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Capturing glimmers in poetry.

A wide paint brush on a white surface. The paintbrush is leaving a trail of vibrant blue paint.
Jax Bulstrode

Jun 27, 2024

I’ve been a writer since a young age.

It’s how I navigated my adolescence while dealing with mental illness. The act of putting pen to paper helped me process my thoughts and emotions during those years. So when I got sick, I started writing again. I didn’t have a name for my illness or any medicine that could help my symptoms, but I knew how to write a poem or two to describe how I was feeling. Writing became my escape, a way to articulate the pain and manage the overwhelming.

Over time, I accumulated a handful of poems and stories about my life. Each piece was a snapshot of my journey, capturing the highs and lows, the moments of grief and hope. Eventually, I realised I had enough material for a whole collection. That's how cul de sac rabbits came to life. It was my illness that pushed me to finish my book, it's those poems that formed the final stanzas and brought the book to a close. I wanted to connect with others—readers and writers—who might understand exactly how I felt.

A wooden chair with books and a plant on it is sitting next to a bed

The book is a collection, a call-out to others who know the feeling of being in bed, not because you want to rest, but because you must, because your body won’t let you leave. It speaks to the shared experiences of those battling chronic illness, offering a voice to the voiceless and a sense of solidarity.

I didn't want it to be a book of sadness but rather hope, highlighting the glimmers that can be found even in difficult times. Through my poems, I aimed to capture the resilience and strength that can be found in tricky times. In fact, a large part of the book is not about my illness at all, it's about the other parts that make up who I am, experiences that are just as important or even more so.

Poetry is a form of emotional release which, in turn, becomes a physical release. I won’t get too "woo-woo," but I do believe there are benefits to this. The act of expressing oneself creatively can be incredibly healing.

Creative expression can take many forms. It might not look like poetry to you; it could be painting, singing, reading, or even just observing nature and noticing what you find. Tapping into your senses, it could be taking a photo of something that made you smile. Whatever the medium, creative expression offers a way to process our experiences and connect with others, reminding us that we are not alone.

cul de sac rabbits comes out this July, I hope if you read it, you find solidarity and connection and feel inspired to take notice of the glimmers in your own life.