Packed out Poetry: A Gift for the Holidays…

After attending Hope Rocks Christmas, I was inspired to write this acrostic poem in honor of the event and just because light is something we all need, especially during the holidays. Life can be difficult, Spectrumite or not, so what we should be doing is building each other up and supporting each other:


By Brian Liston

Leap of faith scares; terrifies, worries

Inner demons who wish to maintain hold;

Grasp on those who go on downward spiral.

Hands clasped in prayer, wishing; hoping for a

Time, place, sign to soldier on as best he can;

All as the light shines towards the path home.

Shine on and Happy Holidays!!

A Little Bit of Hope…

When one thinks of the holidays, holiday music fills the loudspeakers all around us, the malls, supermarkets, restaurants, you name it, the music is always there. Talks with people go into what people do over the holidays, whenever it comes to parties, dinners or just quiet time with families.

I’ve been fortunate to have a loving and welcoming community that is able to see me for being supportive, successful, honest and heartfelt people they know (to those family and friends who know that they are, I wish to thank you for being so welcoming to me.)

But, what of those less lucky than I am? This post is to pass the warmth, love and support your way..

For all the stories I could tell of my holidays, I know that there are people who are less fortunate, those who don’t have the support that I have, one where their diagnoses (or circumstances) have either caused or can have negative impacts when it comes to family get together a, choosing to stay at home rather than risk the humiliation.

For those people, I wish to say that you’re not alone and that you are loved, if not by family then by your friends. Feel free to reach out them because they care about you; let them share their light with you. The road that you’re going on in life has a new direction for you if you want to take it. I won’t deny that it’s scary, it’s full of unknowns and it can be intimidating but I’ve been in your shoes and I know that you’ll discover things about yourself you never would’ve known otherwise.

There are many paths in life that bring us to where we are in our lives and perhaps you’re at a crossroads in your life, maybe now is the time to make a change, to make things right with family, to live your life with no regrets. I beg you to look at the path that has a happier result, but to paraphrase the words of Keenau Reeves in The Matrix, “Where you go from there is a choice I leave to you” but please know that you are not alone in both your triumphs and tragedies; there are brighter days ahead.

If your dealing with personal demons, know that you can seek help if you ask for it and search around your area. Together, we can all shine a light in our communities so we can all…

Shine on!!

Packed Out Poetry: The Evolution of Challenges

“Sometimes a change can do you good” so goes a well known Sheryl Crow song and it’s very apt especially in my case recently.

For all the triumphs I’ve achieved in my life, not a day goes by that I don’t think of those Spectrumites who are less lucky than I was. We all face challenges, triumphs, tragedies at some point in our lives. That said, it’s how we let the challenges change us that determines what gifts we reveal about ourselves and how we relate to each other.

Recently, I’ve been challenged creatively to think outside my poetic comfort zone, as you have noticed, I usually rely on free verse poems to articulate what I’m feeling about a subject. The hard part about that is that when you don’t feel challenged about it, it becomes so natural to you that experimentation about different styles is the farthest thing in your mind. Inevitably, writers block comes and there’s no way to shake it.

That all came to an end when a wise and talented friend encouraged me to explore new ways of looking at poetry, telling me that the challenge was what made it fun. I looked through everything I could think of, online and books as well and in time, I found an idea that I would need to work with but it looks as promising then as it does now: acrostic poetry. It begins when you take a word (the Title) and find words that make sense and are flexible enough to work around, like I do in my acrostic Meiji, for the Meiji Restoration in Japan:


Major overhaul; upgrades need to

Examine, who, what, where, when, why of

“I.” Internal questions plague us all

Jarred by envy; stagnation, outward

Investigation helps us in future to improve ourselves.

Socrates, the father of modern Philosophy, was made famous by his famous quotation: “All that I know is that I know nothing.” My translation is that we don’t know what we are capable of in challenges until we actually face them and even then, there’s so much to learn and apply in our own lives. I was complacent in my ways that I needed to dive back into my poetic roots and come back stronger than before, artists do this all the time but I think that this applies to Spectrumites as well.

Find whatever you love, something you’re passionate about and go for it, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and become stronger, wiser by the experience. You will need support in times of difficulty as well as kindness and good friends to celebrate with you or for consolation. Know that, in struggle and success, you, dear reader, are not alone!! We all need help to climb our own mountains, but the view at the top will help us to…

Shine on!!