Beautiful Pain

the assignment for this poem was to write first a list of five concrete nouns, then a list of five action verbs, and finally a list of five specific modifiers (adjectives/adverbs). 

Once we had our lists it was then revealed that we needed to write a poem about a hand.  This is what I created.

“Beautiful Pain”

Her crafty hand writes your stories

across your skin in bizarre and poignant


Steadily, it grips the gun

that drives the needle to plummet deep into your

arm, back, leg, shoulder.

Sometimes you yell out when a tender area meets

this instrument,

but the hand continues to feel its way rather than go by

the book.

Accurate line-work and detailed fill flow quickly and effortlessly

from this faceless grip.

The hand is led by the needle which screams

against the moan and creak of the artist’s chair

as she moves in to get her angles just so.

You appear to sleep as you lie on her

table next to the ledge of

empty beer cans.

(No questions are asked, no explanations given)

But the irritation of her hand’s technique assures that you are gritting

your teeth, not resting your

eyes from hours at your computer.

The hand wipes the cool, soapy liquid over your inflamed skin one last, satisfying


without words you know,

the tattoo is complete.


My lists were:

Nouns:  tattoo, beer, book, computer, chair

Verbs:  scream, yell, sleep, write, plummet

Modifiers: accurate, bizarre, satisfying, poignant, crafty

About ksluiter

Just a small town girl...wait no, that is a Journey song. Although I do live in a small town. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a writer. We have joys and we have struggles. Just like you.
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3 Responses to Beautiful Pain

  1. TheKirCorner says:

    Oh wow, that was just shocking and telling, I flinched more than once in pain with you. A sign that your descriptions were spot on, your words painting and flowing.
    I believe your attempt at this was successful my friend, I felt every “prick”

  2. Pingback: here, but not here | Sluiter Nation

  3. I LOVE it! What an exciting poem! Hey, glad I found you again!

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