Handwriting Day – Left Handedness, Dyslexia and Poetry

It’s Handwriting Day and what better way to celebrate than with a good ol’ fashioned digital text blog? Ok, a good ol’ fashioned text blog including a picture sampling my handwriting.

I’ve included a picture of my notebook with the first draft of my poem “Words”. I still love to write with a pen and paper, most of my poems take form that way and I keep a collection of them all in a separate book, written as neatly as possible, for prosperity sake. There’s no denying the free-flowing creative nature of writing when brain connects with paper via pen. I always have a notepad next to me at work to jot down ideas, and sketch out thoughts. It’s so accessible and liberating that, no matter how digital I am, I’ll never want to do away with a pen and paper for notes and inspiration.Photo 23-01-2015 18 23 39

Now whilst I do love writing “the old fashioned way”, it isn’t without its problems. Number 1, I’m left-handed – smudge city. Number 2, I’m dyslexic – no automatic spell checkers. Number 3, I’m dyslexic and left handed – it’s just a crazy mix of awkwardness – I’ll write with my hand looking all crooked, or slant the paper 90 degrees – it’s weird, it’s how I write, but it looks weird. Oh and I write cards backwards because of it “xxx Drew From Love Birthday Happy You To”. It has been said that the size and obscured nature of my handwriting is a crafty trick I subconsciously employed in order to hide my dyslexia at school – can’t mark my spelling as wrong if you can’t quite figure out what I’m actually writing huh can you teacher? Pa-chow, 1-Nil to Drew’s dyslexic brain. Unfortunately, eligible handwriting is super important for exams, 1-1 Drew’s dyslexic brain vs the world.  This lead to me, at the age of approx 15, to having to alter my handwriting completely (I used to write cursive) in order to give myself a better chance at being understood. 2-1 to Drew’s dyslexic brain. So actually, what you see in the picture is my handwriting v2. Personally, I love it. Sometimes however, if I’m taking notes in a hurry – returning to them a few days later takes more deciphering than the breaking the enigma. I could have been a doctor.

Photo 23-01-2015 18 26 12

You can find “Words” in my latest collection of poems, life: everything, anything, something and nothing (a collection of poems) available in both kindle and paperback formats through Amazon.

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Custodians – a poem of remembrance

There has been a great deal of discussion recently about Remembrance Sunday and the symbol of the Poppy. All I know is why I wear one and why I remember. I also know that there were a great deal of people at Cenotaphs around the country today paying their respects for the fallen. As such, I wrote this, to explain why I feel it is important that we never never never forget.

Custodians

We remember – not to glorify war
Nor grand statement make
We remember because they died
And in doing so – we lived

With each passing silent moment
We remember their future untold
Sacrificing that which is most precious
For the freedom that we hold

No one wishes for war – that damned futile necessity
That shadowed valley we fear
But yea, though we still must walk it
So dark it no longer appears

A beacon lit in our darkest hour sweeps across history
Guiding us where not to tread
Searching for a safer path
Futility realised, wars necessity – dead

And so we remember – not to glorify war
We remember because it’s right
Remembrance isn’t about politics or fashion
We remember as custodians of their light

44

Today saw a historic moment as President Barack Obama became the first President of the United States to address both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall. He is a man, to me, who is not only wonderful orator but a worldwide symbol of hope. As he spoke, the occasion reminded me of a poem I wrote when he became the President and the hope that election inspired across the World.

44

45 years
A dream
45 years
A hope

With truths held self evident
The dream cut
Through the valley of injustice
Slowly
But with strength
With fortitude
The dream shone on

Then 44

Breaking through the nightmare
The dream shone on
Words spoken
Such beautiful poetry
Of harsh realities
Bitter truths
With them
The dream shone on

45 comes 44
The dream lives on
Closer to reality

With colour-blind vision
The dream evolves
The work continues
Judged not by his skin
Truth and change
Through content of character

45 comes 44
The dream lives on
New dreams have begun

If you like my writing, be sure to check out my first published collection of poems Love: unrequited, unrealised, unconditional and lost – available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

The Last Atlantis

It has been a while since I posted, so I thought I would share another poem with you. I wrote it last year and it is a poem with an apocalyptic theme so it is quite apt that I post it now, given that some people (nobbers) think the world will end on the 21st of this very month. So best to read it now whilst you can! (And purchase my first published collection – link at the bottom of this page.) It’s a bit of a dark one this…but then so was my last one about snowmen!

