In solidarity of those suffering from autism, we, at Different Truths, bring to you an anthology of poems on autism awareness, featuring 40 poems, by as many poets, from different parts of the world. Felicitations to the Anthology Editor, Luz Maria López, for her erudite insights. Here’s the anthology, exclusively in Different Truths.
The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) involves widespread difficulties in social interaction, communication, and behavioral flexibility. Consequently, individuals with ASD exhibit a number of unique personality tendencies, including a lack of insight into them (J Pers Soc Psychol. 2014 Jan; 106 (1): 112). As a developmental disability, it appears in children during their first years of life. Parents notice the characteristics when the child displays behavioral glitches and avoids interaction with others. Some display extraordinary talents, but for most families of autistic children, life is a daily struggle. Many believe that “Blue April” must be a month of solemn acknowledgement and education rather than a “Celebration” of their uniqueness, for their needs extend far beyond awareness.
Different Truths (DT) joins the awareness call by presenting An Anthology of Poems dedicated to autistic children and their families. Each take the form of a child, girl, boy, mother, father or simply an onlooker. These poems express a myriad of emotions that might surprise you, me, anyone, everyone! We hope that these awesome poems will encourage the readers to connect with the Autistic Community by supporting social programs to make their lives happier, healthier and safer.
We present 40 poems. Feel the journey in each one of them.
Luz María López,
We, in Different Truths, are fortunate that Luz Maria López, a prominent poet and social activist from Puerto Rico, graciously agreed to edit this anthology of poems despite her busy schedule.
April is the Autism Awareness month. We present 40 poems, by as many poets, from various parts of the world. Many of the poets featured in this anthology are renowned and celebrated poets in their respective countries. Well-known poets from India have participated for the social cause as well.
We thank Luz Maria and 39 other poets of this anthology. Without you all, this anthology would not have seen the light of the day. Last but not the least, all of us humbly dedicate this anthology to all those in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We, in Different Truths, reiterate our solidarity with people with special needs.
We hope that we have lit a small lamp to dispel the many misgivings and discriminations and spread awareness about autism.
Join us in this mission, Friends.
I count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…
steps between here and there, minutes between then and now
and the whenever that it may be when I find a moment of calm
I count, 8, 9, 10, 11, and I rock from side to side
to music and stillness only I hear, and the wherever it may be
that too many and too much have filled beyond bearing
I count, 12, 13, 14, 15, the numbers of times I have not succeeded
in making wise choices when I flee from the noise
and the tumult and take and tangents of the world…
it hurts to see others measuring me as lacking, and I count, 16, 17, 18, 19,
the tears that are hidden, the unspoken words and rub my thumb on my fingers
because I know no one can see, and I can trust that their number, at least, will not change
I count, 20, 30… 50… 100… and then I count some more
to know that I accomplish something
to know I am not lost
to fill the empty places where I think others might speak, or might have spoken…
I see the colors of the world, all the motion
and the smells and the wonderful things
rushing, spinning and never the same twice
and I count, numbers unending, once, and over again, side-to- side, like a heartbeat
because all these things matter — you, and they — matter
and I need to remember
that I matter, too
©Michele Baron, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
#2. A Rainbow of Chaos
A nascent fluttering heartbeat
Joyful, exultant celebrations
Bright colorful expectant days
And yet a frown stains the forehead
A foreboding, lacunae, a suspicion
Throbbing anxieties, unanswered questions
Keep us prisoner… happiness at bay.
A one-dimensional test
For a two-dimensional result
And multidimensional emotions explode
There is no one to blame
No comfort in time
No healing, no cure
Platitudes given, hollow
Life shackled, unexpressed.
A battle fought
All day… every day
On doubts, misgivings, despair
To find, one… just one, ray of sunshine
Tide us through that day.
We soar up on the wings of this spark
To that magical distant land
Where days are full of laughter
And nights bursting with hope
Where chaos is not a state of mind
And rainbows do not weep
Where words are used for expression
And love is within reach.
©Harshali Singh, New Delhi, India
# 3. Radar
I touch everything with my soul,
you may not see it the way I do in my parole
my voice, perception, understanding a greater sky stole
for earlier I’ve said and done enough on the whole.
I look deep into the eyes of my loved ones seeking an equation
both ends blindfolded in the abc of miscalculation
I wonder why tears fall from their eyes in desperation
I feel something though I cannot express my resignation.
A song constantly plays in my head
other sounds are decibels as my ears bled
an unspoken fear, an alien resident in my bed
I scream in tantrums beyond speech instead.
Now you may say I’m sans comprehension mundane
you may say I’m not normal, cuckoo and insane
you may say you didn’t deserve me and complain
embarrassed to expose me to the world saying I’m inane.
What if I say I’ve just made this choice
based on a higher diktat to express without a voice,
there are times I have the last laugh that might appear without poise
there are times when your conversations are mechanical toys.
Please leave me out of this rigmarole,
I do things in my pace without your control
this birth I’ve come with this package of dice to roll
where the challenge is more yours than mine, destiny to dole.
I conjure up a canvass where only I see colours bizarre
some angels descend to share a mirthful moment from afar
most of the time in my eyes you miss seeing a star,
I’m tired of being in your spectrum, a colorless rainbow in my radar.
©Lotusgirl aka Geethanjali Dilip, Salem, India
#4. I’m Artistic
My mother said
I should always remember.
I shouldn’t do things alone
So I have a big group of friends.
I’m like birds
They have somewhere to go
But they hop a bit and stop, like I do.
I dream always of a better place…
I always have somewhere to go…
Sometimes I can’t. Like the birds.
