[email protected]

And please, when submitting your entries, please let us know your favourite charity – this is important as we are offering cash rewards (£250) both to our 12 winning poets (the 12 that are ‘most liked’ by our judges) plus the same amount again to their chosen charities.


MS (twice);  Cancer Research;  Rutherford School;  Crohn’s & Colitis;  British Heart Foundation;  SCOPE (twice);  Revialize;  Shekinah;  Versus Arthritis;  WWF; Alzheimer’s Society;  AMAZE (three times);  Sutton Nightwatch;  Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health (twice);  BRAKE;  MIND (five times);  Children’s Hospice South West (Little Harbour);  Independent Lives;  SSAFA;  MNDA;  Bob Champion Cancer Charity;  Popsy Charity;  Invest in ME;  NCBI;  The Humane Society;  Dementia Care;  Headway UK;  Heart of Darts;  Rights of Women;  Complex PTSD;  NASS (twice);  FSH Muscular Dystrophy;  Mencap;  Teach Us Too;  Simon Community Glasgow and Action on Hearing Loss.  

VIRGIN MEDIA are joint sponsors of “My Disabled World”


A River of Scars

bear with me a little longer
my mother said her voice—
a contusion wrapped in burlap
tossed towards the red sky

it happened in the month after
i turned thirteen the synovial
fluid in her left hip began
to evaporate like rain leaving only sore bones
& a limp

ashamed of her scars &
the clunking way she walks
across a dance floor or any
room bustling with happy
& oblivious people

pop culture— I should want
to be looked at [but when she
was regarded I didn’t know
how to feel]— the kingdom
of the sick is not a democracy:
lie down. bend forward.

Poem submitted by Ojo Taye


Dancing with grace

Dancing with grace, moving swiftly, leaping, mirroring a Giselle. Jumping without a thought, no questions asked. It’s all so easy. I feel the breeze against my arms as I press wind with resistance. You can watch me from a distance

I love this feeling so much it’s my passion, I believe, my reason for existence. Basking in my youth, take away this overflowing joy, I would surely die.
No strength sustaining the muscles, oh how I once danced with the wind. I long to lift or fly, soaring high to reach the sky. Slowly, it crept. Blindsided by the trick being played on me.
Fortitude moves me, I dance differently using cane, chair and bench, it’s like the movie red shoes, I want more and more and more. There are wonderful angels, the universe has sent, I am grateful for them all.
I am who I am because I took the falls.
Reflection of myself. This monster robs my strength. I can still imagine dancing with the wind, inside my mind. I Followed what i wanted kept my mind and heart exploring and absorbing , I searched inward and observed outward with devotion to find the lines in my own rhyme. A work in progress, learning who I am, till the day I rest. I’ve been really blessed.
One never knows what one can do or who you really are. Don’t judge yourself, just be free, let yourself be all you can be.
Poem submitted by Donna Russo – whose favourite charity is:
FSH Muscular Dystrophy Association
Autism is speaking, what are you thinking?
Are we scarily to you?
We do not mean to be scarily to you.
Are we characters of imagination?
No, we are not, we are real and human, but we have our imagination.
We are different to you; we guess but do not mean to be.
We guess it is hard for you to work us out.
We are real and we mean no harm.
We could be a character, but we are still real.
We find it hard to express our feelings.
Communication, facial expressions etc, we guess are hard for you to
We worry about what you think of us in case you think we are
something we do not intend to be.

Poem submitted by Sara Gorman – whose favourite charity is mencap



We are not capable of learning,

So do not tell me

There’s something going on behind the disability,

Treated as useless handicaps

Minds with nothing in there, tragically

Stuck in a wheelchair,

Disabilities visibly crippling –

Just incontinent and dribbling,

We are not

Academically able

You should make our minds

Stagnate in special education!

We cannot

Learn to read,

Learn to spell,

Learn to write,

Instead let us

Be constrained by a sensory curriculum.

It is not acceptable to say

We have the capacity to learn.

School should occupy us, entertain us; but never teach us,

You are deluded to believe that

Our education can be looked at another way!

Poem submitted by Jonathan Bryan – whose favourite charity is:

Teach Us Too


What’s that you said?

“What’s that you said?” I ask
As I cup a hand behind one ear.
Oh dear! My heart sinks.
Nothing can disguise the albeit fleeting annoyance
He whom I am addressing cannot camouflage
As my question obliges him to pause.
He takes a pointedly deliberate breath
And turns to face me
As though to make the point
That I am the one responsible
For breaking his train of thought.
Preceded by a forced and fleeting smile
He now more than deliberately
Repeats the point he wants to make.
The coronavirus is doubly cruel
To those of us who do not hear.
The face mask is the curtain that hides
The lips on whose movements we rely
To read the message you might impart.
In more senses than one
Deafness is the silent disability.

Poem submitted by John Dove – whose favourite charity is:

Action on Hearing Loss