Each year the University of Sheffield supports World Mental Health Day (WMHD) on the 10th of October and this year’s theme was ‘mental health is for everyone’. The underlying message was that we all deserve our mental health and through the values of openness and tolerance we can reduce the stigma and isolation so often associated with mental health problems. One of the many activities at this year’s event was a poetry competition about mental health. The English Department adjudicated on all the entries and chose the winning poem by Clare Jordan below.
Write as I might, interrupt – …
Head in pen, I’ll start …
“Yeees, Up here…!”, “o.k!”
…Perhaps I’ll take-away myself.
Somewhere no thing can find…
Then I shall shed a skin, to a Glass soundtrack,
Reinvent my stream of…
Such a luxury of time unruptured is for another me,
When, I am no longer Mummy, but just Mum.
When, bi-lingually I can express me.
In mediums as yet unbeknown to myself,
As I know myself, as myself.
And I shall, in mind, expand.
Imagination flexing, diaphragmming the inspirational, synapsing the flux.
Write as I might.
Away from cars revving, Androids whistling, verts popping,
And all this click, click, clicking.
Yes, far. On the green canopied veranda,
With setting mauves and charred ambers.
My ice cubes, slowly, slinking away;
The end of the day, written into stelled fires.
When my pen will tire before I.
Under calming, domed skies, in a home for us,
Not a monthly, paid-for box.
Watching a box as a reward, as wind-down chatter,
Not as a nullified groan, of yet another rainy day.
Write as I might.
Days without chord,
Shops and shopping and shops.
No, Today I might spring on tip-toesies,
Hum, hum, humming flatly,
Summing up the yeara in a few lines or so,
A toast to the next,
Where I might just…
Clare writes: “I am studying Theatre and English with Sheffield University. I am 32 years old and have a 3 year old son and a busy family life. As I am sure most students do, I find the work/life balance a juggling act, and I struggle to read all there is to read, to meet all the expectations I put on my own shoulders. However, the rewards of studying on such a vibrant and diverse course far outweigh any day-to-day struggles of diaries, timetables and deadlines. My passion lies with theatre and my ultimate goal is to be a playwright. I have written poetry for many years as an outlet for my emotions and this poem is a response to the frustration I feel at not having enough hours in the day to write. This is my mental projection forward 5 years or so when we, as a family, plan to move to France. I discovered the music of Philip Glass as part of my English Literature course, which blew me away, and it played throughout the creation of this poem.“