It’s difficult. But it’s good to try.
That’s why I like being me. I try.
I think different from others
I see colour when I hear music….
Someday I’ll learn
To make a biiiiiig picture
In that I will be a bird
And that bird will move on it
And walk like me
And look like me
And fly like I do in my mind.
I’ll fly above all of them who look away.
As I fly I’ll smile at them kindly
Artists are kind. And I’m artistic.
I’ll be more artistic when I grow up.
My mother told me very clearly.
I should always remember
And so one day I’ll fly.
©Nilakshi Roy, Thane, India
#5. My Dream!
The sky is clouded and I feel low
My child is different, it’s kind of a blow
He is kind, compassionate, adorable
But he is not “normal”, and for me it’s intolerable.
He has an innocent smile and angelic face
But the doctors say his is a difficult case,
I wish he has many friends and his life is great
May he have a sweetheart too, in his fate.
He may not be like others
But that I don’t mind
So long he has a friend and
He is kind!
I wish the world could see him the way I do,
My rainbow, my dream, my life is only “You”!
©Swapna Jha, New Delhi, India
#6. Little Lorenzo
He came in my life
as a cute baby –
My little Lorenzo
with big brown eyes
Now he’s three
but different from others
When I call his name
he still doesn’t respond
He’s scared of visitors
and avoids eye contact at all cost
His words, his sentences,
are incoherent, incomplete, repetitive
He flaps his hands
and asks for a frog toy obsessively
For a while, his behavior
worried me, confused me,
but by now I know he’s autistic –
My only special child
He is now on ongoing therapy;
I’ve learned to appreciate his unique ways
celebrate his own successes
observe non-verbal clues
play with him
As he grins,
my maternal heart melts
I hug him tight, kiss his forehead
and whisper in his ears
“ My son, I will always love you.”
©Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Rose Hill, Mauritius
# 7. Different
You will never know what it’s like
to be a leaf ant-eaten
drifting in the winds,
yet color fading.
You will never know what it means
to be like the earth
sodden and hushed with clay,
where no seeds grow and clammy waters send
gloomy images of a cloudy day.
You will never know what it means
to be like a page
where words fall like drops of rain
play for a while
fall silent and meaningless.
You will never know what it means
to be different
in a world that knows
black from white, and friends from foes
but not a child that babbles or is silent.
©Tirthankar Das Purkayastha, Kolkata, India
#8. A Brave Sea Holds the Foam
I was diagnosed with autism at age of two
when they found me walking on my tiptoe,
you looked down at me as if your world melt away;
mummy, I never knew why you cried until this day!
“Your lives would never be the same!” others said
when they saw me constantly banging my head!
I screamed and cried, till my throat went dry!
Daddy, I know you were lost, wondering why!
When I couldn’t communicate on my own
my anguish pierced you both to the bone
when my repetitive behavior lasted for hours,
I must say, your care and patience had magical powers.
Some are lights from His blazing throne one wish to embrace,
send down to make this world a much better place
I’m lucky, He chose you both to give me a home
for I was held on hearts as the brave sea holds the foam.
The world went whispering, for years, to its own
autism curved a better me they’d ever known
dear Autism fellows, you are not alone
it’s time to prove we could make it on our own!
Born to breath those undeserved scorn
instead, we mused like the moonlight shone,
my chest bursts now with intense pride
as I picture my life, with Autism at my side.
©Shameena Abdurahiman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
#9. An Assumption of a Loving Kiss
I am a child of a tender age, with a soul,
sparkling with a different light
that cannot come out easily
only enlightens the castle of my thoughts.
I search the pearls of unknown words
in the ocean of my mind;
some in meager quantity when I find,
I present to you sparingly.
My searching eyes cannot look at yours;
for they are embarrassed
at being the centre of attention.
Please, comprehending my mind
Give me a kiss of love
With no assumption of exchange;
Being an autistic child,
I am bound in my range.
©Alok Mishra, Sitapur, India
# 10. Navigating in Silence
All is change
not in my limited world
dad is loud and pushy
he wants me to try new stuff
he confuses me
mommy is soft
she prepares me for change
till I cope
well-wishers with overloaded opinions
plague her constantly
over my food, school, and special classes
my emotional storms
my screams and mad reckless tantrums
mommy is there always
making brave strides forward
egging me on
to meet new people
to become smarter
me and mommy
our struggles don’t end
day to day work must be done
my disability is for life
mommy bakes a cake
with my help
shaped like an angel
I chuckle silently
my mommy is an angel too
my Kung Fu angel!
©Mamta Joshi, Allahabad, India
# 11. Child of a Different God
Born in cobwebbed innocence
not understanding hate or war,
this child of a different God
kneels playing on the floor.
Round eyes of pure amazement
twists and turns his plastic car;
I feel certain he’s an angel
which fell from a broken star.
Sometimes he stops and listens
to something that I can’t hear
but I feel within that silence
a peace, which is so rare.
Arms stretching out for cuddles
gripping tightly around my neck,
all he ever wants is to show his love.
No conditions – No regrets.
No conditions – No regrets.
©John Fingleton, Lambare, Paragua
#12. I am a Puzzle
When I was born
my Dr. Parents had lots of dreams like most of the parents.
But slowly they realized I am different.
People wonder why I am different.
They also wonder how I feel or how I think.
People wonder who am I and
what is the meaning of my life?
My attention span is very low even less than a fraction.
Some even wonder why I am emotionless.
I just don’t know how to show!
I don’t understand the meaning of envy,
I just love my own peace.
I have no answers the way you want.
