Terri Winchester defies assumptions… in rhyming couplets

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Terri Winchester is an active creative, locally, nationally and internationally. She describes herself as a ‘determined initiator’. Her wit and wisdom is evident in her poetry, wrought through with a wry humour and a poignant message…

Terri Winchester dressed up at an award ceremony, smiling as she receives The Richard Houghton Award

Terri Winchester receiving The Richard Houghton Award for her part in Freewheelers Theatre Company’s ‘A Cream Cracker Under the Setee’

“I worked really hard for everything that I’ve got , from my B.Sc in in Professional Development to a Richard Houghton Award for my portrayal of Doris in Freewheelers Theatre Company’s A Cream Cracker Under the Setee. “a moving and compelling performance”

I am a poet and artist. Other people tend to focus on my ataxia, double vision and a speech impairment, but I honestly don’t… it’s an inconvenience to me, and I am constantly fighting against my impairment defining me.

I never know when my creativity is going to surface, but my friends say that when I get really upset or cross about something I have a better chance of producing something heartfelt. So cruel world… you are giving me something to write about or paint.

I want to change things. I want to provoke thought, and capture feelings. I want people to think about how their actions impact on others, and to do something about it. I use my poems and paintings to achieve this. My painting… I cannot do this with my right hand, so I tried and have managed to do it with my left. I have a website of my paintings and drawings on artmajeur.com. I have a unique style, and  love doing portraiture.  I have painted portraits of several members of my theatre group.

Several of my poems have been made into songs, and as I love music I have tried to write some… examples of my work are on the Freewheelers website. I cannot stop creating, right now, here is a selection. Please let me know what you think?”


Absolute Perfection

Hello, and how are you today? Your fine of course that’s absurd,
but do you know the password?
Are you the account holder? Yes and your name is Terri?
Okay Terri, do they call you Terri?

Have you got a spare minute, to help me with feedback
Oh you’ve got windows, but wouldn’t you prefer a Mac?
Whatever you’ve got, I can offer you more, bigger, better, faster, clearer
Absolute perfection is getting nearer and nearer

I’d like to check the balance on my account please?
You’d like to order chips and peas?
Oh forget it, don’t worry
Did you just say your sorry?
No I didn’t!

I know you’re concerned with heart attacks
but I want to talk about the rats
Why won’t you listen you’re a selling machine
Yes that too can go into the terrine.

Before you go, would you like to invest in the latest version?
Oh, and that way’s closed, we’ve set up a diversion
It’s healthy for you to be fat and thin
Only put your rubbish in the purple bin!!!

That is not compatible, afraid to say it’s obsolete
Have you tried turning it off, not with your hands but with your feet?
Stop selling and try communicating
Is this a nightmare or am I imagining.


Assumption Regulator Song (Testimonial Injustice)

I speak uniquely, and I don’t notice
I think of what I’m saying, and not of my prognosis
I don’t want to focus on my deficit
You’re living in the past, move on and get with it!

Oh I wish I had an assumption regulator
An annoying prejudice, de-activator
I’d zap, freeze, then speak, and they’d listen to me
Give me credibility, not focus on my disability.

I don’t want to hurt you, and I’m not intimidating
but when I speak, you assume, and there’s misunderstanding!
I’d zap you, make you listen and comprehend me
Then maybe you’d speak to me N O R M A L L Y!

Oh I wish I had an assumption regulator
an annoying prejudice, de-activator
I’d zap, freeze, then speak, and they’d listen to me
Give me credibility, not focus on my disability.

Testimonial injustice, ignoring what I say
I read it in my philosophy book just the other day
Discontinuous transformation, changing the aim
There now, illusions shattered, but assumptions remain?

Oh I wish I had an assumption regulator
An annoying prejudice, de-activator
I’d zap, freeze, then speak, and they’d listen to me
Give me credibility, not focus on my disability.

Soon we wont communicate
A virtual world, hallucinate
Comprehending will be obsolete
A string of notes, but with no beat.


Keep Trying (Still Me)

Message From Officialdom… Keep Trying

Try harder you say
Be assertive you say
Look, you might even get like me
Ambitious, successful official lady

Try hard, to what?
Be like you?
I just want to be
So stop picking on me

Try harder you say
Be assertive you say
Look, you might even get like me
Ambitious, successful official lady

You impact on me
Cant you see?
So stop picking on me
It’s disabling me

Try harder you say
Be assertive you say
Look, you might even get like me
Ambitious, successful official lady

You sit and you watch and enjoy the show
Judging us by your standards though
Value our art or just leave us alone
Don’t eat all the meat and throw us the bone.

Try harder you say
Be assertive you say
Look, you might even get like me
Ambitious, successful official lady

I cant believe that you cannot see
You are implying I’m not worthy
Worthy to what?
Fit in to your world
You cast me out
Like a stone I was hurled

It’s so condescending
That you tell me,
What you think that I should be
Value me, well, just as me
I will not change, I’m just Terri.


Night Of Love

Kiss you with my love for life, I’ll give you everything
gazing in your eyes my love, of loving you’re a king
hold me close, squeeze me tight, a fantasy to share
make me love you through the night, you are my only care
we can love all through the night, we can do it right
letting myself love you
catch me when I fall
let your love come over me
hear me when I call

I’ll touch you with my fingertips, I’ll hold your magic arms
staring in your face my love, it’s oh so very calm
kiss me now, and fill my thoughts, a moment of our pleasure
all the good things in my life, right now it’s you I treasure
we can love all through the night, we can do it right
letting myself love you
catch me when I fall
let your love come over me
hear me when I call

I’ll feed you now with thoughts of love, and whisper in your ear
feel me in the dark my love, pull me very near
hold me now, inside my soul, let me have your loving
all I have inside me now, it’s unto you I’m giving
we can love all through the night, we can do it right
letting myself love you
catch me when I fall
let your love come over me
hear me when I call


ALTRUISTIC MODE

My computer says many things, it speaks its own language
today, it said something that would help us all to manage
ALTRUISTIC MODE
be kind code?
computers taking over?
Are we becoming gofers?

I cannot stop the life printer, it’s churning out copies
The copies are like children, greedy kids in nappies
ALTRUISTIC MODE
be kind code?
Question…shall I help her
or buy that new tiara

Perhaps then we should all try to be in altruistic mode
our minds are full of greed, ambition – necessary load?
ALTRUISTIC MODE
be kind code?
Kids are dying, starving.
we watch a game show laughing.

We pay to be scared and shocked – we call it entertainment
In rouble that’s ALLEPO, they’re petrified they’re frightened.
ALLEPO ODE
a scar so cold
A child begs ‘stop the bombs,’
Fat cat makes a gun.


The Modern Christmas Story

When I see the Nativity play with my future grandchildren in it
I will remember the Syrians, and Europe’s migrant limit

After a long journey, a knock at the door…

No room at the inn
No room at the inn
No room at the inn

Running for your life, but nowhere to go
My children and wife, and our children in tow

After a long journey, a knock at the border…

No room in our country
No room in our country
No room in our country

Quotas, mandates, rubbish, responsibility shifting
He said “I am a doctor, my children witnessed an act of cannibalism – I’m not staying”

Ask yourselves, would I leave?