Saturday, October 27, 2012

Poem Submission #25 "Angies Ballad"

Angie's Ballad

Her father died one thousand times
from rage that almost killed
before he checked the chambered round
and tilted what he willed:

"Hush, little darling, don't you cry.
Fiddle dum, fiddle dee.
Hush your sweet little angel eyes
and rock yourself to sleep."

Such irony, he thought, in June
the sun would set blood red,
the label on his Bud be red,
and there would soon be wet

red drops of death as in the bag
inside a post-op room
where Jennie met a ghost one night
that swilled inside her womb.

A wise man once said grief was truth,
whatever the offense,
but first denial, then comes spleen,
and then self-evidence.

I'd like to think that truth meant peace
her last September night;
I'd like to think she had a dream
of one bright candlelight

that she and Angie soon would share,
Fiddle dum, fiddle dee.
Jennie, close your tired eyes
and rock yourself to sleep.

October came with Angie's hour
when fading shadows start
to whisper prayers she could not hear,
though heartfelt, heartfelt, heart.......

"It stopped," the doctor said who felt
no pulse left in the blood
and wondered if there was a soul,
much less if there was God.

There was, however, one more soul,
named Niki, five years old,
when Angie died and falling leaves
would better have been snow

to seem like flakes on Niki's cheeks
that had been melted there
while others whiten one more plot
of cubic brown despair.

Envoi

It has been many years since then,
but in these words still five
sad legacies spell H.I.V.:
three dead, a bag, and one alive.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19901016&slug=1098597

Poem Submission #24 "The Memories"



Like a candle in the wind,
Our  sisters  have met a tragedy of all times, We have to save ourselves to face tomorrow, We have to face a future that will likely be quite different from what we had expected.
We have a dream,
And is now here with us,
Never to say the least,
We want to say our sorry,
As children we welcome this,
And we see a world,
Free from pain,
Mothers, sisters, wives,
Stand up,
Stand up,
Stand up for your life.

Within life's setting sun.
One is destined
Either to save or to kill
The right and dignity of man
No matter where in life you are
You're always near and never far
only when a life is torched by you
As for you ken
You torched lives and lives
So while you are so far away
Now in the land of the dead
We think of you and always pray
for everyone to remember you
As we will always do
And yes, we truly want you here
But in our hearts you'll always be
The glory that shines endlessly.
We keep the fire burning
Within our hearts you'll find
Each thought of you forever
So carefully entwined

Our hearts are always with you
The love you feel is there
Like gentle winds descending
Within each gentle moment of sober
We love you and we miss you
we always feel that glow
It's carried through the many miles
With love we always show
To us you are our heroes
The ones that own our thought and support You are near to us Although you are so far away Your names never part For good names never dies On any day that's given We know that we are blest We stand in pride in honor

SOUL AM SORRY.
I am innocent,
I was only human,
Like any other woman,
I wanted to breathe the air in the mountains, and feel the bite of cold wind, and smell of the wild flowered, and deep darkness in the humans, and arms of people I  love, it was all dreams, our outer frame can never tell what inner feeling are passing through, I have grown weary with my sighing, A little mistake, A little mistaken love shown, Thrill of an insect covered our smooth talk, drizzling of the rain melted our wish, his mind turned to me, when he had me all by himself, he clanged the way smoke does to the sky, to the maiden fools, They turned away his mind from home and from me.
I was like nothing to him,
Never existed,
I need consolatory message before I embark on this never- to – be repeated journey.
I could have been wiser,
Creation chiefly teaches men confidence, Women, mediation and trust, I could have been wiser, To listen to the inner silent voice, Voice of wisdom, voice of reflection, early voice, voice of confidence, I was trapped to the sweetness of his tongue, He could talk, Already late to understand, Late although, Late, The most careful person is careless person, We need voices to tell us we are cared, Nobody can be too busy to scratch off the part of his body itching him, We need to show it, Love, trust, care, Sometime, someday, even a moment.
God am sorry I complain,
all night long,
I make my couch swim,
with my tears,
I make my divan overflow.
Overnight I became useless in the midst of my company, I will not change anything in my life.
Already many things have changed,
when I have no knowledge of it.
Silent for a moment and observe that which ought to be done even in my absence, Keep silent before me, Brother keep silent, that I myself may speak, then let’s come over me whatever it may be, . I know it must positively be, I may have to be happy today, Tomorrow, Next, I cannot undue it.
Soul am sorry.
I wish to make you feel a new self again, Am sorry.

