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The Gatehouse, Author at Global Poetry Movement

Written by: The Gatehouse

Gall

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.

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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

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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?
LIVE LAUGH LOVE
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.

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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
Help
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.

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S.W., Canada
 · 
July 2, 2022

Barter

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.

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Michele Dickson, Canada
 · 
July 1, 2022

Wasted

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
Together...
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.

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Jay C, Canada
 · 
June 29, 2022

Marry the Words

If I could tell you
marry the words
match the soul void
If only…

Why do you pull away
suddenly?
Shrink from my touch
love?

If you could just see
Read my lips
see my soul cry
for love…

Where did you go, my love,
Once more ‘gain?
Shrink a-way from
love?

If I could just say
the right words
It’s not me and
neither you

Together
each alone
wondering why
both searching for something better.
That’s the strength
of our
Love

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James Buffin, Canada
 · 
June 24, 2022
Featured Image

Shame

For more art, see @ukcanjamz

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ukcanjamz, Canada
 · 
June 23, 2022

Lightning

If I am struck down,
let it be by a thought so magnificent
it changes the shape and texture
of the universe;

If I am broken,
let be under the weight of the words
of a poet overcome by passion
and madness;

If I change,
let it be because I am evolving,
not because I’ve been trodden upon
or defeated;

If I am to be saved,
let it be by that which is
in me;

Let it be that inchoate song
that swells and strikes my heart
like lightning.

Author Statement

I was in a place of sadness and hurt (experiencing an emotional breakdown) when I wrote this poem. I wished dearly that the source of hurt I was feeling wasn’t the harmful/crippling things inflicted upon me by others–that I could, instead, be preoccupied with things that moved and inspired me. I supposed it could be likened to the difference between growing pains and pain that’s inflicted with malicious intent..? At the same time, I wished to be strong enough to overcome the things weighing down my soul. I have never had anyone I could rely on emotionally so it was, and remains, very important to me that I be the source of my own strength. At the time, I wasn’t sure I had it in me. This poem was a prayer of sorts… or at the very least, a very strong wish to persevere.

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T.R.M., United States
 · 
June 23, 2022

Silent Suffering

The constant shame and self-judgement.
The many times I tried to tell someone and froze.
Feeling like I was a target for abuse to happen. What had I done to cause it?
My innocence was lost. Who would love someone like me?
Plagued by feelings of unworthiness.
Existing for others and never for myself.
Feeling lost, alone, unseen.
My true self hides in the shadows no more.

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MB, Canada
 · 
June 22, 2022

The Gatehouse