poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Alone in Autism

It could be said that your little neurons
are short circuiting,
that your chromosome anomaly may not
be related,
and you just might be the most perfectly
beautiful person on the planet,
but your conception to say the least,
was not immaculate.
Your wires don't connect,
the earth's sounds,  too profound;
sudden changes make you sick
and the anxiety you eject
is mistaken
for just a tantruming brat.
DAN! Doc says you're full of poison,
that mercury migrates
from your toes to your hair
and you need a seven-year flushing,
but chelation is pricey
and I still don't understand
all your fussing.
I'd want to go back;
steal the vaccines, contaminated
and your poor black eyes that glaciated.
I would try
just to see if you'd be different.
I'd shut the world down for you boy,
bind and gag the clones
of Charlie Brown's teacher,
suffocate the horns and sirens,
and the distracting roar of monstrous appliances.
I'd paint the sky
with coal
if the lights were too bright
and give you a hundred flashlights if you get scared.
I'd want to buy you one of those healing dogs
that would cost a many thousand.  
Bet you'd love that.
I'd feed you chicken and fries,
chicken and fries
     chicken  a-n-d  fries,
for the rest of your life while you sing it
over and over in the tune of "Jingle Bells".
If I could, I'd change my name to Mother Nature
and keep your favourite season for all your days.
No more flip flops one day, boots the next-
here's a sweater, and some long, long socks, no...
I think you should wear shorts,
or wait...
you can't ride your bike today, it's raining!
Isn't it just when you figure it out, it changes again?
I'd painlessly pull out your teeth
so you wouldn't have to endure
the spicy taste of paste
or the distressing shocks of a toothbrush.
I'd give you "bald is beautiful" medicine so you'd
at the hands of a hairdresser again
as razorblade prickles stick to your neck.
I'd rid the earth of all the bees and mosquitos that stalk you
so you'll never have to lock yourself inside,
so you'd never have to cry.
You'd never be set apart in school or have to look another teacher in the eye,
or be threatened that you'll be late for recess if you don't hurry up and do your printing!
I'll come with you
to see the icy rings of Saturn and you'll see
just how small is Pluto,
and that ship you talk about that would keep you warm there,
you will build it.
I just wish I could let you sit in the basement
all day with lego
without feeling like you're missing out
on more important things...
There is no Rainman.
There is you, just a boy
in a world that is strange,
sitting on a spectrum of your own personal genius.
You introduced me to this world,
I don't understand it
and I am afraid.
I am alone with you my son
but I will never let go.
I hate Autism.
But I love you.

For Damian.

I'd like to give a huge thank you to all who have commented on this poem.  
I had no idea it would receive so much interest or empathy.  I love my son dearly, and this means so much.  
Thank you again to those who gave helpful suggestions in making this a better poem.


28 Sep 06

Rated 8.2 (7.8) by 25 users.
Active (25): 1, 1, 2, 5, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (25): 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(16 more poems by this author)

(20 users consider this poem a favorite)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


ends kind of suddenly.  
 — SteelAngel

Although I typically dismiss rants and self-therapy releases put up to critical boards,
and although this is not yet a poem... the topic is worthy.  You know about what you write about.  By time and by discarding most of the text, you can make a good poem of this: one with a sensitive social message.    For starters, I suggest discarding the H word from the title.  It ruins by prescendence, the H word in L1.   The finish of your poem is where the poem begins.  That's where you might want to work from.  Either as the beginning for the poem, or keep it--for the finish, but make all else of that quality.

Line breaks make imports. For instance:

My son--I would take you
just to go see
the icy rings around Saturn
 — netskyIam

I can't spell "precedence".  my bad.  Sorry.
 — netskyIam

thank you kindly
 — unknown

Your new title is perfect! I see new changes in the poem.  Great!  You are making it so much better.  Understate--insinuate when that's possible.   Avoid where you can (emotionally, this is hard, I understand) the heavy pronouncments--like: "I will load my weapons once again--- (anywho, how would loading your metphorical "weapons" empower you to take the child on a metaphorical trip to see the icy rings?  See, it's sort of a heavy, maladroit mix of metaphor.  
I know you are going to make this poem outstanding.  I see how you think.
The trap, for all of us who may be so deeply enmeshed in a particular topic...
how to step out and see it as a disinterested reader?   Your job is not to plaint to the world, but to charm-to-empathy, all readers who may find their way to this poem.
Catch the essences of the topic.   Rope in the reader, to be one with you.

Kind regards,
 — netskyIam

I am grateful, Reid.
I have decided that yes, in time, this will transform into a meaningful poem...funny, when I was writing it last night I hated a lot of things, I didn't care about poetry, I deleted all my poems, didn't want this one to be beautiful, just wanted to be ugly, angry, and sad, as you can see from the ranting in this.  I am happy you mentioned the title change, I saw your point exactly, glad you like the new one and the little changes so far.
Thanks for not throwing poop at me for this (I know how people hate these rants here, so I was expecting the apes).  

Kind returns,
 — unknown

Of course this is poetry... very good poetry.
 — aforbing

This is so beautiful and you can really tell the love you have for your son.
 — MaryH

This is the first autism piece that speaks of the hearing being so sensitive that it makes it painful to be alive.  It's normal to feel guilt but use that energy in getting help.  There was a girl who wrote in Readers Digest about how she had to block out the world because she hurt from sounds.  A doctor in Europe did something that helped regulate it and she went to college, lives on her own, things are much, much better.

God bless your child.
 — Isabelle5

Thanks to all of you for your comments, brings tears to my eyes...again!
 — jenakajoffer

This is far from a rant.  This is a beautiful, heartfelt poem.
 — unknown

this is so moving, i think i might cry...
didn't you have more poems before?
i really liked family event log, where did it go?
also, this IS poetry, and noone should have to feel alone.
Thank-you for writing.
 — unknown

well the intention is sincere the rest is goo goo ga ga. I am sure if you condensed it into a 4 line piece of wisdom the effect would be better.
 — unknown

I did have poems here.  I hate them all, so I took them down.