By: Emmanuel

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eating Right with HIV: The Role of Probiotics



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Since people with HIV have suppressed immune systems that leave the body open to higher risk of infections and cancers, it is especially important to follow a healthy and balanced diet as much as possible. 

Some studies show that probiotics can help improve the health of people with HIV. For instance, the journal Nature Medicine published an article that reported the connection between probiotic consumption through yogurt and the gastrointestinal health of people with HIV. Since HIV infection can disrupt the natural balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, a plan for eating right with HIV may include adding probiotics to your diet.

CD4 Cells and Probiotics

Doctors determine the health of the immune system of a person with HIV by measuring how many functioning CD4 cells are present in the blood. CD4 cells are a type of T-cell that initiate the immune system’s response to infection. People with HIV tend to have lower counts of T cells, including CD4 cells, than healthy individuals. 

The gut of a healthy person is home to a large abundance of CD4 cells. However, when a person is infected with HIV, gut health is compromised and the amount of CD4 cells decreases. This causes the body to become more prone to infections. The probiotics found in yogurt and other sources may help in restoring CD4 counts so that the immune system is more prepared to fight against HIV-related infections. 

Promoting Healthy Gut Bacteria with Probiotics

The gut is home to countless microorganisms that are imperative for proper digestion and a healthy immune response. When HIV infects the body, the balance of healthy microorganisms (healthy bacteria) diminishes, which allows unhealthy microorganisms, including fungi and “bad” bacteria to grow out of balance. Probiotics can help in repopulating the gut with “friendly” bacteria. When there are enough beneficial bacteria in the gut, there is a stronger chance that the good bacteria will outcompete the bad bacteria for nutrients, which will ultimately improve the person’s digestion and immune system.

Tips for Taking Probiotics

Some people experience bloating, gas, and general abdominal discomfort from taking probiotic supplements or foods that are high in probiotics. These symptoms can be especially prevalent in people with serious illnesses such as HIV. Check in with your doctor before making changes to your diet so that side effects can be avoided whenever possible.
Knowing about different options for probiotics may also help you to find a probiotic product that works best for you. For instance, you may find that probiotics in food sources cause fewer side effects than probiotic supplements, or vice versa. 

If you choose a probiotic supplement, be sure to check the expiration date on the product. Probiotics are living organisms and will expire at some point. Many probiotic supplements require refrigeration, so be sure to read storage instrctions as well so that the supplement remains effective for as long as possible. 

With a quality probiotic supplement or by consuming foods that include probiotics, you may be able to improve the health of your gut. Many people with HIV have a reduced appetite due to certain medications or other factors. Consuming a daily smoothie that includes probiotic-rich yogurt and fruit will help to add healthy calories to your diet while improving your gut health. Be sure to choose a natural yogurt that is free of additives and that includes probiotics such as acidophilus and lactobacillus. 

In addition to taking probiotic supplements or consuming foods with probiotics, focus your diet on nutrient-rich foods. A well-rounded healthy diet plan is one of the best ways to improve your energy levels, your immunity, and your overall wellbeing.

Written for RiseUpToHIV by Valerie Johnston 
Valerie is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Poem Submission #23 "The Strength That Lies Within Me"



The Strength That Lies Within Me


You see me
You have no idea the strength that lies within me.

You see my eyes
You know not the buckets my tears have filled.

