<![CDATA[Perspectives - The Perspectives Blog]]>Mon, 28 Dec 2015 20:23:10 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Poetry From Perspectives: At The Art Show by Joy Helsing]]>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:47:02 GMThttp://perspectivespress.weebly.com/the-perspectives-blog/poetry-from-perspectives-at-the-art-show-by-joy-helsing The Editors' picks are designed to share some of the wonderful poetry from the Perspectives Anthology with the general public. The poems displayed here are chosen not only for their power but for their importance and relationship to relevant autistic and disability issues.
The first thing that struck me about this poem is its irony and what that says about the depth and complexity of human connection. The poem, at its core, is about connection and how someone who "has trouble connecting" is able to speak so deeply and sincerely with a stranger, thereby making a deep connection with and having a great impact on that stranger.

The poem also hints at solidarity. Nobody is alone with his or her disability. Autism and all other disabilities affect many people from many different age groups. These disabilities can make life difficult,but while they may make one different, they do not make one less.

~Nick Hale

At the Art Show

by

Joy Helsing

A tall young man,
good-looking, well-groomed,
for some reason chooses me
to chat with, confesses
he's autistic(high level),
has trouble connecting,
doesn't see social cues

Touched by his honesty,
I tell him of my son
with a similar problem.
We compare notes
on how hard it is
for both parent and child,
how we learn to accept
and cope with differences.

He moves on
to look at other pictures
and I muse
that his short encounter
with a struggling stranger
was the deepest, most sincere talk
I've had with anyone
in a long time.








Picture
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<![CDATA[Poetry From Perspectives, Editor's Pick: Sensory Overload by Laura Zaffos]]>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:23:41 GMThttp://perspectivespress.weebly.com/the-perspectives-blog/poetry-from-perspectives-editors-pick-sensory-overload-by-laura-zaffosOriginally Posted on 4/30/2012 to the Perspectives Anthology Blog
The Editors' picks are designed to share some of the wonderful poetry from the Perspectives Anthology with the general public. The poems displayed here are chosen not only for their power but for their importance and relationship to relevant autistic and disability issues.

This poem, with its frantic, rushed, and yes, even overwhelming style, depicts its subject matter well.  Not only does it capture all the misfires and backfires of a sensory overload in its descriptive language, but even the way the poem itself is structured perfectly for bringing the experience to life.

~Marc Rosen
 
 
 
Sensory Overload

by

Laura Zaffos

 
The fuzziness
The confusion
Of the maze of convention
The chirps and screeches
Sucking cognition like leeches
Little by little
Weighing you down
Till you explode
It’s called overload
What I go through each day
No matter what I do
No matter what way
I try to go by
Expecting the unexpected
So I don’t jump
There’s no method perfected
To stop the pain
That’s going to come
Like a jolt of electricity trying to get to my brain
Through my ear
That’s what I get when all these sounds I hear
The sounds you ignore
That most can filter out
To me a whisper can sometimes sound like a shout
Especially when there are hundreds of whispers all around
Millions of different types of sounds
All at the same time
Without a rhyme
Just a mumble jumble
Of sounds all around
Nowhere to escape
Not knowing when the final blow
Will go
And knock you off the rim
And when you explode and have complete overload
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<![CDATA[Poetry From Perspectives, Editor's Pick: Peace by Lisa Zimmermann]]>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 04:12:46 GMThttp://perspectivespress.weebly.com/the-perspectives-blog/poetry-from-perspectives-editors-pick-peace-by-lisa-zimmermannOriginally Posted on 4/28/2012 to the Perspectives Anthology Blog
The Editors' picks are designed to share some of the wonderful poetry from the Perspectives Anthology with the general public. The poems displayed here are chosen not only for their power but for their importance and relationship to relevant autistic and disability issues.


This sensitive and powerful poem by Lisa Zimmermann is not about autism, but about disability in general. Straightforward and to the point, Peace does a wonderful 
job of conveying the internal struggle by those who undergo the hardships of 
being disabled. The back and forth of depression and happiness, the changing 
moods can be a day to day reality for those in tough situations. There is quite 
a bit of focus on depression coming from external factors--but sometimes it is
the inner demons that hurt the most. Ending on a powerful note,Peace does a fine job of staying true to the hardship without giving up hope. A wonderful, genuine and relevant poem all around. 

