Awakened startled, jabbing pain assaults
my back, quickened stabbing brings loud exalts.
Alas!  Alas!  The pain exceeds,
it’s all too intense to concede!
Worrying beads of perspiration pop,
my convulsive breathing makes me stop.

Across my brow, within the furrowing,
fear seizes me now, magnitude growing.
Help me! Help me!  I cry aloud,
death is encroaching with his shroud!
I beseech you aid me, this pain is sick;
emergency aid should be gotten quick.

Hunching my way over to our large truck,
I gingerly lay across from the clutch.
Hurry!  Hurry!  Drive your fastest,
I’m almost done; no one pass us!
Crumpling now, in a tight ball on the floor,
I feel as if I’m giving birth once more. 

Stifling groans keep escaping unbidden
as unknown doctors sweep for the hidden.
At last!  At last!  I feel relief,
diagnostics held the belief!
A kidney stone had inched along but cleared.
Go home and rest, there’s nothing more to fear.


This is based on my one and only experience with passing a kidney stone.  It really did feel like I was in labor–torture!

Form For All with Beth Winter hosts Staccato Form:    http://dversepoets.com/2011/11/17/form-for-all-beth-winter-hosts-staccato-form/

Leave a comment


  1. hobgoblin2011

     /  November 17, 2011

    Good to hear your ok. Until that last line I was totally feeling your pain, as I have 9 herniated discs myself, so I know what a bear it is to deal with. i can only imagine what the pain of not only a kidney stone but having it pushing pressure on the spine. Great use of the form, great job with it. Love the opening stanza, I so resonate with that. Thanks for sharing this, enjoyed the read


    • This happened about twenty years ago. Thank goodness it was never repeated. The kidneys are located in your back–thus the back pain–yowch!

      So glad you liked this and am sorry to hear of your disc problems–that’s no laughing matter either!


  2. Yikes! Thanks goodness I have never had to deal with that, but glad you survived it. Hope you never have another one! The sense of urgency was well matched by the fast-moving pace of the poem. Good job, Gayle!


    • I hope I never have another one either–I can’t imagine having these things attack you over and over again! I’m glad you liked this, Corina–I appreciate your visits. 🙂


  3. I can emphasize with the pain and the panic. Strong write.


  4. Well! I was wondering how this would turn out.
    Kidney stones, I’ve heard are truly painful…but you should know.
    Nice. You had me on the edge here, wondering how you lived to write this.
    good job.


  5. wow! I believed it and felt on the edge of my seat wanting to see what happened! great write.


  6. Ouch! That must have hurt. This theme with this form adds so much urgency to your words, demanding attention and demanding it now. You effectively demonstrated the impact that the short repeats can have on the feel of the poem. Your internal rhyme is subtle which is much better than overpowering. Well done


    • Yes–it hurt something fierce! And thank you, Beth, for your wonderful introduction to this form and giving me the opportunity to try it out. I appreciate your critique and compliment–thank you.


    • I realized that I forgot to add the repeat from line three on line six. There’s supposed to be an exclamation there too. I’ll try this form again sometime–I enjoyed it.


  7. manicddaily

     /  November 17, 2011

    Ha! hope you’re better now! You use the form to great urgent (and slightly comic) effect.


    • Never have had another problem since this happened 20 years ago or so. Yes, I did have a little comic relief in there–thanks for coming by.


  8. This was enjoyable. But I’d rather have a baby after all that pain! 🙂


    • That’s exactly what I thought when it was all over. At least with labor, you have a baby for all of your effort! Thanks, Margaret. 🙂


  9. You did make us feel it. I read Pepys diary. (free on Gutenberg.org) all nine volumes. His raison d’etre for writing it was that he the first person to have a stone removed surgically. It was the size of a baseball. It apparently is often genetic, his mother and brother had attacks as well. His mother died of hers (1650). But my point is that the pain seems to inspire art. His diaries certainly are artistic,and you proved it again here. The sharpness of the pain is too acute to ignore and this form proved the perfect vehicle for expressing it. Well done!


