Thursday, 31 March 2011

Connect My Constellation

Introduction: The imagery for the following poem was inspired by the song 'Drops of Jupiter' by Train. It was written in our weekly Art Therapy sessions - in which I have written my favourite poems (my first ever 'Wayside', 'Swan Song' and my favourite yet, 'Connect My Constellation'). I was really chuffed that the other patients seemed to like it but I feel I could improve it... though I'm not sure how... Anyway I had quite a productive day today and wrote two poems: the following, and one that I will release on Mother's Day for reasons you will discover...
Personally, I love the bit about the snow globe, but maybe that's just me. The reason I am actually quite pleased with this poem, whereas I normally have to be urged by others to post them, is because (apparently) it brought a tear to the eyes of the person it is dedicated to. Don't get the wrong idea, she's a close friend (err I hope she'd say the same). Anyway, enough rambling, just one last thing: On our unit there are five of us who are good, close friends (err again I hope they'd say the same...), for the sake of confidentiality I'll give them codenames: Yumi, Mikli, Sage, Water & myself. Therefore I've decided, with their consent of course, to write a series of poems called '5 Friends', one dedicated to each of the other four. This will be the first of the series.

The meaning of the title of this poem is relatively simple: Despite probable general opinion, I believe Yumi just needs the right support and needs to turn just a few more corners to be able to move on from this horrible illness - Or, in other words, she needs just a few more stars to connect her entire constellation :) Moreover, she deserves to get better and I truly believe in her... okay, okay, I'll let up on the cheese-fest.

This is for you-me (hehe get it? Like Yumi? God, I make shit jokes...)



Mother moon has now trekked to the summit of sky,
Rubbing red eyes, she peers through my telescope:
A galaxy cradled in the arms of the gods,
"Is it named?" I answer, "It is called hope."

In the dungeons where knights of nightmare patrol,
I glance at a curious trinket.
Her delicate, ballerina music box,
The angels' tune gets me thinking.

Through the arch, stone of lime, lies a garden of pain.
She once picked a bouquet of tears.
Mother Nature, free man, will whisk her away
In a whistling wind, freedom's near.

In that cobweb-curtained china shop
She is the porcelain doll.
On the tip of her shelf, nails rust-ridden,
I'll try catch her each time she falls.

Her liberty is a Russian doll,
Heavenly hand-painted.
Hidden in the hearts of her bigger brethren,
Her body blemished, tainted.

Her paintbrush made of Milky Way,
Indigo smears of sky.
Those comets flare like fireworks,
If there's cause to celebrate, why?

She made a request,
A dim star's exclamation.
Head in hands, she said
"Connect my constellation."

A cosmic dot-to-dot
But unlike puzzle books
No answers crouch in back pages
For you to take a furtive look.

Her soul's like a snow globe
With it's tiny, glassed world
And it's tiny, little happenings
And it's tiny, little girl.

She is blind, there is a blizzard,
The globe shook by a scream
That almost shattered all the glass
And burst her heart at it's seams.

Fragmented, broken shooting star
Still orbits in her eyes.
Love gravitates around her core.
Sunshine, please, no more sighs.

The day will come, when her troubles run
Like wet ink off white paper.
She'll find her quill and with free will
She'll write the words to save her.

Butterfly, you are free,
An unfamiliar sensation.
With your finger aglow,
Connect your own constellation.

Notes on Connect My Constellation:

- The word trinket is used in irony as a trinket is of little value whereas I very much value Yumi as a friend. A trinket's worthlessness also expresses my personal feelings of worthlessness.

- Interestingly, this is my first poem without flying/bird imagery ('winged words' in 'Wayside', obviously the swans in 'Swan Song', 'firefiles' in 'Save Me From The Savannah' and 'swoops' in 'Urban Wildflower'). I think - without trying to sound like a GCSE Anthology analysis - that this represents my wish to fly and be free from my eating disorder. Although in 'Connect My Constellation' there is no imagery of birds per se, I think subconsciously (God, I sound like a bloody therapist, I clearly have spent too long in psychiatric units) that in this poem I've gone one step further and instead of just simply flying, I wish to be so free of my eating disorder that I'm up in the stars... Or Yumi, who the poem is written about, will be up in the stars, bless her.

- 'The porcelain doll' represents vulnerability.

- 'Mother Nature' and 'Mother moon' refer to Yumi's wonderful mum.

- The parts about her asking for someone else to connect her constellation and then in the end being told to connect it herself show that no one can make her recover and although we can support her in every way under the sun, ultimately the decision has to come from within.  I know it will though with time and with some words of wisdom from our shared fairy godmother ;).

Notes on Urban Wildflower:

- Although the title was just thought up on the spot by a good friend of mine, it really fits my feeling as I've never felt like I fit in in my surroundings, much like the 'flower in the concrete' image opening the poem.

- I refer to my hospital as both a prison and a palace because I love the people here, my 'fairy godmother' keyworker and the programme that has helped me to make huge advances in my recovery. Yet to other patients here it is viewed as a prison, keeping them from living their lives in the outside world. Personally, it is a safe haven for me to hide from the real world (immature, I know).

- 'The shadow on my back' is anorexia and feelings of worthlessness and being a failure no matter what I do.

- Unknowingly, I have used the veil imagery again (see 'Wayside') to represent the identity that anorexia gives its sufferers.

-  The river rushing by is other people's lives moving on without me, similar to 'Wayside'.

Thanks for reading :)

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