My Battle with ADHD

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ray miller
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My Battle with ADHD

Post by ray miller » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:05 am

Bluebells, he decides, are a slide made of sky
as he rolls down the hill where I’d like to decline
his interrogation fired ad infinitum
or until the eggs have been counted and eaten.
This Question-Master needs instant answers
and a database larger than Google.
The family might call it repartee -
I’ve had more fun at a funeral.

Dandelions can be yellow or white;
they’re like you and I: one so much in the face
that he stings my eye, one barely giving
the time of day. These high tunnels are called
The Knight’s Maze, if we’d stuck to the left
and you’d not run ahead you wouldn’t
be worried about wetting your pants.
Nope, Harry Potter doesn’t live here.

But, there really are dragons in the dungeon,
that’s how they keep the castle warm in winter.
The knights fight their battles when we’ve all gone home:
those hollow shells hung on the walls are filled with limbs
that arm themselves with swords and shields
and clink and clank and tumble down the wide stairway.
From The Red Room to The Gothic, the walls are spotted
with blood and gore and the cleaners come in early.

Yes, we’re throwing shadows on the grass,
so the multi-coloured dog with two legs
at the front can play hide and seek in our pictures.
That table’s not where the disciples had supper;
he did kiss him but he wasn’t gay;
he wasn’t that kind of pilot and they didn’t have planes.
Jesus was just a poor sap, like me,
he promised to bring a sword but didn’t.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Mirrorball
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by Mirrorball » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:41 am

Hi Ray,

Disorder is my pet subject this year, I'm very interested in your title but I don't understand the poem on a quick first read. I shall be coming back later and I hope other reviewers will help shed some light on it too.

Bookmark. :)

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Perry
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by Perry » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:25 am

The poem seems to careen from one subject to another, and I'm wondering if this is your way of illustrating what it's like to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But even if that's what you are doing, it seems to me that the ever-changing events in the poem should be more cohesive than they are. Of course, I don't know what ADHD is like. Perhaps reality mixes with fantasy. On the other hand, the stanza about dragons, etc., seems pretty cohesive. So I guess I have to say that I'm lost. Of course, my comprehension isn't all that good, so being lost is nothing new for me.
Last edited by Perry on Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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lotus
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by lotus » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:31 am

dear Ray

my first read through was quite fine

and my feel is that the battle is between the narrator
and someone else who has ADHD.

that person might be a totally different entity

or another perhaps the narrator's personality versus the narrator's soul so to speak

regardless it is for me an a rich canvas

silent lotus
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by Mirrorball » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:22 pm

Okay, I'm getting there slowly Ray.

An insight into the mind of a child with ADHD on a trip to Eastnor Castle. I agree with Lotus that there's a rich tapestry of images. The child's mind flits from one thing to the next, it's hard to keep up. The last stanza in particular threw me. Are you looking at paintings on the castle walls? I could visualise the Knights empty armour very clearly. There's also a sense of restlessness in particular at S1 and S2. Those stanzas also capture an intrusiveness that can be quite annoying.

Multicoloured two legged dogs is still lost on me. :)

I get something different everytime I come back to it and, for now, those are my thoughts. It's multidimensional.

ray miller
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by ray miller » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks for the comments. Yes, the "battle" is with a child who is indeed diagnosed with ADHD. I think the 1st and 3rd stanzas are fine. "The multi-coloured dog with two legs at the front" are his words verbatim, I forget exactly what he was asking but my response is meant to be a "of course, what else might we possibly be doing!". He's a weird kid. The passage is too obscure as it stands, I suppose.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:07 pm

.
Hi ray.
Lots of fun this, for the reader at least,
and N's exhaustion comes through very clearly
(wonder if the word 'losing' is missing from the
title :) ).


Bluebells, he decides, are a slide made of sky
as he rolls down the hill where I’d like to decline
his interrogation fired ad infinitum

- not sure how you get from 'decides' to 'interrogation'
or until the eggs have been counted and eaten.
- maybe 'all' before 'the eggs' ?
This Question-Master needs instant answers
and a database larger than Google.

- for me this 'database' is a bit clunky, how about
wants a response time faster than Google ?
The family might call it repartee -
- do they still use 'repartee' (seems a bit old fashioned
after Google)?
I’ve had more fun at a funeral.

Dandelions[,] they’re like you and I,
can be yellow or white: one so much in the face
that he stings my eye, one barely giving

- bit of a stumble in the rhythm, for me.
maybe
it's stinging my eyes, one barely giving ?
...
...
that arm themselves with swords and shields
and clink and clank and tumble down the wide stairway.

- apart from a Falklands non sequitur (surely) 'tumble down'
doesn't seem cacophonous enough (after clink and clank)
From The Red Room to The Gothic, the walls are spotted
with blood and gore and the cleaners come in early.


Yes, we’re throwing shadows on the grass,
so the multi-coloured dog with two legs
at the front can play hide and seek in our pictures.

[No] That table’s not where the disciples had supper;
[Yes] he did kiss him[, no] he wasn’t gay [allegedly];
[No] he wasn’t that kind of pilot[,] they didn’t have planes.
Jesus(!) [H]e was just a poor sap, like me,
[Yes] he promised to bring a sword[,] but [he] didn’t.
- I think the preceding line makes for a better ending
(could this be moved up to follow 'wasn't gay'?)

Regards, Not.

.

ray miller
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by ray miller » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:14 am

Thanks, Not. I shall incorporate some of your suggestions in a revision, some day.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by 1lankest » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:40 am

Some terrific imagery here - bluebell slices, the linb-filled shells. And the sounds are great too. A vivid piece that takes a while to unpick but well worth the effort. Nice to be reading you again, Ray.

Love the ending but I’d drop the comma after ‘like me’.

L

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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by Ros » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:16 am

A day out at Eastnor, perhaps?

I thought it followed the train of thought of an ADHD kid well. I think the title is misleading - implies the writer has ADHD.
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by Jackie » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:19 pm

I think the title is misleading - implies the writer has ADHD.
I think Ros is right, Ray, and the prospect of reading a poem that covers the author's whole life with ADHD is a bit off-putting, even though the first verse makes it clear.

I'm trying to read your role on the day's outing into the last line—am I wrong? You had made a promise you were not able to fulfill?

Jackie

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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by churinga » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:45 pm

Hi
I agree the title should be changed, it is too like a headline from a woman's magazine.

I liked the imagery of the first two verses, verse 3 and 4 concentrates too much on the father's response whereas verse 1 and 2 reveals the mind of the son ( I assume it is a boy). I think the poem would be more powerful if the last two verses where more condensed, bringing the poem overall to 3 verses.

I didn't find it hard to understand although I think a comma after 'interrogation' in V1 would help.

all the best

Ross

ray miller
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Re: My Battle with ADHD

Post by ray miller » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:30 am

Thanks all and nice to hear from you, Ros, I hope you and Ian are well. The title is deliberately misleading, meaning to suggest the kind of article you get in popular magazines, " How I Beat Depression" or "Ingrowing Toe-nail Nightmare". I'm mostly satirizing myself, I think. The child with ADHD isn't my son, but the adopted son of my wife's cousin. Jesus promised to bring a sword which would sever friendships and families apart. On that particular day - Easter Monday, actually - I'd have welcomed the separation.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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