Friday, 26 June 2009

the jargon

the jargon

I’m registered blind
others like the words visually impaired
some prefer totally blind
the word blind is very final
people appear frightened of saying I’m blind
get embarrassed by words
but I’ve always faced it: blind
it’s not written on the face, but its part of life
there are occasions when trauma gets you
an old lady shouting across the road
is he blind?
people asking questions about you, talking over you
(I’m bloody blind, not deaf)
I can see a little, but not much
blurred, mist

word between
blind and stone blind
we’re all different love
you haven’t enough paper to write it all
everyone has individuality
if you term yourself disabled
people label you
disabled to the average person
nasty terms, offensive
we are disabled by society
certain government departments
things done down on Mercy Street
(more people are kind
than obnoxious)

visually impaired
a catch-all
some boys came and kicked
the stick out of my hand and said
now go look for it
unacceptable words
spastic mongol
it’s always interested me, the words
I am totally blind and
a spade’s a spade
an indicator cane
a symbol cane
a guide cane
a long cane
measure it from your foot to your breastbone
tap to either side or sweep
don’t trip your guide up
a cane with red and white stripes will tell you
the person carrying it is
blind and deaf

each one of us around this table
has our own opinion
was blind but now I see
blindness is used as a metaphor
glare and brightness
tinted glasses
the problem with language altogether
is the idea that language can describe perfectly
it’s merely pointing at some idea
just as blindness means absence of light
and darkness is scary
language is a difficult thing
and you are not being 100 percent scientific
when you use
the harbinger
of terrible things
blind beggar pew always bringing
the black spot

born blind
I went to the sunshine homes
went to boarding schools for the blind
I’m one of the few who can read Braille
colours mix with words for me
anger with red traffic lights
biggest problem with vision is
it’s so personal you can’t describe
what you can see and what you can’t
I don’t get any older
in the shaving mirror

wake up, feel depressed
stop feeling sorry for yourself
see a pin drop
there’s always someone worse off
see them kiddies in hospital
go through a grieving
lost vision
lost independence
some go through it a long time
the bitter twist
it fills a void
we are all learning
talking heads
that’s what we do
loss of eyesight is a great leveller
all the
way round

how small my disability is:
blind from the foot
to the top of the breastbone

how much can you see?

speak poem
June 2009

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