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.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Frances Kakugawa

Great article on Frances Kakugawa's book, "Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice," by R. K. Singh on his blog at:

Singh writes, "...Kakugawa and her poet-colleagues’ varied experiences with a broad human perspective, engaging both mind and heart. The caregivers seek to share their compassionate spirit with a sense of gratitude to all those who help the victims of Alzheimer’s disease negotiate their mentally vacant existence."

More on Kakugawa, the book and her work here:

Monday, October 11, 2010

J.W. Marshall

I love Esther Altshul Helfgott's blog "Witnessing Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's View. Today she has a wonderful piece on J.W. Marshall's poetry. Marshall and Christine Deavel co-own Open Books: A Poem Emporium in Seattle. One of the best poetry bookstores in the U.S. Hosting all those readings must of worn off on him because the book is excellent.

To read Esther's blog click here

More on Open Books: A Poem Emporium

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where Lightening Strikes

Delighted to get this new poem from one of our summer interns, Elton Ferdinand III. Elton was wonderful to work with and came to us from our friends at Urban Word NYC. He is on scholarship at the University of Madison in Wisconsin and is studying biology as well as pursuing poetry. I love the line, "...There is a small synapse of a chance..." Here is a photo of Elton performing.

Where Lightening Strikes
By: Elton “The ‘third’ Man” Ferdinand

The body is a lightening rod
that only needs the skin. Jolts
happen when we touch too
hard. We will experience
what it means to be live wire.

Beneath us, there are storm
clouds that send thunder
across the space in our sky.
The quiet after it’s over is
not best for us. In the silence,
we lose our clouds.

The sky will clear. We will
start to remember nothing
and forget all we used to
remember. The body uses
electricity to communicate.
When the clouds are gone,
it is hard to reach the space
in the sky. As the world turns
inside us, we will not be able
to hold a memory together.

In a room full of lightening
bolts, our words rain. We try
to make them turbine enough
to spin—speak—remember.
In the rain, lightening can
travel further than it knows.

The body uses lightening
rod communication—stores
it in the ground of its bones.
The ground cannot conduct
electricity unless it’s wet.
There is a small synapse
of a chance that lightening
will convulse from the rod
back into our sky. We will
thunder storm again. Their
memories will play tag again.
If only for that moment.