Thursday, 15 September 2011

Autism poems: Autistic Acrostic and some AutisTweets by Melinda Smith

Hello ! My name is Melinda Smith, and I am mother to two boys, aged seven and four. My seven year old has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am also a poet. Read more here...

This is the fourth in a series of seven autism-poem posts I will be sharing with you as a guest poster on the Scottish Autism blog.

Today's post contains a number of shorter autism poems: one called 'Autistic Acrostic', and five 'AutisTweets' (what is an AutisTweet ? Explained below).

Autistic Acrostic is in the voice of a mother who experiences a small moment of clarity during one of her autistic child's meltdowns. It is also an acrostic, meaning the initial letters of all the lines spell out a word or message.  Can you read what it is? 

Autistic Acrostic
Any day now, it will lift.
Under your mask of howls, I see
Two knowing eyes reproaching me,
Incensed that I should try to shift
Some blame, for this, our hell, to you.
Mummy feels like howling too.

(c) Melinda Smith 2009
(First published in Quadrant, Volume LIII, No.4, April 2009)

This was the very first autism poem I ever wrote - more than two years after our son's diagnosis. It took me that long to feel at all able to write about it. Even so, this poem cost me a few tears.


AutisTweets: Since getting onto Twitter three months ago (yes, I know, a little late…) I have been exploring the 140-character format, complete with #hashtags, as a way of writing condensed poems.

The following autism 'micro-poems' were all originally 'published' as tweets from my Twitter account, @MelindaLSmith. The slashes between phrases show where the linebreaks would go if Twitter allowed linebreaks.

I should also acknowledge that they were written with the financial support of artsACT.

Here goes:

my boy perches on the pool’s edge/flapping his wet hands/people are staring/he sees only me, and grins:/’I caught an imaginary trout’ #ASD

#micropoetry #ASDparenting #firsteverjointsleepover Both sons away tonight/after 7 years/I don’t recognise this quiet/or this calm

#autism #newdiagnosis #bewilderment with that one word/a glass wall traps me/i thump and plead/the doctor looks away

The arrivals board/says my plane has landed/your brother hugs me/you won’t let us go home/the cascading numbers/are too beautiful #ASD

#micropoetry #ASD #autism #anxiety "I still have a 'drenaline feeling'"/so I walk u down the hall/7 years old & terrified/of Bugs Bunny

(c) Melinda Smith 2011

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