~ James P. Wagner



Peace
 by
 Lisa Zimmermann

 How do you continue your life after being derailed?
 How do you gather the shattered pieces and move on, still smiling?
How do you gain self-acceptance and not become depressed?
 I am moving towards brighter sunsets and happier tomorrows
 With each step of my unbalanced walk.
 And yet, that feeling,
 That wonderful sense of joy
 Slips from my fingers
 When self-doubt invades my thoughts,
 When I am drowning in my misery,
 And when my glimmer of hope turns to despair.
 Those moments of paralysis
 Wear me thin;
 I am my own prisoner.
 But when I am free, oh! What a feeling. 
I become empowered, fearless, and am myself again.
 If only that can pulsate through my veins,
 I would not need to pretend.
 Tomorrow I will become
 The person I intended to be,
Yesterday.
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<![CDATA[Poetry From Perspectives: What The Teachers Said (Annotated) by Nick Hale]]>Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:57:54 GMThttp://perspectivespress.weebly.com/the-perspectives-blog/poetry-from-perspectives-what-the-teachers-said-annotated-by-nick-haleOriginally Posted on 4/25/2012 to the Perspectives Anthology Blog
The Editors' picks are designed to share some of the wonderful poetry from the Perspectives Anthology with the general public. The poems displayed here are chosen not only for their power but for their importance and relationship to relevant autistic and disability issues.

   A
s a certified teacher himself, Nick Hale recognizes the seriousness of institutionalized misunderstanding. The very first line of this poem “He's not normal” hits the very core of this issue. It has been proven time and time again by psychological and sociological study that normal is a concept invented by human society—and yet it is a concept that people are so often judged against—despite the fact there is no operational definition for the word. 
  We see through this poem the ignorance, arrogance and rudeness of teachers concerning their students and are forced to remember that these lines are not just poetry and are not just fiction—they are said every day by ill-equipped professionals whose personal biases enter into the system and can have a drastic impact on the course of a young individual's life. 
  The poem does a wonderful job of bringing the confusion individuals in such a position feel to the reader and forces us to face the truth that the idea of forcing people into a cookie cutter cut-out that the institutions and society tries to mold us into is not only unethical, but also harmful. 

~ James P. Wagner


What the Teachers Said [Annotated]

 by 

Nick Hale


 “He’s not normal.”
 “That’s not normal.”
 “He’s so weird.”
 “He scares me” [This, to his mother]
“You’re such a slob!” [Staring down
 pointed nose through thin-rimmed
 glasses as she tips the desk over.
 It’s contents litter the floor.]

 “Clean this up.  It’s a mess.”
 “Why can’t you keep your things neat
 like normal people?”
 [And, with an angry growl:]
 “Get organized!”

 “Be yourself.”
 “Why do you always do this?”
 “Why can’t you be more like
 your friend?” “Look, he’s doing
 it the right way.  Why can’t you?”
 “What’s wrong with you?
 “Why do you have to be different?” 
“Be yourself.”
 “Grow up!”  “Act your age”
 “Act like an adult.”
 “You are still just a child.”

 “He’s lazy” [unmotivated]
 “He’s weird” [different]
 “He always has an excuse” [reason]
 “He’s not like the others.”  
“Has he been tested for X?”  
“Is he on Y?”
 [pills will solve everything]
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<![CDATA[Poetry From Perspectives: Editor's Pick: Masked Hysteria by Stanley W. Shura]]>Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:39:26 GMThttp://perspectivespress.weebly.com/the-perspectives-blog/poetry-from-perspectives-editors-pick-masked-hysteria-by-stanley-w-shuraOriginally Posted 4/25/2012 to the Perspectives Anthology Blog.

 
The Editors' picks are designed to share some of the wonderful poetry from the Perspectives Anthology with the general public. The poems displayed here are chosen not only for their power but for their importance and relationship to relevant autistic and disability issues.

While at first glance, it may seem as though "Masked Hysteria" refers to a facade used by autistics or other disabled people in order to adapt to the world around them, it's actually a rather powerful observation of how others wear a "mask" to avoid exposing who and what they are.  The tendency towards uninhibited honesty (or bluntness) displayed by many with disabilities is portrayed as a welcome relief from a world of masks, paranoia, and lies.  Like some others in the Perspectives series, "Masked Hysteria" actively rejects those who might seek to sympathize, instead forcing the reader to question just how much of their own life is hidden behind various masks...

~ Marc Rosen
 
 
 
 
Masked Hysteria
 
by

Stanley W. Shura


I may not see your mask,
but I know that it's there
when I have to struggle so ever hard and long -
longer than convention or trite manners allow -
to see YOU.

I labor to overcome your labored illusion
to see what's behind it,
what's real,
what's concealed
from my deaf eyes.

I pain to transcend
your front,
your want,
your facade,
your ulterior exterior.

