Welcome to CJ Poet’s Corner (and Artists Too)
~ Issue #2

From Our Editor…

We have quite the variety this time. I think you are really going to enjoy our selections. Please feel free to join in and showcase your talents. I want this to become a place to truly express ourselves.


CJ Poetry Editor

In this Issue:

Reunion by Leigh Joiner (Poem with photograph by Cristina Garcia)

Moon beams by Jennifer Taft (Virtual Painting)

Hope for a better day by Kevin Barron (Poem with photograph by Kevin Barron)

The Evolution of RA Shoes by Donna Barton (Poem and clay art by Donna Barton)

Tree Of Hope  by Holly Mangold (Painting)

Heart of My Mom by Brenda Kleinsasser (Poem with photograph by Brenda Kleinsasser)


Editor’s Note:  Leigh Joiner

Leigh Joiner has been writing poetry for over 17 years and was encouraged to cultivate her gift through creative writing and Journalism while attending a performing arts high school. It continues to be a release for her, especially while forging her way through busy, stressful, yet rewarding grad school.


  PHOTO CREDIT: Leopard looking longingly into the distance for its prey by Cristina Garcia

Reunion (Poem)

by Leigh Joiner


In limbo

from girl to woman

from broken to mended

I anxiously wait

for my initiation

as a hunter welcomed to the tribe

I yearn for the feast…


complacency settles in

and my prey slips away

as falling sun

greeting its arrival

and cast its shadow on my defeat

one can always offer vacant reassurance

but it is in that absence,

that dawn tempts our idle dream

nothing is certain

everything is promised

…..this soul hungers

Editor’s Note:  Jennifer Taft

Jennifer Taft has lived with RA for over 6 years. She has always loved art and finds it more challenging with her hands, but it also pushes her to continue to be creative and find new ways to create new art.

Moon Beams

Moon beams was painted virtually with an art app. Jennifer indicates that this was painted on one of those lovely RA lack of sleep evenings.

Editor’s Note:  Kevin Barron

Kevin Barron works in the IT world and had lived with RA and OA since 1999. He writes “bad” poetry in his spare time. An avid reader and Red Box addict, when not at work he can usually be found on the southeast corner of his sofa with Bubba, his English Bulldog, sitting at his feet.

Me Smiling

PHOTO CREDIT: Me Smiling by Kevin Barron

Hope for a better day (Poem)

by Kevin Barron

I’ve been denied a better life

And I’m not talking about wealth

Money can get you lots of things

But it can’t buy your health

For ten years now I’ve felt like shit

With short respites in between

I call the fucking bastard Arthur

I’m sure you know who I mean

I’ve been to the doctor time and again

They seem to be at a loss

Maybe this drug will do you well

I know it’s just a coin toss

How can you treat me for a condition

That you haven’t experienced yourself

Maybe I need to see someone

Seek psychological help

I’ve talked about me for hours on end

At another place in time

I’m done with that crap, it serves no purpose

A waste of my hard earned dime

I cried because I have no shoes

You heard how that one goes

No shoes, no feet, what’s the difference

In either case it blows

My pain is no lesser or greater than yours

It all comes down to degrees

It’s differs for me as it does for you

And it brings us to our knees

I don’t want pity, just a little help

Patience and understanding

I can’t always be who you want me to be

This disease can be quite demanding

I’m whining, bitching and grousing here

For being hit with a double whammy

Wheezing lungs and joints that scream

Make me cry out for my Mammy

That’s so untrue, I do not cry

But Christ knows I have tried

What should come out as crocodile tears

Instead are plaintive sighs

Sighing because deep down I know

Just one thing for sure

I’ll never be as I once was

And they will find no cure

With many treatments for the patient to try

To restore a vestige of health

It boils down to what matters the most

The shareholders and their wealth

Yes my friends this one’s about me

Cuz’ right now I feel like shit

Arthur may have the upper hand

But he’ll never make me quit

He may just go away tomorrow

Or maybe sometime next week

I look forward to just that day or two

When my sorry bones don’t creak

It makes me smile

It gives me hope

Kevin J. Barron

May 27, 2009


EDITOR’S NOTE: Donna Barton

Donna Barton works as a graphic designer and has a love for nature, art and music.  She has been living with RA since April of 2012. She also has a page on Facebook, where she showcases her poetry. She tries to write one goofy poem a day.

This is where you can find her poetry, which she hopes, will make you giggle.


Ra Shoes
PHOTO CREDIT: RA Shoes clay art by Donna Barton

The Evolution of RA Shoes

by Donna Barton

The story of my disease,

can be told so easily.

You can tell just how I feel,

by looking at my feet.

My feet evolve with every flare,

and my shoes they tend to follow.

My feet are growing at age 52,

from five and a half size dainty shoe…

And now wear eight and half wide,

with an inch of storage space inside.

(There’s enough room in the heel for a small bottle of Ibuprophen!)

Good bye sweet heels,

It was nice while it lasted!

Good bye clogs,

and good bye wedgies…

I’ll sit here in my fuzzy slippers,

and just eat my veggies.

My ugly feet have a home,

In sneakers it is true,

except for those rare times

when I step in doggy doo.

p.s. I had super ugly feet before RA… so i have no right to complain, he he.

And yep they’s still ugly

p.s.s. yes I’ve been playing with play dough again.


Editor’s Note:  Holly Mangold

Holly Mangold lives and struggles with Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis on a daily basis, but she loves to be creative with writing and art work when she is able. Holly is also one of Christine’s Kids, where the focus is on hope and positivity. I want to thank Christine Schwab for sending in this wonderful painting.

Tree of Hope


Editor’s Note:  Brenda on Brenda 

Here is a poem I wrote in honor of my Mom, who passed away on May 31, 2011 from congestiveheart failure. She was my best friend. She always tried to make Valentine’s Day special for me, with either a card, candy or a gift. One year, she surprised me with this a beautiful crocheted heart, which inspired me to write this poem. She promised me that she would always remain in my heart. Writing poetry is one of my ways of having her close to me, as I found out on the day of her funeral, that she also wrote poetry.

Mom’s Heart

Heart of My Mom

by Brenda Kleinsasser

My Mom had a beautiful

head of white hair.

Her heart was even bigger,

far beyond compare.

She was there for me

in so many ways.

Her kindness and laughter,

filled many of my days.

She did little things

like cutting up my meat,

when my hands were aching,

now, that was pretty neat!

Promises were made lovingly

to each other.

To live my life was mine,

to honor my sweet Mother.

Hers was always to

remain in my heart.

Memories of comfort,

even though we are apart.

The heart of my Mom,

remained until the end.

I am so very glad,

she was my best friend!

Brenda Kleinsasser