I don't expect anyone to understand in real life, so I don't expect it here. Googoogaga...yeah.
 — jenakajoffer

Maybe a counselor would be a better person to seek understanding from, rather than a group of poets and critics.
 — unknown

I am sorry for my remarks here, it's not like me to be so defensive.  You are right.  
 — jenakajoffer

what a good oem - straight from the heart - never underestimate the power of the heart.
 — opal

oem =poem !
 — opal

I disagree- this IS poetry.  
I should consider placing this in an anthology or mag that is likely to reach people in similar circumstances as it would be helpful.
If you wish to write on this subject for generic audiences wait till you are ready to be  educative.  Inevitably this will come with time.
Make sure you have respite and time to keep yourself active and interested apart from you child.  Within the limits of his condition he will be content but if you are depressed or unfulfilled you will not be able to stay the distance.
Good Luck  There are many in the same boat and it is they that will help you gain perspective, after anger and blame come acceptance  
 — tanamac

great awesome orginiality
 — lanezfairy

These words are poetry.

Bad Poetry.

But who really cares? I empathize with your situation. Autism is an alternate reality and the shame is that we don't know how to join.

I remember seeing him with his legos. Loved the damn blocks. He would arrange them in such order. He wasn't an engineer, just a poet. I saw it when the blocks crashed after barely touching the ceiling. He would build his smile again in the plastic of red, blue, yellow, and green. I was certain of it.

And puzzles, well, he would kick me out of the way and finish the puzzle in half the time I could. Cocky little shithead.
 — bologna

"unknowns", Isabelle, opal, tanamac, lanezfairy:
Thank you so much for your comforting words.  I would like people to know that I did not post this for understanding, or sympathy.  I just wanted to share my feelings through these words for others who may relate and/or endure similar challenges.  I am very touched, however, by the lovely responses. I have known of my son's Autism for nearly 3yrs, but I went to a support meeting the night I wrote this where a boy with ASD did a presention.   I felt like I just found out all over again.  It was overwhelming, so thank you all for reading.
Bologna, I appreciate your opinion, and your story, thank you.

 — unknown

L28-31 are outstanding, wonderfully visual.  Mentioning outerspace in an Autism peice is metaphorically genial.  (my twin nephews are autistic, neither speak.)
 — underdog

you ahave made me cry,guess that means you did your job.  
 — unknown

I don't really know what defines a poem but this talks to me in ...hell i don't know what to say, except peace and love to you.
 — unknown

It's educational, but not very good in places. It reads like you would destroy life so your son could feel better. That's over the top. Getting rid of all the bees...there goes many flowers too. Does he enjoy flowers?
I think I may be partially autistic after going through some awful abuses and illnesses. I had sounds get so agonizing after being basically poisoned smoking moldy pot and it sounded like a stadium full of people was yelling at me for almost a week. It hurt unbelievably to not be able to get away in my apartment from the road noise, etc. I'm sober 3+ years but it took that to be. Anyways, something was a presence while I suffered and it seemed to coordinate the experience. It brought up every single experience, it seemed, of suffering I hadn't gotten over and cleared me. When it was done- the massive catharsis, it said you're clear. It was so strange and violating but life-changing, and seemed extraterrestrial. And no, not insane although I agree it sounds like it perhaps. I didn't lose sense of my right and wrong actions or go into delusional choices or anything.
There's a woman named Temple Grandin who is autistic and researches ways to help animals amidst farming conditions and slaughterhouses. She uses a device at home that places pressure on her head for several minutes that makes her feel better. I want that too at times.
I get you about the medications and contaminated synthesized things like some vaccines. There is good that can come of bad though so please don't dam good things just because they frighten or protect themselves, and try to mature your perspective on such. We are in many aspects of war with things hardly understood, good and evil that manifest through humans and others, and I appreciate your awakening rebelliousness. This poem needs time and less opposites of love and hate. My autistic-like states have helped me discover things that have long been hidden, and his may also do great good and he may have karmas etc to balance. Sorry though. Have good faith to your best.  
 — C

I'm just thinking about it though and I can only imagine how much agony he and others are in. It's a good cue to make things less noisy. I live in an apt and people feel it's their right to play loud music, bass, stomp on upstairs floors, slam doors, speed by outside, etc.- all lacking good humble graces- and when I kindly ask that it be adjusted to nondisturbing levels, I get told I'm too sensitive, ridiculed, hated, etc. The native americans were said to be very quiet normally and I wish for such serenity socially. Things people truly love are not usually blasted and done over the top so it's sort of acting out bad rebellion-destructiveness. They need to especially consider people like your son far better.
 — C

We all would be wise to. (It reminds me of cetaceans being deluged with the agonizing navy sonar.)
 — C

Thank you Caustic for sharing that.  Although i didn't really understand what made you better.  I was reassured in your mentioning of Temple, and quite touched by your shared experiences.
I understand when you say that ridding the bees would rid us of some flowers, but who cares?  I know this "poem" is over the top, but i cannot do these things in the real world so I found a way to do it through writing.  There is no need to think of right or wrong, or consequences, or logic; that is why most of us write.  It frees us from the barriers, from judgement, from normalcy.  Also, I wasn't damning things like vaccines, I was just wanting to take them back, from my son specifically, as if I could do a trial to see if he never got the MMR, (the most controversial with Therimisol poisoning from 1997-2001), would he be different.  Besides, almost all parents with kids with ASD wonder the same thing.  
I know that a few of you have mentioned that this poem needs time and maturity, but I must disagree.  I know that this is raw and amplified, but that's where we are.  In time, and with maturity of myself and my son, I will write an altogether different poem.  One that is placid, understated, sensitive and wise, I'm sure.  We are not there yet.  What a shame it would be to wait until we have all the answers before we write...we would miss out on all the heartfelt emotion and grit that makes us human.
I am very touched by your comments and kind words, and hope you know what I mean in this post, that I'm not being argumentative =)
All the best
 — jenakajoffer

and did you know that i had to rewrite that comment three friggin times because I took too long, and I was booted??  How annoying!!  I hope it still says what I originally intended.  ;-)
 — jenakajoffer

i only wish i could wirte with as much passion. this is amazing
 — unknown

"write" -
 — unknown

I don't understand why it isn't a poem......? it IS surely!  It's wonderful, so passionate, I feel completely moved by it.  The only thing, I'm not sure I like the ending, but also not sure how u would change it, sorry for not being much help!!! maybe just finish at line 63?? I don't know.  

