From Our Editor…
The best part about being editor is being able to see all of the great entries before anyone else does.
This issue is going to be our most powerful one yet.
I really hope you enjoy it as well. If you want to become a part of this and share your talents, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
This is your chance to shine and to showcase your talents. I encourage you to do so.
CJ Poetry Editor
In this Issue:
The Wooden Puppet by J. G. Chayko (Composition)
Charity Jonesin’ by Kevin Barron (Poem with Photograph)
Frustration by Christina Ames (Poem with Photograph)
If I Could, I Would by Brenda Kleinsasser (Poem with Photograph)
J.G. Chayko is a writer who lives in Vancouver British Columbia. She was diagnosed with early Rheumatoid Arthritis in her thirties. She developed the blog “The Old Lady in My Bones” to share her experience. She hopes to bring awareness on what it’s like to live with arthritis, with a bit of humor and poetic imagery. The stories are based on her personal experiences, written in the style of the storyteller within her.
The Wooden Puppet
by J.G. Chayko
I went to sleep, one cold November night, and like a bandit in the darkness, old lady RA breached my threshold and embezzled my youth; I woke in the morning like a wooden puppet, stagnant and listless, pulled down by the weight of her curse.
Swollen limbs suspended over ground, I ooze out of bed each new day, weary eyes peering through grains of sand, and wobble over the carpet, tottering on rigid knees. On my wooden legs, I stumble to the kitchen, my rickety fingers reach for my coffee mug and I listen to the creak of each digit as they bend around the porcelain handle, wondering if I can lift the cup without its contents spilling over the white edge.
I cannot escape her shadow; she hovers within my body, like a mist over the swamps, laying her bitter hands on me, her minions stirring up trouble in my joints. In my dreams, I lay stilted on the floor, unable to lift my arms or turn my head, my shredded strings lying limply beside me.
Like a dutiful child, I swallow my pills, the white ones, the orange ones, the ones meant to keep me in motion, fighting against her callous apathy; each morning she gathers my strings, and restrains my movement; I battle her frozen desire with heating pads, hot baths and exercise, attempting to restore my cold unyielding joints to life.
Hour by hour, I cut her ethereal strings, lifting one stiff limb at a time, moving across the room, down the street; I am Pinocchio in reverse, clacking along through my mornings, until finally, the flow of warm blood crawls through my veins, the maddening cracks subdued under the rush of warm fluid softening my stiff limbs.
When night falls, I shuffle off to bed, and give in to the comfort of sleep, diving into the softness of my mattress, in tranquil repose; throughout the night, she creeps back in, slinking between the synovial linings, seizing my joints; when I wake in the morning, the puppeteer has regained control, pulling her strings to raise the creaking marionette from her bed, and it starts all over again…
Kevin Barron works in the IT world and has 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 southwest corner of his sofa with Bubba, his English Bulldog, sitting at his feet.
PHOTO CREDIT: Homeless by www.pixdaus.com
Though arthritis is with us on a daily basis it always makes me feel better ( spiritually?…somehow that’s a misnomer for me) helping someone else. We all need help sometimes. And yes this is a true story, that just happens to rhyme. No lie. Cross my heart. Yup, really happened.
He was there outside the liquor store
Quite literally blocking my path
He needed a job, perhaps some spare change
Mostly he needed a bath
Hey buddy, he said, can you help me out
I got PTSD, I’m a vet
I got back from the gulf 7 months ago
And my shit’s not together yet
With such a weather beaten unshaven face
I could not guess his age
A shell shocked veteran of some useless war
Or a con man on a sidewalk stage
I searched my conscience with well worn caution
Be generous or just be a putz
I’ve seen his kind many times now
The addicts, the whores and the wing nuts
He saw the apprehension in my face
Perhaps he even saw fear
Would the money I give him buy him a sandwich
Or a 40 oz. bottle of beer
When I was younger we saw them too
Searching for some of life’s crumbs
Today we call them the struggling homeless
Back then we just called them bums
His pants were worn out threadbare thin
His face was burnt red by the sun
His eyes had a longing spark behind them
Though in life he seemed almost done
Done with trying to keep up the pace
In a world that had left him behind
Done with the gods who stepped on his fate
How could life be so unkind
He was not ranting or spewing out gibberish
He did not scream or holler
I asked to not make me regret my actions
And I handed him five dollars
He thanked me profusely and said that I wouldn’t
Regret what I had done
I walked to my car, his voice in the distance
As he broke off into a run
Where he was going I haven’t a clue
How far would a five spot take him
Was I a fool for giving in to
A momentary, charitable whim
Why are we here is most often asked
Of the long bearded guru up high
To help each other is what I say
Go ahead and give it a try
So many of the needy I have ignored
Were truly down on their luck
So the next one you see, do this for me
Give them a couple of bucks
Kevin J. Barron
September 3, 2012
Christina Ames has lived with RA for 26 years. She counts her family and friends as her greatest blessings.
She enjoys writing, cooking and gardening when she can manage it, and is absolutely thrilled that CreakyJoints has space for her musings!
PHOTO CREDIT: Attempted Relief by Christina Ames
To me, this captures the frustration I feel at having to rely on medicine to provide attempted relief.
Riddled with pain
Took over my life
Inundated with pills
I wrote this poem last year for a friend who was going through a rough patch. I hope you find comfort in it. I included this Teddy Bear, as I feel something soft and cuddly can help to comfort us, when we are going through troubled times.
PHOTO CREDIT: Baby Blue by Brenda Kleinsasser
If I Could, I Would
If I could take away your pain, I would.
If I could wipe away your tears, I would.
I may not be able to do those things, but I could,
Listen, cry with you and be your friend. ♥