Monday, 2 May 2011

Poetry Winner- 'Mr Glass'

This poetry lark is becoming a bit silly now. I've only gone and won the Writing Magazine 'One Word Challenge Poetry Competition' for April haven't I. The theme word was 'Glass' and the competition was judged by the brilliant Lily Childs.

I decide to write a personal poem with enough universal themes that appeal to a greater understanding. I wasn't sure if I'd achieved that balance, but the comments from the judge suggested that I had. The poem is called 'Mr Glass' and is based on a father who has an illness that takes him a step or two away from the normality of life and how that effects him and his children.

This could be any illness or any socially awkward state. In this instance I based it on the fusing spine syndrome known as Aknylosing Spondilitis. It's a form of arthritis that effects all the joints and leaves the person in constant chronic pain, fatigued and vulnerable to spinal breakage due to the fusing of the vertebrae into a long single bone. This also makes mobility and participation in those simple pursuits in life impossible or at least extremely difficult.

Yeah I'll stop all this fun talk now. Don't worry the poem isn't heavy and is actually my attempt to convey that despite all the difficulties this brings to everyday life it can be helped by love and an optimistic outlook on life.

Mr Glass

They see through me
And themselves reflected
They scratch me
Hopes turn infected.

I can’t move without pain
I can’t see my children
I can’t run through the grass
The cracks are building.

It’s transparent I’ve blown
The beads of my back,
And my fragile bones
Are made of glass.

They avoid me
I’m a curious delusion
They laugh at me
Draw their own conclusions.

I can’t sit down with friends
I can’t play games in the park
It can’t join with laughs
My slithers are sharp.

My leadlighted colours
Reflect as they pass
The moods of my anguish 
I’m ready to crack.

The sands have fused
The shine diminished
The pain of glass
Almost had me finished
But I remain with love
Those words that flattered
I’m Mr Glass
So close to shattered.

Lily Childs now has the first part of her short story series Magenta Shaman available on Kindle. Click to buy or download a sample here.

 Here blog can be found here- Lily Childs Feardom.

For more information about Ankylosing Spondilitis please visit NASS.


  1. Wonderful stuff, and a moving poem. And it's always great to hear about Merseyside & north west writers doing well, flying the flag!

  2. Thanks Cath, I really appreciate you taking time out to read it and leaving such supportive comments too.

  3. Congratulations Tony. I chose it because the words really resonated with me. Now I've read your explanation it has a different meaning altogether but is still as beautiful. That's so skilful.

    Thanks for the shouts about Magenta, and the Feardom too.

  4. Thanks Lily. yeah obviously I did want it to have layered meaning but took that from the starting position of what I know and experiences first.

    No problem with the shout outs, glad to pass on the word.

  5. Amazing poem. That last line killed me. Wish I could write poetry!

  6. Thank's so much Jennifer. Good luck with the release of 'Creep' too. I'm sure it'll be a great debut novel that'll bring you plenty of success.

  7. Well done, Anthony - a deserving winner!

  8. Thanks Sally, lovely of you to say.

  9. Anthony,
    This is an amazing poem. I too wish I could write poetry. You conveyed so much about what an AS life feels like - what it does to our thinking.
    Thank you for writing it - I'd love to post it on my blog one day :)

  10. Thank you so much Jenna and I'm glad the words resonated with you. I'd be very proud and happy for you to post it on your blog.

    I did write the poem with a hope of reaching out and showing, like you do, that there are others who feel and think the same. To know we are not alone is a great help I think. Hopefully to also show that there is hope within the pain too.

    Thanks again,


  11. Wow. This is really good. My wife has AS and I'm always glad to find something that shows someone else understands what she's going through.

  12. Helen I'm so glad the poem gave that sense of not being alone too. The more people hear and know about AS and to me more importantly, the more they understand how it makes sufferers feel, the better.

    Thanks for you lovely comment.


  13. I posted your poem on my facebook page. Is that okay? I did so hoping that it would help the people around us understand what my wife and our family are dealing with

  14. Thanks Anthony. You have articulated so pointedly why each step we take, is with so much care and attempted precision. This is why so much of our AS sufferers have a 'tweaked' outlook on the normal happenings in life. A single drop of water on a tiled floor may mean nothing to millions of people, but to me it means the possibility to be mangled without being so lucky as to die quickly as a result of the injury.

  15. Thanks Chris. I'm so glad, as I've said to others, that this poem has reached people and struck a chord. I fully understand your comment about the heightened focus we have to place on even the smallest change in life.

    As you say one drop of water on a tile, or one bump can change an already restricted life in one moment. However I also want to give hope and optimism that if we take care, modify our lives and environment to suit that there are still so many beautiful and happy things to enjoy.

    One thing that AS has taught me is how to appreciate the small things more, and how to grab any opportunity for fun and joy whenever it comes along.

    Good luck and take care,



Paws: The Revenge.