I am a big puzzle into bits and pieces.
You can’t solve me in a traditional way.
One day, you might get all your answers,
the day I will say
©Sarika Sarkar Das, Hyderabad, India
# 13. With Love
The word ‘autism’
was like an alien place
in some other hemisphere,
where seasons were different,
a dot in an atlas, haphazardly
circled in geography class.
This was all before the second birth,
as a mother, a tale rewritten
with grit and love.
The dot on the map gate
crashed as a dark silence
and remained hung between
the mother and her sapling.
The sapling wondered
at the chaotic world,
‘what a giant maze is this?’
The mother looked helpless
searching for the pieces to fit in.
And years of learning and unlearning,
frayed patience re-stitched,
adamant knocks till the door was ajar
to let green hopes stream in
and build its nest.
The alien dot on the map
spread and covered
the mother’s heart.
©Mallika Bhaumik, Kolkata, India
#14. Differently Abled
I am enabled
differently, you may say
but if I have my say,
I say I am enabled
in a divine way.
You think me abnormal
and yourself very normal.
What to you is normal
may not be normal
to another, normality
like time, is relative.
A fish is enabled to swim,
to swim to water’s brim.
Daring it to fly like a bird
is daring the Laws of Nature.
The fish does in water
what the bird does in air.
With my different potential
I do what is providential.
Compare not me with another,
comparison is a kill joy.
I try to excel
in my areas of skill.
©Elsy Satheesan, Angamaly, India
# 15. Sake
I don’t understand how a tear is shed,
something that rolls cannot
be called lost. Why is a dead
person called demise? Governance
starts early: narrating wishes. Linguistics
strum like metal bars on temples. Chewing
mouth, food limp between teeth. White
turning to silver on road tracks. Black
widow draped in soft net. Chaotic
studios. Humans are carnivals in
word-dribbling fests. Sewing machines
whirr. A strand of a thread a platoon
on cloth. My nails are tidier longer
from watching rainwater drip down
roof gutters. The moon is my mother’s
head when she smiles, speckled and dull.
Father’s hands iron paper, clean like
the brush that scrubs my back. I am
strapping papers with a string because
its stars have holes pierced like eyes.
We have all night to get the scales right.
The sky is filled with soft yellow shades;
water won’t be coming from the clouds.
Right now, I am nobody’s sake.
©Sheikha A., Pakistan & UAE
# 16. Go Gal Go
Go gal go
Be free and fly
Limit is the sky
For you are here to stay
No matter what people say
Go gal go
Be happy and smile
For you have to go a mile
As you are here for a while
To show the world your style
Go gal go
Be strong and find a way
For you make my day
You need to be that way
To make me happily sway
Go gal go
Be fearless and bold
It’s a quality to withhold
Let the life unfold
Its beauty tenfold
Go gal go
Be proud of who you are
For you are mesmerisingly stellar
It’s you who defines the world here
And this marvelous world is nothing without you dear.
©Shaila Potay, Hyderabad, India
# 17. In My World
In this psychedelic world
Of raucous laughter, rabid jeering
Loud rumbustious mocking of
Normally normal norms
Let me enter my silence
My cohesive world of oneness
Where music flows
Art flourishes, strokes of brilliance
Radiate from the inner unknown core
Gifted! Different! In tune attuned
Shying away, lost, in my own beautiful cocoon
Let me illumine with my inner glow
Allow me to understand
I have the understanding
Of my sparkling brilliant world
In my inability, I grope
I grope in this lost world
Where selfishness and mammon rules
To let me wander on my own
Far away, incommunicado
Locked in my own sweet nectar
A beautiful flower about to bloom
©Sudeshna Mukherjee, Mumbai, India
# 18. The Vineyard
A walk down to the meadow
trespassing onto his vineyard
I stepped to the pastures of renewed joy
here I wasn’t judged or called names
I am on my own reliving my childhood days
years of pure innocence dashing alongside
with reaffirmed spirits that could make a dream true
this vineyard has become my home
also, his beloved sanctuary where his heart resides
a walk I took because he coaxed me to
a moment I do not regret for a lifetime
he made me realise to sought goodness
in all things coming my way
telling me “There could be creepers blocking your path
don’t you worry, just grab them and turn them into a beautiful chain”.
©Elvira Lobo, Mumbai, India
# 19. Blaming Mothers
It all started years ago
blaming mothers for their children’s poor learning skills
and social development
mothers cold and unemotional
believed to give birth to such children
though with modern science, this theory was discredited,
damage it wrought has not disappeared.
Mothers frequently hear from friends and families,
what they have done or didn’t do for the birth of a healthy child
hence now they are with an autistic child
the guilt carried by a mother is often very profound.
Thank God for modern science
hereditary and spontaneous mutation
have been marked as the root causes of autism
So, mothers now, you may relax.
©Runa Srivastava, Kolkata, India
# 20. The Light of the Life
Though the light of the life
has turned out to be dark
though the life that breathes
is baffled to embark
yet life here too smiles.
Though the words said
means deeper than the depth
though the words heard
like seizure react
yet life here too smiles.
Though eyes don’t talk
though smiles hardly walk
yet there is a light to life
when the head nods
life here too smiles.
Though the work is hard and immense
anxieties are fenced
blooms the blessed sense
there is a hope
and, life here too smiles.
©Aarti Mittal, Mumbai, India
# 21. O My Autistic Child
O my child, I know how you feel when
you fail to communicate with me,
when you fail to say, “Mother, I need you.”
O my child, I want you to know
that I’m here with you always
I’m here for you through every thick and thin of your life.
