Magical Meeting!

Like a student at the feet of his master, on Friday I had the immense privilege of meeting my literary hero, Michael Morpurgo.  Listening to him read my story was an honour I will never forget.  The evening was rounded off with an excellent concert of songs mixed with a compelling reading of Michael Morpurgo’s ‘The Best Christmas in the World’ in aid of his charity, Farms for City Children.  My thanks go to the Make a Wish Foundation for arranging the meeting.

Below is a copy of my latest poem, inspired by ‘Coming Home’ by…Michael Morpurgo!

 

Going Home

 

Go my soul and go my eyes,

Onwards, onwards through fateful times,

Lift me, lift me home.

I must travel on.

Travel on.

 

Beckoning, calling, summoning, coaxing,

Drawing me homewards.

Homewards.

Travelling time on the wings of hope.

Fly my soul. Fly.

 

Anticipate home, yearn only for home,

Traversing on, voyaging on, journeying on.

Soar my soul, soar,

Steady my eyes. Steer steady.

 

Alone with Him in my heart,

Over the youngest years, through the sleeplessness,

She, my soul-mate joins me.

Together, our souls glide on.

Glide on.

 

Eyes sickening, body weakening, lungs dying,

Be strong my soul.

Be strong.

Falling, failing, fading…

 

Eyes glimpsing home.

Safe, warm, free, secure,

Soul’s rest.

Eyes discerning, eyes burning,

Dragged back, hauled back.

Next time.

 

Silence.

Soul’s suffocating silence.

Eyes searching onwards, upwards,

Trapped.

Until, until…

 

…I look out and see,

Eyes discerning, fingers pointing, letters spelling,

Break free my soul,

Break free.

 

Onwards, eyes dancing soul’s beat,

Dance on my eyes.

Beat on my soul.

Home is calling, beckoning,

Soul’s yearning home.

©Jonathan Bryan

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Marvellous Meeting!

jonathan-with-petitionYesterday I met with Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, in his office in the Department for Education.  Accompanied by experts in the field, the discussion went well and will continue into the future with follow up meetings and research.

As a voice for the voiceless, it was a privilege and honour to discuss issues in education affecting children like me with such senior and influential people.  Until children labelled as having PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) are taught literacy as a matter of course I will continue to campaign on this issue.

 

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Meeting the Minister

Ecstatic to report that tomorrow I will be meeting the Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, at his office in London.

Thank you for your ongoing support, I will be presenting my petition with over 179,000 signatures to him tomorrow, and it will bring weight to my discussion. Please pray for an effective meeting.

Thank you

Our Lives

Appearing on the ‘Our Lives’ film for the Children’s Commissioner and First News, was a real privilege, as it seeks to show the lives of different children in 2016.  Hearing Max talk of his previous life in another country is humbling and makes me realise how fortunate we are living here.

Watch the film here:

 

My Confirmation

Last night was the best service of my life, when I publicly dedicated myself to Jesus Christ; and I was particularly honoured that so many friends and family could share my special service with me.  During the service my wonderful godfather read out the testimony I had written:

Living Life in all its Fullness

With Jesus as my saviour, companion and friend, I have lived my hours here with happiness in my spirit and content calm in my soul. Knowing He is with me; cradling me in pain, sheltering me from darkness and beckoning me forward, has given me the strength and serenity to look life in the eye and smile. Like the constancy of the second hand of a clock, Jesus inhabits the quaver beats of my life; and as that beat slows, I look forward with excited anticipation to the day I will see Jesus; and live together with Him in His garden forever. In the meantime, I cleave to Jesus: my faith and my life.

The Author of Life

Beauty breathing through my soul,

Cradling arms tending my frail frame,

Sheltering rock whilst life’s storms rage,

Dancing with quaver beats of joy,

Anticipating Love’s beckon,

Home in the garden forever.

 

©Jonathan Bryan

jonathan-confirmation

confirmation-service

Revolting Rumplestiltskin

In commemoration of 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth I have written this revolting rhyme, as partly heard in Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch yesterday.