Anyway, very very good.  Truthful, from the heart.
 — HollyB

passion alone is the greatest form of poetry there is. don't get rid of this poem, it's good.
 — unknown

I just commented on your other poem, and I must say, what a dramatic extreme of emotion you are sharing.
Now you've stirred empathy in me, and I'm a little sad.
That's some darn good writing!
I think I'll re-read the other again (to perk me back up).
 — unknown

Dear unknown (s), thank you.  I had quite a few poems up before I wrote this, and because I was so absorbed by my emotions that night, I deleted all the others since they seemed so meaningless compared to what I was feeling at the time.  Now, I think I want to turn over a new leaf, and write about other things, in other ways.  Thank you so much for your comments.
 — unknown

I get it Jen, but it sucks when others don't and they go out and do harm based on what one writes or gives otherwise as example. (*There are a lot of teens on this site who may act out due to inexperience, etc.) A yellow jacket came and gave me a deeper lesson after I wrote to you. It was cold and cloudy--sound was "louder". It buzzed my ear a little too long and I started to get where you are coming from more fully. When one really suffers, everything seems to lose its value but try not to forget, and you'll have to walk back through your attitudes and choices in this life and beyond (karmically). What the heck is Caustic for?! C is for clair-voyant, sentient, audient, the sea, psy (si), etc. I get the feeling some of these commenters are pumping you, and I agree it isn't good living when one is being too self-censored. I got booted too. Thank you for caring and persevering. Good autumn to you two.
 — unknown

Actually, I just read it again and it's pretty great and educational. -C
 — unknown

Sorry C, I had your name confused with someone else.  I guess I do see what you mean about impressionism, but geez, we can't be responsible for other people's insanity or depression. I don't know how old you are, but when I was a teenager I remember some family trying to blame a metal band for their kids' suicide...same idea but it's BS.  Your bee episode was interesting, and thank you for knowing what I mean in this poem.  My kids and I were outside last night before bed, and my son saw this moth, and boy did he watch it.  He was so engrossed, it seemed a car could come racing down the road, and he wouldn't even sense it.  He told me it was not a bee, just a moth, and carried on playing.
So, how do you know your sensitive tendencies are Autistic-like?  It freaks me out when people know a little about Autism, because I'm usually always explaining it to everyone, sometimes it's hard to do, people just don't know about it.  YET.
Thank you for caring.  
Red and Gold Regards to you too,
 — jenakajoffer

I was raised Christian and while some of its beliefs are a bit shallow and other things completely missing, such as chi, auras, etc., I do very much believe in being "one's brother's keeper", notwithstanding the uni-sexism of the printed (translated) words. I do think a metal band is partly repsonsible if they put out something that doesn't look out enough for those who would hear it. (The adults who have dealt them in and others though much moreso in most cases.)  Divide and conquer is one of the simplest, easiest ways we are turned and used against one another, whether it's hidden psychic influences of evil and worser elementals or humans for profit by pushing vaccines with terrible side-effects and questionable bases, their impatience masquerading as hyper-altruism, etc. Our whole world is sick with such overlooking, undersensing, and denials, and when people come back around, they have the karma of not being looked out for also.
 — C

You're welcome for the care. ("True love comes with understanding.") Have a good one! What do red and gold regards signify? Oh and also with C, I believe that people come from different sort of people-hoods spiritually--it's not a belief but something I have witnessed and am trying to comprehend. I used to go by seatree, like all the sea creatures in human form (totem-wise) are together in a way such as in speaking for the oceans or having certain stronger qualities. And when karma from one's deeds comes back, it may not hit one 'til later but it will often affect one's available brothers and sisters very soon after. We're all connected- the whole world and many worlds. All the Christian tenets of forgiveness, etc., Indian ones of karma, shintoism, Buddhism, etc. all the pieces of the puzzle deeply matter if one wants a good existence. The Aussie (Gondwana)aborigines teach we are all learning to survive in infinity.
 — C

Thank you about the moth. Wonderful and if others eat his favorite shirt, maybe he can forgive better, as he would truly I believe in his real heart want to be forgiven by the bees, and they by him.
 — C

Excuse me for the lengthiness. I just want to add that I'm not communicating as some all-out superior-like, but from experience. I intro'ed my brother to marijuana and other bad examples, not terrible but not good enough for what I would want for him and me if I could have seen from now. He got mentally ill and committed suicide. He was in hospitals where they excess drugged him, etc. which later, duh, was found to possibly contribute to suicide. I then went through almost the same things. The same number of hospital stays, the waking nightmares like he had as a kid, etc. It wasn't an exact repeat. I started saying no to the mental drugs, etc. and doing it natural and listening to better guidance, but there was an attonement karmically that I had imposed with the opportunity to get through and he also from other lifetimes, etc. Being possibly forever is a different approach than one life-mindedness. Every matter. That's why mastery is really significant, and what they teach, but so is spontaneity, innocence, etc-people being "fallen" take son a different look in such light. Just don't let the intensity get away and turned too much, etc. It's a hard journey back, but I hear you are on the right path.
 — C