O my child, I feel every pain you go through with every tiny bit of tear that you shed
O my child, I have nurtured you for longer than you could remember
O my child, I’ve seen you grow from a cocoon wrapped in green leaves
to a butterfly immersed in vibrant colors
as your wings glazed through a sun-kissed rainbow.
O my child, you stepped into this world full of mystery and secrets
and came into a family electrified by your charms.
O my special child with autism,
no matter how challenging your journey is,
I want you to know that I’m standing here beside you,
holding your hand, giving you strength and courage,
to push yourself and reach for your stars with audacity and strength of will
and unlock your doors to personal excellence!
©Chhavi Mehra, Seattle, USA.
# 22. Autism, Her Strength
As a blessing, she emerged
unfolding the mystery of birth
with a bouquet of happiness
to glorify motherhood
swaying away the labor pain
in her first cry, gave meaning
to the life of a woman.
Dawn happened in her smile
in her eyes stars twinkled
in her fumbling words, birds chirped
in her toddling steps, God smiled.
Days passed in jiffy
with her growing up
unwrapped the unforeseen
in her behavioral pattern
traced the seeds of autism
in fleeting seconds, life took U-turn
a blessing transcended to bane
certainly she became the reason
of unfathomable disdain.
She had her world, painted of silence
she had her laughs and tears
her dreams and pleasures
utterly different from others.
For everyone dear to her
it took a little time to overcome the tremor
her mother was her strength
her guardian angel, the chosen one by God
emboldened her stature, in making her able
to face, the unknown mean world around her
with care, transforming her innocence
as her strength to dare…
©Anita Sahoo, Bhubaneswar, India
# 23. Autism
isn’t an incurable disease.
yet such cases
are rapidly increasing.
A mental stage that presents
from an early childhood
but the society tries to leave them alone
due to mere misunderstood.
Autistic children look at the world
from a different perspective.
Without unfolding their hidden talents
we consider them still defective.
A myth is widespread-
‘Autistic people have no feelings.’
They too feel love, happiness, sadness
and pain just like any other human being.
Children affected with autism face difficulties
in using their imagination and communication.
Let’s come together to make
their world full of colorful celebration.
‘World Autism Awareness Day’
is the only way to cure.
So that we could improve their lives,
I am sure.
©Durgesh Verma, Varanasi, India
#24. Me and my Friend
‘It’s a voice, I fear,
And jumbled instruction,
Why, what, when, how?’
‘Hello dear, do you know the song?’
‘What to do with this instruction?
Should I move my head or cry?
Or let’s not utter a word…
What am I supposed to do with a song?’
I see her leaning against the wall
I place the colored rice and the ball
The song they said, it’s always her wish
A rage they said is pure devilish.
Scared, she screams, in a language of her own,
Her eyes she moves away, grey and forlorn.
‘Touch the rice,’ I fill her palm,
A delicate feeling soothes her calm.
‘Textures, soft and a blue pattern,
I know it’s safe, so is the song.
Let’s cry then because I’m happy,
Let’s tell them it’s my emotion.’
I watch her cry with a smile for me
I watch her cry in a joyful spree
A language she has, constructed by her own
Perhaps her verb might be our noun.
Days with her and we feel her emotion.
‘You are good. I feel safe.’
A friend she is, to all of us, with
Enthralling colors of this misunderstood spectrum.
©Aparajita Dutta, Kolkata, India
# 25. Musing of an Autistic
Love knows no boundaries yet lacks conviction
Wondering why the sea is noisy yet so calm
Shore allows waves to touch and back they go
Sand watch helplessly as none applies balm.
Thoughts merge misreading thoughts
Natural are weird ways to reverse actions
Mind seeks answers through hidden potentials
Ready to take off sans pretensions.
Ah! Can’t beat the blues which come free
Hand me something to play and let you see
Acceptance makes me accepted, energizing me
Let the river flow why build dam over me?
Grappling with my mood swings, I enjoy
Look into my eyes and say ‘ahoy’
Learning curves may be like ECG
Life can’t be smooth, so let it be.
Oh! Come now, let you understand
Reassuring touch make me stand
Complexities are boon and not to abhor
Open your arms and open your doors.
Fields ploughed, seeds grow emotions
Nourishment through parent’s devotion
Watch me cross barriers of all kind
Sky is the limit for a beautiful mind.
Sky is the limit for a beautiful mind.
©Tribhawan Kaul, Mumbai, India
When you open a fresh day
How does it smell?
How many colours
Make up your nights?
I try to touch the texture of your world.
But I can’t taste the sound of it.
Look into my eyes, you lonely child.
Rocking, rocking, rocking…
The language of my feelings.
I used too many words, didn’t I?
Let me eat a few. Lights.
I did not remove the table from the picture.
It is just that the table
Walked in between us.
©Amit Shankar Saha, Kolkata, India
#27. Blue Roses
(An angry poem)
When studies predict that
half the children born in 2025 will be autistic
then April must be a month of solemn acknowledgment
of the distressing lives of both the parents and children
who live their lives shadowed by daily qualms
It’s all very well to colour it all blue
and to brandish the divinity of the blue rose
have you ever stopped to hear the sobs of the mother
whose autistic teen was raped in a moving bus
Whose little son ran away from the security of his home
to Lord alone knows where
It is pretty and poetic to draw blue roses
and make posters for autism awareness
but try and be a father who fears
for the life of his autistic son
after he is dead and gone
Who will pay for his care?
Who will help wash and clean him?
