Should I Disclose Mental Health History at Work?

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Artist: Unknown

Source: Like Minds, Like Mine

Article by Bernadette McSherry

This is a very interesting read. The Pros and Cons. Jx

Should I Disclose Mental Health?

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Spiral

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Artist: Robyn Hancock

Spiral

Revisiting

Revision

Repetition

Twisting

Turning

Navigating

Learning

Spiral

Which direction

Do you choose?

Win or lose?

Inward or outward?

You decide,

Which way to

Live your life.

Spiral

Forward

Onward

Growth

Change

Evolution

Creation

Resolution

Spiral

© Copyright 2016, Robyn Hancock. All Rights Reserved

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
I decided, given the new year that I would create new poems for this publication, thus giving me a creative challenge.

Casuality

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Photographer: Dario Torres

There is a moment immediately after an action

When silence is deaf to itself:

There is only the smell of discharged weapons,

And smoke. Fractured air reverberating

From concussion; the hammering of fire.

 

Hands slowly disconnect their grasp

From stock and pistol grip.

Sometimes at the second of release

The shaking starts, butterfly wings

In the wind.

 

But within a minute, perhaps less, quiet rushes

Like a wave to engulf ears, cheeks, lips, the dirt

That is dressed with cartridge cases, belt-link and

– pray God not me – scarlet flowers that resolve

Into dressing pads.

 

Until like the release of a dam, from trickle to flood,

Come the screaming assault, a drenching in oily whimpering

Signaling men trapped in agony with no merciful release.

 

And so it goes even after the years have drawn tight

And the memories have been ingested.

 

One day a man meets a woman. They duel consensually

Drawing blood lightly with humour and intrigue.

But both are wary, carrying lessons from earlier actions

 

With dressing held ready to staunch the flow.

Copyright © 1994 – Jerry Beale

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
I wanted to describe how difficult it had been for me to allow anyone close to me after my experiences as a soldier. I felt dirty and damaged, and certain that anybody who looked into my soul would somehow be harmed.

Apopo

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Artist: Robyn Hancock

Tomorrow

Future dawn.

Spirit reborn.

Apopo

Creating opportunities for change.

A chance to start again.

Tomorrow

Hope renewed.

Situations reviewed.

Apopo

Time to start a-fresh.

Adopting a different mindset.

Tomorrow

Eternal sunrise.

Celebrating life…

© Copyright 2016, Robyn Hancock. All Rights Reserved

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
I decided, given the new year, that I would create new poems for this publication, thus giving me a creative challenge.

Working through Cobwebs

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Melbourne Street Art – Artist Unknown
Photographer: Jennifer Cox
Photo used with permission

“I’m trying to work through cobwebs”, he said,

with eyes pouring like rain
into a leaky boat
squaring off the shoreline,
heading out to sea
avoiding Redbacks
like the plague. negotiating
rogue waves
behind his back,
facing his fear; ex –
tended arms pull
away – escape
for the moment.

he scans the horizon
left to right that sinking
feeling farther, closer
than he expected de –
Nile; a river in Egypt
too far away to row
a thunder clap into eternity,
Isis turning a blind eye;
Trite – on dragging him
under, spinning
a vortex only Terra –
firma can translate.

taking the bull
by the horns, he finds
solid ground wrestling
Taurus, knee deep
in mud that sticks
like shit on the inside;
cobwebs cling to hard –
wired neurons
lodged in the gaps
in – between grey,
a matter for
black and white.

separate, facts find
fiction fornicating
in a web of deceit
by design, too lurid
for children like
Persephone – abducted
innocence; a metaphor
for rape, choking the Hell
out of life. all the while,
pseudo affection bribes
a hand – full of lollies,
to sweeten the blow.

“I want everything to be saved”,
he said.

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
It’s very sad watching loved ones hurting.

