You.

Another poem by Glen originally published in Elvis Has Left the Building (2002).

You.

Who are you?

Are you who you think you are,

or are you

who other people think you are?

 

You can only truly be who you are

if you let yourself be yourself.

When you try to be as others see you,

you are conforming

to another way of being,

or to what other want you to be.

 

Be true to yourself

and don’t let others control you.

 

You are an individual.

You are unique,

you are special.

And only when you realise this

will you achieve your true potential.

Give My Love to Mothers

A poem by Glen from his book, Elvis Has Left the Building (published 2002)

Give My Love to Mothers

I love you Mum.

My love for you is like a rose in the garden,

a waterfall in a peaceful place:

my love for you grows.

Your love fills my whole being,

like an ocean of water.

You are my anchor

when all is bleak in life.

I see the truth when you look in my eyes.

Thank you for always being there for me.

Love is the most important thing

a person could ever have.

My love for you grows with each passing day.

 

The road

New poem by Glen, written yesterday.

The Road.

The road is long but I am a patient man. I keep my eyes on the black and white in front of me.

The road disappears underneath as I travel,

who know where I’ll go?

I have plenty of time, and plenty of road. I could see the snow in Tasmania, or the beaches in Cairns.

I am still a young man, and I have all the time in the world.

 

More on Glen’s first semester at university

All I want in life is to be happy.  Finding happiness in education is a great thing for

me and I love to learn new things.  I will never forget 8 years ago in my first

semester at University, I enjoyed studying the module Knowledge, Power and Society.

However, such enjoyment was unfounded, by reflecting upon the completion of a

series of processes during the semester, such as 7 books to read, difficult

assignments and a very long exam.  OH! What an exam.!!! Furthermore, feelings

of anxiety, worry, pressure, stress and anger manifested into sleeplessness, loose-

bowels in the toilet, and a rundown immune system which was then

compounded, by getting lost in the depths of autism.  So, the best way to sum up

the semester is to recite a poem to you titled:

   

My First Semester At University 

University is a pain,

it’s the thing that stretched my brain.

Fear had me from the start,

then Uni touched me in the heart.

The first paper was just a pass,

I felt I had fallen from a mast.

Then came the big HD,

but it was the eleven hour exam that nearly buggered me.

We were given three days to complete the thing,

but what troubles it did bring,

I thought it could be done in a day,

but really that was not the way.

The day we did the exam was not too bad,

but then the next day we were mad.

My support worker was staring into space,

while I was in another place.

I pushed myself to finish the thing,

I felt like a bird with a broken wing.

It almost destroyed my brain,

and I considered not going to Uni again.

Reflecting back on my Uni life,

I see the struggle that I thought was strife,

the struggle of learning and using my mind,

helps me leave autism behind.

 

By Glen C Sheppard.

The Wind and Your Soul

The wind is strong but is it a fairy?

It is speaking in my mind

The sound is like a voice I’ve heard before, in my dreams

There is nothing to understand because it is pure

It is truth that I can feel in my veins

In my mind I am dancing in it like a bird over a field

It is the kind of dance that ties me to the rest of the world

I can see every mind’s love written on the breeze

Carrying my words to minds in other places

But all these minds are not connected, unless they learn to listen

Listen with eyes closed and hearts open

It is not the way the wind moves but the sound that it carries that should speak to you

It carries my words from the deep parts of my soul and brings them into the light

The light and the wind travelling the earth like rivers full of words

The rivers connect and run wild, together and independent at the same time

Like I am, and like you are

A tapestry of words making up a universe

I have carried it with me for a long time in silence

Now I set it free so you can receive it

We are all souls, scattered in the wind

But I am like the man catching butterflies with his net, I hold my hands out to catch pieces of thoughts,

letting them run through my fingers like water from a cold river

I can’t hold them but they stay with me

Invisible to the eye but obvious to the heart

And my heart swells with thoughts imparted to me, ideas and feelings that whirl all around me

It is sometimes chaotic and sometimes wonderful, but it is always magic

I am within the wind, hearing its heartbeat

The world is like a great mind, a mind like an ocean we all pour into

Drop after drop of thoughts and hearts

That is why I am content, sitting back and seeing, because I can feel everything around me like a pulse

