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2003 Putting Our Heads Together Poetry Contest


Best in Event

Migraine Day
by Jane Woolley

This day is off to a shaky start
With migraine pain and a heavy heart.
It crept silently, unnoticed into my slumber
A silence now shattered by the thunder.
Of every sound CRASHING IN MY HEAD,
Each painful noise I have come to dread!

Then suddenly I only hear the river rushing in my ears
To cry is more painful, so I fight the tears.,
My shoulders and neck are very wary
Of the "Beast of Burden" they must carry.
They cower in far of what IT will bring,
This horrible all encompassing thing!

I fear the worst, as I begin to pray
God will get me through another day
The "Lord Is My Shepherd," I recite in my mind
I put myself in His hands, for He's gentle and kind.

But fear returns: "Will I write in pain,
Or will Mercy be with me, till it passes again?"
Each beat of my heart, in my head it resounds,
Relentlessly throbs and pulses and pounds!

I step outside, slowly breathe cool air
And the slight relief helps me to bear
The pain that's increasing
So cruel and unceasing . . .

When will it leave me, this sealer of days?
This dasher of dreams that leaves me in haze?
Will it ever leave me, this culprit of mine?
This breaker of promises, waster of time?

I tell myself I will be well once more
As I close the blinds and shut the door
And climb into my bed hoping this ONE will pass
As I cling to my blessings, I find peace at last!
For my peace is now sleep, where pain is at bay
Where I can smile and dream of a better day!


First Place:

exile in madness
by Lisa Staley

aura flashes...
illuminating the isolation of a dark existence

ironically lit by oil-slick rainbows...
creeping along the ridge that separates reality
from the surreal

trapped within the cacophony
of the hum and drone
of an electrical nightmare

ensnared withing, yet strangely
on the outside looking in

as all perception is shattered
into a million
jagged, glittery shards

which pierce...
and pulse...

capturing the blinding light, the searing sound
in a tight, desperate grasp

locked in the dance of madness
I tremble...



Second Place:

Migraineur's ABCs
by Erica Ginter

A is the aura that fills us with dread
B is the Botox they shoot in our head
C is the caffeine that helps make us right
D is the dark we seek out day or night.

Crankily, painfully
So grimly fare we
No mortal on Earth has a headache like me.
Wincing and grumbling
The migraine goes on
Gives us lots of drugs bit it won't make it gone.

E is for ergot, a lovely rye rust
F is Fiorinal made just for us
G is genetics that has us in thrall
H is hemicrania, Latin for Hell.

I is for Imitrex, sent from above
J is the jones they all fear we have
K is the knife that is stuck in my eye
L is the lab tests that never say why.

M is for migraine upon which we brood
N is the neuro who can do no good
O is for ocular tricks that can thrill
P is prescriptions that we have to fill.

Q is the queries we've all heard before
"Can you take an aspirin?" Can't you just take more?"
"you must be neurotic," "It's all in your head,"
"I think you're malingering, now get out of bed!"

R is for rebound, oh sure, yeah, you bet
S scintillations, the best light show yet
T is for Tylox with oxycodone
U is for upchuck into the white throne.

V is for vascular theories set forth
W is for whinging or whining up north
X is for Xanax, to help with the stress
Y is the question, please give it a rest.

Z is for the Z's that we all long for
Be quiet, no lights please; would you shut the door?
I'm trying to sleep this damned headache away
instead it's my life that is going that way.


Third Place:

Whisper of Death
by Deborah Benton Gill

A great dark emptiness swallows me whole
The jagged edge of pain dismembers my soul
The dampness and darkness strangle my screams
No hope is left only ashes, no dreams
Down in the murky pool of my death
Bright light burst thru forcing my breath
Plunged back in to the prison. . .  my life
Reality pierces my death like a knife
Robbed from the sweet peaceful kiss of demise
What's left of my soul begins softly to cry
I broke thru the bonds, now chained again
Destined to go on living in pain


Fourth Place:

by Sheri Lewis Wohl

Like a thief in the night
you arrive in silence
to steal my sleep
and shatter my peace

With the punch of a prize fighter
your strike is swift
and powerful
leaving blackened eyes behind
in a paper white face

Yet, like the coward you are
in the blink of an eye you flee
leaving me to deal with
exhausted and pain

As the new day dawns bright and clear
I know I can rest and restore
but in my s8ilence I wonder
which of us will win the battle
next time



More 2001 Poetry:

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