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Mark Toney Oct 2019
cool green leaves rustling
hot red tin roof expanding-
freedom of movement
stiff arthritic limbs longing
go - exercise caution - stopped
8/14/2019 - Poetry form: Tanka - A Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the others seven. In Japanese, tanka is often written in one straight line, but in English and other languages, we usually divide the lines into the five syllabic units: 5-7-5-7-7. Each tanka is divided into two segments. The first three lines are the upper phrase, and the last two lines are the lower phrase. The upper phrase typically contains an image, and the lower phrase exposes the poet's ideas about that image. - Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2019
Last night I noticed that I'm dropping things
far too often.
Papers. Keys. Small plastic toys.
Even round lemons.
So far nothing fragile or important but still
this worries me.
I'm thirty-seven: not young anymore
but, also, I'm not old.
My first thought was: am I forgetting to hold them tight?
Perhaps, I'm not grabbing them right.
I sat for a while diagnosing my own mental health.
No. I am not becoming forgetful.
I can reason fine.
Relieved, I put my worries behind me
and went to sleep.

Darkness hurts my hands.
When I close my eyes
the pain starts.
It shoves itself like a clattering elevator
clawing its way up to my fingertips.
Poundings and tensions and strains
begin to disrupt my languid limbs.
In my dream, my palms feel like lead:
infinitely heavier than their normal weight.
My fingers start curling in.
But it's in my joints where the throbbing emanates.
The discomfort becomes insufferable.
It hurts to move my hands.
My fists have turned into numb bricks.
By now the pain has disrupted my sleep.
I take my sore hands and place them on top of me
as I turn my back and face the bed
letting my hands soak the heat guarded between
the sheets and my chest.
This alleviates some of the pain.
This is how I hope to get some rest.

Though I'm fully aware
that the pain in my hands
will never really go away.
when i was much younger, i worked at a meat packaging factory. There we worked with hot water in cool temperatures. Thus. This.
Annelise Camille Jul 2017
I feel as if my head is sliding off my neck like ice cream melting down the cone. I am a witch melting, shrinking smaller as my spine stacks horizontally like shiplap. My body has been refurbished into a pinball machine. Something so tiny as a silver ball destroys so much. It bullets through my body, shooting off like Cuban missiles. I feel the turmoil and chaos seeping through the gutters of this old home of bones. It's like spilled oil sludging through my blood vessels or rats scattering through a sewer, nibbling and feasting away on these muscles of mine until they are frayed like gnawed-on cable wires. At odd hours of the night when time is propelled by the safe travels of breath (that weave in and out like Victorians at a ball) from sleepy children who have yet been touched by monsters or nymphs, whereas each of my breaths steer Odysseus's weather-beaten boat through ten years of treachery. My heavy, melting head slowly sloping like clay off a bust makes its home on my dingy pillow as I lay on a prison bed with cold shackles around my ankles that make my bones shatter into a mosaic as if that could shrink my ankles so I can slip out. I feel like a chained hawk at these hours of the night when I just want to fly until I screech to a halt and flail over the cliff that waterfalls into the ends of the universe. I'd be reluctant at first, perhaps, but what other escape does one have other than to make an autopsist's Y-incision on one's body, then slip out like a hermit crab freeing himself from his heavy shell? Embarking onto a new dimension where there's hope for a radical swap of atoms that don't shape a crippled, deteriorating human is the only choice when you want to live a life other than what you were cursed with. May we then find peace and live as naked souls bearing no heavy shells.
Salmabanu Hatim Apr 2018
I feel young,
My thoughts are young,
My desires are young,
But, my bones do not agree with them.
Joint pains and severe arthritis do not allow me to enjoy life
Leah Barton Apr 2016
She was only 30
She slowly rounded the corner of her hallway towards her little yellow kitchen
The wallpaper flowers still giving off the faintest fragrance
Her crutches creaking with each painful step
After more effort than should ever be needed
She finally was able to sit down at the dining table
The one her mother left her
Somehow she knew that was the last time she would ever walk
She put her head in her hands and cried
Like her tears might cure her
She hadn't done that since her mother had passed away
Arthritis took her legs that day
But it didn't take her spirit

They gave her a motorized wheelchair
She actually had fun zooming around the house
But she had to hire me to help her with the little things
Like going to the bathroom
She could still knit
And play her piano
For awhile
But soon she had trouble pressing buttons
And reaching her face
I would itch her nose and she would sigh in relief
Pretty soon her hands were useless
The bones had moved to a better neighborhood
But still she laughed
She called herself "Rubbermaid"
Arthritis took her hands too
But it didn't take her spirit

She got sick on a Sunday
By Tuesday she had left this earth
At her funeral her family and friends all thanked me
"She always said you could make her laugh, even on a bad day."
And now she was free
She could knit again!
Beautiful warm blankets made with care
And she could play again!
Her melodies entertaining all the angels
And she could walk...
All along the yellow brick road
Over the rivers
And through the woods
Arthritis may have taken her life
But it didn't **** her spirit
Nothing could
Be grateful for what you have. She was. For Vicky <3
These hands have done it all
They're tough as wire rope
They've fought to defend freedom
They've carried flags of hope

They've wiped away the salty tears
Of a mother, full of pride
They've folded up our nations flag
For a son, with honor, died

They've held a newborn really close
They've birthed a newborn calf
They've taken down a hundred men
And a hundred more, by half

These hands don't represent me
But, these hands have done it all
They've done eight seconds on a bull
And they've broken through a wall

These hands are soft as leather
And as hard as Georgia Clay
What they did so long before
They can not do today

These hand are all arthritic
Crippled up, and full of pain
But,you know these hands would love just once
To grab that rope again

These hands are full of memories
Built for strength, and not for speed
These hands are built to hold you
Even now, that's all I need

These hands, they tell my story
My life, is in these hands
I don't look at them as crippled
I just look and think....These Hands....
Nicole Dawn Jul 2015
I've always been told
That I have an old soul

*I think it's getting arthritis
I hurt.....
Map
Health reflects plateaus,
Thick tears running like rivers,
Arthritic mountains,
Wrinkles ripple at beaches,
Plains welcome the exhausted,

Suburbs look peaceful,
Rural childhood decomposed,
Urban amnesia,
Roads outline the senile brain,
Destination: nostalgia.

— The End —