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 [email protected]

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 Walter (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.” 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.

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


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


Mel Isherwood

10th February 2013


Editor’s Note:  Brenda on Brenda


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.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Trevor and Friends by Brenda Kleinsasser

PHOTO CREDIT: Trevor and Friends by Brenda Kleinsasser

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!




Brenda Kleinsasser