In very crude geological terms Diamonds and jewels are formed deep down underground and under intense pressure. These elements and conditions form something beautiful rare and coveted.

The first Jewel;

Joanne is a newly qualified nurse that I met and shared time with on the Mentorship programme that was supported by the university and the local district general hospitals.

We met again in clinical practice and shared again a narrative that seemed to echo sentiments found in the Poetic Nursing Heart symposiums and within the butterfly poems. This is a space created to share a kindred love of poetry, alternative thinking and silence. Built up over 3 years we as a collective have a variety of blogs that all sit under the rainbow umbrella of #poeticnursingheart and gained recognition in the Times Higher Education awards as an innovative method of learning and teaching.

Joanne reflected the parts of me not seen or understood but vital in the process of coming to an awareness together as a group of people on a journey of gaining awareness. Some like to call it teaching or learning. I like to call it being with others……

This is Joanne’s beautiful reflection of that time shared and a poem from me in a simple call and response.

A Jewel

And here we are…

I was told I would never achieve the rank of a nurse. They always thought I would languish in a pit of unclean, remaining part of the unknown and unseen. However determination was my power to prove that an aspie could become an aspiring nurse.

Behold now a student nurse I flew through three years, of course with struggles and an abundance of tears. One ward said they could not meet my needs, because of the tick box aspie I was made out to be. They said go somewhere else we cannot have you as a burden, I said to them I beg your pardon. I was made to feel unwelcome and yet I stayed, filled with longing to make them change their ways. I was asked to look after an alcoholic who wanted more than juice, I offered apple, orange and pineapple but none would suffice. They wanted beer in a pint glass with crushed ice.

I said okay go to the toilet where you have hidden your stash and drink until your breath smells like trash. They looked aghast at what I had said, I cannot lie as this is what comes from my head.

My patient asked for water instead and then promptly put themselves back to bed.

Fast forward two years later I qualified as a nurse and entered the real world of nursing that was a shock to my system.

I entered the profession to make a change, yet there was so much red tape in my way. Bureaucracy will always rule they said, I liked a challenge and took it head on. An aspie became a nurse and looked after patients with delight, many a comment passed that would make others look at me in fright. Still I plod on to this day without ever changing my way. Let no one dictate what you do, as you are your own person and this will always shine through.

Two years ago I met an enigma on a new path, eyes bright with passion and an unforeseen wrath.

As soon as I sat down he broke out into song, and told of his fight to become recognised as a new social norm. What is this anyway?

To be considered intelligent you have to be from among the elite, best grades at school and a representation of neat.

Yet stood this alien creature a beard in tow and tattoos on their arms a disciple of the ‘not yet” movement. Bringing about new ideas and ways of thinking, challenging the scholarly interpretations of education.

This was my lecturer for my mentorship course, I was ready to learn and listen, somebody like myself who wanted to make a new theory of man.

I learned many things from this person, who also had an appreciation for the inner being and believed in the future potential of our nurses. Mould, modify and make, the three M’s that I remember from this brief encounter. Ask a question and get an answer which causes more eruptions of aptitude from inside. Be not afraid to say, challenge me this is what I want he would say. For this is the foundation of learning which I believe to be right, it does not matter if you fall from a great height. It is part of life to fail, I failed many times before I found and understood myself, before I could reach out to others such as yourself.

Now we converse through the olden verse of ye olde English, expression being paramount to the understanding of poetic prowess, long may this continue in the fight to understand the non-understanding within the standing of depression.

The second Jewel;

My response to this beautiful poetic and honest reflection.

Your words sing of a jewel eternal. 

A central resolve.

A knowledge of unknowing.

We validate, we comfort 

We are as we are, unapologetic and beautiful by design. 

I heard you that day and continue to hear you.

Sweet bubbling words of change, the brook of possibility joining another and swelling with intent. 

Knowledge unformed but passion abounding,

Thank you sister. 

Your aspieloutley beautiful to my eyes. 


What forms in this true joy, a space, those shared before and afterwards are continued reflections and validity. Joanne continued to speak of resolve and resilience and a sense of self that is undisputed. This is what acts to help me push on against the negative statements offered by others or by my own internal narration of self.

It’s clearly a defined and ordained path that is not clearly known or understood nor does it need to be. This week as a collective the Poetic community and I have been offered a gallery space to speak. This is truly amazing, wonderful humbling and rewarding for all those involved in taking new steps forwards.

And this next reflection offered by Joanne is what I have sent in to the NMC and will use within my next ‘appraisal or positive conversation’ as justification for being employed and being me…. it’s the greatest feedback an educator could wish to receive….


What’s next?

We as a group of poetic butterflies and just wonderful people are going to be creating poetic art and this will form some of the narrative a construct of my PhD. So soon you may well be greeted by me or the Hatter, and welcomed into a space to recount feelings around one single word.

If this idea appeals to you please email and chat with me, I am available via TEAMs or Skype.