The Last Atlantis

Carbon copy officials uttered
Porcelain promises of hope
Radicals spoke out
The truth was what
Were we to die
Or were we not

The sky danced
Auroras engulfed the world
Tickled, teased, peppered by lightning
A destructive wonder
With force unknown
Were we to die
Or were we not

Flight impossible
The noble birds of human achievement
Grounded
Natures own confused
The magnetic field raged, twisted, broken
A majestic storm of colourful chaos
A frightened world

For years we mocked Newton’s fellow
Breaking it’s hold
Fighting it’s urge
The apple stayed up
With sky skipping superiority we knew no bounds
Distance was nothing
Commanding the sky, we controlled the world

Regressed to our ancestors
For whom flight was the play thing of gulls
Re-awoke
The impossible dream for anchored man
Like a nightmarish sun
Gravity reigned
It’s co-conspirator inhospitable for even natures aviators
Ground, the last refuge of man

Born to Earth
Returned to Earth
Everyman walked upon his own grave
Escape beyond impossible
The beautifully cruel sky blockading cosmic sanctury
Terra firma, our home, our graveyard, our prison
Gravity the shackles
Atmosphere it’s guard

Silicon sizzled, the chip fried
The information super highway crumbled
The Digital King was dead
Communication reduced to ways of old
Long live the Analogue Queen
Resilience raised it’s renaissance
Bodies enslaved to Earth
Voices travelled
Ideas forever unbound
Futile though it was

Families torn apart
Castaway through circumstance
Precious few heard words of love
Communication, the titanic struggle
Reunion a far off dream

The Analogue Queen decreed
Her subjects, relics of old, brought news
How, why, maybe
Because
Hazy shadows of reason and blame fill the airwaves
The scientists they say
An experiment they say
A freak accident they say
Fact born of pathetic postulation
Uncertainty unanimous

The spectre of suspicion hung

Carbon copy officials uttered
We implore you to stay calm
Porcelain promises of hope
We can fix this
Radicals spoke out
A cover-up, a conspiracy, a punishment
The truth was what
We did this to ourselves
Were we to die
Or were we not

That day our lives died
That day our lifestyle died
That day our complacency died
Our arrogance survived

Time would pass
Recovery inevitable
Stronger, more resilient, more learned?

Arrogance flourished
Man would cope
Man would survive
Adversity galvanises
Hurt pride drives
Man would recover
Man would make similar mistakes
An endless circle of human inevitability
War – advancement
Disaster – advancement
From the depths we claw our way up
Only to look back down
Marvelling in achievement
Losing balance to fall again
The human disease
Only that we climb so high do we fall so low

Defiantly the buildings stood
Breath still passed
But a society had been lost forever
Like before, like again

This was our Atlantis
The last?

If you like my writing, be sure to check out my first published collection of poems Love: unrequited, unrealised, unconditional and lost – available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

One of My First Poems

This weekend I came across a poem that I wrote when I was but a wee boy. It was written at a time when, evidently, I was too cool to spell my surname with more than one ‘e’ and didn’t see the point in Snowmen needing that ‘w’. Early signs of my dyslexia or just a kid writing? Anyway, for your reading pleasure I decided to scan the piece and have included it in this article along with a completely unabridged transcription.

So then, without further ado, may I present the online world premier of ‘Untitled: A poem written by Drew when he was very young. Or at least too young for him to remember writing. Which, if he’s honest, could mean he wrote it last week – such is his terrible memory.’

Scan of an untitled poem by Drew

Five white snomen
Outside the front door
An icicle fell on one
Then there were four

Drew Spencr

I understand that it is a very sad tale. But it is a necessary one that strikes to the very heart of what it means to be a Snowman, living such a fragile life. It also contains a strong moral that stands the test of time – beware of falling icicles (be careful kids). The entire poem either points to me being disturbed as a child or very socially aware. I know which one I would go for.

That’s all for now, but if you’d like to see how far my poetry has progressed, remember you can buy a copy of my book Love: unrequited, unrealised, unconditional and lost (long title I know!) Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Being Human

In a slight departure from the usual articles, I have decide to post a poem. It was written over the past week in honour of the season finale of the excellent Being Human on BBC 3. A drama that gets to the core of what it means to be human by focusing on those who aren’t quite human any more. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

Being Human

Sentenced to life
Fragile prisons bind their will
The choice of crime quite simple
To give life, or to kill 

Complex souls, free of this world
Understanding them through art
Animalistic in their nature
Yet endlessly divine in heart

But only if they choose so
The choice then, lies within
Survival or redemption
The strongest will shall win

As custodians of their own fate
Which way to turn the key
Such is the way they are
– Being human –
Such is the way they shall be

If you like my writing, be sure to check out my first published collection of poems Love: unrequited, unrealised, unconditional and lost (long title I know!) Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.