(takes on)
 — C

and certainly not every time a bee comes around is it being guided goodly either...
 — C

I sent red and gold regards since you had wished us a good autumn, sorry if I confused you.  I'm sorry to hear of your brother.  You sound very much like my own brother by the way you speak (write).  He is bi-polar, and didn't know, but we think it was his meth experience that brought it on, and he got pretty ill.  He explained a lot of things to do with Karma and Infinity, and some other things I couldn't really comprehend.  I'm just telling you how I'm reminded, so I hope you are not offended (by the ill part).
My son's Autism isn't soley based around sensory issues, although I touched on it with indulgence in the poem.  Transitions and fixations, concentration and comprehension are very difficult, as is printing, cutting with scissors and stuff.  Once he thinks we are doing something, he holds on to it like its an oath, so heaven forbid any plans change.  Which, because this is the real world, they change all the time, even tho I try to accomodate him as much as possible.  He thought we were going to the Fair after school yesterday, so when I told him it was tomorrow, he FREAKED.  
Anyway, I'm glad you changed your mind about the poem and feel it is somewhat educational, though I hadn't meant it to be at the time.  I didn't know what it would be.  Ha, so...enjoy the leaves.
 — jenakajoffer

Please don't get rid of it. I went to highschool with a not-so severe autistic child and these days I work with a couple who are more greatly affected. On so many levels, this touched me. Think it speaks of the conflict that all parents with autistic children experience. I could go on, but I think I'd digress into verbal diarrhoa and you don't need that. Just know that it already does mean much to someone besides you. [Rainman had Aspergers, from memory... still, autism, but with more functionality, generally]
 — ashriel

Thank you ashriel, I don't think I'll get rid of it.  In fact, I'm considering reposting my poem "mystical son", an autism peice of my son's infancy and toddlerhood.   He is almost 7 now.  I'm sure I'll continue writing as he grows.  Helps me to remember too, which is good.  It's so easy to forget little things when we are engrossed in our busy lives.  I hope to write a poem all about his successes one day soon.
 — jenakajoffer

This poem really touched me,Jen, Girl you've got SKILLS...
Im sure this poem will get threw to alot of peolpe on a deeper level,
Its screams of that perfect unconditional love a mother has for there child.
Honestly Im speechless, A+ poem!
 — eurobaby

Hi Jen, I see about the colors...Yes I was diagnosed bipolar before, but I've also been diagnosed various other things. I don't think the labels help much. I tried to take some medications and I believe they made my functioning tremendously worse, but my seersmanship is normally right on. If there were more upfront shamans and sages in our culture, they'd be forced not to put all-out diagnoses so easily on people who are clearly sane but suffering from getting "awakened". I don't make things up and I was trained scientifically. I'm a forerunner, but I had a brother who went into meth psychosis so I know what you mean also. Until one gets a hold of it and sees the truth from the psyching, it's a mess.  I don't expect one to get what I'm pointing out in the immediate- but it may contribute as time goes on...I have a job to do. (The better hidden folk keep me company, protect me, and give fair validation and support. I'm with the ancients, natives, and the spaces between that hold such promise of real truths. I was randomly psychic before I was sickened...But don't leave the latch open too long! Your bro might know what that means.) Smoky autumn happiness! PS: Fixations suck! Sorry to hear that. Evil entities fix me all the time and do various witchcraft. They do it to all of us but I'm very conscious of it. It's a trip. (Good hidden folk get our auras cleaned up though! Wish they could help more with him.)  
 — C

Dana, your comment gave me goosebumps!  Thank you so much!  

Hi C,
(get it? HiC? or maybe it's only in Canada...where are you in this world, geographically speaking?)
Thanks for sharing your "spirituality"...my sister always seemed so "out there" sometimes, over sensitive, lost in dreamland growing up, but really, she has some kind of ability to see things, sense things.  We had some very "strange" experiences with crystals, and "ghosts", and her room changing temperature so dramatically at night, accompanied by weird smells...then my brother having his "artistic" episode which nearly killed him.  As for me, I'm not a skeptic, but I'm quite unlike my siblings.  I think my son is a little like them, only he can't vocalize certain obscure or abstract thoughts as of yet.  He still understands concrete and logical answers/questions/solutions to his daily life.  But his memory is unbelievable.  As his communication skills continue to develop I'm finding out a lot about my son that I never knew, because he couldn't say what he was thinking.  It is miraculous how his little brain is opening up to the world.  He gets better all the time, but the challenges change and also get more intense as he gets older.  

Anyway, I talk too much-
so I'm going to go listen to the crunch of leaves under my feet.
Maybe I should write a poem about sounds, just sounds and how people hear them differently.  OR...maybe you could.
 — jenakajoffer

You're welcome. I'm in Northern CA. You?
Great to read about your sister, others, and you. It helps a lot to know I'm not alone. It's so easily forgotten. I sensed you were able to handle the mysteries. Sometimes people need a rock, a tree, or a stable less psychically-prone one to hug. Sometimes people need company who rights their sensitivites, from both perspectives. Too many ungrounded "psychics" is annoying and off-balance, but none is lost- and then people have to get sick, do drugs etc. to remember what is real and get righted on, etc. It's bothersome to see things that many have also seen but to be treated like it's made up, insane, etc. Seeing faeries and others is for real just like crystal and ghost mysteries. Maybe you could find one who knows where you are coming from even better like an autism support group?! I'm glad to give what I can--I think that's why I commented mostly...at least via the mysterious ways of my heart.
 — C

PS What does your name signify?
 — C

A brilliant poem.
 — stolen_kiss

Top rated!
 — Kellie_Fern

this piece is very moving... i'm sure i'm not the first to feel it, or say it.

a wonderful piece about a little-understood subject.
 — shakeit

Hi there C,
I live in a small town 2hrs north of Toronto, Ontario.  My name is Jen (also known as, aka, joffer, a nickname my bro gave me when we were kids.  It has confused many users here, I find that funny.  Someone thought I was "jerkoffer" haha!  Anyway, it is interesting to hear about others' strange, scary or amazing life experiences, yes.  Always nice to feel you're not alone, a battle we've been fighting for a few years, but now since I have the most beautiful, caring and wonderful people in my life, my struggles are lessening.  My children ARE happy, I am happy.  