You see my hair
You do not know the strands pulled out in fights.

You see my ears
You cannot fathom the insults it’s heard.

You see my lips
You know not the lies I’ve told to survive.

You see my cheeks
You know not the bone breaking slaps received.

You see my face
You know not the half of what I’ve been through.

You see my hands
You know not the tedious work I had to do.

You see my shoulders
You do not know the load carried on it.

You see my figure
You see not the hidden wounds under my clothes.

You see my arms
You know not the dead I’ve carried in them.

You see my belly
You see it flat, but not the agonizing pain.

You see my hips
You do not know the abuse it hides.

You see my legs
You know not the miles I’ve walked.

You see my feet
You know not the dirt it’s muddled through.

You hear my heart beat
You do not feel the pain choking it.

You see me
You have no idea the strength that lies within me.

My eyes, my smile, my beauty you see
But you have no idea the strength that lies within me.

By: Eunice

 *Written about a woman living with HIV

Friday, October 19, 2012

Poem Submission #22 "HUMAN"



HUMAN

How can we have peace if we continue to condemn How can we judge people and then turn around and say that we love them?
True peace is not merely the absence of tension it is the presence of justice It’s what unites us And that is the way it should be But the residual effects of discrimination are like scars Left behind by childhood acne Injustice has the power to distort long after it has Ceased to be The scar does the work of the wound and that’s the real tragedy So allow us to be The music makers The dreamers of dreams The movers and shakers Like our forefather who had the foresight to write in our declaration of independence certain rights Like the pursuit of happiness, life and liberty, so why can’t we All agree that rights are something ALL Humans are guaranteed And if we lived by this creed then we wouldn’t have to fight For rich or poor, black or white, young or old, straight or gay rights It’s a name, and we are all one in the same HUMAN.
We may not all look the same, some have weird names, but here’s a thought Just like crayons even though there are differences we all live in the same box It doesn’t matter our status, HIV positive or Negative we are all children of mother earth And we have to start valuing all lives because we all have worth I see little brown girls with braids infected with AIDS in Somalia and Rwanda and I wonder Does she know, there are pills out there that would allow her to grow stronger and live longer But she probably won’t live past five Because she’s denied access to the medicines that are saving lives And it shouldn’t matter your social or economical status, Let us remember this is not a her disease or a him diseases It’s not an they disease or a them disease It is a We disease, and WE have to work diligently to fight For victory over a disease that is claiming the life of young and old, straight and gay, black and white Because even though we are in different boats We share the same river of life.

By Telesa

Poem Submission #21 "Saving Private Bryan"



Saving Private Bryan

Knowing that the shoe fits
I'm the guy from Massachusetts.
I've come here seeking friendship
and sail the 7 Seas
and maybe find some comfort
in my 21-year disease.
Finally feeling fortunate,
my smile now sincere,
my struggles left behind me
speaking with no fear...

Yet I fear my limbs on strings
and skin that feels like paper
and all my other assets
that soon began to taper.
Temples of doom,
eye sockets that bloom
and a concave face
that resembles the moon.
Veins on my body that look like a map,
never directions for a normal crap.
Blind to the mirror,
afraid that I'll see
what lipoatrophy has done to me.

Fearing old friends in public,
avoiding eye to eye,
the double take I get
makes me want to cry.
Crying doesn't help,
the tears begin to race
quickly down the grooves
of my tired, sunken face.
Unprotected hetero sex
was my crime of passion
and now I'm serving time
living in puppet fashion.
Isolation by choice has kept me apart,
avoiding the stress that once stopped my heart.

But now I'm saving Private Bryan
from all these years of lying
too much pride to admit,
too much love to submit,
to a disease that could mean dying.

I've come back to my safe haven
where I know I'm accepted,
to gather more strength
from people affected.
I'm so happy to be here with my infection,
I hope and pray we made a connection.


By Bryan Fleury


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