    • A baseball?! Oh, my goodness! No one else in my family has suffered from this and I’m very grateful for that. I’m hoping it was a one-time fluke–and so far, so good. I find it interesting that this form immediately brought up the memory of that damn stone. I have never written about it before. I’m glad it worked well here. Thank you, Gay, for sharing this with me and for your kind compliment–I appreciate it.


  10. oh goodness…painful…ack….but so well told and the quick pace and exclamations play so well to the angst within this…


    • I didn’t know if it was appropriate subject matter for the form or not but since it popped into my head, I went with it. I’m glad it worked–thank you, Brian.


  11. The rhythm was perfect propelling the action, a really seemless write. I am very sorry you had to experience this first hand to create fine poetry.


  12. Goodness!! That must be very painful, and your words express it so vividly.


  13. WOW … great way of putting your pain to rest. I felt every ache and hair wrenching jab. I have had gall bladder stones. I sm there with your on the child birth effect. Don’t you just hate emergency rooms ???
    Glad your better. Please rest and mend …
    Hugs and boo – boo kisses …!!!!
    Izzy xoxox


    • Yes, labor is what I compared the pain to–I can imagine that gall stones are a similar feeling. Yes, I hate hospitals in general and especially the ER–I get panic stricken in there!

      Oh, this happened probably 20 years ago–not a current situation. Boo-boo all better now!

      Thanks and hugs, Izzy xoxo


  14. Very effective form to intensify your pain (which you have described so well I felt it). I’m so glad there have been no repeats!


  15. This is one health emergency I’ve never had the misfortune of experiencing. But I suppose I should never say never given my history, huh?!

    You describe it well in verse and I’m glad you made it through. At least with labor, You have a baby to show for it. Did you name the kidney stone? 🙂

    Your title was also an eye-catcher. 😉


    • Yes, that’s exactly what I thought when it was all over and I was heading home that day–well at least with labor, you end up with a baby! Hmmm…never thought to name that little sucker…it wouldn’t be pretty, I can tell you that much! 😉

      Thanks, Lorna. 🙂


  16. that must have been an horrible experience. i have heard that these stones hurt a lot. extremely painful to be precise. 😦


  17. Emily

     /  November 18, 2011

    Ow! Your topic works so well with this form, with its sense of urgency.


  18. Androgoth

     /  November 18, 2011

    This sounds excruciatingly horrible Gayle
    but at least this was some time ago, however
    the painful memory is still fresh by the looks
    of this excellently offered posting…

    Have a wickedly fine weekend Gayle and
    thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

    Androgoth XXx


    • It would be hard to forget a pain such as that! Thanks for coming by, Androgoth, and enjoying my postings. And enjoy your weekend that has now begun–at least it has here in the U.S. xo 🙂


  19. That sounds horribly painful! You did a great job with the form.


  20. I knew after the first few words what your worry was, Gayle. You described my agony to the tee, only I could not drive and had to have my daughter come to take me to the ER and the stone didn’t pass until a few days later and gallons of water. The most horrible pain it was and even giving birth did not compare. Well done!


    • My (ex) husband drove me–very fast and passing vehicles on the shoulder of the interstate! It’s a good thing, I wasn’t watching! 🙂

      I’m very grateful that stone passed as I was there in the ER and they assumed that was the trouble–they never saw the stone because they had me hooked up to a catheter. Oh, Lordy–another “pleasant” procedure that they inflict on you!

      For your sake, Renee, I hope your experience was only once. I’ve known others who had to endure weeks waiting for stones to pass. And, thanks so much! 🙂


  21. Your poem conveyed the pain so very strongly. It MUST have been awful, if you can write about something that happened twenty years ago with such strength! Nice staccato rhythm.


    • Thank you, Mary. Yes, I think I’ll always remember the intensity of that experience–but I wouldn’t mind forgetting! Thanks for your visit.


  22. the beat and urgency in this is perfect as I read it, never had a kidney stone, many of my friends have, apparently it feels worse than giving birth, hope to God I never have one


    • Thank you, Chrstine.

      It’s pretty bad. Others that I have known have had it much worse than my experience was–whoo! I hope you never have one either.


  23. Having done labor with the end product being two caesarians, I really hope I never have to go through this. Glad you survived to write about it.



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