Yellow Ribbon

RIP they say on Bebo when he dies
Tragic says the Herald Family Notice
Inner voices says the specialist
Medical negligence says the mum
Say hello to grandpa says grandma
We miss you says In Memorium
You are with Jesus says the church
You are free of pain now they say
Were you saved? say the brothers
Grief counselling says the headmaster
Copy cat beware says the academic
Save our sons and daughters says dad
Grieve in stages says Kubler Ross
Where was Yellow Ribbon I say

Copyright © 2010 David Bedggood

David Bedggood is a retired university lecturer, father, grandfather and revolutionary Marxist currently living in Auckland, Aotearoa, New Zealand.  He is fighting to end the crazy, diseased, barbaric capitalist system.  His slogan is “don’t kill yourself, kill capitalism!”.


Stuck in a Rut

I am stuck in a rut not knowing how to be free.
And no one has done anything personal to me.
In fact everyone else has their journey and I mine.
And I am stuck in this journey, stuck in time.
I understand about anxieties worries and suffering of fears.
I understand about false promises, misunderstandings, who out there cares.
What I don’t understand is how to come free
This overwhelming conditioning coming over me.

I am a prisoner and only I hold the key.
The decisions to freedom hanging over me.
There a thing’s I have no control over where I have no power.
And waiting every second can feel more like every hour.
There are things we can influence and things we just can’t
There are problems that are problems and problems that just arn’t
Most problems we invent welcome anxieties worries and fears.
And the control that fear holds, living in the darkness, living with fears.
And these fears are surrounding heavy foggy, a living dark consuming cloud.
These fears cripple the shadow of the innocent strong and proud.

And I’m struggling, because there is a decision I need to make
And I have not really decided which path I need to take
Until I decide then I can invite the new and let go of the old.
Moving upwards onwards while my life has been on hold.
I have made a choice my decision a glimpse of hope to peace.
Releasing from the struggle, feeling more at home at ease.
Feelings of relief clearer perspectives open and awake.
And Now when I look back at my rut I see a pattern to my mistake.

I see how my emotions lead me down into the gutter.
How I hate my job although it’s my bread and my butter.
No matter what I do or achieve I feel I come last.
Not living in the present always dwelling in the past.
Can you see a pattern of negative thinking.
Focused on what’s wrong, inner strength weakening.
Leading down a spiral path of pain and lots of sorrow .
Not looking forward to the future not looking forward to tomorrow.
And if there is a lesson to be learnt and a lesson to be taught.
There is always a glimpse of hope so focus on that thought.
No matter how much grief or sorrow a rainbow can be caught
Think of the positive’s my friends, because life is just too short.

Copyright © 2010 Michael Joseph Lauese

Michael Lauese was born in New Zealand and is of Samoan/Maori descent.  Michael has been awarded several National and International Body-Building trophy’s for NZ, Pacific Island, and NZ Maori Titles.  Michael lost his partner, house, career and son and in these times of despair, turned to poetry to aid his recovery.

Happy Faces

So this is what it’s come to
distant memories of innocence
lost long ago
memories relived, mistakes
my undoing, all played
out on life’s stage

you’re out there miles away
untouchable, I tell myself
over and over where I’ve gone wrong
it’s too much for the bravest,
I’m not
I know what they’re thinking

I hear it in my head
like a broken record, jumping
over lines.
I look for ways out,
ahead of my future
there is no parallel universe

in my world
just constant reminders
of what I fail to become
and could have been
if it weren’t for me
I am swimming to stop the sinking

feeling, dragging me
down.  it would only take one gulp
one backward sigh of relief
to make it all go away
I never do anything by halves
I am no saint

no martyr for a greater cause
I leave behind everything
that ever was
they could never understand
what I know is my truth,
my world

I don’t belong here anymore
than the rest of us
but you don’t complain
if I could reach out and touch,
the sky, I would
melt away, floating my drops

I trace tracks with my finger
down the window pane
my happy face
smiling back at me

(in memory of Ian CurtisJoy Division – D.O.D, 18th May 1980.  The birth of New Order.  The 2007  movie release of Ian’s life and times is called Control)

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Jodine Derena Butler grew up on various farms all over the North Island of New Zealand.  She now lives in Cairns, Queensland, Australia with her husband.  She has two adult daughters and three grandsons.  Her poems have been published in Side Stream, Blackmail Press, Live Lines Anthology, Tracks Magazine and others. She has a background in social work and mental health and loves to dabble in the Arts.