Who will take him for his piano classes
the music that makes his heart soar with joy
Stop and gather these blue roses into a bouquet
help give them a cocooning sun house
nurture and love them as human dignity demands
don’t shun them in schools
don’t throw them out of restaurants
don’t you dare bully them,
you pompous people of this world
I am ashamed of myself for I am guilty
of staring and feeling sorry
instead I could have been helping
and doing my two-penny bit for the cause
it’s going to bewilder us all if we won’t
get up and help water these different roses
let us keep them safe
Please! please! please!
©Lily Swarn, Chandigarh, India
#28. My Sweet Little Daughter
The society announced that she has a severe disorder,
my sweet little daughter who makes my smile broader.
Everyone stared at her when she repeats her tasks,
though she is most sincere and rarely answers or ask.
Her communication skills may not match with yours,
but I can assure her innocent smile can never let you bore.
If she is uncomfortable with you and cannot interact,
once introspect your intolerance and reason to reject.
Though she is different and could make the difference,
accept her the way she is and feel her fragrance.
Her incredible talent will remain unreachable to you,
if you will not open your arms and make her dreams true.
©Lata Rathore, Meerut, India
#29. Honour of Autism
I hear voices in the air
It is said that April showers,
My soul is in pain, you see
Autism is just a scary word
It’s not awesome to me or great
It’s not having a social ability
When someone makes a sarcastic comment
My dignity I am trying to maintain
Children come and go and play
I did not play with them by waving them away
It’s not an easy thing to know
Trying to understand, and make sense to me
The diagnosis begins with a test
Because I feel that I am free
As part of promotion of Autism Awareness Month
I sit in the hallway or whoever will attend
This is self-evident, an endless brainless echo
But I am only writing to say thank you for the awareness
I love my family, my friends, and the autism community.
©Dr. Brajesh Kumar Gupta, Banda, India
#30. Just Trying to be here…
I wrote the same line I understand
twelve times, and yet again, I fail to write…
I am not giving up on holding the pen like I didn’t give up on recognising morning from night,
At 30, when I can finally read, connect my mind to my sight, I still fumble with words as symbols when I write…
There are many things I do differently and have to find ways to make my body read my mind,
Sometimes someone who is not like me teaches me how to do it right…
It takes me longer but that isn’t my only struggle of life,
People are scared of me, they hesitate, my own one’s don’t feel pride…
Little do they know, it is me who is scared carrying out the ‘mammoth’ daily course with all my might,
Likes of me are tied down to the leg of bed in villages when parents go for daily wages…
So, I consider myself lucky, mine had courage and money that today I can turn pages,
Wake up O’ slumbered world, apart from support, we need acceptance more…
If only I could show you the exceptional canvas of my brain, you can’t imagine your own adulation outpour.
©Rajul Tiwari, New Delhi, India
#31. Autism: An Imperishable Pain
We are not ill, but time is fugitive
Our eccentric brain doesn’t know
How should we run with time
And what way we ought to deal!
Maybe people are right or partly wrong
They say we are not very normal.
And we feel most of them are,
So decorous but very formal!
What is so easy to you
Is often difficult to us
We look the world from different angle
The thought seems like distraught and triangle.
We are stranger on the way of ecstasy
Often we love to play with fantasy.
We want to live a happy life
The way we are living is just called survive!
The things on our way come
We wish! we could gladly welcome!
So many untold words are there
On our stammering lips,
How we long we could properly share
O dear! Help us, please!
©Sumana Bhattacharjee, Kolkata, India
# 32. Autistic Angels
Some autistic angels tread on earth
And all those whose life flows cleanly
Take notice and help them and their parents.
The time-worn stones smile at them
And the moon flaps her wings to show her love.
When I see an enigmatic smile on the lips
Of a non-verbal autistic angel,
Surges of joy rise in my heart.
I hold his hand and all my senses
Feel the positive energy flowing in my veins.
I look into their eyes and I see
Reflections of the cosmos in colors magnificent.
All my sorrows melt like mounds of snow
And I am slowly transported into their world –
A world of innocence, charms, and beauties unparalleled.
I no longer oscillate between doubt and despair,
I feel new vistas opening, overflowing
All the cells of my body with love.
For hours, we hold mute conference
And we feel so enlivened, so enriched.
It is a blessing to have an autistic angel.
The pen metamorphoses into a brush
And the brush into a pen.
They are so eye-opening, a vortex of peace
Where there is no place for rivalry,
Division and subdivision ending in war.
Let our colors flow into the colors
Of autistic angels who are so often misunderstood.
Life is a journey and in innumerable guises
Autistic angels portray the reasons for living
A life full of love, compassion, and forgiveness.
©Pramila Khadun, Lalmatie, Flacq, Mauritius
# 33. Surf
in a forsaken beach
an abandoned surfboard greets the new day
from under the palm tree where it has been laid
in the horizon, afar
the wind and the tides give shape to the waves
that will travel until they smash in the shoreline
on top of a hill not too far from the coast
the boy without friends or comprehensible words
greets the sun and the clouds as they paint the blue sky
his stare in the ocean, his lips form a smile
a stare that his father has learned now to know
they head for the beach
the surfboard, the boy, and the waves
surf together again
they have always been friends
©Hector “Che” Cruz-Lopez, Puerto Rico
# 34. Why
December is showing its teeth and frost is everywhere
A woman is pushing a wheelchair with seventeen years old boy
Why did life play with him like that
Does he know anything about life
About allurement and disappointment first and last loves
Does he know anything about spring, summer, autumn, winter
Does he recognize anything except pain
Does he recognize pain itself in his deformed bones
Does he recognize pain In his disfigured face
Why was he punished before he could commit a sin
Is it a sin to be born
Oh God, that birth was not his mistake
I asked the woman about it and she never answered
She might be deaf, or she might not know the answer, or she is scared
Who knows what is in her tired mind
The boy is silent and gazes somewhere into the unknown
If he wakes up tomorrow he will be in the wheelchair again
He will pay for something again and who knows what
But didn’t Jesus pay for his sins too
To him, it is all the same
He doesn’t know about Jesus
He doesn’t know he is paying and for what
He doesn’t know questions or answers
He doesn’t know that there is worse than evil
Really, all is woven from questions
Sometimes we have no answers
Sometimes we don’t need them
©Ibrahim Honjo, Yugoslavia-Canada
# 35. Her Son
Petrified she was to discover
He wasn’t responding to his name,
Irritated he would be
To watch his siblings play a game!
