By 'Teira Naahi'

There are other chairs within this house
I should know i have not sat in them
There are other windows within this house
But alas they all just face the same way

Childhood reflections
Half truths
Round clues for square solutions
Extroverted introspection

There is a secret hidden within this room
I should know i have not found it yet
A thinly veiled twist of fate
Born fast from passions waste

I can hear you
As i can feel you

There are people out there beyond these walls
I should know i have actually been outside

Same chair
Curtains drawn
Pale glow
Dim living

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!”.


My Lost Words

Whispers in the wind
stolen within time
I so tried to explain
the real hurt and pain
isolated within my mind
you say you listen
but never took time
my words fragmented
scattered and changed
so often uninterrupted
clouded by a huge fog
what choice did I have
I withdraw even more
because no one heard
I cried deep down inside
I wanted to reach out
but no one was there
the door closed shut
I was barricaded out
never really allowed
or really understood
you wouldn’t let me in
easier to control me
than think I was right
locked out from life
an endless struggle
I had no one to hold
not even my hand
my words still echo
for me to share
and remind others
there is always hope
someone else there
I now feel renewed
energized and alive
I am back here to stay
I have returned with
a strength unknown
real sense of self
my smile has returned
and now for myself

Copyright  ©2010 Alyson Bradley

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.

Tiki Girls

I am really nervous and wound up and wired-sorta on a roll-So calm down with ya calm downs-ya not think I wood calm down if I could-?

Tiki Girls just keep getting faster and we got legs that Not so much go on4ever-they just got a life of there own .

And we got wide winning smiles…..but we”re going2wreak your head and rip your heart and we”ll being baying4your love and mean it.

Tiki girls growing up in a land of isolation and ya just get so excited..ya just explode

Tiki girls they go ALL nite. Too fast for themselfs half the time but with brief spells of respilt and half hearted bashes at a 12 step programme

We just keep on keeping on

Yeah we pack our panties with a punch

but we”re not about talking cunts or GaGa wanta be’s

Tiki Girls, sorta emotionally bulimic

and we”re not so much listening2prozac

but chilling and chatting and cosy in its pocket

Tiki girls-I am surprised its not classed as some type of Disorder

and we got huge solf hearts and we”re a good time til that time-that times nay time, it just sorta cums sometimes

so calm down with your calm downs -ya not think I wood clam down if I could

Copyright © 2010 Louise aka ‘Gorgeous Disorders’

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.

The Stigma of Autism

Young, maybe 6, cocooned in protected warmth
innocence, love and laughter are child’s things
Autism shattering everything into small pieces
now an outcast, no one understands

7, in front of a psychiatrist, seems school knows best
1970, Autisms’ a mystery, unheard of
no diagnosis, no institution, no label, no sense,
school thinks Health Camp might be best

Health Camps full of confused, anxious children
misfits unable to tolerate normal childhood
sent to find peace, laughter and strength in each other
how many I wonder were Autistic just like me?

Cold, calculating, distant father persecutes
doesn’t want a son who’s clumsy, always bullied
the shame on a man who only understands perfection
your oppression is far more damaging than my peers

It never stopped this thing called Autism
misunderstood words and actions few comprehend
anxiety, depression, alcohol, drugs, crime, what a waster!
a lifestyle indicative of low self esteem

Epilepsy and brain surgery, daunting thoughts
huge waiting list, Government inaction, pending elections
perfect opportunity to show the world hidden strengths
TV appearance, newspaper stories, fight, fight, fight, fight

I won; I beat them all, the Government, epilepsy and my own inadequacies
strength, pride and confidence now my allies
new career, new life, new me
now helping others by fighting to reduce stigma and discrimination

Copyright © 2010 Tipene Taylor

you must have experienced mental illness

You must have experienced mental illness
or you wouldn’t be writing this song
it’s a sign of the times when you see something simple
and it turns out to be complicated
maybe it turns out to be wrong

you can bet you’ve had mental illness
if you ever had a heart that’s been broken
pummeled to within an inch of its life
you’re the Beau Brummel of putting on a brave face
when you can barely keep your eyes open

if you’ve been exposed to a mental illness
be sure to hang in there and take your chill pill
folly is afoot on the greener grass side
bins chill esky ice chest cold
wrap up warm, don’t give yourself a chill

Copyright © 2010 Steve McCabe

Steve McCabe is a musician, songwriter, computer programmer and systems analyst.  He is currently living in Te Puru, on the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand.  Steve was born in 1966.  He suffered a heart attack at the young age of 36 and has bouts of clinical depression with panic attacks.  He has been taking Arapax (Paroxetine) for last few years.

Thirst II

I am penned / pent
like water damned
& pushing the walls /
the fighting ghosts
of oceans collected
together & storming

Ranginui licked the salt up
from Tangaroa’s rolling belly
& said he was thirsty
wanted a drink now
asked me to bring it to him
a cup to drink from

but my tongue crouched
against the roof of my mouth too

& Papa’ held her arms up
dry cracked at the end of summer
& singing out for a piece of sky

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.