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The Gatehouse, Author at Global Poetry Movement

Written by: The Gatehouse

A Single Word

A single Word

Dub poetry
Spoken word
Beat poetry
Slam poetry

Transformative poetry

Poetry pure poetry
Open heart

dissolves the chains
that once were viewed as unbreakable
invites me to see
that it is me
that is unbreakable

poetry has the power
to overturn those imposed sentences
pain, torment, shame,
all the other shadows that linger
outside our form

to be heard
to be scene
we are the ones
uncovering shrouds

how do I have to be
in order
for you to be free

when words
become poems

doors open
pathways surface
create a choir
heard round the world

So here we are

Weaving quilts
made of words
So strong that they float

Through past
Lighting this very moment

Shining on…
Our future

Author Statement

This poem comes from reading the poems that are finding their way to this site. And, in reading the poems, I find connections with people I have never met, and in those connections lives strength, spirit, the awareness that together we are on a journey of authentic social transformation. What a gift we are all creating together.
With profound gratitude.
Arthur Lockhart
Toronto, Canada

A. Lockhart, Canada
April 11, 2023

Dirty Daddy

How can I ever forget the two shitty times we spent together?
I did what I was told to do. Why did you make me feel so dirty?

I was told to meet you and I did. Back at your apartment, you made me strip
You took my underwear and you told me to follow you to the bedroom
You told me you liked to be watched as you stripped…slowly
I was scared. All I could think about was my underwear. I only had 3 pairs.
Why did he take them? He is so big. They won’t fit.

Once naked, you wanted me to watch you put on my underwear
You stretched the leg openings, and they didn’t go all the way up
Ungh…Ungh…you made sounds, then to my surprise, you shit in my undies
The whole time, you watched me. I didn’t move. I don’t understand.
Am I doing what he wants?

You took off the undies, dropped the turd in the toilet, and made me put the underwear back on. We got dressed and you gave me a ride home (actually, a block away from home).

I run upstairs and changed and washed in the sink as best as I could.
Bath time was once a week…Sundays. I had to wait until all my siblings were bathed, then I got their same dirty bath water. But I was home, and I felt clean.

Mom found my soiled undies and thought I had an “accident”. She told me that next time, please put the undies in clean water in the toilet to soak. Swish around the undies and do your best to clean them. She did her best to scrub them, but for the next few years I had a permanent pair of slightly coloured undies with a dark secret.

The next time I was told to meet you, I was instantly scared. I had no idea what you were about to do. Back at your place, naked, you decided that you wanted to have some fun:
- Me on my back, raise my legs in the air, then suck my own cock
- You are holding my legs, leaning against my back…watching
- Time passes, then you introduce me to “dirty licking” (I had to lick your dirty smelly bum hole, while you licked mine…I think I was hairless and clean)
- While squatted over me, you told me to open my mouth as big as I could. I could only see your back. Your ass over my mouth. You took a shit
- I panicked. I remember a tear rolling down from my left eye. I was doing what I was told…my mouth was still open. I tried not to breath. It smelled. I coughed and turned my head and threw up.
- You were mad. You pushed my face in your shit and my vomit.
- You told me I was a good boy. For that reason, you shoved your cock in my mouth as a reward. All I taste and smell was shit…then cum. I swallowed because you told me too.

We dressed. You drove me home. I never saw you again.

After 40 years of silence, I am telling my story. I don’t ever want you, or someone like you, to ever touch me or hurt me. After 40 years, I still know your smell, taste, and touch. I don’t think you even remember me…but I can never forget you. FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author Statement

I am in my 13th month on this self discovery journey as a CSA survivor.

Seeing the documentary, Leaving Neverland, gave me the language, courage and voice to no longer keep secrets and to tell my story. I was sexually assaulted in my teens by 50-60 men. They made me call them Daddy, which hides their true identity. Dirty Daddy was one of many men, who haunted me for over 40 years. I seek closure and peace within myself.

I deal with anxiety, depression and dissociation. I attend weekly psychotherapy sessions.

R.D., Canada
April 11, 2023

One Soul

One soul is living
One soul is survivng
We smile together
One of us is crying

They hold our hand
One of us follows
They broke the trust
One of us feels hallow

We trust the lies
One of us hides the truth
We stand together
One stands alone, zero proof

We seek justice
They see a fight
We see them
They seek our light

One soul is living
One soul is surviving
We smile together
One of us is crying

Author Statement

After joining a council of survivors, I took a few moments to represent what it would feel within poetry to express in a way.. what living and surviving may sound like, may read like and may feel like. There is a very definitive difference between living and surviving.