My sister is expecting her first baby in January, and she asked me how she could make her child like Damian...I laughed, but she was serious.  She has an unbelievable connection with my son, like they share auras or something.  He has always felt safe with her since infancy, and he's almost 7 now.  Anyway, I joked and told her to possibly deprive her baby of oxygen during birth, then realized no...that would give her child palsy, so...the joke was over, but it was one of the most honouring things anyone ever said to me about him.

Glad to hear from you again, take care.
I truly am amazed at the responses to this poem, I had no idea it would affect anyone.  Mind blowing.
 — jenakajoffer

"Stolenkiss", "kelly", and shakeit", I am astounded by your responses, like I mentioned above.  It is you guys who made this the Top Rated poem, so thank you all.
I wish this thing had emoticons so I could insert a smiley with a tongue stickin' out!
 — jenakajoffer

this brought me to tears.

I was just watching the Autism Benefit on comedy central a little while ago and was thinking what a great cause it was.

you have a big heart.

best wishes
 — AtomBombJohn

  i am left speechless.

the world should read this poem.

Bless you.
 — unknown

Oh Jen...This is soooooooooooooooooo beautiful and sooooooooo heartfelt.  I absolutely LOVE this poem.  Thankyou for bringing me to it.  It's quality, it's passion, it's art, it's real.  I got a Kate Bush vibe off of it.  I don't know if you listen to Kate at all, but that's the feeling it gave me for some reason.  Her new CD, "Aerial" is fantastic and very "austistic" in its own right.  It's more than a "10."  It's a "30."  Keep on writing and keep on loving him.  He's your baby.   Sending my love from me to you too, Jen...Starr
 — starr

OMG!!!  It's the #1 poem!!!  Congratulations, JEN!!!  You deserve this honor!!!
 — starr

Jenn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [email protected]&n bsp; Drop a line and say hi sometime.  Love, Starr
 — starr

Starr, thank you!
What an amazing comment, it really lifted me since it was an emotionally draining day.
I'd like to hear this album, I'm interested in your reference to her and my poem, kinda cool.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this poem.
I continue to mention that I am still absolutely blown away at the responses here, and I thank you for reading, you have a kind heart Starr.
All the best to you,
 — jenakajoffer

Just a msg for a very early unknown,  
at least I can tell you now how much your comment means to me,
I just wish I could've known it was you when I was feeling so sorrowful at the time.
I also know why you mentioned Family Event Log, at least I think I know why.  Was it because that poem is so strong and enduring?  Wanted me to remind myself of my strength when I was feeling so defeated?
Well, I love you so much,
and I thank you for your continuous support.

also many thanks to the sweet words of Atombombjohn and the unknown after.

 — jenakajoffer


This is a commendable subject to take on in a poem, so my comments will not be directed to the this, only the form. My bluntness here is simply honesty, I read this as the Top Rated poem, wow – I can’t see why. It has attracted a lot of good commentary, which goes to show pick the right subject and you’ll get readers in – now your challenge is too listen to their advice and make the improvements – revise so that this deserves it top rating and can sustain it.

I don’t think opening with such a personal and bold statement is the best choice. To allow the reader to become enveloped in your view and engage with empathy you need first to tell the story, else the poem becomes a justification of the initial statement.

Also using rhetorical questions such as in L3 can leave a reader at a loss.

There are also components which, to the uneducated reader (me), require further explanation. E.g.  L6 ‘and the changes make you sick’ – what changes?

Without being too specific on the remainder, there is the opportunity to thin down on redundancies and selected word phrasings, making it an easier and perhaps more direct read. As it is, it lacks structure, almost rambling from one point to another in a seemingly unrelated fashion. There is a lot of ‘what you would do for him’ lines but a lot less ‘why’ lines.

Anyway to keep my comment brief, I’ll finish by re-stating the subject is commendable, and the content and structure require work, but I think it is worth spending the time on.
 — Nemesis

Thank you Nemisis,
Your points are extremely valid and explained clearly which helps me understand the reader.
I realize what you are saying, and I can see how someone may not know the "whys", so I would have to work extensively on this to provide a way to explain.
It might not be tomorrow, or next week, but I will think about this.
Like I mentioned before, way up there^, that it may be a different poem altogether.  There are many people who feel this and really like this the way it is, so I am reluctant to change it a whole lot.
Being top rated, well, I think any poem is worthy, to be honest, I guess it's more of what the people like reading.  
Believe me, I don't know much about poetry rules, so if that's how a poem should be rated, then yes, this and probably all my other poems should be somewhere else, but I can't help if people like it, you know?  And yer right, it's got a lot to do with subject matter.