 

Rumplestiltskin

The tale of Rumplestiltskin tells,

Of how men use their little gels,

To harness some financial gain,

And rid themselves of the dire pain,

Of finding a suitable man,

To wed their daughters. Here’s the plan:

The miller lies, the miller cheats,

“My daughter spins pure gold in sheaths,”

The king heard this as he rode by,

“I need this woman to be my

Treasurer, spin gold, fill my bank,

If she does this, the highest rank,

Of queen, my wife will all be hers

But if he lies she will incur,

My wrath poured out on severed head.”

Thus our heroine full of dread,

Waved goodbye to evil father,

For certain death ever after.

Locked in a room with spinning wheel,

And enough straw for a cow’s meal,

She dissolved into distraught tears,

When suddenly an imp appears,

“My dear,” he said with such aplomb,

(Brought up properly at Eton),

“Dry your eyes on my handkerchief,

What I perform is past belief,”

She sat snivelling in the corner,

Reader, how shall we forewarn her?

For whilst he spun the straw to gold,

His real intention was foretold,

By the smooth leer upon his lips,

Calamitous relationships,

Followed him where’er he travelled,

As quickly his charm unravelled.

Delighted with the pure gold pile,

She gave her necklace with a smile.

The king with pound signs in his eyes,

Places more straw to her surprise,

This time she calls out for her friend,

Who saves her from her sticky end.

With love bursting within her heart,

Her precious ring she did impart,

As a sign of her intention,

He accepts for his deception.

The king is greedy through and through,

And demands one last revenue,

The imp returns, she’s aflutter,

What he demands makes her shudder,

Her first born son is all he wants,

Despite her imploring response.

So now she’s married to the king,

Proud mother to her first offspring,

Imagine her immense surprise,

When imp returns to claim his prize.

You all know the story from here,

Three days for his name to appear,

She gets it on the final night,

His anger drove him from her sight.

What dear reader is never told –

How this encounter made her bold

To leave the king and start afresh,

Caring for children in a crèche,

Where she tells her favourite story –

She triumphed over men in glory!

 

© Jonathan Bryan

Eye Can Bake

Baking is my favourite pastime, even though I cannot eat because I am tube fed.  Why? All my life people have done things for me; by baking I can make others happy and nothing gives me greater pleasure.

Recently I held a coffee morning in aid of Tearfund, you can read the extraordinary figure I rose in the article below.  Here is a baking poem:

Baking Beauty

Filling, beating, stirring, pouring,

Baking beauty life restoring,

Dripping goodness love in sharing,

Aromatic health repairing,

Pleasant parcels held with pleasure,

Tantalising tastes to treasure.

 

© Jonathan Bryan

 

Tearfund article

jonathan-pouring-bread-flour

Inclusive Fun

Recently I was invited to join my primary school class for the week long residential at Oxenwood Outdoor Educational Centre.  With an itinerary including climbing wall, canoeing and mountain biking I was concerned about how included I would be.  I need not have worried, as the centre staff and my mother went above and beyond to ensure I was given every opportunity to experience all activities.  Memories of being excluded the year before evaporated, making way for new.

With a can-do attitude anything is possible combined with the belief that special needs children are worth the extra effort. Half the battle is won in the mind and the other is triumphed with an adaptable and flexible approach to the practicalities as proven by the staff at Oxenwood.

Being included makes me feel loved and part of the team as opposed to different and lonely. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to experience life in all its fullness.

This is my poem on the residential.

Residential Poem

 

Activities adapted,

Inclusion at their heart,

Tidal waves of belief,

Esteem growing with my part.

 

Escaped on bikes; elated,

Hair ruffled in the breeze,

Views absorbed; time stands still,

Free-wheeling downhill with ease.

 

Friends clapping cheering chanting,

I’m rising to the sky,

Pulling me to freedom,

My ovation soaring high.

 

Dogged determination,

Proud member of Rhine class,

Great team forged with laughter,

Fantastic friendships last!

© Jonathan Bryan

Holiday Happiness

During the holidays I had a wonderful time.  Frolicking sisters and a coasting daddy made for an entertaining display, freedom to be ourselves was the most wonderful fun.

 

H appiness emerging excitement growing,

O ceans of dancing waves lovingly flowing,

L aughter like singing birds heard in the morning,

I rresistable ice-cream noon-time yawning,

D addy filling our heads with figures and facts,

A way we’re escaping down unexplored tracks,

Y early adventures treasured deep in our hearts,

S adness its over til the next one starts.

© Jonathan Bryan

 

Click here to read my recount of the summer