Tag Archives: memory

Inside My Sister’s Mind


For NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 6, the prompt is: Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

The line I chose was “Not all those who wander are lost.” from —The Lord of the Rings by  J.R.R. Tolkein. This is the poem that resulted. The quote in the last line of the poem is from the title character in Hamlet, by Wm. Shakespeare.

                    Inside My Sister’s Mind

In my life, sometimes,
when I was farthest from knowing where I was,
I was the closest to finding myself.

Is this how it is
for those who wander
the countless corridors of dementia?
Do they encounter themselves,
                   again and again,
unstuck from time?

Do our constant attempts to bring them back 
              hamper their journeys,
       start them over again,
frustratingly?

Every road we travel
need not be the same road—straight and chronological.
            Dreams teach us that.
                                           Unstick us.
Put our minds in the clouds to float
          hors d’oeuvres of memory,

                                   a bite           here
                  and a bite           there.

Who are we to try to attempt to force feed an entire meal?

Perhaps dementia is a diet, of sorts, for the mind.
                                             Selecting the most delectable,
                        forsaking the usual progression.

For our whole lives, we stuff ourselves

in a predictable manner,
             from soup to crème brûlée.

Perhaps those lost to us are only lost to us,
    but not themselves.
Perhaps their minds, led by a different palate,
             enjoy a picnic of pick-and-choose,
spread out over a meadow
                on a blanket that obscures
                                        memory
                                             to allow them to enjoy
each morsel
               unclogged
by the memory of the last.

“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

 

Memory

Memory

Life is like a labyrinth. Things may be just fine,
yet we don’t know what awaits us farther down the line.

We can’t discern our futures, so we must enjoy today
so at least we’ll have a past to remember, come what may.

Changes of perspective are bound to come with time.
We may not have the passions that we had in our prime.

We are changeable creatures. So nature has intended.
If we hold onto earlier goals, our lives may get upended.

In times of adversity, we still possess rare treasures.
Our recollections are where we can hoard our former pleasures.

 

Prompt words for today are down the line, adversity, labyrinth, discern, change of perspective and creature.

Memory Games

Memory Games

Woke up very early today—around six—and decided to stay up since yesterday Jesus had said they’d come earlier next time to beat the midday sun and also because the rainy season is coming on fast this year and they need to finish painting the murals around the outside of my studio within the week. I thought I’d get my blog written, the animals fed and maybe make them a special breakfast instead of the usual cookies or cake or chocolates that I serve with their morning coffee. (I make Jesus and Eduardo, not the animals, morning coffee with sweet treats. Ha! Thanks to Dolly and Irene for setting me straight on my faux pas.) So, all my tasks finished, I brewed a pot of coffee and started preparations for molletes–one way to use all those beans I cooked earlier this week that seem not to be vanishing at a rapid-enough rate in spite of the fact I’ve had them for every meal since. So, I located the beans in the fridge, sliced a bolillo (small fresh bread loaf) buttered one side of each of the pieces of bread and lay half of the pieces butter-side down on the grill, then layered manchego cheese, beans and manchego cheese before topping them each off with another slice of bolillo, butter side up. When they got here, I would grill both sides for an extra little treat. Half molette, half grilled cheese sandwich, it would be an Americanized version of a Mexican favorite.

Putting the grill on the unlit stovetop, I covered the molletes with a cloth, took my meds, instructed Echo to set my timer for a half hour when I would take the rest of my meds and went to check on my blog. Hmm. 9:15. It seemed as though if they were coming early, they should have been here by now, as their usual time of arrival was 10. It was then that I thought to look not only at the time but the day of the week. Sunday!!!

A full pot of brewed coffee and a grill full of potential molletes–and I a person who had done a smoothie for breakfast for over 30 years and who had to give up coffee 24 years ago! I guess there is always a valid excuse for breaking routine, so in an hour, after I’ve waited to take my second round of meds and waited the prescribed half hour, I will be dining on molletes and real coffee. I’ll have my smoothie for dinner and drink extra water to ward off the bad leg and arm cramps I get when I drink caffeine. The world will not end if I break a few of my own rules.

Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.

Memory Management: Prompt Poem, 4/10/2020

Memory Management

I’ve finally calculated the amount my head can hold—
sorted, classified and filed, folded, stacked or rolled.
It’s just enough to get me by and leave room there for me.
If you want to learn some more, you’ve got to leave space free.

Don’t jump to the conclusion I don’t prioritize.
One’s got to be selective in what they memorize.
Keep the best stuff handy in your mental cache.
Put some stuff on a higher shelf and throw away the trash.

Heads do not get bigger like hips and waists and ears,
so if you are forgetting things, let me calm your fears.
It’s nature’s way of making room for more important thought.
Emphasizing what we are, erasing what we’re not.