I am much appreciative of your comments, and I do agree with most everything you said, about the construction of the poem etc..
I just don't know if I can go there right now.
But you've given me insight to be a better writer.
Thank you
 — jenakajoffer

Your acceptance of criticism is gracious and a good example many others on this site could follow. I wish you the best of luck with revision to this or perhaps the creation another version / poem.
 — Nemesis

Wow, I'm taken aback to read your son's name. The name, Damian, actually is akin to demon or devil-- I'm not sure what language originally. Matt Damon, the actor, has taken roles as a fallen angel and his friend, Ben Affleck, with him and in the movie Daredevil. Some parallels that are pretty undeniable, but they've had somewhat better-natured roles too, like Good Will Hunting. I knew a guy in AZ named Damian and the guy was one of the most Satanic Christians I have ever met. You seem like a good person but the name and choice make me wonder. If I may ask, why did you choose it? Oftentimes, people are good as personalities but have sinister independent inner selves. I once had a friend spring out of his head in a lucid before sleep-state after we'd passed out  and try to attack me. It was vampiric-like. We both woke shocked at the same instant! He was diagnosed with ADD as a child and did all sorts of very bad things, according to him. He has to fight it constantly and self-medicate with drugs, legal and otherwise. I had to stop being around him because his vibes and unconscious inner promptings were getting me hurt and distracted when we were doing outdoor adventures, etc.
 — C

My nephew is on 'the spectrum'. He is going through puberty - its different again.
 — unknown

I was afraid when I pondered his name before he was born, that people would resort to The Omen in reference and make stupid jokes, like hopefully he doesn't live up to his name, etc...then I thought, I don't care.
Damian, is a greek word that means "to soothe, to tame".
Daemon, and other variants mean "spirit".
Damien with the "e" is how it's spelled in the omen,
I love this handsome name, and tried to avoid the stigmas as much as possible when I chose it.
So, there ya go...he's no devil, in fact, he's an angel, and not fallen, never will.
Thanks for poppin' in with the comment
 — unknown

Unknown, thanks for sharing that, we all know how difficult puberty is, and I've been informed how much more intense it can be for these kids.  I hope I have lots of strength by the time he hits his teen years, I worry that I'll be burned out!
 — unknown

Catholics have a patron saint called Damian.
 — unknown

Well of course, I can tell you're autistic. You can't write poetry. I like line 36 though, 10 out of 10!
 — Henry

This poem reminds me of suck.  10/10
 — Borat

rating schmating...
check this out:
"drink a lot of..."  13 oct 06 --1 user considers this a favourite
"stone soup"  12 oct 06 --3
"reflections"  12 may 06 --3
"broken sig."  15 aug 06 --4
"morn-dried.."  26 jun 05 --4
"anytime..."  10 sep 06 --5
"lingering..."  10 feb 06 --7
"anatomy..."  29 jun 06 --8
"elizabeth..." 5 sep 06 --9
"equilibrium..." 17 apr 06 --11
"old man"  21 jul 04 --16
"letter..."  19 aug 06 --25
"alone in autism" 28 sep 06 --10

i'm'a thinkin' y'all're purdy
durn close t'bein' done
tinkerin' with this gizmoid...

 — chuckles

Being able to write poetry or not has nothing to do with being Autistic, silly Henry.

c, I don't understand your comment, and how it has anything to do with this.
Lots of people get sick of seeing the same poem on the top rated lists.  
I do not care either way.
I do, however, get happy inside when a poem I really like is up there, because then it's easy to find.

My skin can be thick here, but this poem makes me a little more vulnerable, so it would be nice if it disappeared into the random lists, to not be chewed up anymore.
 — jenakajoffer

Father Damian also helped save the people suffering from leprosy in Molokai, Hawaii.
Damian was also the twin of Saint Cosmas, who, as a physician accepted no payment and led many to Christ. He became the patron saint of barbers, physicians/surgeons and the blind.
 — jenakajoffer

I understand. My brother has Down Syndrom, and I know that my mother would go to hell and back again if it would benefit him in the slightest way. I became teary eyed in a noisy computer lab full of students hammering away on keyboards when I read it.
 — unknown

your comment is heartfelt, thank you so much.
Best wishes for your family.
 — jenakajoffer

this is unbelieveably good, one of the best i've ever read on this site
amazingly done.
 — unknown

Well, I have thought about how the intro to this was a little overstated, and read it many times over without it, and I liked it better.  I also thought maybe it did need a little more explaination without becoming sterile, so I made changes in the intro, and shifted a couple lines around throughout.
Continued thanks to Reid, Nemesis and C.
 — jenakajoffer

 — mejustme

wow this poem is so beautiful
what a powerful message!
 — unknown

The feelings are so deeply felt and expressed with such insight (no pun intended) this poem is love. How could it be anything but beautiful. I truly appreciate your passionate use of loving thoughts. Thanks.
 — www922

Thank you all so much, your messages are very touching.
 — jenakajoffer

Thank you Jen. I am finally back after some difficult times, which involved if you can believe, a mover named Damian! He was very soothing, awesomely good, and kind, and I have a larger, saner-differentiated perspective now. Not clearly knowing my in-the moment guidance good enough to believe in and rely on it, I failed many times and reverted to total rejections of people named Damien and Damian. I didn't know of the different spellings/meanings and it's an ongoing lesson. Special and wonderful was your reply! An intelligent and mystical lesson has helped and you were p(art) of it. Sounds like great courage, independence, and honest love. Please excuse my ignorance and sorry it required so long. Merry Christmas and a joyfully good-spirited December!  -C
 — unknown

Hi again C,
Thanks for coming back.  I'm sorry to hear of your "times" and hope that strife has since ceased for you.  Pretty neat little bit there about the name who helped you recently.  Damian is extremely soothing.  I'm quite taken by the fact that I was p(art) of any lesson you might have learned, but if that's so then I'm happy I helped in any way.  Kinda weird thinking that but that's ok.  I made some changes to this poem while you were gone, the whole beginning is different as I took some advice and tried understating a little more.  I'd like to hear what you think now if you visit again.
Thank you so much for your kind message, I wish you as well a lovely Christmas and nice vibes thru the New Year.
 — jenakajoffer

This is an absolutley beautiful poem!  Makes me think about loving in enormous ways adn all the different situations people have.  Thankyou for sharing this.
 — unknown

It's such a good poem--your retouchings have made it mark well in minds.
 — netskyIam

You really make a person feel what your feeling here.
Did you cry when you wrote it because I sure felt like I might.
Beautiful poem.
 — porgie

Hi netsky, thanks so much for returning.  You helped me a lot with this, training my brain to think differently; from a different point of view.
Thank you!