Drowning in Words

By 'Gorgeous Disorders'

Drowning in words-drowsing with words-nah rattling with them-wasps in my head with words on the side-there’s no word smoothness just a harsh over ride– cos there’s a war on terror-there’s a war on words-

They weren’t just phases hanging loose on a street corner–ya know-!!
Ya don’t just date them with any one-war language-stop molesting those words

War on terror-war on words-invasion -migration of ugly words-its like a day long advert-abduction- torture -rendition-extort-distort-
Contradictory statements morphed in2 chimp chatter and talk-that takes me No where I wanta go-g–collateral damage- arrghh-what the fuck-

Shock and Awe–what’s that say about an invasion that never was a war-
Taking the punch outta the pack -they’re line dancing pre-the attack-
The quarterback threw a Long bomb 2 win this one with the help of the swelled map- There’s a war on terror there’s a ward on words-

Verbal sparring-linguistic bombings-metaphors take us 2 muddy water-charcoal charring takes us away from the real consequences-the blood spatter ends up =ing a Jackson Pollock

The mission is transparent–uncomplicated–yeah right-
The psychology of language turning thoughts in2tight
The messing with our heads means we’re missing the absurd

Redefining Torture—the ugliest 2 coupled words I’ve ever heard-

Copyright © 2010  ‘GorgeousDisorders’

Contributor’s Note:
Gorgeous Disorders busted on to stage in Edinburgh in the early 80’s as a Performance Poet.  She is Dyslexic and has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as her main diagnosis.  She was also an in-patient at Sunnyside Hospital in New Zealand.  Gorgeous has attended creative writing classes and is now actively involved in Live Theatre in New Zealand.

In the blind building

In the blind building,
the blind see with infrared
and a touch that opens a minefield,

the ladies with groom coiffured hairdos
in a parlour
talk of husband infidelity and Miss Tuffnel,
she that walks the streets at 17.

We chalk up experience
so withered oaks
and grasses can make lawn
a mower will keep it down,
like the thoughts of society
will keep down the greying eyes
the blue veins of the aged in mobility scooters,

watch the dog with the red collar
and the dimes and cents gentleman
wending his way past tuttering ladies
his eyes fixed on the black of his reality
his fingers tapping out the years of his triumph.

Take umbrage in the cage of deceit,
wallow in the lies that paint rotten pictures,
ask the girl with curls where her daddy is, she won’t know,
but her tears will dry as soon as they form,
sheesh man it’s a tough world.

Copyright © 2010 Thane W. Zander

Contributor’s Note:
Thane Zander has lived all over New Zealand, either as an itinerant child (Father moving to jobs from deepest south to farthest north) or as a 27 year veteran in the Royal New Zealand Navy. He was struck down with Bipolar Disorder in 2000 and has since moved “back” to Palmerston North and environs. The onset of Bipolar Disorder also heralded his entry into the poetry world, and from 2000 to 2005 he had written around 250 poems. This accelerated from 2006 to well over 1000 poems, and counting.

