Welcome to Poet’s Corner (& Artists Too) ~ Issue #21

From Our Editor:

Before we introduce our special guest for this issue, I would like to share something really cool and exciting with you.

CreakyJoints Poet’s Corner (& Artists Too), the only online publication that showcases the creative work of those living with chronic illness, is holding a logo contest. We are seeking a logo that best represents the sense & sensibility of Poet’s Corner, a unique publication featuring the works of poets, writers & artists who refuse to let illness stand in the way of creativity.

You may submit a photograph, graphic or artwork of your choice to  Editor, Brenda Kleinsasser @[email protected]

We will be accepting entries until October 15th. Thank you!

Our special guest, really needs no introduction, as he is well known in the arthritis community. It is my pleasure to present, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, who graciously accepted this honor. I am proud to call him my friend, as he continues to inspire me and so many others.

So here we go, I hope you enjoy!

CJ Poetry Editor


In this Issue:

Canyons, Bridges and Waves (Photography by Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy)
When I Was Two Hundred and Fifty-Three (Part 2 of poetry by Maria Ordish)
Trevor’s Barks of Gold (Message and photograph by Brenda Kleinsasser)

Editor’s Note:  Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, in his own words:

People often ask me, what do you do? Depending upon my mood, I have many different answers. I am an architect. I am a photographer. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I am a designer.

But there is one response that remains constant, no matter how I am feeling.

I am a walker.

When I was a graduate student, the one professor that taught me some of my most important lessons–both in design, and in life–was best known for encouraging his students to open their eyes; to explore the world around them. “The whole concatenation of wild and artificial things, the natural ecosystem as modified by people over the centuries, the built environment layered over layers, the eerie mix of sounds and smells and glimpses neither natural nor crafted–all of it is free for the taking, for the taking in. Take it, take it in, take in more every weekend, every day, and quickly it becomes the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it. Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary. Outside lies unprogrammed awareness that at times becomes directed serendipity. Outside lies magic.” (John R. Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places)

Even when rheumatoid arthritis took away my ability to walk with my body, I continued to walk with my mind. For years, I was determined to leave my bed, and to get back out in the open.

I am now there, back out in the open…and whether I’m walking through the mountains of South America, or through the skyscrapers of New York City, I quietly smile on the inside, because I know I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy is a walker, a dreamer, a reader, a writer, and a designer. He resides in South America with his husband and his two dogs, and enjoys traveling to his home country of the United States to visit friends and family. He shares his adventures of living with chronic pain and disabling inflammation at www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com.



Caption: Canyons, Bridges and Waves



Editor’s Note: Maria Ordish

Maria Ordish is back, with part 2 of her poem. She also has some fun facts to share with us.

I have lived all over America (my family stems from Pennsylvania) and I am married to a Brit from Oxford.  We met and fell in love at a wedding in Dallas…and have been together ever since!  I am unashamed to admit the accent hooked me. I love the way he says ‘banana’.

Traveling is our passion.  So far, my favorite adventure has been to the Kingdom of Bhutan.  One can find a fantastic amount of happiness there!  Cross off ‘climb to Eagle’s Nest and devour Yak burger’ from my bucket list…Thank you Prednisone for the help.

I am quite a food junkie.  I have never met a dumpling that I didn’t like.

And my son, Luca, is the grandest inspiration of my life.  He is a terrific reason to creak out of bed in the morning.

Here is Part 2 of Maria’s poem:


Part 2, When I Was Two Hundred and Fifty-Three

The water kept rising and climbing and swishing!

Oh please make it stop! I kept wishing and wishing…

But it continued to push us straight up through the hole,

The hole I fell through, about six months ago…

Just then, the green spikey hedgehog sailed by…

In his shell for a hat!   (He has come to ask why…)


“Why oh why did you feel the need for such change?

The Water-Ups happily lived their lives free….

Free to flow up….free as you or as me…”

“I understand, yes, I really do see…

The importance of living your life by this creed.”

My friend smiled warmly and held on to me tight…

Glad I had learned what’s wrong and what’s right.


Up on the surface, the sun shone so bright!

