Congratulations to our 1K Competition winner, Paul Kohn!
As I stare into the mirror, your hands reach for me,
casting my hair aside so you can hold my face close,
look into my eyes, stare into my soul.
I have been lost, alone for months now, oblivious to time,
as I float to the distant shore of healing, strings of trauma
trying to pull me back as I fight.
While the waves have been tidal, sinking me at times,
I now float in the calm, the shoreline in sight,
pausing in my thoughts as the current pushes me forward.
The strings cutting, stretching, breaking,
as the winds of change pick up,
I am no longer a puppet to the trauma that broke me.
No longer floating, drifting, being pulled by strings up and down,
left and right. Now knowing my soul is held as I’m mirrored
back to myself, grown, flying higher, as I rise.
Paul Kohn is a writer of poetry and short stories, performer of spoken word, and creator of music and lyrics. Residing in South Australia, he’s featured at The Good Word and West Words. He was most recently placed third in the 2021 SA Winter Slam, and first in the July 2020 Ruckus Monthly Slam. His words have been published in Black Bough, Anti Heroin Chic and RDW World. Paul writes as a way of processing, understanding, healing and growing, and shares his written and spoken word poetry all over Australia and the world with the hope that it helps others.
'Rise' was born out of a traumatic life event that left me with PTSD and MDD. It is a reflective poem on all I lost along the way and how it made me feel. It reflects on the pain I went through on my journey as I navigated the lonely path to healing. It’s a constant battle, and it is not easy! My go-to place when I’m feeling down is the beach. It’s my happy place through all the seasons and a constant reminder of both power and beauty, so it seemed only fitting that I used it to describe my journey in 'Rise'. I refused to let what happened to me define me. No matter how many times I felt like I was drowning, how much I was hurting, I kept getting up and pulling my way back to me. And once I could see that, feel that, knowing I was moving forward, healing and growing, it showed me how important the fight is for my soul and me. I wrote this poem to share that experience with others with the hope that it helps them too.
Watch Paul Kohn perform 'Rise'