Welcome to CJ Poet’s Corner (and Artists Too) ~ Issue #4
From Our Editor...
I think you are really going to enjoy what we have in store for you this time. I would like to encourage you all to keep submitting your various talents. Just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am desperately waiting for Spring to appear here in North Dakota, so some of the items that we will be featuring, should all help to being that closer. As they say, “Hope Springs Eternal.”
Think about what your hope is and strive to make that become a reality.
CJ Poetry Editor
In this Issue:
Arthritic Allegory by Sylvia Walters (A Picturesque Writing)
Juniper by Jennifer Taft (Artwork)
What is Mel Isherwood (Poem with Photograph)
Mighty Little Heroes Brenda Kleinsasser (Poem with Photograph)
Editor’s Note: Sylvia Walters
Sylvia Walters has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since 1999. It has not stopped her, as it has invigorated her creative side as a singer/songwriter/student. Although this disease has changed her life completely, as she reaches her goal for a Bachelor’s Degree and begins her journey with a total knee replacement, she has much to say and do. She would like to thank CreakyJoints for this opportunity.
Arthritic Allegory (A Picturesque Writing)
by Sylvia Walters
At the dawn of each new day, there is a vibrational hum of life that permeates the Earth. This soul song includes the collective sigh of millions of arthritic sufferers and those who battle a chronic illness, as we awaken in our beds in pain, knowing that there is little we can do, except sigh and take on the day. For some of us, the moment is over within a few hours after meds, showers or our morning ritual. But for the rest of us that suffer, it lasts all day, all night. You can hear the sounds of this blues melody as you travel from village to city, to projects and palaces for this malady can be inflicted upon anyone without exception, a song that anyone can sing. For me, it begins when I open my eyes and let my body inform my brain whether or not I can go to work, keep an appointment or go to the emergency room, again.
This morning occurrence is heard and seen by our mates, lovers and children, as they also rise to see how we feel. One edgy comment or overly happy expression can start the day off going in many different directions as we attempt to sit up on the edge of our beds and wait to hear that next familiar sounds of “creak and crunch”. Those first few steps are the most difficult as we lean against our canes or walkers and make our way into the bathroom (30 steps), the kitchen (20 steps) take our meds, make our beverage and wait for the edge to blur so that we can make it through this day, this moment, the next grind, the next crunch, that sigh becomes a battle cry for the arthritis sufferer as we choose to fight! We must choose to fight for our betterment! We must fight for our rights for access to safe medications and healthcare during a time when a well respected member of our government went to the floor of Congress in his wheelchair to ask for support for a worldwide treaty that would assure safe travel and aids that would allow anyone to live a more independent life, his request was denied, by members of his own party! We must fight to express our right to be viewed as a viable productive individual that can make an economic impact on our community! We must strive to succeed so that any assumed limitation will give way to a new parameter of our own choosing, not to be labeled but to be limitless!
This cry becomes the melody of a life song that those who live with a chronic illness will sing everyday until we find a cure for what ails us so that our vibration will be in sync with music of life that plays around us, to keep the meter in time as we flow through life.
There is one last line of lyric before the day is done. That moment that we stretch out, arrange our pillows around us, turn down the lights and reflect on our day’s activities, we take a deep breath and blow out that last sigh note as we pray for an uninterrupted night of sleep.
Editor’s Note: Jennifer Taft
Jennifer Taft has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for over 6 years. She has always loved art and finds it more challenging with her hands, but it continues to push her to be creative and find new ways to develop her talent.
This artwork “Juniper” is based on a song by the British singer/songwriter Donovan, “Jennifer Juniper.” (Watch It On Youtube) Juniper means Jennifer, thus the creation of this wonderful piece.
Editor’s Note: Mel Isherwood
Mel Isherwood was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in September of 2012. He blessings are her family and friends. She discovered poetry as an outlet for emotion some years ago. In her own words. “To write has aided my own acceptance of the condition whilst also hopefully helping others whilst they read.”
PHOTO CREDIT: This photo was taken by Mel Isherwood before her Fibromyalgia diagnosis whilst enjoying a trip of a lifetime in Kenya.
What Is (Poem)
by Mel Isherwood
What is that sound that loud piercing scream?
Wakes me from my distraught dream
Tinnitus shouts loud in both ear
Persistent, ringing out 'pain is right here'
What is that? That fuzzy looking blur
Oh that's my vision all in a whir
Focus in and out I have no choice
Eyeballs hurting, oh just rejoice!
What is that, that intense burning
Oh that's my skin, tight, comfort yearning
Almost like I've been in Africa on the beach
With required factor 50, well out of reach
What is that, that clicking and creaking?
The persistent joint pain, agonizingly shrieking
I'm sure my joints are trying to make song
Their clicking and cracking as I move along
What is that, that muscular, cramp, ache?
My stomach pretending six pack, ha what a fake
My legs, my arms feel like much done
20 hours at gym then been for a run....
What is that, call yourself a friend
Well Fybro my pal one day it will end
Meanwhile I'm living my slower pace of life
And what used to stress no longer causes strife
My perception, my priority, my life has so change
Lacking in energy, to do list delegated, rearrange
Yet through blurring eyes I can see oh so clear
With clarity beauty as it draws near
I hear a noise so tranquil, quiet beautiful natures fill
Or my grandchildren playing, to watch as a thrill
And my friends, some new and old friend too
Some without Fibro I would have never knew
My family and friends cause laughter and smile
Supporting each other, jovial brave all the while
Listening, voicing, caring, we interact
My friends are my family too, and that is my pact
And me? I'm still the same person who cares oh so much
Who wants to help others with words gentle touch
But now my assistance with work is drawing back
Although not a passion for care do I lack
My health needs a life a little more serene
So thank you Fibro for discovering that dream
Because this slower life, steady as I go
Has a smile on my face, healing as I go
10th February 2013
I was honored to be asked by Christine Schwab, founder of Christine’s Kids to write this poem. My helper with my blog Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog is also their Mascot. A truly important job indeed.
Mighty Little Heroes (Poem)
by Brenda Kleinsasser
Mighty Little Heroes
There’s a great group of kids,
who battle every day,
while continuing to live,
with JA or RA!
I’m talking about “Christine’s Kids,”
who fight each day to cope.
Continue to inspire,
and offer so much hope!
Kids who live with dreams,
who will never give in.
Mighty Little Heroes,
who are all, in this to win!