Kelly Van Nelson – Mother hood

Kelly Van Nelson LEP&W V3 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three December 2022.

Mother hood, poems by Kelly Van Nelson. 

Mother hood

I am the mother from in the hood
who once stood misunderstood
in the classroom of geography,
yet nobody could read my calligraphy
or pinpoint my soul on the map.

I was a left-handed,
disbanded, thirteen-year-old stranded
from the mean girls
with straightened out curls
scoring own goals with the teacher,
a preacher, putting eighty percent feature
on popular kids never sentenced to detention,
not the twenty percent rejection
silent in vocal projection
as raw tonsils screamed,

‘Hey teacher, leave those kids alone.’

Throw the rest of us a bone
by turning over unmarked stone
to nourish deteriorating minds so they mature,
mitigating youth becoming skeleton premature
in the dark, unforgiving earth,
that can never emulate Mother Earth
absent back home
from those who roam
alone in the hood.


inside popcorn
scented big top
ringmaster’s whip
cracked attention
driving me to leave
mediocracy behind
only for one night
when the circus
came to town

Forty-five found

I was forty-five found
When I discovered myself
Lost in a new city
Deployed to the front line
Navigating backstreets of work

I was forty-five found
When I learned which tunes
Repaired ancient deep scars
Making modern heart sing
Wandering neon laneways at night

I was forty-five found
When I treasured coffee alone
Picking menu of indulgent choice
With no place called home
Identity bustling with morning strangers

© Kelly Van Nelson

Kelly Van Nelson is the author of seven books, including #1 bestsellers Graffiti LanePunch and Judy, and Retrospective. Her seventh book, The Pinstripe Prisoner, is a fiction novel, that explores prison reform and men’s mental health. Her contemporary poetry has featured in numerous publications and her books are frequently gifted to A-list celebrities including Academy Award winners.

She is co-host of the Wordsmith Poetry Podcast and is a TEDx speaker and prominent media figure discussing socioeconomics, bullying, domestic violence, and mental health. She is a KSP First Edition Fellowship recipient, winner of AusMumpreneur ‘Big Idea Changing the World’ Award, Roar Success Best Book and Most Powerful Influencer Awards. She is also a full-time Managing Director for a global organisation and was a 2020 CEO Magazine Managing Director of the Year finalist and Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year finalist. She is based in Sydney and is represented by Newman Agency.

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