RA & National Poetry Month: Express Yourself! It Can Be Therapeutic

Vanessa Collins Health Guide
  • National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase appreciation of poetry in the United States. This celebration of poetry is observed every April in the US and in Canada.


    I have always enjoyed reading poetry. I also know how therapeutic it can be for a person to put their feelings into words. Sometimes, just putting your thoughts down on paper, can help you sort things out in your mind and focus on what is most important.


    In hour of National Poetry Month, I decided to try my hand at a few poems. I have a friend who is always referring to the RA Troll. I have a picture in my mind of what this RA Troll looks like, and so I wrote a poem for my friend about that nasty little fellow.

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    RA Troll

    for my friend, Mischelle Jackson


    The RA Troll came to visit me today,

    he stomped on joints, then ran away.

    I'd love to dance upon his face,

    in five inch heels, with blows well placed.

    I'd pull his beard, and yank his hair,

    and put that Troll into a flare.

    I'd twist his ugly, big Troll nose,

    and pull his little, stinky toes.

    I'd kick him once, then kick him twice

    til RA Troll ran out of sight!

    I'd yell and shake my fist at him,

    Don't you dare come back again!”

    I'd laugh out loud, then start my day,

    limping, smiling all the way.


    V Collins, April 2013


    I asked my friend, Mischelle, who has RA and a few other AI diseases, to put her feeling down on paper. This is her poem, and I think it describes living with RA pretty well.





    Sometime in the middle of the night
    While I lie sleeping and dreaming
    My life changed irreversibly
    Unknown to me until the morning light.

    At first I didn’t understand the pain
    It was new and unexpected
    I thought it would go away
    Instead it plowed through my life like a train.

    The pain was intense and burning
    I couldn’t move at my command
    And it happened time and time again
    My emotions were angry and churning

    Part of my life has been robbed
    By this thief that comes in the night
    And now lingers well into the day
    My only source of relief is God

    My faith makes me stronger
    With God I can do all things
    He comforts me and gives me peace
    To endure this illness a little longer.


    Mischelle Jackson, April 2013




    I was feeling a little wistful the other day. I like to visualize things and then put those mind pictures into words. The result of my “dreaming” is the poem below.



    If Only


    I want to fly above the trees,

    gliding on a midnight breeze,

    Break the ties RA has on me,

    if only in my dream of dreams.


    I want to walk without the pain,

    I want to dance in summer rain.

    Pretend, for now, I am the same.

    Believe no suffering is in vain.


    I want to touch the clouds I see,

    Feel the mist envelope me,

    Spin around, arms flying free,

    If only in my dream of dreams.

    V Collins, April 2013


    Now that I have shared some RA Poetry with you, I am wondering if you would like to try to put your feelings into words. Sometimes writing poetry makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me pensive, but it always makes me feel better. If you have any poetry you would like to share, please do so. It would be be good for our community's soul. 

Published On: April 22, 2013