Sam Moore is a composer, poet and brain injury survivor. We have previously featured Sam’s story and a selection of his poems, and are pleased to be able to share two new poems he created during creative writing sessions at his local Headway group.
Before his brain injury, Sam Moore lived a “slightly unusual” life when he left home, and much of society, to live life as a traveller.
Environmentally and creatively minded, Sam had many talents, from bread making and cooking with native plants to planting trees and building his traditional ‘bender’ home (a traditional canvas and hazel pole home).
Following a horrific assault that caused a hypoxic brain injury, Sam struggles with seizures, communication difficulties and memory problems. He endured twenty-one years of struggling, without a proper diagnosis or care, until he heard a programme on BBC Radio 4 featuring Headway.
“I heard someone describing my problems exactly for the first time since the event. I wrote to the address given after the programme and Headway sent me four booklets and some leaflets. One of the booklets was about hypoxic brain injury and its effects. This was me and what my life was like being described!”
Sam began attending his local Headway group in Bradford.
It is a long day travelling but worth it to be among other people who have some understanding of each other’s issues.
It was July 98 when it happened to me
I didn’t make it home for over a week
And when I did my ex thought I’d been out partying
So she didn’t help or do anything
I was in a mess; I couldn’t remember my name
Or which house I lived in; I only found it cos it was the end one
I’d go to our tiny town and spend hours lost
Then spend hours wandering round wondering
Which door was mine; they all look the same!
Places I used to know like the back of my hand
Were mazes I didn’t recognise anymore
People I used to know I didn’t recognise anymore
And soon they didn’t want to know me anymore
And then the seizures started
On the railway station platform
I came round in hospital; how long
Have you had epilepsy for ? they asked
I haven’t got epilepsy I told them
Oh yes you have they replied to my
Confused face and great surprise
The next few years were a big muddle
How I did it I just don’t know
I couldn’t remember the words for things
Or peoples names and I got lost
Every time I went out of the door
Somehow I managed to be a single parent
10 days a fortnight through it all; don’t know how
All the people I thought were my friends
Just vanished like smoke (partner had too)
The epilepsy pills didn’t really work
But I was so out of it I didn’t realise
That took years and lots of bruises
And a lot of different types of pills; tries after tries
My neuro team were OK for
An underpaid, overworked bunch spread too thin
But they couldn’t really do a proper job
Epilepsy Action helped me understand
The mechanics of the epilepsy but I knew
There were gaps and I had a furrowed brow
I know a lot more these days but it’s still furrowed now
Lots of years later I found Headway
Brain injuries heroes – hip hip hooray
Their info filled those gaps and
Helped me understand, what had happened
To me 21 years beforehand, and still is today
And gave me better support too (more hip hip hoorays)
So thank you Headway
In those bleak years I’d forgotten everything
I couldn’t read, write, think straight or anything
And my radio was my only friend.
One day ‘cos he was tired of being brown
Hedgehog visited cockatoo tattoos when he was in town
“Your spines are full of colourful ink
You could make mine the same, what do you think?”
The squawky bird went “Quuuuarrk… Ok
I can make your spines however you say
Others come here wanting anchors and hearts
Names of their loved ones and other strange art
Just sit in my chair & I’ll get my tattoo gun
Won’t be long, I’ll soon have you done."
So with a buzz and a whirr, the changes began
A bird with a steady eye & beak, claws for a hand
Ink from the spike to the spines did flow
And the brown hedgehog became a rainbow!
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