Thank you to our kind friends from Ink Movement who shared with us these amazing pieces that address mental health, all submitted by youth from the Peel Region!! We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!
Submission 1: Happy Boy
maybe I’m just a kid
the kid with straight smiles and crooked ideals
with quiet laughs but loud thoughts
buckling over a tabletop, filled glasses leaning back on my own weight, broken hearts
unlit passions burning cigarettes
bleeding, irregular hearts beating struggling to keep breathing
feeling pain to not feel anything at all
black space addicted to the stardust
children of the universe created equal
in a system that lives to kill and kills to live
talking my mouth shut preaching silence until my jaw drops
the truth is we grow slowly but die quickly
dishonest optimism realism in pessimism
I found love in the concept of not loving at all because dreams die when time flies
cold breath fills vacant spaces in my chest looking for the glitter on the pavement under the night stars
picking fights with the mirror flinch at the sound of a pin drop in a loud room
drown in a crowd
just the kid
the kid with the straight smile and the crooked ideals
[the] happy boy
Submission 2: Smile
When life is dark as the blackest night, When all is dull and naught is bright, When you feel that you have lost your light, Try to smile
If you feel like giving up hope, If it becomes too hard to cope, If life seems like a downward slope, Try to laugh
In the times of sadness, grief, and despair, In the times when you feel that nobody’s there, In the times you just don’t want to care, Try to dance
When life starts to feel like a bottomless hole, Find your purpose, achieve a goal. Remember your happiness is in your control, And smile.
Submission 3: Constant Rhythm
She’s a packed concert hall of sharp teeth and stays in constant motion.
I’m not sure if she knows what she wants, but she keeps going because her system is wired on a never ending buzz to stay alive.
And if only she knew, her aggression is
for a blood thirst hunt.
Her deadly force is consistent, yes,
but not for the sake of being reckless, no,
this is survival.
I know what floating in a lull feels like.
It’s days where I think too much and do too little,
where my body is so far behind on my mental agenda.
So she carries on to the pulse of the Jaws theme song.
She feeds on what she is wired to consume, a headliner we read in fear of her incessant rhyme.
Submission 4: Antidepressants