The villagers started, with a bit of a fright.

There was nothing to see for miles around…

Just the ocean waves lapping…making barely a sound.


To my amazement, my brave little friends,

Configured a caravan from all of their ends.

Hitching together from front to back,

We mightily paddled, at a straight tack.


But I grew ever so tired from the heat of the day,

And I felt all my happiness ebbing away…

And I pondered paddling off in mid-row,

When suddenly someone shouted “Land ho!”


They had spotted an island…

Indeed!     It was land!

We glittered with glee….Eager for sand.

We kept up our hopes, afraid they’d diminish..

And spurring our efforts along to the finish,

Was the Birdieland Jazz Band….perched atop the Kaf-A,

Rooting and Tooting and Zooting away…

One by one and three by three,

We clamored onshore with such jubilee!

Dancing and rolling and polling about…

We cheered ourselves silly, then, set to sort out

The building of a new village so grand,

The likes of never been seen in this land!


News of the village travelled faster than lightening.

Yet, who would show up was even more frightening…

The High Queen herself with a full court in tow…

What would she think?   There was no way to know…

On our tippiest toes we tottered and teetered,

As the village town mayor popped out to greet her.

He said, “Welcome, Dear Mum!” (With slight satisfaction.)

“We’re holding our breaths for your Royal Reaction!”


She “Ooh’ed” and she “Aahh’ed” with such grace and much feeling,

That we knew right away that she found it quite pleasing…

So the Mayor proclaimed a National Day Underway…

And the party got started without a delay!

The Birdieland Jazz Band lit up the scene,

Everyone danced…..even the Queen!


And Her Majesty even paused for a tea,

(Enough, I dare say, for you and for me!)

With Bananafred Bread perched on her knee,

She gave it her Reveling Royal Decree!


The villagers roared with delightment and song…

They had pulled it off brilliantly…nothing went wrong!

As my friends flurried and frizzled on by,

I approached the Queen with a question…and sighed…

“Your Majesty, I was hoping you would…

Not that you should…

But maybe you could…

Upon your return to your palace so fair,

Drop me at home……by sea, or by air?


“Oh my young lad, I’d be ever so glad!”

She said with such poise, over all of the noise.

“But it may take much of the day, I do fear…

So we’d better be off in my Ring-Rider Frontier!


And before I could mutter a word in reply,

Her footman announced our impending Goodbye!

Tears of blue sadness and cheers of green gladness,

Echoed above all of the holiday madness…..

And before we had realized, the well-wisher parade,

Had led us straight down to the Penny Arcade….

Where down on the beach and next to the pier

Was docked the Royal Ring-Rider Frontier!


We boarded at once while shouting farewells

Over the beckoning Beach-Bolli Bells…

And then up we rose with a clinkety-clunk…

A bumpety-blunk and a zangety-zunk!


We flew through the sky travelling Westward…

Then Northward and Backward…

And Frontward and Roundward!


I lounged in my seat for most of the ride,

Indulging in goodies stacked up by my side!

After half a Plum Pudding and two Ticklebee Tarts,

Nine Candy Cordials and a game of Doonn Darts,

The Ring-Rider Frontier cruised to a stop,

With a rippling, grippling, bippling POP!


It jiggled a little, then shot out a spout!

On which I slid up….and then down with a shout….


And dropped into my home, on a cliff by the sea….


I could barely believe it!!!!

I was Home! Home! Home!

And I’ll tell you a secret, if you really must know….


There’s nothing quite like your own bed, soft and snugly,

Calling for resting and nesting so bugly!


I’ll have more adventures, and I’ll seek out new friends…

Yet, for now, this is certainly where my tale ends.


I think I shall sleep when the moon does arrive,

I think I shall sleep ‘til two hundred and fifty-five.



Maria Ordish


Brenda on Brenda:


We are back with another addition, of Trevor’s Barks of Gold. Trevor is offering encouragement, this time and Ihope, you find these words inspiring and uplifting, as you continue to live with a chronic illness.


Trevor offering encouragementCaption: Trevor offering encouragement