Silent Pain

Silent Pain

Fake smile

….Fixed masks

…..Feeling hurt

……Forgotten place

…….Forever alone

……..Flowers wilted

………Feeble self

……….Frozen time

………..Face darkness

…………Falling down

………….Fists tight

…………..Fingers clinched

……………Found solitude

…………….Fading cracks

……………..Future hope

………………Forgive me

……………….For tomorrows

………………..Further sadness

Copyright  ©2010 Alyson Bradley

Contributors Note:
Alyson Bradley, grew up in London, where she worked in IT.  She moved to New Zealand about 6 years ago.  Alyson has been diagnosed with an interesting mix of  Aspergers, Bipolar, ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.  She loves being creative and uses her knowledge and experience to self advocate on her private website.  Writing has helped her on her journey.

MH 01

By 'Teira Naahi'

I am not crazy
A monster not i
My death lays there amongst your flowers…

Copyright © 2010 Clayton Taylor-Nelson aka Teira Naahi

Clayton Taylor-Nelson aka Teira Naahi was born in Auckland New Zealand. He is no stranger to Mental Health. Teira was inadvertently institutionalized in an Australian psyche hospital for children, at the age of 8, and released at the age of 14 then returned to NZ on his own. Drawing from multiple art disciplines to find new solutions and expressions for life’s complex situations, Teira has spent over 25 years producing art, music and poetry as a means of exploring and coping with mental health under the banner of “Rewiring The Self Through Art!”.

MH 02

By 'Teira Naahi'

Stay sane
No milk today…

Copyright © 2010 Clayton Taylor-Nelson aka Teira Naahi.

Clayton Taylor-Nelson aka Teira Naahi was born in Auckland New Zealand. He is no stranger to Mental Health. Teira was inadvertently institutionalized in an Australian psyche hospital for children, at the age of 8, and released at the age of 14 then returned to NZ on his own. Drawing from multiple art disciplines to find new solutions and expressions for life’s complex situations, Teira has spent over 25 years producing art, music and poetry as a means of exploring and coping with mental health under the banner of “Rewiring The Self Through Art!”.

five silver linings

I get better & better
at building bridges
& finding ways

I am bendy & I have
bricks in me / special tools
for sourcing flecks of light
when they have been hiding.

# 2
we are closer.

your eccentricities
make sense to me.

this zigzag thinking /
my fertile mind
/ all the things
that can live there /
be born
& grown
& koro / curl around
all long-limbed
& magical there.

I feel things
there’s no Tir Na Nog
situation here
I feel things –
the shape
& colour
the glint
of things

some thoughts
are like wind
on my face

today, the street stretches out
villa-lined before me
the Waitakere’s strong arm
holds the horizon
like a lover
in the distance
& I am
moving homeward
I can see

it is sometimes like I have no edges
& everything beautiful
moves right through me.

# 5
is useful

to sew
stand in
when I


to make
for me
to hear
them sing.

Copyright © 2010 Miriam Barr

Miriam Barr is from the Far North and lives in Auckland.  Her poems have been published in Landfall, JAAM, Poetry NZ, Black Mail Press and other places.  She is a performance poet with The Literatti and was creative director of the group for three years (2007-2010).  She works as a mental health promoter for Like Minds, Like Mine and is service director for Engage Aotearoa.

Stormy times

Whenever a storm worry’s me
You’ve been the light I seek
For as long as you’ve loved me
You’ve made my journey complete

Whenever rain clouds emerged
Worry rapidly rises within me
You’re the one who’s understood
When I’ve laid my battles at your feet

Whenever a storm embraces me
You’ve been my beacon of hope
As my battle rages on the outside
On the inside you’ve brought hope

Whenever my storm awakens me
I’ve felt lost inside with nowhere to turn
You’ve given me the willpower
To find my way through any storm

Copyright © 2010, Jude Blance

Jude Blance currently lives in Titahi Bay, New Zealand.  Whenever dark shadows have caused havoc in her personal journey she’s often found refuge in writing poetry, a personal collection of poetry titled My Stormy Weather.  Jewelie often finds sharing her emotions helped release her from her world of darkness.  Her personal storm has been never ending and in times of trouble, she’s found herself despairingly searching for the light within herself.