Poetry Drawer: 3 poems and visual art by Cleo Howard

Balloons are red, a worldwide affirmation of caution.
My eyes are dry though they appear to be running wild.
Tears are the ocean bliss I long to float amongst.
Turquoise hues of inner peace surround.
I see in black and white but the colour of you blue.
Limp limbs drift silently with the wind.
Your cuddle isn’t temporary.
Your warmth ties souls to your healing properties.

Push me away.
Pull me back in.
Dance beneath the luminosity of a millions stars.
Make us sway without human interruption.
Erase the land.
Allow all irrationalities to dissipate.
Capture joy with a bottle and cork.
Travel with me through time and galaxy.
Kiss me before I go to sleep and you may just become my reality.

Proceed with caution they said.
Work twice as hard as your peers they said.
Don’t be too different they said.
Fit into the category of success they said.

Don’t wear short skirts they said.
Don’t shave your head they said.
Wear heels they said.
Be classy they said.
Respect your elders they said.

Always smile even when your hurting they said.
Mental illness is all in your mind they said.
Don’t get tattoos they said.
Your too fat they said.
Your too thin they said.

You look ill they said.
Eat something they said.
Your trying to hard they said.
Be subtle they said.

Don’t cross social boundaries they said.
Don’t break the rules they said.
Don’t be too revealing they said.
Be sexy they said.

Don’t talk to much they said.
Don’t hold too many opinions they said.
Be seen and not heard they said.
Why can’t you be more like so and so they said.

You’ve had too much to drink they said.
Go to your room they said.
Don’t talk about racism they said.
Deal with it they said.

Control yourself they said.
Why are you crying they said?
Pull yourself together they said.
Your making a show of yourself they said.

Eclectic mind.
Open to the very fibre of another’s truth.
Sit with me for a while.
Pour your dreams into my minds eye.
Grant me the perspective of the creator.
The symphony to your goals.

Untie your soul.
I am not the prejudice to which you recoil.
Allow the sweet birds to sing from the pits of your stomach.
Draw a diagram expressing true desires.
Be the kite above who has earnt true perspective.
Flood the tree’s pages with inked ambition.
Eclectic minds think alike.
Authentic smiles perpetrate insight for the otherwise unkind.

Find the beauty in cultural difference.
The history, the talent and cultural superstition.
Personal projection leaves ears firmly shut.
Open the mind and close your mouth.
Digest the palette of another’s spoon.

Determine knowledge through personal experience.
Interact soulfully removing convenience.
Believe in what you know.
Believe in ceaseless growth.
Eclectic be the ear.
Eclectic be the nose.
Eclectic be words spoken.
Free will. Free expression.
Opening the eyelids to the beauty that surrounds.
An eclectic world.

Cleo Howard is a mixed race woman of Jamaican/English descent, now living in West Yorkshire, prior to being a Cypriot resident for the past year. Cleo is a writer and artist full time, currently writing a first novel based on personal experiences in life thus far. Cleo considers writing as therapy, something of an antidepressant as Cleo is a self-professed mental health survivor, creatively showcasing the distinctive individual phases of recovery through chosen art forms. Cleo is also a tattoo artist.



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