It’s alive, this world of minds and souls, as alive as I am as my mind wanders the earth

Free of judgement but brimming with joy

Rain drops on the surface of the earth like thoughts of love

They are welcome tears; of joy and care

But carelessness may replace care if no one wants to listen

Heartbeats go unnoticed because no minds are willing

To learn, and to unlearn

Old truths

Because we are breaking free from bonds of silence and ignorance

And we set out into the world together

Linked to each other with waves of energy,

As if we are arm in arm,

So our bones connect and intertwine like branches on a tree

A tree with branches as strong as bone, and as beautiful as a smile

If you saw me you would see my smile, wide and happy

Grinning with delight, and with hope

Hopeful for a new day where you don’t doubt me,

or the power of my diligent mind

Because I know it will take work to make you see

What I can see with my eyes closed

It travels with me as I walk

Each step is a lifetime of troubles I leave behind,

Letting it fall to the ground

And once it is behind me, I am free

I am as free as the water that travels beside me

A river that becomes the ocean and then a river again,

Endless like a soul

The voices rebound around the walls,

The green walls of this valley

I can hear them, clear as bells

And just like that,

I awaken

From my dream state, and I open my eyes

I piece together my reality, from what surrounds me

And I understand that it must all be real

The world that lives, like invisible energy in every breath

But also the blank stares and gaping mouths, of this harsher plane of reality

Still, I know the truth is there

Lying in the back of their minds, waiting

Maybe one day they will be able to see

What I can see, from my chair

I know with certainty

That I have to get up and move,

So I can tell you, and make you understand

What is so clear to me;

That there are so many kinds of minds,

And so many ways to speak

Your voice is not the only way

My voice is a silent thought,

That still reaches out and connects

With every other thought

My world and my ways, seep into yours

Like a good tea

And if you let yourself you will see,

That it is a good thing, a great thing

Because this is another way to see,

To breathe thoughts out into the atmosphere

If my silent words could be built into structures,

They would be a city

Full of open doors and windows

A city as strong as my mind is,

Because it would be built on love, and true communication

But that is all I can tell you,

From my chair

The rest you have to do yourself.

By Glen, written January 2014.

Sonnet

The World is Full of Fear

The world is full of fear

It’s the poison of the masses

Ignorance draws near

The solution is looking beyond the classes

If we let our fear be the guiding force

Then we may lose all hope

You can draw happiness straight from its source

The strength of our minds allows us to cope

It’s like a river we can all drink from

However, we must have the courage to appreciate it

It is the one way to freedom

The way the torches in our hearts are lit

I know many of my peers are just as free as me,

It is the only way we can be

By Glen, written 29/03/2014

A Little Poem For My Mum

I send you love, like you have loved me,
Everything you have given me, I store in my heart,
The energy you have, is the light in my universe,
the light that guides me, through the journey of life.
I am proud and thankful to be your son.

Pam & Glen

Healing Sounds

Laughter is like the sound of music to my ears.
It is a medicine to cure the sick,
a vaccination to help the sad,
a treatment for free in times of grief.
No matter how bad I feel
the sound of laughter always lifts my spirit.

When my thoughts become too tangled
and my mind screams out in pain,
I need a train ride to clear my head.
The sound of the wheels, clickety-clack,
is very relaxing, melodic, like a lullaby.

The flashes of scenery, the different colours,
keep my mind so occupied that the brown mists
of autism almost clear,
with the song of the train
and the world flashing by.

Some days my autism has gone,
my mind is clear, I hear and see all;
sights, sounds and songs.
But then back comes the mist,
obliterating my mind,
imprisoning my body.

The Way We Walk

You stagger,
she swoons,
you falter,
she croons.
You bumble
and stumble along.

She tip toes,
you step,
her high-heel is left
in the grate, along highway one,

I rock and I roll,
I try hard to stroll,
but my rhythm just holds me strong.

So we all watch our step
and then hit our heads,
as we march to the beat
of the siren’s swan song.

Another great poem by Glen C. Shepherd from his book Elvis Has Left The Building.