This blog will be a place to post poetry written by people living with Alzheimer's disease. We will focus on poetry that is created as part of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project. We will post information and news about dementia. We hope this blog is of use to the family members who have a loved one with dementia.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear St. Dymphna

an Alzheimer’s Prayer

You are not the simple country girl
doe-eyed on the prayer card

but a closet organizer, one who
takes a battered shoebox full

of memories to draw a clock face,
remembering the way fingers clasp

when they are joined in prayer.
I think of you as a carpenter

who crafts a carved gothic vault
inside the mind’s dark nave, the candle

waiting to be relit, a voice passing
in a litany of saints, a labyrinth’s thread.

I see you there always reaching out,
but how hard it is to recollect your name.

Dear St. Dymphna is dedicated to Bruce Meyer's father Homer Meyer who passed away 2006. Homer Meyer was an electrical engineer and wrote numerous codes and international standards as well as designing major hydraulic projects such as the lift system on the Canso Causeway in Nova Scotia.

Bruce Meyer has published 34 books including three last fall: Alphabestiary: A Poetry Emblem Book (with H. Masud Taj, Exile Editions), The White Collar Book: Canadian Poetry and Prose of the Professional World (with Carolyn Meyer, Black Moss Press), and A Book of Bread (Exile Editions). He was a national bestseller in 2000 with The Golden Thread: A Reader’s Journey Through the Great Books (Harper Collins). He is a professor of English at Georgian College in Barrie Ontario where he teaches in the Laurentian University BA Program. Meyer is the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Confused the Hours by Huw Parsons

It’s seldom that I see her,
Except there in the mirror.
It’s then I glimpse the mysterious face,
Of that woman who’s taking over my place.

She stole money from my purse and more deceives,
Pulled the rug from my feet and lost the keys.
Such pure pandemonium and to make me a mockery,
Piles high the sink with my best broken crockery.

She eats my food, so I hide it in the shed
And leaves out in the rain almost every book I've read.
Much mayhem, mischief and misunderstanding,
In all of which this witch has had a hand in.

Every night as I sleep she's standing by the bed,
So such vivid dreams they flicker through my head -
Whilst downstairs an army of furniture removers,
Shifts the heavy sofa through some tight manoeuvres.

She’s touched the clocks, confused the hours
And tampered with the fairest flowers.
So my roses ‘Peace’ and ‘Ena Harkness,’
Now in the garden bloom in darkness.

And like a full moon she can curdle fresh milk
And is even stranger than the shore of Acker Bilk.
To her ailments she’s a martyr, quite the little Joan of Arc,
So I search the drawers for tinder and some means to make a spark!

Proud to start the New Year with this poem and painting honoring his mother Marjorie Parsons by the Welsh artist and writer Huw Parsons. Not only is Parsons a talented poet and painter, he also embarks on delightful poetry projects like "chalking up" poems all over the town of Brecon.

For More info on the poetry and painting of Huw Parsons and to see images of his poetry projects click here.

Huw Parsons was born in 1954 and grew up in Llyswen, a village some ten miles or so west of Hay on Wye. He was educated at Brecon Boys’ Grammar School and Chelsea College of Art. He’s worked as a painter, filmmaker, lecturer, antique dealer, watch repairer and an author and photographer.

In many ways Huw is neither ‘fish nor fowl.’ As a border person he thinks of himself as being neither wholly English nor particularly Welsh and because of his life’s diversity has become a social impostor and a cultural chameleon. As for writing he believes that he’s no particular gift, except for having a dogged determination, combined with being observant, having a good ear and an ability to write in simple, descriptive English. His literary influences include the poems of John Betjeman and Phillip Larkin, the novels of Leslie Thomas and the song lyrics of Sting and Jake Thackray.