S. Landherr, Canada
April 11, 2023


**Trigger Warning**

Never seeing a way out,
Corrupted by the greatest enemy of all;
…the inner me,

"You piece of garbage,
Who do you think you are?
Why would anyone care for your existence?
You low life, you're a failure,

You want to know why people laugh at you?
It's because you're a disgusting piece of garbage,
When you talk, they laugh.
When you cry, they laugh.
When you breathe, they laugh.
If you just open your mouth, they bawl out with laughter.

Just end yourself already,
Go grab the razor blade,
Go grab the bottle of pills,
Go grab the garbage bag,
Go grab the bleach,
Go get that string from your robe,
I wish you were dead already,

No one will hear you except me,
I promise you are safe,
Safe with me,
Remember this, no one cares about you,
So, there really is no point to living,
Kill yourself. End it. Stop it."

help me, my mind has taken over, and i cannot control it any longer,
am i really the creator of these thoughts? it cannot be so…

"But it is so, stop trying to blame another soul, you pile of dust"


"Yeah? Peace? Who do you think you are?
You won't ever get peace. You deserve to suffer you piece of garbage."

God? Lord? Source? Universe? Are you out there?
Oh…Please be there Lord, stay with me,
I don't think I will ever have eternal peace.
(with a sigh) "Yeah, I'll never have eternal peace..."

I am going to suffer forever,
My soul will suffer forever,
Please Lord, I did NOTHING wrong,
I was just a little kid,
A small, young, innocent little kid,

Who was supposed to receive LOVE, instead receiving a great deal of FEAR,
Though her true essence has always been of LOVE,

She loved those close to her, but they turned against her,
She loved Life, but Life remained a closed door,
She loved her grandma so dearly, but grandma was never known,
She loved her dad, but dad was never there,

That’s when it all started…
The destruction of MY mind, body, heart, and soul,
She doesn’t understand why or how, but that it started,

For the past decade or more,
It's been ME and A GREAT DEAL OF DENIAL...
And after 21 years of being alive, I have finally been set free by the Truth,
By the Grace of God, My Lord, My Savior,

Let me share with you,
Share that the inner me, that wounded inner child,
Has now become my ally whom I will protect forever,
Because WE know it came from the others, not the self,
Thank You Lord, The Truth is setting me free.

Author Statement

I never expected to live on. I thought I would be dead. Never knowing that my upbringing was fucking toxic and abusive. That no one ever cared, and genuinely hated me for being...I still don't know at this point. Then having been diagnosed with mental illnesses just allowed me to believe even more that I was the fuck up. That it was all me. That all those negative thoughts came from me. I was the creator of it. Of those self destructing, evil thoughts. That I now KNOW AND UNDERSTAND STEM FROM THE ABUSERS who are SADLY the very individuals that brought, and 'raised' me into this world. 'FAMILY.'

s.renita, Canada
April 9, 2023


You took my hand
Led me to your imprisoned bed
Me, giving up my safety, laden
In heaviness, I present my oneness
Which was hidden, guarded
You stroke my face, that ugliness, uncaring piece
A spoonful of unique crimson
My eyes shrouded by silk
The painful release of waters, built up
The key under your tongue, spit
I am cuffed, numb
My legs opened
Your lids flutter, a release
The metal cuts me, inside sickened
I feel weight, disconnected
No kiss, disrespecting body
My breathing, expanse
Cotton in my mouth
A broken wheel in awe
The mothered unwanted son held on
To a crippled sky

Author Statement

I was sexually tortured by my boyfriend and this is my coming to terms with my Pain. I have done a lot of work in therapy but writing poetry is a way to get it out of me and put it away, to never look at it again. It’s a place to render the cutting, the trauma, the formation of a new me, free from one who took from me, where I find my soul again.

Michele Dickson, Canada
July 29, 2022

A Slow Rearranging

The turbulence of these waves
could drown you out at sea;
swimming in saltwater with open wounds is bound to make you scream

This heart,
these hands,
this brain,
they're heavy

This body is tired of fighting a current and never drowning.

So stay strong
even when you feel all alone

Keep moving on;
the monsters that once had their claws in your back -
they're gone

No one's going to help you,
even if they'd want to.
There are things that, they will never know

So baby girl keep changing
Keep rearranging
all the thoughts that, you think you know

Just go slow
Just go slow

Author Statement

This poem was created while I was crying and trying to make something meaningful on my guitar. The words became a slow and melancholy song, through muffles of hopelessness, sobbing and exhaustion. I was deep in my battle of post-traumatic stress and this night was one of the darkest and most alone moments that I’ve experienced yet. I was landing in the reality that no one would be able to fully be able to understand my experience because I was the only one that experienced it; I was the only one there other than my perpetrator. In my mind, at the time, even the most well intentioned-folks (which there were few) wouldn’t be able to “save” me; this was very scary because I felt so alone, and I wanted, desperately, to be seen and helped and saved by anybody. It was a terrifying time to me.

