FOR THE SECOND TIME

Three months ago I closed my mind,

Folded it into sections,

Packed it away forever.

I had given up, called it quits,

Knowing that I could not exist

On the meager portion of life

That was parceled out to me.

Parkinson’s Disease was strangling me,

Slowly but surely.

I was not able to walk without pain.

My driver’s license was rescinded.

Friends and relatives stayed away.

My source of writing had dried up.

My muse avoided me.

I still put on a happy face

But inside I was crying.

 

Two months ago I was encouraged

One more time to try medications

New to me though thousands of years old.

EDB

Not something I had wanted to use

Cannabis led to harsher drugs

Took away initiative and drive,

Brought death and destruction

And was illegal.

I was desperate to relieve pain.

Like a cautious mouse

I nibbled.

My thoughts clarified

I began to relax.

The severe muscle cramps disappeared

Walking and other exercises brought hope.

Side effects were positive.

I nibbled some more.

The sky didn’t fall, my life wasn’t over.

It was just beginning

For the second time.

 

4/21/2016

Dan Roberson

 

 

 

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BUZZARDS ARE GATHERING

BUZZARDS ARE GATHERING

I’m moving slowly this morning.

My back hurts as I do the Parkinson’s shuffle.

One foot, now the next,

Not too fast, I warn myself.

This dance is not for the weak.

The buzzards are gathering.

I’m not dead, but I haven’t had my coffee.

Usually I pour the hot steaming liquid

With finesse and flair.

But today the smell of death hangs in the air.

I’m too tired to put the little container

Into the coffee maker and push start.

I’ve lost mastery over that art.

My muscles have been cramping,

My hands have been shaking,

Neurons and glial cells shrinking,

Nothing I can see, yet it’s happening to me.

I continue to function

Learning and memory gain as my goal.

Regeneration of brain cells.

I search for some research

That offers me a cure,

Or a reason for hope

Or a reason to laugh

Or a reason to live and love.

I look around.

The buzzards are still gathering.

 

April 20, 2016

Dan Roberson

 

 

THE OCEAN

She surprised me again last night.

Noiselessly she slipped in,

Planting wet kisses on my brow.

“How do you like me now?”

She was cloaked in mystery,

Cold in demeanor,

Yet there was no way

I could ignore her or turn her away.

I loved her. She knew I watched

And had given her my heart.

Like so many others I fell to her charms.

I didn’t want to end up in her arms,

But when she called I came to her,

Enjoying every moment

Until it was time to go.

She pulled away oh, so slow,

And left me quivering and weak,

High on the shore.

I didn’t dare ask for more

Because her beauty was more than a face.

Once again she found her resting place

Among the rocks and the deep

She waited to dance again,

A pattern, a schedule, her life, all there,

The ocean with wind in her hair,

Rushed in with the tide,

And ebbed out with pride,

Bold and beautiful,

She sang a siren’s song

And I understood why all along

Poets like Masefield were entranced

By her whispers and her constant chatter.

She really did matter,

I knew I must stay close

But not lose my head

Someday buried in the briny depths

Where flesh cannot tread.

 

April 18, 2016

Dan Roberson

Ocean’s Images

April 3, 2016

Every morning the ocean seems different. For three weeks the wind and rain pounded the coast, making it difficult to get groceries and other supplies. But the ocean was still beautiful, the waves lifting up over the rocks in stunning displays. The ocean and I are filled with the same inner spirit. We get tired of continuity.

The winds died down and the sun smiled. The ocean’s surface became flat and shiny. Driving an automobile proved tricky because there were so many places to admire the scenery. It was difficult for me to keep my eyes on the road. Cars full of onlookers filled parking spaces. Hikers, bikers, strollers, were out drinking in the sun.  I took a short walk to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the rays. Calla lilies, camellias, and ice plants with purple flowers basked on the sides of the cliffs. Everything was beautiful.

Today  the ocean continues to call me and again it is showing another facet. Fog is drifting in, softening the ocean’s appearance.  I am soaking in these different phases, my heart preparing to write poetry or a description of this gray-green world.

Why does the ocean fascinate me so?  Is it because the ocean has distracted me away from my Parkinson’s fears and my aches and pains? I took my medications and the cramps in my legs have disappeared once again. I am a little bit sleepy so I won’t drive until I’m fully alert. In the meantime there is so much to enjoy.  Isn’t life grand?

