Thursday, January 25, 2018

Poems By Craig Firsdon

Bio: I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was 4 years old. At 12 I lost the abilty to walk and stand. I began writing as a way to cope with the disease, pain, acceptance and depression. Over the years I've been published many places and last year I released my first book of poetry, Requiem. I have also created cover art for a couple chap books by other writers. Just recently I finished a manuscript for a collection of poems about my history with the disease and the mental, physical and social aspects of life with a disability.

More Than A Disability

Behind these blue, 

bright eyes 
and wheelchair bound 
broken down flesh 
burns a fire. 
You will never see it 
because you will never look at me 
or give me a chance to show you 
a passion to create 
and develop a better way to live. 
A better way to understand.

We want to be a factor 

in this world, 
not a burden.
We want to be heard.
We speak with our hands,
our keyboards, our pens,
our paint, our clay...
Our words.
We wish to speak as equals.

We are people with hopes and dreams.

See us as a part of the human race 
and not just another number 
you write in your reports
or another file,
organized and filed away.

See us as people, 

as the future, 
as more than a disability.

Poet Craig Firsdon

Four Worn Out Wheels 

Four worn out wheels and a beaten up padded chair. 

A set of broken brakes and a pair of useless legs. 
A man once full of hopes and dreams 
now lives with the reality that 
very few, if any, will come to fruition. 

He often feels his existence is pathetic 

and the autonomic worthlessness consumes him 
as his independence is slowly stripped away. 
No longer able to reach his goal, 
doors and stairs block him from his destination. 

People are constantly staring at him. 

They stay away as if he’s contagious. 
Children stare and point, 
so do the adults. 
Onlookers' whispers start and spread 
as if they were the audience and 
he was on trial for the crime of being different. 
None ever approach him and ask the questions 
that need to be asked. 
If they did things would be different. 
But they don’t and things aren’t. 
The man is lonely and feels 
like an outcast from the rest of society. 

The man has many fears. 

One consumes him every time 
his eyes close or the lights go out. 
He will never find that special person. 
Someone who will look past the outside. 
Someone who will love during the good and the bad. 
He will never get married. 
If he loved her why put her through 
the same pain and torture? 
And if he is to never marry, 
then he will never have children of his own. 
His kids can’t be disappointed in him 
and won’t have the possibility of sharing 
the same disability. 

All that this man can do is dream and write. 

He can keep on keeping on, 
do what needs to be done, 
and push his fears aside. 
He waits for life to roll on 
upon his four worn out wheels 
and beaten up padded chair. 

In Time

the way eyes always stare

at my shell, my body,
at my broken side,
must be meant to be

this circus side show,
geometric abstraction of a form
past it's never existed prime,
warranty expired,
to be stripped for parts.
most likely
just shipped to the junkyard cemetery
buried alongside the other defectives
or quickly oven-smelted,
if lucky.

we are told over and over again
like fusion flame seared into our minds,
that the inevitable will happen.
only rely on it and taxes
to become a reality.

the inevitability is killing me,
"It'll be your time when it is meant to be"
i don't wear a watch, never have,
and the only time piece in my possession
lays in my drawer, broken,
unable to tell me what the "time" is.

a broken time-harnessed body
laying in a coffin not of its making
waiting to be fixed.
knowing it never will,
yet never wanting it to happen.

Some Days

These days are blending before my eyes.

Projected onto green screen corneas
  over and over 
  blurring the ever present times.
  Seamlessly become one long day mare,
  one unholy dream to be normal.

Some days I dream of what can't be

  and live what shouldn't be.
Some days I'm lost living in dreams
  and dream of living
  the life I should have lived.

If only I knew what life is

  and when I’ve been truly alive.
Everyday is the same and I just exist.
I fail in what I've tried 
and only win when I fail.

Happenings fade into stories

  and disappear into memories.
Some of them reflexively make me smile,
  while others unknowingly draw a tear 
  from my eye.

Some days the here and now is my life

   written through black inked words
   that never fade away out of this existence 
   but instead last forever alive 
   and forever free.

Some days I'm tired of lies I tell myself

   always preaching of someday living.
Some days I long for one thing:
   No more some days,
   just days.
And maybe this wish will one day come true
   but until then I'm stuck with living
       some days.

What Is (My) Pain


It's hard to explain my pain.
I'm often asked to describe what
I go through everyday,
like my hardships and struggles,  
but pain is something extremely personal.
It's different for each of us.
It's a story only the writer will have experienced.
Taking grotesque pictures from their mind
and turning them into words,
Intense and unbound.
Each mind's movie only the writer 
will truly understand.
Readers will try to, 
they may even say they do, 
and give their own interpretation.
Some may come close 
but none will be exactly right.


My pain is warmth like an oven 
and grinding like sandpaper on raw wood.
It feels dull yet sharp like 
pressing an old used needle against your skin, 
trying hard to pierce it.
It is everywhere yet no where I can point to.
Its constant strain on my broken body
feeds my bones like a synthetic drug.
It does more harm than good.
It's an addiction I can no longer live with
and one I never want to live without.


In the past I did what I could to rid myself of it.
But pain is like life, it's eternal.
Pain has been a part of my being for 
almost as long as I have lived.
It's made me who I am
and given me a reason to be.
It's introduced me to the freedom of words
and the passion of art.
Art, spoken, written and brushed, has helped me
do something nothing else has been able to do
It has helped me to be me, the real me.
It has helped me to truly live.

So now when someone asks me 

how I would describe my pain
I simply reply with a single word: