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> > > Kuli Kohli: Rag Doll

22 June 2015

Kuli Kohli was born with mild cerebral palsy in northern India and moved to England at an early age. She is a writer, mother, wife and full-time council worker. Here she presents a selection from her book ‘Rag Doll’, published in 2014

As a child I attended Penn Hall Special School in Wolverhampton where my passion for writing was encouraged, opening up possibilities as I struggle to express myself through speech. Having the ability to write has made my life richer and more rewarding. 

I am a member of Blakenhall Writers' Group in Wolverhampton and have received invaluable support from my writing mentor - poet and publisher, Simon Fletcher.

Last year I put together a collection of my poetry called ‘Rag Doll’, comprised of various forms of poetry, prose and dialogue to give the reader a picture of my life. The title poem is dedicated to people with cerebral palsy as it portrays my feelings and experiences of CP perfectly.

'Rag Doll' has sold more copies than I ever imagined it would. I have made new connections, and have been invited to perform across the West Midlands. My work has also been published in anthologies and magazines nationwide. In May 2015 my work was showcased on Poets Corner, Leaveners' platform for aspiring poets as poet of the month.

I have also written a novel - ‘Dangerous Games’ - about living with cerebral palsy in an Asian household in Britain, which I am hoping to get published. Now I am proud to say that I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a published writer. This is simply the start.

The Rag Doll
First published in Faith Initiative Magazine, Issue 28, 2013
To Fellow Rag Dolls Living With Cerebral Palsy
 
Silk, linen, velvet, cotton, wool; 
Made from all sorts; textures, fabrics,
Buttons, ribbons, hips made from zips, 
Whoops-a-daisy and falling to bits.
 
Her heart is made of golden fluff,
Her smile is stitched shining bright,
Now and again she’s not there, quite,
Her spirit shines like ultra violet light.
 
Droops, dangles her limbs and neck,
Durable to all types of wear and tear, 
Broken, damaged here and there,
People stare; she just does not care.
 
Battling, juggling impossibilities,
Shining diamond sequined eyes,
Always ready to give you a surprise,
Like a cartoon, she’ll always survive.
 
Has trouble with her physical being,
Words tangled in the laces of her head,
Still figuring out what you have just said,
Jerking, jolting to the day she’s dead!


An Interpretation Of Wolverhampton
Prize winner in Wolverhampton Archives Competition 2011

I heard a friend from Birmingham say,
"If yow thought Brummies sounded funny,
man, wait'll yow get ta Woolverramton, t’ay
y’naa, them am tekkin the piss an it aye!” 
English? I believe it’s an interpretation thing.

Once I met an old Indian woman at a bus stop,
“Bulbulhamtan noo jaandi hai bus?” she asked.
Smiling, I nodded, “Haanji, it’s only a short hop.”
Chuckling to myself, “My entertaining city, it’s top!”
Punjabi? I believe it’s an interpretation thing.

A Black-Caribbean man stopped and enquired,
“Ary yu dat ‘umaan hoo work in di counceel?”
Confused, I asked him to repeat what he required,
“Hulvahaamtown Counceel, mi dear gal!” he fired.
Patois? I believe it’s an interpretation thing.

Every category of human being all within reach,
A specially formulated city; a hint of prejudice.
Engaging everyday life; diverse tongues, speech,
An accidental evolution; an awareness to teach,
Wolverhampton? It’s an interpretation thing.


The Drop

Near the drop of a cliff, my heart fails,
my body refuses to move, I freeze:
‘Why did I follow these narrow trails?’
Caught between the land, sea and breeze.

He gently hauls me up, tells me to focus,
step by step, holds tight on to my hand,
“You can do it, it’s not all hocus-pocus.”
I sense his worry, it’s not as he planned.

Constantly staring down at my shoes,
wearing blinkers; a tunnel vision in force.
My wit backing me along the path I choose,
amid the scent of coconut, vanilla gorse.

“I’d put you in my rucksack, carry you,”
We laugh about my palsy, passing through.

 

Millions

Beliefs, feelings, memories fill the mind in millions,
definitions of colour, beauty of intangible dreams.

Walking from the ordinary world into the marvel,
footsteps carry me down a path of desire in millions.

Every breath I take is a drop of love that is energizing,
this heart pounds, I feel my beating heart in millions.

Daisies, blades of grass, the pebbles under my feet,
overwhelmed; the cool drops of rain falling in millions.

Enchantment; the air is caressed with tiny dancing fairies,
born as the wind blows the dandelion seeds in millions.

Birds and insects weave through the leaves and trees,
in all shapes and sizes, all creations of life in millions.

Gazing into the ink-dark sky, I see shining silver glitter,
like scented petals delicately falling off blossom in millions.

People follow another, sheep searching for something lost,
I wish to awaken in this world; shine, be one in millions.

I reflect and think alone, I feed my ever-hungry mind,
my thoughts pour deep into valleys and oceans in millions.


Kiss

A simple sensuous kiss that touches deep,
I soak in the rains of love - taking me away,
your gentle presence, wakens me from sleep.

You keep my eyes alight; I do not weep.
Your soft lips caress mine, I smile all day,
a simple sensuous kiss that touches deep.

Exhilarating clasp; secrets I’ll keep.
Breaking waves as refreshing as sea spray,
your gentle presence, wakens me from sleep.

You make me feel so precious never cheap,
I am eternally yours; I won’t betray
a simple sensuous kiss that touches deep.

Your touch is soothing as you softly sweep
me up with a passionate lift.  I break away,
your gentle presence wakens me from sleep.

You make my heartbeat pound, dance and leap.
Colour me with memories that surely stay.
A simple sensuous kiss that touches deep,
your gentle presence wakens me from sleep.

If you would like a copy of 'Rag Doll' it costs £5 including p&p, please email me kuli.kohli@hotmail.co.uk or visit my website: www.kulikohli.co.uk


 

Comments

Liliana Moldovan

/
24 July 2015

My name is Liliana Moldovan, I live in Romania, I am writer and librarian and I am a disabled person, too.

I am sending you this message, because It will be an honor for me to take some interviews to disabled researchers, teachers, writers, athletes.

I am working on an interview book with disabled people and I am writing this book because I want to show to the Romanians that disabled people are great persons, capable to make extraordinary things.

Here, in Romania, the situation of the disabled people is very hard, it is not easy to find a job if you are disabled, and the intergration process is very slow.

Please, be so kind to contact me (e-mail : lilisormoldovan@yahoo.com) if you are interested in this editorial project.

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