Prompts for today are finally, head, jump, cache and  amount.

Memory Games

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Memory Games

Though memories are sketchy, those that remain are vivid—
mere scraps of joy or humor or times when she was livid.
No way to tell what snips of time her memory will nourish—
current relations lost to time while past ones live and flourish.

The mind does nasty tricks when it decides to misbehave.
It may leave us abandoned within its darkening cave,
or perhaps it casts a cinema only one can see,
drawing them into a world of dreams where they are free.

No one who walks through memory’s door can return to tell
whether it is heaven or a living hell.
Another trick of life that draws us fast within it,
forcing us to play the game without a way to win it.

Prompt words for today are jive, sketchy, relations and vivid.

Hot Virginity

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Hot Virginity

I must have said no a hundred thousand times
as we enacted first-love’s mimes.
Parked breath-heavy in the summer night,
how we would tongue and rub and bite
at those cloth boundaries as, at love’s height,
he asked if we might,
whereas I, preferring passion’s flight,
turned on the light.

 

Fandango’s prompt today was memory.

Without Flair

 

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Searching through the rubble of my bedroom desk drawer, I find the estranged top to my last remaining Flair pen. I’ve been looking for it for weeks, sealing up that last precious pen in Saran Wrap and a Ziplock bag, lest it dry out. They don’t seem to import Flair pens to Mexico and the last time I looked for them in the states, I could only find lurid colors of orange and purple and green.  No black.

My first attempts to scribble poetry with a mere rolling writer were not successful.  That attempt was without precedent.  I’ve been scribbling with Flair pens for as long as I can remember. Their little felt nibs flow so effortlessly over the surface of the paper. The track they leave is wide enough to make a writer feel important and acknowledged. In the world of writing aids—pen, paper, notebooks, staplers, dictionaries—Flair pens are the perfect neighbors. They do not make a noise or leave an impression on the page under them. 

Now I move to restore this much-looked-for cap to its spouse, only to find someone has moved the ziplock back containing the pen.  With no one else to blame but the cats or Yolanda, my three-times-a-week housekeeper, I mine my mind for memories of where I might have moved it. Sigh. Place the top in the place formerly designated for its companion. The search continues.

 

This piece was written making use of these three prompts: If you are in need of a prompt, click on any URL for how to submit your work.:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/ragtag-prompt-25-precedent/https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/rubble/  Link 
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/06/25/fowc-with-fandango-estranged/

Mnemonic Phonics

 

 

 

Mnemonic Phonics

Babies use clues amniotic
to deal with stimuli chaotic,
but later, memory gets thick.
In short,  it’s anything but quick.

Age slows us down and trims our wick,
fogs our recall,  slows our pick.
So I resort to many a trick
to give my mind a little kick.

This loss of memory’s demonic
and leads to fits most histrionic,
so I depend on clues mnemonic
for memory that’s supersonic:

(Can you guess what the below mnemonic devices help me to remember?)

Neither leisured foreigner
seized or forfeited the weird heights.

Every good boy does fine.
Good boys do fine always.

My very excellent mother just spewed up nine plums.

How about you?  What mnemonic devices do you use?

 

The prompt word is mnemonic.

Nosegay

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Nosegay

The faint trace
of ashes and cardamom
sing in the air
you used to pass through.
They fit into my memory
 in their accustomed places,
your aroma lingering
years longer
than the touch of you.

 

The prompt today is faint.

Roundabout

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Roundabout

When we were younger, we all were amused
as my mom steadily grew more confused––
losing her keys and her glasses and purse.
Each year of her life, it seemed to get worse.
At tax time she snorted, she fussed and she stewed
as her simple receipts she sorted and viewed.
One thing at a time was all she could do.
She grew somewhat flustered when confronted with two.
It was a puzzle for those forced to view it.
With much less to do, she took longer to do it.

But now as my seventies get so much nearer,
what my mother faced is getting much clearer.
Once a multi-task wizard, I find even two
tasks at one time are too much to do.
When on the computer I now have to think
to accomplish functions once done in a blink.
The names of close friends I now search my brain for.
What once came so easily, I must now strain for.
I still have my memory—try to believe it.
It just takes me longer to sort and retrieve it.

When it comes to time limits, I just confuse myself.
In games like Trivia, I must recuse myself.
The end of my stories I’m often delaying,
for I can’t recall what I started out saying.
When I finally remember why I came to town,
I’ve forgotten the list where I carefully wrote down
all of my errands and then what is worse,
when I get back home, they are there in my purse!
I’m glad I’ve no kids with whom I can share
or they’d already have me in memory care.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/confused/