I have no qualms
with the meek who bear arms.
These shields being not prestidigitation
but self-preservation,
these that are borne out of fear and uncertainty.

These are infinite and eternal:
they come from before the beginning,
they extend beyond the end.
These are crystal clear:
their honesty IS their flesh!

But those disguises worn
in vain and petty slight of hand,
for gain, that others should embrace
a false and transitory face,
do so that they can spin lies afresh.
 
These that are a feigned and shallow modest,
these that cry their own opaque and crocodile tears,
they are worth nothing in the exchange.
It is a false intercourse, with or without words.
But a lingual offering is at least concrete and impeachable.
 
And, I have no qualms with those who are of the stuff
to speak up and speak true.
But alas, then the mask is essentially dissolved.
Yet as for those who would so labor still to masquerade,
it is for naught as now it is the farce rendered so mute.
 
These masks are just opaque enough
to render them, though indistinguishable,
alas not quite invisible.
And so the silence is likewise transitory,
as we who listen most and hardest know.
 
An articulated front eventually becomes
not a front at all, but such an enigma.
And this is okay, for with my faithful ears I do not fear.
For although we listeners' eyes are deaf to your masks' stigma,
the truth does speak, and we hear it loud and clear.
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<![CDATA[Poetry From Perspectives, Editor's Pick: An Odyssey To Maturity by Maria Iliou]]>Sun, 06 Apr 2014 07:06:34 GMThttp://perspectivespress.weebly.com/the-perspectives-blog/poetry-from-perspectives-editors-pick-an-odyssey-to-maturity-by-maria-iliouThe Editors' picks are designed to share 
some of the wonderful poetry from the Perspectives Anthology with the general 
public. The poems displayed here are chosen not only for their power but for 
their importance and relationship to relevant autistic and disability issues. 
 

  
An Odyssey to Maturity does a wonderful job of presenting the hardships of not only growing up autistic but of raising an autistic child. The inspiring part of this poem is how well Maria conveys the difficulties without ever giving in to depression. In fact, the poem requests and requires no sympathy for the plight of those with autism themselves and instead maintains that the hardest troubles she and her daughter have faced came from other people who did not understand their differences. 
  Although the poem doesn't spare the ignorant outsider who would treat those with autism differently there is no sense of victimization—quite the opposite. The author is thankful for the lessons that her own daughter taught her about herself and uses 
the lessons she learned in raising her child as a metaphor for a society that 
only finds its own flaws when looking at the flaws of other people. There is a 
deeper wisdom to the poem reminding us to always look at everything from both 
sides. 
  Maria Iliou is an inspiring figure all around. 

  ~ James P. Wagner (Ishwa)

Note:The Athena mentioned in the poem is Maria's wonderful daughter. 
 

Odyssey To Maturity

  My journey, 20 years as a mother
 Caring, loving, protecting, advocating and supporting
 With unexpected turns, not norm
 My daughter, autistic
 Uniquely rewarding

 Looking back, black spots in my memory
 Of life as a child, growing up autistic
 Not knowing, nor did anyone else

 Only through Athena, did I learn
 That the difficulties sprang from
 Ignorance of autism

 Back then, if the knowledge was available 
The truth might have been seen instead of
 Misinterpreted

 But now, the hardest thing isn’t her autism or mine
 Now the difficulties come from others, only this time
 Not teachers, but peers, siblings and family

 Never feeling truly wanted, because people
 Were so comfortable with their ignorance
 Uncomfortable within themselves
 Not trying to understand who we are, what
 We are, and how human we really are

 Left no room in their hearts for accepting 
Our differences with love, blinded to our
 Intelligence, abilities, and wisdom 
And the ignorance they accuse us of
 Is really their own
 
Listening…we want to be taken seriously
 Instead of hearing our words disappear

 It’s funny…with lots of humility, how much we
 Can learn from our children about ourselves
 Solving missing pieces of my journey
 With so much more understanding
 Of the mystery of growth

 My daughter as a teacher, helped me moved up
 The spectrum to Asperger’s Syndrome,
 Inspiring me to explore my capabilities 
So much more than anyone had ever
 Encouraged me to do or be


 As a team, helping each other, we move
 Forward…with vitamins, changing diet,
 Visualizing amazing results, and lots of
 Love, we both conquer many obstacles

 The positive side of autism, our gifts of talents
 In arts, science, math…unique variations
 Visualizing our unusual strengths improves
 The economy, bringing forth new technologies

 Redefining autism, reeducating all
 The wisdom of a brighter future
 Acceptance with compassion
 An odyssey to maturity
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