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     March 22nd 2000

Poetry from Wheel Life

A Fish Story
Constance Laymon

Stop if you will
and consider –
a fish existing with only one gill
and an attitude quite bitter.
You see:
he began his short life
quite healthy,
then due to a strife
the water did mix
with toxins and pollution
which made him quite sick
so he swam in a circle for a solution.
Was it not bad enough
that he had to fight for stability
when sea weather was rough,
and even though his lineage showed nobility
he was chased every day
by this one or that one.
He longed to leave his treacherous bay
in search of some fun.
Now, of course he had only one gill,
plus, he mostly swam off to the right,
and swallowed daily a little fish pill,
then pondered his plight.
"I wonder who is to blame
for this apparent evil that rained down,"
Mr. Fish thought, then did chuckle, "It is all the same,"
as he bit into the hook, "What goes around comes around."

Constance Laymon– 7/91

Without the Wheel Chair
Link Dresser

I would have to crawl to get from here to there.
Would I ever go anywhere?

with my body I mean.

Drag my head out into cyberspace
Out of body out of weight
Free fall 
it works

Live my life in a bed?
Or perhaps have myself carried by the strong ones.
Guerillas, elephants, Samoans, fireman.

Or plug in to that other realm, Cyburbia.
Live with my mind, forget my body
No Chair necessary.

To ski or not to ski, is that the question?
Tom Cannalonga

To ski, is to be free, to be free, is to fly,
to fly, is to touch heaven, to touch heaven, is to
sense God, to sense God, is to ponder life, to ponder
life, is to question ones fate, to questions fate, is to
seek truth, to seek truth, is to find a path, to find a
path, is to find the true path, to find the true path, is to find
peace, to find peace, is to know joy, to know joy, is to share the
true path that leads to peace, to share true peace, is to answer
the question of ones fate, to give an answer to ones fate, it to
show them God, to see God, is to touch heaven, to touch heaven,
is to fly, to fly, is to be free, to be free, I ski.

Tom Cannalonga
Copyright ©1998  All rights reserved.  

Body Electric
Mariana Ruybalid


My body, a live wire,
too much electricity charges through,
power, power, power with no control.
A muscle fires drawing left arm up, again,
a hidden train conductor got stuck
and goes over the same track,
over and over. I know what I want to say,
but my tongue is wrapped in thick felt,
a warm blanket muffles my words
leaving me frustrated seeing incomprehension
in a stranger’s face. Da?

I used to want to punish this wired body
that never moved the way
physical therapists wanted it to.
I tried to remember to swallow
but, concentrating on saying "perplexing"
a blob of saliva runs down my chin.
Never mind trying to walk,
my right hip wants to flex
when the left one bends,
leaving me in a gravity defying crouch,
for which no balance can compensate.
After ten steps, a jolt of pain
runs through my lower back and right hip,
leaving me sweating, and oh so irritated!


I go to Yoga with this live body.
JoAnn, the teacher, reminds me to breathe.
I giggle because I forgot again.
Getting out of the electric wheelchair,
I feel free and safe on the floor,
I cannot fall because I’m already down.
I cannot get any lower.
From all fours, I straighten legs,
I rise to downward facing dog,
an upside down V,
stretching my lower back.
JoAnn, using belt around hips,
pulls back weight to my heels.
Sandbag on hands
outweigh hidden train conductor’s
control of old patterns.
My shoulders extend
with controlled power
I actually feel graceful
Stretched muscles get weary.
I lower myself down.

Later in rest pose,
I lie down on my back and
place feet on chair with knees bent
to avoid right hip problem,
arms spread, palms up,
I remember to breathe
as tired muscles grow quiet.
I enjoy the paradox:
a powerful woman
with a disability.
Electric flow slows.
I lie still.

Mariana Ruybalid

On Losing One Pair of Legs
Gary Schooley
Spring 1980

Beyond control
A helpless place
Time stopped

Beyond the grasp of reason  
In a controlled madness
A mythical place
Time unrecorded

Beyond Ideas known
A sense-less place
Time unlocked

The Loss
Insignificant and even doubtable
To the degree or sense of the matter
As to how I address it
I am Alive
All of me.

By Pointeá
Januray 1st 1999

from my own free-will I took a spill
landed on my back
helmet cracked
but my mind was still fine

my body was broken
paralyzed spine as a token
of an accident waiting to happen

now it was done
and gone was the fun
for that last cold beer
had left me on my rear
damaged goods sprawled on the pavement

life in a chair?
my mind began to stare
into the unknown future...

wheels for feet —
and somehow a smile still doth greet
the arrival of each new day
for my blessing now I know —

that which binds
are not the wheels that wind
supporting this here chair…
but the wheels that close the minds eye
that stops the soul's growth

a will-chair is worse
than any wheelchair I have met
for ignorance, prejudice, fear and pride from self-will
are now the things I most fret
they shut the heart and your every part
from the joy of peace and all the goodness that Life doth impart

fearlessly search and find
free a handicapped mind
by pulling that ugly tooth
create a new you in all that you do
and liberate yourself with Truth

Pointe'a | Humble Pie Writing by Pointeá

All poetry reproduced in Paralinks with the expressed consent and approval of  the authors.