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Parkinson’s Disease

by Graham Allen


For Roy

There is a rhythm to this

you must accept. 

Something broken


and yet of itself. 

Involuntary action,

a mad shake and pulse


of your hand,

your arm, 

as if your brain was catching music,


some subtle drumbeat

nobody else can hear. 

You are possessed


by something other

than you can fully own,

volatile ghost,


foreign body,

a force that has stolen

your stance,



to transform you,



with entangled strings,

controlled by clumsy 



Still, for all this,

you ride the wave,



steering as steady a path

as you can

through the turbulence. 


An old sea lag,

lashed tightly

to the mast,


crying for release

as the sirens sing, 

a traveller,


bent double by his load,

hoping that the lights

ahead are no mirage.