Unknown, I thank you for your generous comments.
Thank you porg, yes I cried but only during the original.  
This has been tweaked since.
Happy you like.
 — jenakajoffer

the cool thing is the edge you've put on it, like he's not this holy thing, he's this real beautiful kid of yours who's a holy thing and has these special cases. and this makes him like all our kids, only more so, and it's not a me-sad thing reading this, it's a universal, and it takes me right into raising my daughter and all of her special beings, and she was only uncomfortable for the first three years, not like Damian. i like it as a poem, because the words stream out through the pastry tube into a pattern, and the pattern is occillating in that way that kids do, and i'm inducted into your world of how you feel, not how i feel about you. very satisfying and universal poem.
 — mikebauer

You really need to capitalize 'love' at the end? Makes it sound corny in my opinion. I suggest don't capitalize it :)

Great poem by the way.
 — DeathShards

Thanks kindly mike,  for the nice comments.
Deathshards, thanks for reading as well.
 — jenakajoffer

Jen, again you put across the world of autism like no other. Reading this poem has actually helped me understand my people more. The sensitive hearing issue for a start, that would explain why one of my people screams incessantly if we drop a fork or something. As well as being extremely educational and insightful this is an excellent poem. It is written from your heart but gives no inkling of self pity.
I would like to copy this and take it into work to give my colleagues some fresh insight if that's ok?
 — marieF

L82 my fave by the way
 — marieF

Lastly, for me could you explain the 7 year flushing and chelation? Please.
 — marieF

Lastly again lol. The vaccines contaminated? Is it the mmr vaccine that caused this, is that what you mean?
 — marieF

Hi marie,
To answer your question, DAN! (defeat autism now) is a study of doctors who believe autism is treatable with biomedical intervention (heavy doses of vitamins, diet change, immune system boosting and
Chelation; removing harmful poisons in the body (my son's test came back with horrific levels of mercury, it's done on the hair but not always perfectly accurate).  For kids, a cream base is made up, rubbed on their back at bedtime, they pee in the morning, you take a sample and have it tested to see if any toxins are present.  A 7 year flushing would be just that; he's 7yrs old now and would need to be flushed out.  Like the poem says, a tiny jar of this chelation cream is about $400 american.  The biggest thing, is that it's mostly trial and error so lots of money for these treatments.  
I'm a single mother of two and I don't work...I don't have that kind of dough. =-)

The mmr is the biggest controversy as therimisol (spelled it wrong prob), is a preservative for vaccines, containing mostly mercury and was used all over north america from about 1994-2001 or something like that.
It's hard to tell if the mmr was Damian's culprit, it could have been, but he also has a chromosome anomaly... but again, they have no idea if that has anything to do with his autism.  I guess the strangest thing is that he's so beautiful, inside and out that it seems odd that he'd have so many genetic/neurological differences.

It's taken a long time to understand this little boy, to not think he's spoiled for all the little complaints.  We learn to compromise,  to fit him in comfortably.  Like if it's raining, just give the kid an umbrella instead of fighting with him to the car that he'll dry off soon, it's not worth it.

I'm so flattered by your comments, my heart warms with compassion and understanding.  It means so much to me as well to be able to answer questions like this.  
Thank you so much.  
I would be honoured if you took this poem to work with you.
(i apologize for this lengthy response!!)

sincerely yours,
 — unknown

also marie,
I feel terrible that you have had to post all your poems as unknown.  I hope you will be able to return soon.  I have tried to find you several times but impossible now.  Please consider emailing me to give me the titles of your poems.  
I would love to read more from you.

Have a very happy new year!
Love and happiness,
 — unknown

poetry in it's true sense, heart felt and expressive
 — Dipsey

whatever. the kid's retarded. get over it, it happens to a good percentage of the population and always has.
 — unknown

wouldn't you make a good asphalt additive for a parking lot at shriners?
 — mikebauer

jen, don't let some stupid unknown get under your skin.  That comment is just immature and sick.
WE know better.
This deserves to be top rated, it's one of the most beautiful poems in PC.
You ARE amazing.
 — unknown

Yes, you sad delusional person, you think you're so much more intelligent because you're compassionate and can't accept reality. YOU know the fucking truth, don't you? You wrote a poem about a "sensitive" subject. That's the only reason it's rated so highly. The poem really has very little artistic merit, but no one's chosen to acknowledge that fact because they all probably think that doing so would ruin their compassionate, optimistic outlooks.
Just because you wrote a poem that makes soccer moms weep about the poor retarded children in the world doesn't mean that it's decent poetry.
 — unknown

This has the feeling of the mother and son in it, and the poem moves back and forth with them in a way that feels the love and truth that being alive is good. It is very intellegent and very intelligent writing. She is showing us things that most of us haven't felt.

Someone suggested you, Unknown, should park cars at Shriners Childrens Hospital. I think that you should never be allowed to be around any children.

Here, in Western Samoa, the New Year has not started. Happy New Year to you. You must be full of New Year Cheer from yesterday.
 — unknown

That shows how much you know. No one said I should park cars. Perhaps if you had any sign of intelligence about you, you would have realized that.

Thank you for proving my point.
 — unknown

Well, Sir, you are not alone in showing your resentments and needs. Many people would like very much to be loved and cared for by someone like this author. It is an oblique way that you have of asking, Sir, but thank you for reaching out.
 — unknown

aww thank you Dipsey (that's a teletubby by the way, the green one...hehe).
Also to you d. and the last unknown there, whoever you nice people are, thanks so much, my goodness!
 — jenakajoffer

There is so much truth in this poem.

My cousin is autistic. He is 23 now. He hates brushing his teeth too. Loud noises upset him and routine is important.

It seems they are finally starting to aknowledge that autism is a fairly widespread problem. They are supposed to be committing a significant amount of money to do reasearch. Yes there is the theory that vaccines cause it.... but that has never been proven as far as I know it is still just a theory.
 — unknown

hi unknown,
thank you for reading and sharing that with me, also for your comments.

