No Sugar Added® Poetry Contest Winners--Week 3

Week THREE of the No Sugar Added® Poetry contest closed last Thursday, and we have 3 final prize winners to announce! Check out the great work below, and congratulations to our final round of winners for 2012!!

Our winners this week

1st place: "Diabetic Dreams", by John

2nd place: "Ravage", by Lorraine

3rd place: "The Big D", by Jerry Nairn

Honorable mention also goes to George Simmons for "Blue Candlelight" and Marcia Skidmore for "Oh, Dear Diabetes, Where do you live?"

Congratulations to our winners, and to all our beautiful poets.

Read our winning poems below!!

Diabetic Dreams
by John

I awoke from an odd dream last night-
In a barren room sat upright a baby girl, crying.
She cried and cried and cried.
And then she drew up in her pudgy hand a stick,
And with a prick drew blood
And placed it onto an electronic tongue.

I wasn’t worried;
I knew what this was about.

72. She bawled,
Removed the strip,
Tested again.

Click! Prick! Slurp!

72. And so she bawled,
Removed the strip,
And tested again.

Click! Prick! Slurp!

72. She wailed.
“She won’t accept it,
Wishes for it to change”
I thought. Suddenly a maternal face appeared,
Loomed over her, extending arms.
Then I awoke.

Dilute. Fuzzy. A bit like someone had walloped me a good one.
Damn. My turn.

Click! Prick! Slurp!


Kill count:
1.Clementine, ravaged, unyielding exterior mashed in mouth’s haste.
2.Granola bar, decimated, burial crumbs line the sticky floor (see #1)
3.Fudge: quarter of a piece. Admirable restraint shown. Much better.

So I sigh, and think that
I’ve gotto work on setting better temporary basils.

I dream funny dreams. Sometime I am eating in a kitchen
And I can’t stop. I’m full and my stomach aches. But I keep eating.
And eating.
And eating.
My mouth needs the food, vacuums it in, unstoppable, devouring,

Sometimes I awake and make the most disgusting culinary creations.
I remember once it was supposed to be
An ice-cream-chocolate-brownie sundae,
With the chocolate and brownies to be warmed and placed on top-
But I was confused and microwaved the ice-cream too.
Sludge! Horrible, glorious sludge! But I
Still, willingly, greedily engorged the slime in my salivating maw.

Sometimes when I dream it’s just me and my bloodstained tester.
I know what that means- I’m either high or low, no question about it.
I wish it was just a nightmare
But it unfairly sneaks into the waking moments of my world.
And after a bad night;
A 3AM pump fail, 450 floating nauseatingly above the world,
More sugar in my blood than in my four family members combined;
An uncontrolled low followed by the unrestrained response,
Just waiting for the rebound and sickening consequence;
I look at my haggard self in the mirror and say:
All it takes is a few touches:

Act. Bolus. Use Bolus Wizard. Sugar whatever. Oh, only 300 grams of carbs.

You say 37.5 units? Of course!
Lie down somewhere,

A funny way to die.
What could have saved, killed.
A hundred years ago, I’d have been dead anyway.

But I glare at myself and look into my tired eyes and smile
And go back to sleep
And hope tomorrow will be better.

by Lorraine

Normal blood sugars are seventy to one-forty.
His reach forty and four hundred.
His average is “acceptable” and we celebrate.
But the reality is, his body is strained.
His nervous system, vision and heart are always challenged.
Seizure, coma and even death are real risks every single day.

He is a human pincushion.
Forced to bleed ten or more times daily.
He wears his pancreas on the outside.
He must tell it what to do all day long. Even when he sleeps.
He must visit the school nurse throughout the day to deliver insulin and check his sugar levels.
He must leave class when he doesn’t feel right.
He must measure every single thing he eats.

With all this effort, it still ravages.

He is low.
He feels “out of it” and “wobbly”.
I feel guilt and like a failure.
He is high.
He feels “woozy” and “foggy”.
I feel irritable and anxious. I failed again.

We wait.
For the sugar to work.
For the insulin to work.
Every day. Throughout the day.
We wait.

It ravages us both.

His eyes, his kidneys, his legs, his heart.
Night after night, I check his blood sugar while he sleeps.
I worry.
I wake with a number in my head - his last blood sugar.
Midnight. Three AM. Six AM.
It never leaves me.
It takes my spirit.
It makes me age.

He gets on the bus.
I worry.
It’s time to check his blood sugar with the school nurse.
I worry, with the phone in my hand.
It’s snack time.
I worry.
It’s time to get back on the bus.
Still worried. Still have the phone.

The worry ravages.

We put on smiles. Brave faces.
No use dwelling on the negative.
There is much to be thankful for.
He eats birthday cake; celebrates Halloween.
He is smart.
He is growing.
He is happy.
He is kind.
He is strong.

But it still ravages. His body and my mind.

I am thankful.
I am also greedy.
I want more.
Better technology.
More freedom.
A cure.

I want the ravaging to stop.

The Big D
by Jerry Nairn
Once a certain death
Diabetes is now
something a person can live with.

Once a certain death
of a boy I read about
reminded me
Diabetes isn't something a person can ignore
and live with.

Once a certain death
standing in the darkness by the bed
as I came sweating and trembling to awareness
reminded me my death
is something I live with.

Blue Candlelight
by George Simmons
I light a blue candle as I shed a tear,
The sorrow I feel surrounded by fear.
Why did this happen? Why once again
must I light a blue candle to signify end?
So many promises of hope and a cure,
So hard to see clearly what a candle can obscure.
Where is the hope I had the day before last?
When the blue candle is lit, hope is something in the past.
I see the blue candles and cry even more,
For parents, for friends, for all who adore.
I cry for those who are next on the list,
I wonder if I’ll be the one missed.
When the family is together it feels so safe,
Like nothing dark and evil can enter this place,
In flesh or in spirit our souls stand their ground.
‘til I see those candles. And my world breaks down.
I light a blue candle as I send up a prayer,
My heart aches, my eyes sting, I cry, “it’s not fair!”
Anger is silenced while my sorrow lingers,
“Protect those with tiny black spots on their fingers.”

Oh, Dear Diabetes, Where do you live?
By Marcia Skidmore
You live in the countless bottles of countless pills

with counted minutes and counted doses.

You live in my fingertips pricked and bruised
pulsing with numbers, predicting the hours to come.

You live on the pages of my journal, the ink a map
scratched out by purpose, making legend my trials.

You live in my life as predator’s eyes,
eyes devouring, my hands denying that wished for taste.

You live in each lost footfall, the struggle recognized
my step numb, my pain felt, my resolve unbroken

You live, ingrained in my day.
imbedded, inherent, intense.

You live on my path, on the road I travel
I chose to follow the signs and I chose life

You live in my every choice.
You live in my every dream.
You live in my every thought.

You are like the first cup of coffee in the morning
– my life doesn’t continue without
You are like the pattern on a zebra’s back
– expected but unpredictable
You are like a tattoo
– not my skin, but undeniably there
You are like a rose
– the beauty of life that is a lie if we don’t see the thorns
You are the uncommon portrait
– it is different but it hangs on my wall every day

Hip Hip Hooray! Thank you!