I'm taking a dose of my own poetic medicine this morning. Reminding myself that traversing the hinterlands of transition can feel like sea swimming alone on a moonless night, heart beating fast wondering if my toes are going to be nibbled by baby sharks or whether I'll emerge wearing a jellyfish on my head. Everywhere is a shade of darkness and I'm scared of swimming too far out. Except I already have.
I often use poem prompts to jump start my creative writing process especially if I'm feeling rattled or unsettled, trying to work stuff out. You know that claggy stuff that hides in the folds and creases of our insides? It's a bit gooey and contains all sorts of wonderful and weird ingredients.
Inspired by the introductory manifesto in Belonging by Toko-pa Turner, I used her first line "For the rebels and the misfits..." (and a few other little words too) as a seed for my own piece, to work out what on earth I'm doing all this 'stuff' for, how it feels and to give myself a hint of moonlight at the end.
For the rebels and the misfits, the outsiders and un-belongers.
For the rootless, the uprooted, the refugees, the scar clan tribe and the orphans.
For the cast-outs, the gobby ones, the dare-to-expose mavericks, the silenced ones.
For the weirdos, the misunderstood ones, the ones-who-missed-out and the can't do the 9-5'ers.
For the ponderers, the empaths, the quiet ones and the shy ones.
For the wild imaginers, the naked sea swimmers, the midnight storytellers and the fire-side poets.
May you open up to the raw power of your voice and let it sink ink on to paper, throw songs to the moon and weave wonder in to your night dreams.
Let the thirsty page drink up your voice and may it be your pen medicine. A lyrical balm. Taken when needed.
May you risk mistakes, risk being unlikeable, dare to grow beyond who you've been expected to be. Words have that quiet way of shaking up your insides. And unsettling those around you.
If you dare to share your quirks and cracks and hopes and dreams, though they may shock and tease, may they reach those who recognise the uttering of a feral wordster. A fellow tinker. And let it be their medicine too.
May you see that when you live your own poetry, the disapprovers, the naysayers and the unbelievers will move to the side whilst you continue to stride and gather your family-ar kin.
It will take time to move from one land to another, to be a refugee from your old life. You may be shunned and invisible-ised, demonised and misunderstood. The loneliness will sear you. Suddenly, you'll find yourself one step past that middle space, one step too far forward to step backwards. This is wobble space, 'oh fuck space', the no going back space.
May you hold on tight to this liminality. This is a 90 degrees wash cycle and it might take some time before the drum stops spinning. Hold on to the one thing you know - your raw voice is tilling a new land upon which you will plant new seeds in to rich soil, fertilised with all you have ever known and all that you have ever risked and the nutrients of long-buried nocturnal wishes.
Eventually you will rise up. Supported. Rooted. Wildly alive.
© Dal Kular
These words are still a bit fresh to my eyes and soul. The medicine needs some time to take effect. But the first dose feels like the washer has just stopped spinning and I'm finishing off my cuppa before I unload it, shaking out the tangled fabrics one by one.
Encouragement: if any part of my poem resonates with you, grab your daring pen and create your own words! Forget form or precision - just write. Mix up metaphors - I have. It doesn't even have to make sense. Just write. Feel free to use any of my lines as a starting point or wherever you want. If you'd love to share, I'd love to hear! Feel free to share below, email me in secret or tag me on instagram.
(kindness: if you decide to share a piece of work inspired by my poem please link back to this blog post and also credit Toko-pa Turner as the originating inspiration 🙏🏾)