Sunday, 12 May 2013

Being Framed

Sometimes there is a song needing to be sung, a word waiting to be heard, or a poem pressing to be penned.

Today is one of those days.

My offering is a poetic lament in support of M.E. Awareness Week (May 6th - 12th) and the way people with this condition are often perceived.  You can click on the link to find out more about it.

Being Framed

I've been framed, boxed, categorised,
sifted, found wanting in society's eyes.
I'm not the woman they think they see,
but an inner person that's really me.

Viewing the image the mirror provides
if I dare to risk, turning away with sighs;
decades of illness have left their mark
and it's hard to bear living in shaded dark.

My eyes need rest I urgently seek,
the brain is foggy, body made weak.
Pain and deformity cripple the frame
and it's hard to remember inside I'm the same.

A woman with dreams and a heart to express
all that's buried within, though under duress.
I want to be seen as I feel inside
but external appearance can cause me to hide.

Days without number I face my fears
that grow as hard to scale as our home stairs,
that this won't go away and I might not be healed
that the inner joy may be forever concealed.

For it's hard to stay cheerful, harder still to be bright
in a world that pushes us out of sight.
We're the invisible people, out of the game
our only identity is pain and shame.

Huge in number, if weak of voice,
the nameless ones who cannot rejoice
until labels and badges no longer apply
and we don't have to keep asking you, “Why?”

Why not believe us, why not accept
this could happen to you, being sick, life wrecked.
Your body a tomb for a spirit that's chained,
a livelihood lost, prison sentence gained.

Eyes that accuse, hearts that are hard
do nothing but continue marking our card.
Treated with scorn, hostility, derision
our whole future residing on whim of decision.

Fear haunts our days and disturbs our nights,
energy drained further to keep fighting our rights.
Please, won't you listen and heed the weak
as you hear our stories of the justice we seek?

Please remember we are people too,
not numbers, statistics, a warped world view.
Lives are at stake as bodies fail,
strong in intent, though our hearts quail.

Life in the Slow Lane can be no life at all
when it grinds to a halt against a brick wall.

If you know someone who has M.E,
please help them and tell them you see;
you witness their pain, you understand the need
and you won't turn away, you will pay heed.

All we ask is for people to see who we are,
recognising this disease will take us far
into a future where compassion can reign
instead of resentment, sadness and shame.

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged until he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope." ~ Isaiah 42:1 - 4
 Linking here with Nacole at sixinthesticks for concrete words, where we seek to express the abstract by means of a concrete word prompt. Todays is:The Frame. You are very welcome to join in.

You can stay in touch with my posts by Google Friend Connect, following on Twitter or by liking my Facebook page.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, La, for your continual support. So glad you liked it. I really appreciate you! :)xx

  2. Joy,

    Thank you for making us aware of M.E. And thank you for sharing your beautiful poem.

    1. I sometimes wish I wasn't a semi-authority on the subject. But if it helps to raise awareness and support then it is beneficial to express these things. Thank you, Anne, for your lovely comment. :) xx

  3. How do you take the fear and pain of ME and create something so exquisite from it?

    1. Have I? Oh, I hope so, Mandy! Perhaps it's symbolic of the way God transforms our weaknesses by His strength. All I can say is the words kept flowing and they are cathartic for me and (hopefully) for others such as yourself who live with the devastating effects of this illness on a daily basis. Blessings, my friend :) xx

  4. Joy, I echo Mandy's words here! This is so heartfelt and so perfectly captures the frustration of chronic pain and fatigue.. the lack of belief, help, support and hope that goes along with it. Thank you for writing this, you speak for SO many

    1. Thank you so much, Ruth, for stopping by and leaving such a lovely supportive comment! It is my hope and intention to speak out for others. Bless you :) xx

  5. Thank you and bless you, Joy! XXX

    1. You too, Joyce. I know how this is echoed by you and more than we can count. Grace, peace and strength to you, my friend. :) xx

  6. Joy, I second Anne's comment. Thank you for sharing and shedding light on M.E. Your words are beautiful

    1. Thank you, Eileen, for your sweet comment. A light shed helps to clear up darkness and confusion. God specialises in bringing beauty from ashes. :) xx

  7. How is it possible that someone in so much pain can express themselves with such dignity and beauty? Because she (you Joy) is created in the image of God with beauty emanating from within. Humbled. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    1. Only by grace, Caryn. Humbled myself by your words. Thank you so much. :) xx

  8. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I am awakened to a struggle that I had not looked closely at before. Thank you for sharing your hearts expression.

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by and taking time to leave a lovely comment! I really appreciate it, Karin. Blessings :) x

  9. Poignant and beautiful. I think you poured your lovely heart into this.
    Thank you, Joy.

    1. Oh, Helen, this one poured out of me and I was awake half the night as verse by verse gradually came! Had to write it down as it felt too important to risk losing in the morning. So, yes, I think you may be right here. Perceptive as always, my friend. Thank you :) xx

  10. Thank you Joy. I sat down to write something but brainfog got in the way. this says a lot of what I wanted to say. :)

    1. Oh, how I know that feeling so well! It trips me up creatively at every turn. Then God intervenes and gifts me with words to share. I'm so pleased this resonated with you and (hopefully) speaks for many. We may be weak but our concerns are strong. Bless you :) xx

  11. You express how I have felt for over twenty years. I had moments of reprieve, but I kept getting worse. And to think at first I was merely told I was depressed. Thank you, Joy, for expressing what is so hard to make other people understand.
    Love, Debby xxx

    1. I know what you mean, Debby. So many have struggled to get diagnosed correctly, believed, helped and properly supported. It's very sad and all too common. Depression is likely to co-exist with M.E as the symptoms themselves are so limiting and hard to live with. But that in no way means it's 'all in the mind'. I'm so glad we have connected. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Love, Joy xx :)

  12. Hello Joy, my, what a lovely poem. So straight from your heart, a cry that a lot of us dealing with chronic illness understand. I do get it, Joy, more than you probably know. Thank you for speaking out. (((hugs))).

    1. Hi Nacole. Thanks very much for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment! I'm so pleased it resonated with you and sad to think you are suffering similarly. Praying for you. ((hugs)) Blessings :) xx