Poems about autism

A Sonnet for Saga

'Sonnet' means 'little song'; Saga Noren is the (autistic) lead character in Swedish/Danish crime drama The Bridge.

A little song across a Bridge to link
A multi-neuro-lingual Tower of Babel
Two tongues, two countries, varied ways to think
On fire not cold, you're different not unstable
Unmentioned spectrum's focus, dedication
Not held up by romantic hero's arms
Your single mind concludes investigation
No need for verbal foreplay, social charms
Embittered colleague, hostile boss and mother
Atypical emotions still run true
The problems you have understanding others
Are no more than their problems knowing you
Subtitle this if our sort still seem foreign:
I think perhaps I love you, Saga Noren

Causes

Caused by what fors and closed doors
Something's up on the upper floors
Down on all fours
Looking for an explanation
Must be caused by vaccination
Not-so-innocent innoculation
Caused by flaws or some mutation
Looking for the insanity clause
Looking for an injury claim
Looking for someone or something to blame

Manifesto from Behind the Mask

Janine performing 'Manifesto from Behind the Mask', a poem about being autistic and try to fit into society, and about how society might change to make it easier for autistic people to fit in.

This performance was recorded at the launch of the DIRT poetry pamphlet, at the Betsey Trotwood in London, in June 2015.

Manifesto From Behind the Mask

Make me a mask so that no-one can see
That the face that I'm wearing is not really me
Get me a glaze to go over my eyes
To look like I'm looking while melting inside

Fetch me some specs that can read between lines
Fit me antennae that pick up the signs
Lend me a lens that reads unwritten rules
Bless me with patience to help suffer fools

Horseplay: Live at Calais Migrants Benefit, August 2014

On 23rd June 2012, Steven Simpson, a gay autistic student, was verbally abused, stripped, and his body scrawled with offensive slogans. He was then doused in tanning oil and 20-year-old Jordan Sheard set fire to his crotch with a cigarette lighter. The flames engulfed his body, his attackers fleeing as neighbours tried desperately to extinguish the flames. Steven died the next day suffering 60% burns.

Horseplay

This poem is about the murder of 18-year-old, gay, autistic student Steven Simpson - and the appalling miscarriage of justice when his killer was prosecuted. You can read a news report giving more information here; and the resolution adopted by TUC Disabled Workers' Conference here. The poem imagines what might happen if the tables were turned on reactionary judges!

I heard the local judge was having a party at his flat
I thought that sounded tasty, I'll have a bit of that
There'll probably be some posh nosh and a bit of legal chat
I hadn't been invited, but who cares about that?

Knives. Forks. Spoons. Obviously.

Knives. Forks. Spoons. Obviously.
What other arrangement could it possibly be?
There's a reason that cutlery drawers have three distinct spaces
So we can place our utensils in their correct places
It's forks in the middle, knives and spoons to their border
How could you entertain any other order?
And the little slot, sideways, at the front of the drawer

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