Long Lines of Lies

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Photographer: Unknown

I don’t know what to do

when they look into my eyes

expecting

the drawing they made of me

they rewrite me,

insert the cliche that hangs like a slave in the square

I feel their lies

tickle,

nuanced and lovely to the touch,

and me gracefully bludgeoned

eventually they find the door

and drag away their sharpened tongues

and behind

a mind reawakened –

coloured by Matisse

with words sprinkled in the lush greens of grass

Copyright © 2016 (Keith Nunes)

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
This poem makes sense of what I feel going on around me or at least what I perceive is going on.

Bird

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Artist: Hua Tunan
Image used with permission

Morning time. So I leave my door, descending the four steps

Precariously

 

My feet are bare upon the grass. Its wetness is almost sexual

If not for the cold.

 

A spider’s web catches the silver promise of light within a single drop

Of moiisture. Such a perfect fragile jewel;

 

It’s the sound I catch first. An impatient fluttering, daubed with

High-pitched peeps of distress.

 

Step over the log, my feet finding primordial satisfaction in its

Careless roughness.

 

The chicken wire lies in a tired bundle, threaded through with grass

And a single impatient thistle.

 

There. In the middle of the roll. A tiny brown speckled form. A thrush

Trapped within the deaf wire.

 

Exhausted.

 

My feet stop. With each step closer, the bird becomes more animated

Beating its tiny form against the wire.

 

How can I say ‘I mean to help you, to tear back the walls that encircle you,

To give you back your universe?  For we are so deeply

 

Alien to each other.

 

I am torn. I cannot leave this other life. Yet I cannot help. Energy drains

From me. I am now unnecessary.

 

A watcher only.

 

The bird is still. Its chest heaves once. A wing slips and hangs loose,

Askew.

 

It’s quiet.

 

I begin to hate the wire.

Copyright © 2002 – Jerry Beale

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
This poem describes an actual event which had a profound effect on me. It emphasised how separate we have become from the simplicity of nature.

Forgotten Skin

 
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Artist: Nod Ghosh
Image used with permission

He carries acres of skin,

a decadent petticoat, wrapped

around his identity.

 

He finds a portion

untouched since

the beginning of memories.

 

A foreign pellicle,

symbiotic lesion,

that forges a crossing through

Lethean shorelines.

 

He travels to unknown

territory, unravels keratin spirals

bounded by

an integumental sea.

 

He feels its smoothness,

unremarkable

in doughy caress.

 

He enters the fourth room

of a three roomed house,

licks himself clean,

like an atheist in heaven.

 

Copyright © 2015 (Nod Ghosh)

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
When the meat and veg of life are difficult to chew, Nod Ghosh finds sanctuary in a gravy of words. Forgotten Skin examines the urge to self-mutilate, while Sailfins relates to when a person chooses death over life.

Sailfins

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Artist: Nod Ghosh
Image used with permission
 

She wades

through salt soaked shallows,

searches for pipi,

hopes for kina, with

a bucket on her arm.    

                                                                                                                                                She cries an echo

from sand bars clean,

untroubled

by the task of harvesting

abundant molluscs.

 

Elusive echinoderms

charm live victims

to shallow depths,

against the cry of bitterns.

 

She treads with finite steps,

where sailfins fly

and mermaids die.

 

She wades between

riptides of fate,

hopes Tangaroa

will find her body.

 

Copyright © 2015, Nod Ghosh

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
When the meat and veg of life are difficult to chew, Nod Ghosh finds sanctuary in a gravy of words. Forgotten Skin examines the urge to self-mutilate, while Sailfins relates to when a person chooses death over life.

Write to Heal – Interview by Drem

Writing To Heal Featuring:
Jodine Derena Butler

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Art of Drem

POSTED ON DECEMBER 21, 2015 BY DREM

Jodine is a fantastic poet and writer from New Zealand. We connected on WordPress early on in my endeavors. We find inspiration in each other’s work. We give each other strength. We both…

Write To Heal

Here’s a Q & A I did with Jodine recently that highlights her life’s journey and her Writing To Heal process.

