#DementiaActionWeek #DementiaActionAwarenessWeek 2022. 16th-22nd May. Day Two. Please join Lesley Curwen, Margaret Royall, Beth Brooke and I in talking about dementia. Have you written unpublished/published work about dementia? Created artworks about dementia? Please contact me if you would like your work featured this week.

Day Two
dementia action week 2022two lovers in wheelchairs, knee to knee

they’ve made me chairman of the board but I’m not up to it
you’ll be great at the job is your room warm enough
what happened to my first wife she was nice
we’ve been married sixty years the Queen sent a card
it’s so good to see you where is this
Magnolia Court you’ve been ill
I’m in London for the new job
Magnolia Court
I’ve only got a fiver for cabs can you lend me some
you’ve got all you need a room and meals
don’t want to be here
it’s all right
this isn’t funny
hold my hand
what’s going on
hush my love
can’t do this anymore
come here
I don’t want to

-Lesley Curwen (She says: A poem about my aunt and uncle in their two wheelchairs.)

mother's care home by beth brooke

-Beth Brooke (First in a series that I will post daily throughout the week)

Requiem for a Cellist

She rocks rhythmically in her chair,
Her eyes dulled by grief, skeletal fingers
clutching rosary beads, chanting over and over
‘Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine’

Dementia gnaws away at her brain
She clenches her fists, howls
like a caged wolf, searching
desperately for her beloved ‘cello

Then as if by magic it appears, a Stradivari,
propped up by the Steinway grand,
pleading to be picked up and played again
Its bow sprawled across the piano lid,
resin box still unopened

A sudden draft from the open window
breathes life back into the stale air.
Haunting sounds unlock iconic images,
transporting her to lovers’ beds, concert halls,
summer gardens and back-street alleys,
a heady rush of half-remembered liaisons,
ecstasy and pain intertwined

Final chords crescendo then trail away
into the invading gloom of a winter twilight
One last brave ‘da capo’- then finally silence

Her weary frame crumples in dismay
She attempts to rise from her chair, pleads
one last time: ‘Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine’

First published in my 2nd poetry collection, ‘Where Flora Sings’

-Margaret Royall

Bio and Links

-Beth Brooke

is a recently retired teacher and education consultant. She lives in Dorset but was born and did important parts of her growing in the Middle East. The landscapes of both these places are strong influences on her writing. She has had work published in a number of online journals and has been placed in a couple of small poetry competitions. She loves writing poems and sharing them with other people.

-Margaret Royall

is a Laurel Prize nominated poet. She has been shortlisted for several poetry prizes and won the Hedgehog Press’ collection competition 2020. She has two poetry collections:

Fording The Stream and Where Flora Sings, a memoir in prose and verse, The Road To Cleethorpes Pier and a new pamphlet, Earth Magicke out April 2021. She has been widely published online and in print, most recently: Hedgehog Press, The Blue Nib, Impspired & forthcoming in Sarasvati and Dreich.

She performs regularly at open mic events and facilitates a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire.

Website: https://margaretroyall.com

Twitter: RoyallMargaret

Instagram : meggiepoet

Facebook Author Page: Facebook.com/margaretbrowningroyall

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