 

second chance

Second Chance

 

I’ve been gone, away from joys and tasks that made me unique, but it took me awhile to know how to respond to my friends.  My life has not been my own. I’ve been traveling down a road without any way to return or any way to slow my descent into hell. But you, my friends, are lucky because I will be sharing new concepts and research.  New visions have pulled me out of the depths of despair.

I am not a doctor nor can I officially recommend any medications for anyone. Instead I will tell you what has happened to me and as best I can, tell you my next step. I am looking forward to life again and have left my depression behind. My life is improving because there is new found hope for relief of pain and possible cures for many diseases. The disease that grabbed me and shook my world is Parkinson’s Disease.

At night my legs were restless. My sleeping habits were a concern. I wandered about my house seeking something to distract me. My leg muscles cramped often and I began drinking more liquids in hopes that my fluid levels would rebound and my health would improve. My hands shook. My face sometimes appeared expressionless. Some people questioned if I had suffered a stroke. Internally I felt changes were occurring gradually but I tried to ignore what was happening. I took long walks and exercised regularly.  For short periods of time I felt better but I did not understand my enemy, a strange insidious internal enemy that was drying my brain cells.

Months passed, and then I began counting my failures instead of victories. I no longer wrote three hundred words or more each day. I had dreams of glory but my production decreased.  Short stories and poetry were still inspired by my muse, but the ideas languished.  I no longer had the energy to keep my writer’s ink flowing.  What caused this change? Why couldn’t I keep up with other poets or find ways to urge them onward?  I envied those who tirelessly wrote powerful love letters to the world, or continued to stir consciences and demand action. So what was my problem?

My physical abilities were different. Parkinson’s Disease was weakening my will to write and my will to survive. It would have been so easy to escape the world’s pressures.  Yet despite personal financial battles which stripped me of possessions I had accumulated, including the loss of my beautiful house at the edge of the oak forest, I rejoiced because I still felt physically fit.  I could still walk, talk, and write.  The world was still beautiful and I had a multitude of friends.

My health continued to fail. One knee was replaced in February, another in June. Everything was happening too quickly. Over the next six months my gall bladder was removed and a hernia repaired. I had been almost indestructible and now I was falling apart. I didn’t like what was happening to me but I had no answers. What would happen next?

Mentally I began preparing for the worse.  I would return to the land of my relatives and regroup.  Though I talked of restarting my life, in reality I was going back to die. I could feel the disease working on me and I knew it was degenerative.  I could imagine myself tied to a stake while a predator circled, knowing I would die, the only question was when it would take place.

My arms shook, my legs stumbled over imaginary rocks and sticks, and I knew the disease was getting worse. I lost my confidence in my driving abilities. My neurologist decided I was a danger on the road and reported my condition to the Department of Motor Vehicles. My license was rescinded. I fought depression because now I became confined within a house or close by. Mentally I was tethered without hope of recovery, without any understanding of my future life.  I had nothing to do but smile and do the Parkinson’s shuffle or choose a quick way out.

I almost died one day in the most innocent of circumstances.  I left the water running in my garden and went to turn it off. In one location the water was two inches deep and I stepped through it. The clay beneath the top soil was not letting the water seep through and my shoes were getting caught in the mud. As I looked for a solution I tripped and became tangled in tomato vines. I had no strength to pull myself up so I began crawling towards the end of the row.  I bumped into the electric fence. Mild jolts made me realize that exit was blocked. For over an hour I struggled to escape. The two inches of water became a threat because I couldn’t lift my head for long. I didn’t want to drown and there was no one to help me. I slipped out of my shoes and shook free of the vines. Inch by inch I made my way to drier ground. Finally I was free of the watery trap.  Exhausted from my efforts, I slept a few moments before crawling to a tomato stake. I pulled myself to my knees and slowly got up.

I survived but lost my joy of life. Parkinson’s had won. There was no way to make things better. At least that was what I thought.

My son and daughters were becoming increasingly concerned over my mental state. They researched old remedies and new ways of thinking regarding Parkinson’s Disease. They convinced me to try new ideas. What did I have to lose?

Reluctant at first and very cautious, I tried CBD.  Within days my back pain lessened and my muscles relaxed. After taking this medication, for a few hours I could stand up straight and walk for short distances. I noticed other benefits. Constipation had been a problem but as my body relaxed that changed also. Now I’m able to do a few jumping jacks and pushups. I’m not young anymore but I’m expecting dramatic effects. I’m happy that I’ve been given a second chance to live.

by Dan Roberson  April 2, 2016