Alone he would sit on the floor
And one day, when she hugged him tight,
He hit her hard on her cheeks;
In pain passed many her nights!
Relatives shunned him,
He was lonely and friendless,
Disconnected he remained to the world,
His actions artless and aimless.
He banged his head against the wall
Several times in a day,
Frustrated and fearful she felt,
In the hot months of May!
She was about to give up on her autistic child,
After all, she was too weak to fight the destiny;
Just then he implanted a kiss on her forehead,
And she knew, with his love, she can live on happily!
©Neelam Saxena Chandra, New Delhi, India
# 36. Divine Rose
I chant every day for your wellbeing
Your beaming face pristine pure;
Dances in front of my moist eyes.
Unmindful of the world you rejoice
Cozy and snug in the paradise
Of your own, so it seems!
Every morning descending the stairs,
Holding maiden’s hand, I get up smiling
To meet you and greet you.
Speaking so to say
Through our different eyes.
You ignore, look the other side,
Then from the corner of the eye
Gaze at me with a teasy smile
My heart jumps a million times
To see that morning smile.
I may not understand you well, my child!
But our hearts understand and speak
The language of love and trust
For, that is all that matters to me.
Not to miss our daily game
A purse kept by the side
With a book peeping through it
A fancy pot of gold to you.
Next moment you grab, tear and run
A winning smile I see through your eyes.
My dear child, my eldest one
Four decades of spring have gone by
You still remain that blessed divine rose,
God sent on earth to me!
©Kiren Babal, New Delhi, India
#37. Am I Different?
I scream aloud when I don’t want to
Stare silently when I don’t want to
I hear loud voices echo in head
See boys running away from me scared
I don’t know why they are so unkind
Maybe I am different but not blind
I feel so sad when they laugh at me
They beat me, bully and belittle me
Like that day when I dropped food on shirt
My classmates made fun and it hurt
In game time I want to play with them
But they ignore as none understands
Is it because I see signs they don’t
Does not that make me smarter than most
Bedtime is best when mum tells stories
She says I am her special baby
Love dad when he takes me to swim
On twelfth birthday he gave the best gift
The piano on which I learn music
That’s when I forget everything
I don’t want to scream or shout anymore,
Will you help me?
©Sunila Khemchandani, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
#38. You do not Understand
No, that is not what I meant
you were not listening
were you listening at all?
i want to tell you i love you
instead you thought i was angry
i want to gently take your hands
but my rough touch hurt you
You are not listening
not listening at all
No, that is not what I meant.
I will sleep now.
you will understand.
©Virginia Jasmin Pasalo, Pangasinan, Philippines
# 39. Isabella
Isabella’s fingers fly across the paper
releasing inaudible images floating upward
in the blackness of her eyes
She tilts her head a little bit
to catch the reflection
of the birds perching on the top branch
some lyrical words are telling
a story of mountains
music so sweet
The notes are clinging
From her breath.
©Luz María López, Puerto Rico
# 40. Journey of Love
A step, smile, a look
Is how we dance the days
Me and my special baby Mike
He cemented my wed
And sent it a scatter
His lopsided smile and
Droopy eyes too much for his father.
Fruit of my womb
With needs a flow
With your world of color
And joys of guggle
His nurse and doctor
His friend and mentor
Ooh Mike my son.
All too soon, we found a rhythm
Career at stake, caregivers nightmares
These were the lines of verse
That rhymed your growth
Mike my love.
Alas, time flies
School and teenage break
The mystery of hair in odd places
With the break of voice
We set a date to welcome
Your twentieth year
And the mind of nine
Shaved his beard.
Ooh Mike my love.
©Nancy Ndeke, Nairobi, Kenya
#AutismAwarenessMonth #Autism #AnthologyForAutism #Anthology #AprilAutimsAwarenessMonth #PoemsForAutism #DifferentTruths
Michele Baron, world-traveler/Fulbright Scholar presently living in Kyrgyzstan, published A Modest Menu: Poverty, Hunger and Food Security, in Poetry and Prose, in 2015. A World Bank/Urgent Evoke-2010 top-ten-finalist, she develops outreach projects, writes poetry, prose, and non-fiction, is an active musician, painter, artist and “full-time” mother of three school-aged children. She has a self-illustrated book The Dreaming Rugs awaiting publication.
Harshali Singh is a New Delhi-based Member Judge at the Consumer Forum, an avid reader, and a passionate Painter. Her Book ‘A Window to Her Dreams’ was launched in 2016. Her poem and stories were also published in the recent edition of ‘Unbound’ magazine. She is a trained Occupational Therapist from the Institute of The Physically Handicapped.