Luckily my son is very high functioning so although he is affected by all that is mentioned, he doesn't react as severly as you might imagine.  Mind you, he's getting better as he gets older.  When he was a toddler/preschooler he was "tormented" by everything.  I used to have to wrap him in a towel like a straight jacket to brush his teeth while he screamed and gagged.  It was terrible.  I stopped doing it out of sheer guilt and exhaustion and when he was 5 his teeth were all rotten.  At that time I had no idea he was Autistic.  I just thought he was a horrible, defiant child.  Imagine that guilt!  So glad that's over.
He brushes ok now, but still wines or cries from time to time.

Thanks again,
take care.

You are right, there is no proof of the vaccine/autism connection, it is only a theory.  
 — jenakajoffer

Powering the lights that are too bright and numerous is a significant part of what is polluting the sky with too much coal-burning and blocking out the subtler graces of the universe already. I'd say that this is great and it doesn't bore me even though it is long, but it's still not quite an artistic poem but an outreach and homage to your son's wounders, suffering, quirks and interestingness, and yours. I'd like to read it about a 15 to 20-line paragraph--all of this contained and alive but reduced subtly, (more soft-spokenly?) beautifully. Thank you for only wanting to target the bees and 'squitoes that stalk him. It's been a great time rescuing some from my mom's pool, following honeybee migrations in the local woods, and making up for spray-painting them as a boy. (Honeybees are endangered or close to it.) My dog eats every one he can catch and finds my pool-saving pursuits odd I think. Do you think Damian would like to see a handsome picture of a hive or would it freak him?
Sincerely, William
 — C

You've got plenty of coverage, and well deserved, on this work already.  So I'll restrict my comments to: in THIS piece, the rhythm is appropriate.  It instills the audience with feelings of longing and protectiveness.

Read "An Anthropologist on Mars" by Oliver Sack.  There's a chapter in there about an autistic-savant named Steven who can sketch incredibly elaborate drawings.  I think you'll enjoy it.

Lastly, I want at least one in-depth critique from you on a poem of mine.  No rush, though.
 — aurelius

This poem just amazed me. It's meaning is so profoundly stated.
 — SordidShade

Thank you William, for your visits.
I like your stories.  
Damian is actually interested in looking at bees, when they're dead.  He would probably enjoy seeing a hive.  What freaks him is the buzzing around him.  Where they live and what they work at is intriguing to him.
Thanks for asking.

One day, only someday will I be able to compose a 20 line "autism" poem.  
Many seem to want the same from this poem, but I'm not there yet, mentally, emotionally.  
You might have to stick around for awhile for that. =-)

Take care,
 — unknown

There's lots of comments here!  I agree… this poem is very pure.  I'm glad you've chosen to not be bothered by people who don't catch on.

“so it would be nice if it disappeared into the random lists, to not be chewed up anymore"
 — Infrangible

i understand why a lot of people feel for this. i do. i must confess i needed a break a little after the middle because the feelings are many, mostly sympathy but not a sentimental type. you really care for him, you must know this little star. (i just mean this in a way, where you must be proud to be related.) it doesn't need any suggestion at this point, just careful studying and a favorite. feels a little mainstream because the writing is a little normal and maybe the idea has been hinted at in the past, but the feeling is there and that is all it needs. plus careful handling which you do give it.

it is different and i care for it.
 — listen

Thank you ever so much listen.
This little star is my son.
 — jenakajoffer

Incase anyone who revisits from time to time, I posted a different version of this poem, (at the request of many commentors here).  
It has only half the anguish and no punctuation.  
I wanted to try something different.
 — jenakajoffer

Oh yeah...Jen, creamy and astral.  Just beautiful.  The newly revised is also of merit; just a DIFFERENT kind of merit because it's a different kind of beauty.  Don't let the haters bring u down.  Love your baby with all your might.  The "10" still stands.  Love, Starr
 — starr

Thank you Starr,
I would never let them bring me down.
Your words always leave me smiling.
 — jenakajoffer

A little note to C (William),
Damian has been talking of bees.  
He went on tonight about how a bee stung his little toe when he was 4 or 5...he remembered the exact blanket that it was trapped in on the couch that summer, when he wrapped himself up in it and was stung.  He described the cold cloth and asked if his toe was better yet.  Funny eh, all these years later.  
He has already questioned when Spring is coming, if the bees will be back.  He seems to associate the warm seasons with insects.  He says he hopes the snow never melts.
Thought I'd share that with you since you return from time to time.
Hope you are well,
 — jenakajoffer

 — unknown

What a very nice to say.  
I'm "unknowingly" touched and happy you like this poem so much.
 — jenakajoffer

nice. the concluding lines however while true are sorely lacking.
 — unknown

nice 'thing' to say, sorry 'bout sp.
 — jenakajoffer

the conclusion is sorely lacking what? the feel of poetry?
I know.  But it is what it is.  
thank you for your comment,
 — jenakajoffer

[Comment removed by moderator.]

 — jumpoline

heres a ten to neutralize the insulting troll's one.
I had not rated the poem before.  I have only one account.
The trolls maintain multiple accounts for list-bombing 1s.
Ah, well.  Whoever said life is fair?  You knew it wasn't,
even before your child was born, permanently innocent.
 — netskyIam

Thanks Reid,
you are too kind,
with a comment like that to boot,
my chest thumped a little heavier.
(you got me with "permanently innocent").
nice to hear from you.

I appreciate the read, jumpy. =-)
 — jenakajoffer

beautiful jen , i hope all is going well
Have a good weekend .
 — sir_I_clan

things are going well,
thanks so much for the kind words, that was really nice to come across,

I can only hope that one day I will not see my son go through the horror of a haircut, or myself to endure the stress and heartache that goes along with it.  
 — jenakajoffer