Looking back now, this poem represents one of the first times that I tapped into my own strength and resilience. It felt like I was making a decision out of hopelessness and betrayal, it was deeply deeply painful… and, though I didn’t know it yet, it also was the turning point for me. I was choosing to believe in something that I didn’t know to be real or true or possible – healing, my own inner-strength, the possibility of a “good” life…

It’s taken years and there have been triggers, painful flashbacks, deep and difficult transformation, but ultimately, all great learnings towards healing and post-traumatic growth. I am proudly in a healthy relationship now, with a partner who hears me and respects me; someone who I can communicate my boundaries with and who advocates for me even when I’m not there. I have learned how to create safety for myself and have been working hard to learn how to let go of unhelpful coping mechanisms (such as people pleasing and co-dependency), in order to show up authentically in all my relationships, aligned in my truth and in touch with myself and my body’s boundaries. The journey has been hard; I’ve lost a lot of people along the way, and battled up and down with mental illness. But I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, for who I am now, and for the young woman who wrote this poem in her darkest times, unknowing it would become her prayer to get her through to the end <3

J.V, Canada
July 14, 2022

The sum of my parts, makes me whole

Ricky (age 10)
No need to shed another tear
No one wants to spank or beat you, call you names or sexually assault you
You are safe. I will protect you
Spend your time…playing, laughing, enjoying nature…and just being silly

Rick (teen)
You have experienced ecstasy and hell
You’re just a teenager, but forced to grow up fast
No one sees YOU, the “real” you
You have taken it upon yourself to be the Protector
But now I need to protect myself
You are my sexual being, and you left me in a teenage mindset when navigating relationships

I know you were hurt by older married men – physically and emotionally
I know that you are still scared of “Daddy”
For God’s sake – your pen pal was raped and murdered at 15…by Daddy?
Did he order this to be done? I have no proof, just gut instinct
Elisa…We wrote openly and honestly, and I thank you for our friendship
Elisa…I am sorry. I miss you. I love you. You are an angel

You are no longer in danger
Don’t be angry
Don’t feel like you are missing out
Stop blaming others and just…LIVE
Try to be happy
Try to love. You are lovable, you know.
Kind, funny, sensitive, wicked sense of humour…
That is what we love about YOU

Richard (age 56)
It is ok to fear the unknown
Life is one big – What if? Maybe? Why? Why not?
You say it. You want that to be your life’s motto

It is a blessed life shared with a loving husband, supportive friends and family
Work consumed you, but was also your security blanket
“I’m too busy” was your excuse to keep people away
Now that you are retired…say YES or say MAYBE
Teach yourself to not say NO

Life is short
All we have when someone dies are memories
Fill the rest of your life with emotions and memories that are happy, sharing, loving and true to yourself
You have supported your community for over four decades, and it is ok if you need some help. Ask. Try to find your voice. Helping others helps you

Be strong, sensitive, silly, and vulnerable – let Ricky go
Be sexy, protective, and confident – let Rick go
Ricky and Rick are a part of you
They will always be there…in spirit, in memories

Rest your mind. Heal your body. Let your spirit soar

Eulogy for me, by me, for some time in the distant future:

Ricky – We Honestly Love You
“I honestly love you” is Ricky’s favourite Olivia Newton-John song

Rick – Dance like no one is watching, because “You Look Like A Dick To Me” (Olivia Newton-John song from Sordid Lives)

Richard – You are a Survivor and Thriver. Your infectious laugh, kindness and humour will be missed. You gave so much to your family (biological and chosen), friends and community. We love you. Namaste!

“How lucky I am to have known somebody and something that saying goodbye to is so damned awful…
He came to me to be a friend, and I knew some how he couldn’t stay
That he was someone I would know a little while
He brought a smile, and he was free, and he came to give it all to me
The chance to see the way he sees, so I could fly…
I tried to see, all that he saw in me, looking through Richard’s Window in the sky” (from Oscar nominated Olivia song, “Richard’s Window”)

Steve (my husband) - “No Other Love” is an Olivia song on her album, GAIA, which became our wedding song. I never thought in my lifetime I would experience sharing my life with someone, and truly feeling loved. Thank you for 27 years of shared happiness, adventure, and wedded bliss.
My Love…I’m too busy
My Sweet…You got to eat
I love you!
Eggplant emoji. Peach emoji. Heart emoji.

Author Statement

This past year, I asked for help.