Jodine, to start, where are you from? What’s your life like?                                           
                                                                                                       
     I was born in New Zealand and moved to Cairns, Queensland, Australia in 2011 where I currently reside. I have two dogs, two cats, two adult daughters, three grandsons (and counting), four stepchildren and one awesome husband!
I have been a counsellor, social worker, supervisor, group facilitator, sex worker and more recently a cosmetic tattoo artist at Cosmech Ink, our tattoo business, but I’m too blind, my anxiety goes through the roof and I start to shake. Not good with a tattoo machine in my hand! At the moment I am a stay at home wife and stepmother to two beautiful girls.
                                                                                                       
And of course, you’re a writer. When did you start writing?
                                                                                                       
     I was introduced to poetry at primary school, like everyone was as part of the curriculum, learning Haiku and Rhyme. I knew I loved writing then. I won a story competition in high school for English at age 13, at Te Awamutu College, in the King Country of New Zealand. I always got top marks for English. I did three undergraduate papers in creative writing, thinking I would apply for the Master of Creative Writing degree at Auckland University. I passed well but I had a meltdown. I wasn’t ready then.
                                                                                                       
Well, I can see you’re ready to keep writing now! When do you write and how? Is there a specific time of day you set aside to work?
                                                                                                       
     I write whenever I feel words and thoughts are ‘coming to me’. Usually if I am processing a problem or feeling. Age has changed how I write as I have more experience to draw from. In my 20’s, I tended to write more during the day and always in rhyme. The content was more about relationships, trying to understand them and myself in them. My 30’s was more during the night, all night often, and I would experiment with different styles and ways ie: randomly point to a list of words from the dictionary and then work with my unconscious to see what came about. In my 40’s, I did some creative writing classes and learned other tecniques, the names of different styles ie: stream of consciousness, appropriation, list poems etc and began to read more about other poets work ie: Sylvia Plath, Alan Curnow, Wystan Curnow, Sam Hunt, Murray Haddow and Miriam Barr. I wrote less, but better executed.

     I used to physically write on paper, then into journals, then on computer and now I write ‘live’ to my blogs via my Android and edit often. I need to print my work out as I have no physical copy but I am always editing.
                                                                                                        
You have so many different venues to put your work out. You must be writing more often now.
                                                                                                       
     Whenever I feel the words coming. It depends. If I am going through a traumatic time, I write more. As I learn to see and appreciate happiness, I try to write about that rather than problems, but it’s much harder for me however I’m improving all the time.
                                                                                                     In a traumatic time, it’s hard to see the light. Why do you continue? What keeps you going and gives you the strength?
                                                                                                       
     I write to heal and it’s good for me and others… To make sense of my childhood, depression (I may have Persistent Depressive Disorder) and trauma (I may also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I sought the aid of therapy for years to address these issues which reared its ugly head in my earlier relationships. I needed to find a way of articulating my thoughts, feelings and actions in order to heal. I started Head Lines NZ, to encourage others to do the same by promoting mental health awareness in New Zealand.

     …Life, love, pain, death. I like to include mythology a lot. Maori, Greek, Irish, Welsh and others. I have written one poem for an American friend Chip Allan of The Pine Ridge Philosopher , where I researched the meaning of a phrase I wanted to include in Comanche in my poem ‘Mother Nature’s Siren Song’ for Poetry Out West. He emailed me a little about where he lived in West Virginia which inspired me.
                                                                                                       
What dreams do you have for your writing now?
                                                                                                       
     I am reconsidering doing a Masters in Creative Writing at James Cook University.  I want to publish a book of poetry, a memoir in poetry of sorts. I also want to publish an Anthology of my New Zealand national poetry E-zine Head Lines NZ. It is open to Kiwis all over the world and I have a wonderful eclectic range of contributors who I would love to see in print.

Her poetry is published on Poetry Out West.

Her Promoting Mental Health Project in New Zealand is at Headlines NZ.

Her fiction is found on Far North Fiction

Her tattoo business and husband’s tattoo art is seen at Cosmech Ink

• Photo creditor is Jason Majewski as seen on Cosmech Ink