Geethanjali Dilip celebrates life through her soul’s expression in poetry. Her first published anthology is ‘Between Moms and Sons’ co-authored with Aakash Sagar. She contributes poems to many online pages and communities in Facebook. Her pages on Facebook are Alcove ATMA and Geethatmaa. She heads Zone Francofone, a French Coaching/ Teaching center at Salem, India.
Nilakshi Roy is an Associate Professor of English teaching in Vaze college, and an occasional academic writer.
Swapna Jha is a Senior Legal Consultant with Common Cause since 2010 and has vast experience in drafting public interest litigations and engagement with public authorities on issues of public concerns. After pursuing law from Delhi University, she worked as a corporate lawyer for 11 years and after a brief sabbatical of about four years, moved full-time to human rights research and advocacy.
Born in Mauritius, in 1977, Vatsala Radhakeesoon has had a keen interest in poetry writing since a very young age. Her poems have been featured in local and international newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies. Her first poetry book ‘When Solitude Speaks’ was published in 2013 with the approval of the Ministry of Arts and Culture (Mauritius). She is currently self-employed and continues to write poems in English, French, Kreyol, and Hindi.
Dr.Tithankar Das Purokasyatha (b. 1956) is a Professor of English at Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India. He has so far published three books of poetry in Bengali and many scholarly articles in academic journals. His translations of poems by Sunil Gangopadhyay have been published, with the poet’s approval, in South Asian Review and Indian Literature, a Sahitya Akademi journal. He has been regularly publishing poetry in all the leading journals of West Bengal.
Shameena Abdurahiman is a self-made independent entrepreneur, Fashion Designer and Stylist , Artist, Photographer, Fitness freak, Poet, Blogger, Graphic Designer, Life strategist and many other things. Her collections caters to a broad range of women, from classic to modern, fusion and embraces all attitudes from romantic to dramatic. She is currently situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from the University of Allahabad. She writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on everyday life in national dailies and international e-magazines. She writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, she has been interacting with young minds, understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour, and rumour too.
John Fingleton was born in Cork City, in the Republic of Ireland. And spent most of his adult life outside Ireland. At present in Paraguay, he has been writing for as long as he remembers.He has had poems published in journals and anthologies in, Ireland, UK, USA, India, and France. He produced three plays. He uses the name Löst Viking for family historical reasons. He says, “I am too lazy to publish my own collection.”
Mallika Bhaumik did her post graduation in English from Calcutta University. She is fond of reading. She composes poems and has contributed to online poetry groups. She is deeply interested music, cooking and travelling. Mallika runs an event management company with her husband.Historical places enchants her. She lives in Kolkata, India with her husband and two sons.
Elsy Satheesan is a retired Professor of English. She had been teaching in colleges under the Govt. of Kerala, India. Currently, she resides in Virginia, USA. ‘Random Musings’ is her first volume of poems. ‘Summer Snow’, is the forthcoming one. Her poems have been published in national and international anthologies. Short stories in Malayalam have been published in weekly and fortnightly, in Kerala. Humanity is her religion, and poetry, her passion.
Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. She authored a short poetry collection titled ‘Spaced’. Her work appears in over 60 international literary magazines like Red Fez, Mad Swirl, The Camel Saloon, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, 1947, etc. Her poems are published in several anthologies. Personal experiences or watching life happen to others inspire her. Love and spirituality interest her most, though she has begun crawling into the dark arts as well.
Sailasree Potay is an educationist. She loves travelling and adventure. Loves to read and meet people to understand their struggles and successes, which she truly cherishes. It helps her to better herself. Above all blessed to be a woman, a mother of two loving children and a partner to a loving man, who dares to show her the mirror.
Sudeshna Mukherjee was born in Kolkata but grew up in the beautiful Jharkhand (Ranchi) and it was here that she learned to admire and appreciate Nature. Educated at Loreto Convent and St Xavier’s College, she majored in Economics. She always contributed articles and stories for magazines. Post marriage she moved to Mumbai, a cultural melting pot – here she observed, absorbed and assimilated.
Elvira Lobo is an avid blogger and has penned her debut “It’s My Life – A poetic journey from No One to Someone” and recent “The Revelation”, as an author. She is a keen enthusiast and a budding poet who paints an empty canvas with her verses that nudge your very heartstrings. She has many of her works published both at the national and international level in different anthologies.
Runa Srivastava is a postgraduate from Calcutta University and also pursued research for a few years in the field of genetic engineering. She ventured into the world of poetry writing very recently, writing haikus, tankas, and sonnets. She is also a lover of nature and a keen photographer. She is widely travelled and has lived. An army wife. she moved to Kolkata, where she resides here with her two daughters.
Aarti Mittal is a homemaker passionately in teaching in school as she loves being with children. Loves to live and write simple. She is a simple person with simple thoughts and words. Her religion and caste are humanity , love and compassion. And she follows that.
Chhavi Mehra is an international student from India completing her Associate’s of Arts degree in Communications and Media at South Seattle College. She will be transferring to a university in California for her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Chhavi hopes to write quality pieces reflecting the integrity of publications like The New York Times.
Anita Sahoo is self-employed. A postgraduate in Economics from Utkal University, she lives in Bhubaneshwar, Odhisa, India.
Durgesh Verma is working with the NGO, ‘Sparsh…Touching Lives’, at Varanasi, as a president. This year, he has participated in national workshops on ‘Role of Higher Education in the Development of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship in India’ in Institute of Management Studies & ‘Development Dialogue 2016’ in Swatantrata Bhawan Auditorium, B.H.U., Varanasi. His compositions are published in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Aparajita Dutta is a writer, poet, social activist and a research scholar. She has completed her M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University in 2015. She has been the contributing author of Tell Me a Story, published by Penguin India. Aparajita has written for other books, magazines, and websites as well. Her interests are football, gender rights, disability, and translation.