I struggle with anxiety, depression and dissociation. I started attending weekly psychotherapy sessions and found them to be extremely helpful.

Life is a journey and I want to participate in all that it offers.

R.D., Canada
July 2, 2022

As a young gay teenager

Darkness is like daylight only blacker
In the darkness you can be standing within a multitude
And not know anyone is near you
I feel the same way in daylight, only I know no one is near me
A plea for help might come from a man with a fatal disease,
he cannot be helped
It might come from a condemned man for whom people have no mercy,
he cannot be helped
It might from a man who lived a long life and it is his time to go
He cannot be helped
Yet, I have neither old age, fatal disease nor crime to condemn me
Whe don’t they try to comprehend me?
I must be un-understandable. There is a cold war in this house
At night going to bed I feel so alone, like I am the only human left on earth
From 8am to 11pm I’ve spoken less than 40 words to someone other than me. I hate ME!
I need people to talk to and my world is empty of people
It’s me against a huge overpowering monster and I’m losing!
Mercenaries help fight a war...You need loyal people to really win
People who care
People who care don’t dump the war on the mercenaries lap and say fight it!
People who care get in and fight harder than the rest
They have most to lose!
How can a person be…mad alone…happy alone
He needs someone…to be mad at…to be happy with
Loneliness is terrible because you have no one to tell…you feel so alone

Help…I’m drowning in nothing
Why can I not be helped
Please help me!

Author Statement

This poem was written in the 1960’s when I was a young teenage boy undergoing different forms of gay conversion and behaviour therapies.

I have retired from a successful business life as Founder and President of a Canadian company, and garnered awards and accolades, including a lifetime achievement award.

I am happily married and celebrating 27 years together.

S.W., Canada
July 2, 2022


I have survived an epic moment
Sensed but not selected
Tied to this background
Support is an offering
The flow of strategy, an
Opportunity to share
Learning to practice
Implementation of this project
Blindly scribbling on paper
Reading that is encouraged
Reclaiming hope to see
Trauma and my brain
Winding down the brightest
Collars collapse into Bibles
It's about what I believe
Insight real, controlled hatred
Going towards home
Similarities from strategies
The health care provides
My journey full of resources
The healer proud of treatment
Experiences tender to the fold
Following the instructions on how I should proceed

Author Statement

I wrote this poem to describe the journey, the healing journey I have been on the past year and how I use the tools that I’ve been given to help me cope with the stress of daily life. I tried to show how art and poetry can help me overcome the challenges that I face everyday. This describes what I do in order to make art and how I feel about my life and how it progresses, while I make light out of Darkness.

Michele Dickson, Canada
July 1, 2022


I don’t remember,
I try to see
Was it ever better?
It had to be
I felt it first
at the age of three,
It came up from the black
when it came for me.

In the blink of an eye
It consumed me whole
It felt like drowning
Like falling
Like freezing cold
Like fever
Like sorrow
Like burning rain
Like hunger
Like poison
Like prison
Like chains

I still carry it now
It’s a hole I can’t patch
Soaking wet, that won’t dry
Gnawing itch i can’t scratch
It’s a scar that won’t heal
A wound that bleeds and bleeds
Its not all that I am
But it’s in all of me

l numb myself and I try,
and I try not to get numb
And I clutch to the light on the days when there’s sun
But every step that ive taken
Is further from the place I want to be
Its clear from my footprints
Im moving laterally

But then you found me that day
You called out to me
You came with the light
And you gave some light to me
Your voice was like music
Your heart was pure gold
Your touch was like magic
We fit like a mold

You showed me your journey
What it meant to be strong
How it felt to truly love,
To be loved
To belong.

And for a moment I could make it
For a moment I could see
Together we could do it
You & Me
Together we’d do anything
I had you
You had me
But then my darkness met your darkness

And now you’re gone
It was all a dream

I promised to protect you
You promised not to run
I held the pain you gave me
You said
Be strong, it won’t be long
But when I fell and begged for mercy
That you wouldn’t do
Because the pain i asked you to hold for me
Was just too heavy for you.

So last night we danced together
One last time
To our song
And you said you’d always love me
But what we had was gone
So my love, forever, I’ll hold you
In the space where we first met
And I’ll try to become a better man
Who you’re trying to forget

I sit here with my darkness
If it’s all I’m meant to be
At least this sucking bleeding pain
Is familiar to me
I’m sifting through the carnage
Its heavier than before
Was it ever better?
It doesn’t matter anymore .

Now these memories of you and I
Are like weeping child
Watching his mother die

Like a wasted hope
Or a wasted plan
For a wasted life
By a wasted man

Author Statement

Depression, shame, loss, coping.

Jay C, Canada
June 29, 2022

The Gatehouse