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The Cluster Headache Poem


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Comments welcome. Good, bad, indifferent?

When the Beast Visits

By MoxieGirl

Today is like any other

Yesterday, today & tomorrow, all blur together

Day in and day out, everyday the same

I wish I could escape this game.

The Beast visits most when least expected

My face drains of colour, and I feel quite infected

Into one eyeball, always just the one, the Demon comes

Blinding and piercing like I've been poked hard, with a thumb

My eye seems to freeze as if turned to ice

And the pressure builds as placed in a vice

My nose starts to run and my eye begins to tear

As my body is gripped with fear

Red hot nails, they pierce and twist in my eye

The burning is such that I wish to die

Knives cut and rip through my skull

As I pace the room and bang my head on the wall

I can feel my cranium crack

As all my world turns to black

For one hour or maybe two

How long it really lasts, I dare not tell you

For all that time, I pace and I walk

Sat on my bed, back and forth I rock

I suck on oxygen and drink caffeine

I can be quite snappy and downright mean

But eventually the nails are removed, as are the blades

And the terror within, all but fades

I am drained, I am spent

My energy is at zero percent

I need water, I need food

But instead, I lay here unable to move

I take one deep breath, and maybe two

Before the next sensations ensue

Then the true crying begins

And my body shakes from my bones to my skin

I am racked with hot convulsions in wave upon wave

To this terror I am now but a slave

Eventually, even this fades to a whimper

As my body begins to shiver

Wrapped in a blanket I raise myself up

Sloshing some water into a cup

Today was like any other

Yesterday, today & tomorrow, they all blur together

Day in and day out, everyday the same

Oh, how I wish I could escape this pain.

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I've had a bit of private feedback, and it seems my first draft is liked as well. Now that you can view them together, what do you think?

1st draft:

A Normal Day

ItÂ’s a normal day, just like any other

Yesterday, today and tomorrow - they are all the same

IÂ’m going about my business, as normal

Doing nothing special

ThatÂ’s when I feel it.

Like someone has sucked the life out of my eyeball

Just the one

Replacing the warm flowing blood with ice water

A chill of foreboding races through my body

My nose starts to run, but only in one nostril

My eye starts to tear up, but only the one eye

My heart begins to pound, I know what is coming

The sensation rapidly grows and spreads

Like an orchestra reaching its crescendo

The cold quickly turns to burning

A red hot nail is being driven into my eye through the temple

Then another

The nails are being twisted, pulled and pushed

My eye is swelling under the heat, being ripped from its socket

As the bone of my skull begins to crack open

One by one, the nerves of my face are plucked out

One hour passes, maybe two

I have no sense of time or place

There is only the screams echoing inside my head

I try and tell myself it isnÂ’t really happening

My eye, skull and face are still intact

Yet I know, if this destructive energy ever escaped my head

It would tear apart my home like a tornado

Eventually it stops as quickly as it came

I collapse onto my bed in exhaustion

I need water, I need food, I need to move

But I donÂ’t even have the energy to raise my arm

Then the tears come.

In great wave after wave they shake my body

And rattle my bones with convulsions

Terror absolute, anger and despair climb into my broken body

But eventually, even that fades to a whimper

I reach down deep

Deeper than I knew possible

And find the strength to move

I get a gulp of water and wash the tears away

And wonder when the next attack will come

It is, after all, a normal day, just like any other.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow - they are all the same

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I will just add, that personally I'm not a fan of poetry. That is to say, reading other people's work tends to bore me, unless it is quite short. So if you aren't a big fan of my rhyming poem, I get it. I wouldn't be either if someone else wrote it. But I love it, granted, probably only because I wrote it.

That said, I enjoy writing poems because it sharpens my pencil, as it were, for writing my more serious work, my prose. Poems are a bit of fun word play. They force you to conform to a style and in the fewest words possible. Excellent skills to have for a novelist.

So, like I say, feedback is very welcome but you are unlikely to offend me. It is the work in question, not me the author. I'm confident in my writing abilities and I know I'm not a poet.

The above poem (or should I say poems) are for you, the cluster community, if you want them.


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I've been hesitating to comment because I'm not really qualified to judge.  But I do like the unrhyming one better as poetry, partly because the rhymes, to me, actually detract from the power of what you're saying (I find myself noticing the rhymes a bit more than the message).  That said, I also think you did a great job of finding rhyming words that really work, and not settling for words that might rhyme but don't convey the real message.

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Wonderful bit of prose there.  You really grab the essence of the CH experience.  It's actually scary to read .... just as it should be.

I kinda like the first draft too.  Will definitely share this one.

weatherman  8-)

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