Stephen Sst6

10 Jan

gonna make this quick cuz I’m just skanking wifi to meet this deadline. Will expand a bit when I have more time/internet. Basically the poem is about aging/dementia and at the minute specifically my grandad, but still unsure how personal I want to keep it. Very rough first draft clearly, an abrupt ending cuz i’ve been too busy to give it some proper time – will do tho. There is a guitar part I’ve written to go with it and i’ll figure out a way to share that when i can. Peace.

His face is a mask which when looked on now hangs crooked,
the elastic in his skin holding loosely as its been worn too many times.

Canals meander round his eyebrows – excavations into once untouched ground.
The banks of his cheeks; the victims of attrition, steadily engraved.

Jowls worn like a fallen coronet
regretting everything he could’ve said to her before she left him in her sleep.

They met as teenage orphans on one of Rotherham’s backstreets.
Cautious on the cobbles, he helped her find her footing.

I hope it was these memories he held onto longest
before, incandescently, his thoughts sputtered. Descending effortless.

Their photo still gathered mold and dust on the mantel
before the flood.
Their young faces, changeless, beneath the scud.

Now dementia ruptures his brain, distracting sanity from the most mundane things.
Some days he won’t remember my name, and one day I won’t remember his.
Victims of life’s same disease; cruel victory for outliving and outlasting contemporaries and timelines.
The consequence of resiliency is to have his thoughts and his contexts and his discourse ripped from him
on top of the Parkinson’s that already effects his grip on things
– I think, caused from wartime sands entrenched beneath his fingertips.
Bolts rattle fragile behind his knees,
rust beaten in by Egyptian seas.

Some days he won’t remember my name,
and one day I won’t remember his.


One Response to “Stephen Sst6”

  1. Anne January 11, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    I wonder if you can divide this into two voices – you witnessing the effects of his dementia and your emotions to that, it feels like you’re trying to find an explanation for it, the war, Parkinson’s – there’s room for a lot of different emotions in that, from anger, pain, fear this can happen to all of us, pity, love, tenderness. Then the other voice could be the memories of how your grandparents met, there’s some great pictures, great scenes to show, the wet cobbles etc. I don’t mean have him necessarily speaking about his memories, but instead of you telling us about your grandmother it could be narrated in a different way. Hope this makes sense? The thing that hits me about ageing and seeing old people as ‘old’ and infirm, is that I always think, shit! He used to be a little boy, he used to be a young man, he used to have sex, he’s had rows, he was active and aggressive and now he’s passive and incapable and that’s all people see, a little old man.

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