenate, and recover
Conquering all that I am.
Coffee Shop Stop
Through the stained glass door of a rushed day that drains,
pass the mechanical men,
the women worn down,
people oblivious to one another,
for a quick pick me up,
and a stress unwind,
sharing nods of pleasantries,
and occasional pictures of kids,
never knowing each others' names,
but relying on the anonymity of life beyond the coffee shop stop.
Not out of flame or fire
Only resurrected in my mind
Comes strength and direction
From those who have left me behind.
A single glance remembered
A familiar twitch of lip
Akin to one I recognize
Be it but a fleeting glimpse.
Five hundred years or faded ten
Some things still remain
All to be tested time and time again.
They guide me through the low glow of smoke
surrounded by down fallen feathers
so that I may appreciate
where I began
And where I stand.
Caged (but not captive)
Explication of "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Creeping, creeping, like an old wild cat
in the dark of night, only sleeping by day.
Trapped behind the bars and the dead bolt lock,
Hidden by pale yellow flowers imprinted on the wall.
Imprisoned is her spirit,
but unbroken is her will,
still able to gaze through the crack in the windowpane
to the garden of green,
where life is spring,
and beginning again.
The aroma of new strentgh clears her brain,
Replacing the stench of refrain.
With weighted arms she raises her pen,
Like a sword to defy and defend.
Doctor man, husband man,
the vase that holds my heart and hands
supporting too tightly any desire to grow.
My inner soul you try to preserve,
like a petal pressed between two pages.
Though brittle and frail, it belongs to only me,
I am a crimson rose in full bloom,
Gaining strength in me,
Im my spring garden
Blue skies covered in clouds of gray
leaking, drizzling frigid rain
upon the makeshift stage
and spotlights that steam and hiss
along with the soulful Bluegrass music
heard by the experienced music festival-goers
covered in plastic and blankets and handmade hats
with only eyes exposed
as the rain beats down
turning green sod to red muck
that seeps through tennis shoes
and tie-dyed socks
as they bounce their feet
to the beat of the sometimes melancholy
but always lively, dynamic and spirited
banjo, fiddle and mandolin melody
holding hot cups of java or cocoa
to warm their rain-soaked arthritic hands
bought from a vendor for the price spent on a whole can of coffee
later dining on cold beans from a tin can
because the butane stove has run out of fuel
hunkered down in a nylon-lined sleeping bag
that never quite gets warm
listening to the methodical thuds of rain
as the pummel the top of the then
and the sound of the trees brushing against the side
as the wind begins to rise and whip the front door flap
interrupting mournful dreams
of having to wait a full year
before becoming a member
of the joyous misery again.