Weds poetry prompt: ‘Plea to a Hesitant Poet’

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This week’s prompt: Write an ‘I Believe You’ poem.

Plea to a Hesitant Poet

I still believe your words
Even if you question their worth
And dismiss them so easily,
Crossing through lines carelessly.

They reveal the raw poet inside,
With verses uncooked, undecided,
Yet at their most naked and honest,
Still not dressed in haiku or sonnet.

So even if you lack faith
In your work in this state,
Know that I believe each unspoken breath
And would drown in their unknown depths.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘A Fading Spark’

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This week’s prompt: Write a ‘connection’ poem.

A Fading Spark

Face to face
Is fast becoming out-of-date
In times so fast-paced
That we instead opt to create
Connections of ephemeral state;
Without the twitching of nervous eyes
Or the telling face of white lies,
Free of the awkward shackles of life,
All corporeal fear surely dies.

But this is at the cost of the spark;
That electric touch that marks
Human blunder and its inelegant remarks,
For the typing hidden in the dark,
Carefully prepared, stiff and stark
Is the digital hermit’s trademark.

This sets them apart from the brave
Who expose their imperfect face
And cast weakness on display
In this screen-fixated age.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

A Letter to Those in Low Spirits (World Mental Health Day 2017)

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This is a poem I wrote for Writer’s Digest November Poem a Day (PAD) Challenge back in 2015, which I thought would be appropriate to repost today, as a hearfelt message to those who may be afflicted by mental health issues, or struggling with depression or similar demons. Please read on after the poem for some of my own thoughts about mental health and the perception of it in today’s society…

A Letter to Those in Low Spirits

For all of the people
That can’t face the day
Or break free from
The feelings of dread
That tether you to your bed,
This is an open letter
To tell you, you are loved
And that things will get better.

For the writer of this letter
Is too, a long-suffering soul
Who knows well that pain
And the unbearable noise
Of contradictory thoughts
That thrash away in your mind.
To be terrified yet weary
All at once, the harshest torture.

I know the painful paradox
Of being afraid to fail
With no energy to even try,
Or craving companionship
But still seeking solitude,
To care to the point of crying
But then feeling numb to it all.
I’ve known all this, and felt the fall.

But please know this,
That the blame lies not with you
And that you are not alone.
I write this to reach out
To my fellow sufferers
Who toil and struggle on
In a black and white world
That will never truly understand.

If you’ll take my hand,
I’ll deliver you from darkness
And help you find the light inside.

Yours sincerely,
A Soul Ailed by the Daily Monsters of Disquiet and Desolation

***

I’ve always been passionate about raising awareness of mental health, and am frequently frustrated by the stigma and negative perceptions it faces in society today. While we have come a long way from the days of everyone with mental illness being branded a ‘lunatic’ and locked up in asylums, and thankfully away from such horrors as lobotomies and electroconvulsive ‘therapy’, I feel we are still a long way from everyone fully understanding and appreciating mental health being just as valid and important as physical health. It may well be easy to tell someone who is feeling depressed to ‘pull yourself together’, and insist that they pull themselves out of bed and ‘get on with it’, but the simple fact is that they most likely can’t, despite how much they may want to do so and continue as ‘normal’. I know just how relentless the black dog of depression can be, just gnawing and gnawing away at you until you feel numb to everything, and have perpetual feelings of anxiety (deciding the worst-case scenario will happen, getting worked up over this and then demeaning yourself for being so stupid later when it doesn’t happen – a near endless cycle unless you are able to pull yourself out of it), so I can relate when others are struggling. While for me personally it has never got to the point where I have had to stop working or had it derail my life significantly, I have experienced enough to know that looking after your mental wellbeing is one of the most important things, and how vital it is to get support if you find yourself unable to do it on your own. I am currently studying a course around Mental Health Awareness for my job and am pondering working in this field somehow in the future, as this should not be the only day of the year where awareness should be raised. We are not so easy to criticise or belittle those afflicted with physical illness or disabilities, so why should it be any different for those with mental health problems? Be part of the solution and do what you can to help the cause; let’s end the stigma and stop trivialising and overlooking what is a serious issue in our society.

***

Read my previous posts around mental health, including my potential poetry chapbook themed around mental health, ‘The Dance of Dark and Light’ (hopefully to see publication soon!)

‘The Dance of Dark and Light’ (possible poetry compilation)

‘The Darkness Within Writing’

Weds Poetry Prompt: ‘Versus Yourself”

‘The Power of Music and Rain (A Moment of Reflection)’

2017 April Pad Challenge Day 8: ‘A Mind Under Attack’

2017 April PAD Challenge Day 9: ‘So What Now?’

Check out my debut poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Weds poetry prompt: ‘Open Mic Night’

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This week’s prompt: Write a ‘recognition’ poem

Open Mic Night

I scan the crowd as I speak,
Hoping to claw a chuckle
Or at least a little snicker
From the expectant faces
Of my vast and sudden audience,
Praying that some will relate
To my own rambling take
On society’s sorry state,
Finally with relief I spy
A brief flash of recognition
In at least one pair of eyes
And with relief I sigh
Thankful that someone
Gets what the hell I’m trying to say.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

Recent Reading! (or, very quick book reviews)

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So I’ve been slacking a little on the ‘Quick Book Review’ posts for a while, so I thought I’d put a post together with quick thoughts on the books I have been reading over the past few months (I will shortly post an update to my ‘To Read List’ as well). So here we are with an overview of my recent reading material:

PompeiiHarris

Pompeii (Robert Harris): I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and the destruction of the titular city resulting from it, so I was instantly drawn to this when I saw it in a charity shop. This book tells of the events leading up to it and the immediate aftermath from the perspective of vastly differing characters, which makes it an interesting read. It perhaps gets too caught up in tangents and minutiae a little too much for its own good at some points, but the focus on how it affects the water systems of Pompeii (and the surrounding towns) is nonetheless an intriguing approach.

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘Names with No Shame’

name-tag

This week’s prompt: Write a ‘name tag’ poem.

Names with No Shame

Some wear their name with pride
Treating it with thought and care
Under fear of it being dragged
Across the mud of the marked and judged,
Reckless ones however care not for
These petty concerns, see infamy as their prize.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

‘Beyond the Diagnosis’ (video)

This is a video of me performing the poem, ‘Beyond the Diagnosis’ – which is about celebrating autism and the uniqueness of people on the spectrum. This was a performance as part of the spoken word stage at an event organised by the company I work for (I’m a support worker for people with autism), and is me truly speaking from the heart. I am aware I need to work on my performance a little, try and be a little more natural – but I hope the overall message comes across.

This is the poem in text form:

Beyond the Diagnosis

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