Tribhawan Kaul is an accomplished & published bilingual writer-poet hailing from India. His poems have been selected and published in as many as 38 Indian and international anthologies besides in print and electronic magazines. A number of his poems’ have also been translated into French. He writes poems on a vast range of subjects which bring his readers close to nature, love & compassion, and spirituality. He writes short stories & poems on contemporary subjects about which he feels very strongly.
Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is a professor in Seacom Skills University. He is also a short story writer and a poet. He did his PhD in English from Calcutta University. He has won the Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature (Short Story-2015), Wordweavers Prize (Poetry-2011, Short story-2014), The Leaky Pot – Stranger than Fiction Prize (2014), Asian Cha – Void Poetry Prize (2014), Reuel Prize (Poetry, Shortlisted-2016). He is the co-founder of Rhythm Divine Poets group.
Lily Swarn has published English poems in three anthologies. She was awarded Reuel international prize for poetry 2016. A postgraduate in English from Punjab University, she was awarded a gold medal for best all-around student and academics. She edited her college magazine and wrote middles for newspapers. Poetry blossomed after her young son’s sudden demise. She writes in Hindi and English. Hailing from a defense family, she is settled in Chandigarh.
Dr. Brajesh Gupta has mentored many and also assisted many in unleashing their creative potentials. Some of his articles were published in reputed magazines. His thesis is on “Treatment And Glorification Of Love And Sex In The Novels Of D. H. Lawrence”. His first book of poetry is “The Rain”.
Rajul Tiwari is an educationist, writer, author, editor, and poetess.She writes in English and Hindi with equal ease. She heads a publishing unit and her poetry book ‘Beats of Beauty’ has been appreciated by many critiques and poetry lovers. In 2002 & 2004, she was honoured with ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ by International Library of Poetry, US. Rajul is gracious and acknowledges the goodness in others. Her disarming and winsome smile is endearing.
Sumana Bhattacharjee is an English poetry writer from Kolkata. She graduated from Calcutta University with honours in Bengali Literature and completed Secretarial Practice under G.T.T.I. She worked as an office assistant in a Private Ltd.Co. Her poems have been published in several anthologies. Some of her poems have been translated into Spanish. Poetry and music are her ultimate passion.
Pramila Khadun is a renowned author and poet. She studied in the SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. She now lives in Lalmatie, Flacq, Mauritius.
A son of a lobster fisherman in Puerto Rico, Hector “Che” Cruz-Lopez grew up loving and respecting the sea. From such beginnings, he developed an interest in becoming an ocean scientist. He earned a doctoral degree in oceanography from the University of South Florida and dedicated his professional career to study and protect marine resources. His poetry is the expression of many of the mysteries he has learned from the ocean.
Ibrahim Honjo is a poet-writer, sculptor, painter, photographer who writing in his native language and in English. He was introduced in many magazines, newspapers, and radio stations in Canada, USA and former Yugoslavia where he worked as a journalist also books and newspapers editor. He received several prizes for his poetry, He is author 23 published books and represented in many anthologies. His poetry was translated in Korean, Italian, Slovenian, Spanish and German language.
Neelam Saxena Chandra is an author of thirty-three books, is a record holder with the Limca Book of Records for being the author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi (2015). She works as Joint Secretary (U.P.S.C.).She has won an award in a poetry contest by American Embassy, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore international poetry award, Freedom award by Radio city for her lyrics. She was listed in the Forbes list as one of the most popular seventy-eight authors in the country in 2014.
A Graduate in Psychology (Hons.), Kiren Babal has a flair for writing both in English and Hindi. She has dabbled with creativity. Be it doing plays in AIR, teaching in schools, theatre, writing scripts, short stories for children etc, the focus remained in keeping her hobbies alive. She has 13 children books and five Anthologies in English poetry.
Sunila Khemchandani, a double graduate from India, now based in the Canary Islands, has several poems published in international English anthologies like Synthesis – Duet Anthology, Umbilical Cords, Aquarelle -Wall 6, Selfhood, etc. Her poems have been highly recommended. She’s a winner of the Reuel International prize for Writing and Literature, 2016, for fiction and best annual poet, 2008, in poetriesonline.com. Her anthology, ‘The Virtual Reality’ with seven poets awaits its release.
Virginia J. Pasalo is the Executive Director of the International Visitor Leadership Program-Philippines Alumni Foundation and Commissioner of the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission. She writes short stories and poems in bilingual prose and poetic narratives to promote culture, art and environmental activism as means to social change by providing a platform for celebration and discussion, encouraging interfaith dialogues and promoting activities towards a culturally-aware, environmentally-conscious and friendlier world.
Luz María López is a published poet, narrator, translator, editor, and advocate. She leads the “World Poetic Front Defending Women’s Rights” (WM). Has contributed academic articles and essays about psycho-social aspects of the genre that are published in several periodicals, magazines, and the web. Holds degrees in Psychology and Science and is a Certified Conflict Resolution Mediator. She is an international traveler and nurtures multicultural brotherhood (sisterhood). Luz Maria is from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island.
Nancy Ndeke is a poet, author, traveler, nature enthusiast, from Kenya, Africa. She lives now in Nairobi. She has majored in Literature and Linguistic. Works as Multimedia Consultant, Customer relations, and Education. As a social activist has worked with Girl Child network in Kenya and Child protection in South Sudan and Somalia. For many years, she worked with youth in theater, as scriptwriter and director in drama festivals.
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