Stare, by Kay Channon

Stare
Where?
At my eyes, not my chair
Then maybe we’ll compare our differences there

Stare
It’s okay
Judgement is key
I can see it matters
Tell me, are your misconceptions shattered as I pick up the phone and speak so clearly?
Really?

Now I’m staring at you
Your eyebrows raised in a haze of confusion
Secretly glad I’ve broken your delusion
With my heart boldly beating
Your eyes retreating into astonishment

Stare
This mechanical body isn’t all of me
It’s greater than the sum of its parts
And charts a human heart with so many veins

The scars you seek are unchanged,
Unnamed, shamed by your unblinking eyes
Something you will never find beneath these clothes

Stare
All these expectations you seek
Lie secretly, at rest in my poetry
Waiting, wanting to break out

I run this race
A radical way-maker
Through the silence, refusing compliance
Standing still in a space where these slow sly stares can begin a conversation

..

Kay is a published Poet and Writer working on her PhD at the University of Chichester.
Her debut poetry collection The Dark Side of Light was published by Bardic Media in 2017 and is available from Amazon. Some of her more recent poems have been published online by the London Progressive Journal. You can follow her on Twitter @KayChannon

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Dis/Generation, by Kay Channon

For Ian and Louie

 

This poem was written to be read aloud

 

Picture a city
a very real city
a city of black and white stones

Smoke chokes the cars and buildings
unclear, unclean, impenetrable air
several clones drone around the alleyways
their melting metal surveying every civilian in the half dim light  

Inside a small flat on disbelief road
a young woman cries
wishing that dis/generation could be unified
She opens up her journal,
and begins to write…

It’s okay to stand on something more than two feet
because no matter what
there’s a beat on the street
and the people that you meet
may stare back in wonder,
but your body is your body
there’s no need to be sorry

They say disabled’s less than able
well that’s just a myth
as they try to define you by benefit’s bullshit,
as you drown in the paperwork
your hands get stiff
you get pulled down by gravity
fearing for your sanity

After a tick box tackle
you’re losing the battle
with no way to define yourself, without their babble
your brain it rattles, with painkillers and pills
getting frustrated when people say ‘You don’t look that ill’
don’t do it for the thrill, no matter which way you spin it,
I’m still here alive, wanna thrive, sometimes just wing it

May not know how to fix this, prejudice and hate
but the least we can do is remake the debate,
rise above the fake facts and shameless propaganda
because disabled lives matter, in spite of what you think
as a woman lays dying, unable to drink,
She’s not on the street, but trapped in her own home
as her life becomes a price tag, she is all alone

Three days later, she is found dead
her care too expensive – Well that’s what they said,
lying on my bed, I realise that could be me
a helpless victim,
of shameless Tory greed

Now do you see me, and not just a chair?
I hope that we can share a space of humanity,
and maybe in time,
wipe away this depravity

The capitalist culture that brings us down
must be questioned, as it threatens, anything profound
and we sink down, in the next big craze, the next must-have,
the next big save

The wars still rage, and children still die,
young people on the street, carry homemade knives
scared inside, that they might have to use them
a young boy on a bike, gets caught in the confusion

It ain’t no delusion, and soon there is blood,
his room is a hospital
without an operation,
they say movement is impossible

There is so much suffering, behind closed doors,
too many quick to tell you that you’re a lost cause
let’s put this rhyme on pause
and just think for a minute

As cut after cut becomes the norm and we are made to conform, no reforms,
at least not from those who wear a blue ribbon,
in this world, it’s one precious life that we’re given

Gonna break this rhythm,
scream and shout,
that I am me and believe in freedom,
no doubt

Where are all the women?
let’s hear your voice
as there are too many men
that don’t give us a choice

They think we’re here, to just play around,
to lie in bed with them
have sex with them, cook, clean, and dress for them
don’t be oppressed by them

We need to express that we are not a lesser gender,
and not lay down on our backs to surrender
to the sexist shit spat by Donald Trump,
or the racist hatred encouraged by the media
black or white, gotta fight, we are not inferior,
we won’t be shot down
by your negative criteria

We should live the lives we want,
even if they drop the bomb,
younger generations will thank us,
for standing up, being strong,

Wanna fight for the cause,
not just inside these four walls
because the poor get poorer
and the rich get more

All that I saw, in those three four years,
will be destroyed and forgotten,
that’s my worst fear,
the silence will control us, regulate us, and abort us
and people won’t see the selfish hate that destroyed us

As long as words are words
and hearts are hearts,
we can change the future
without falling apart
and today, right here,
we can make a new start

And because you’ve lent your ear
we can shed a tear
and move on and forward,
to a far better year

This poem may be ending
but I hope you’ll stand,
on the street with confidence
and make your plan

I realise that these words may be my only weapon,
but we have to speak out
so much has been threatened,

If you value your life
and trust me, you damn well should,
you must never let them tell you that you’re no good,
we will be understood,
we will make them listen
because no one wants to live,
behind the walls of a prison

Without any help
and without any care
in bed like a zombie
such treatment isn’t fair

Sometimes I despair, at the way society is going,
after I’m gone,
I hope that this rhythm
just keeps flowing
and helps to lay down the lines
of a much better place,
where a face on a banner
is just the beginning

Because we have the power,
to change in this hour
to hold our heads high
and have pride inside, our hearts still beating.

Kay Channon is a Poet, Writer, and PhD Student from Dorset (United Kingdom). Her debut poetry collection The Dark Side of Lightwas published by Bardic Media in 2017 and is available through Amazon.

She is currently focusing on her experiences of walking in nature using her wheelchair as part of her Doctoral research which she is undertaking at the University of Chichester in West Sussex. Some of her more recent poems have also been published online by theLondon Progressive Journal. You can follow her progress on Twitter: @KayChannon.