Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Al Siemer

A mind, once full and agile,
Was killed today.
It was not sudden,
The murderer took its time,
Trapping its victim in an ever smaller world
Until, the cries of anguish
Reverberated inside her own skull;
Unheard and unhearable by the world.

A mind once bright with intelligence

Which cared in its own way
For those it loved and had compassion for.
That enjoyed words and music.
Who loved and encouraged;
Was hurt, yet found solace
In a husband's love, quiet and gentle,
And children who did well.

But slowly, as age took hold,

Her body turned against her
Hardening first her heart
And then her brain.
Starving these organs of life
Through sclerotic arteries,
Ever smaller made
Until they were stoppered.

Her mind retreated basely
Shredding her memories,
Leaving them in strewn tatters,
Unjoined by sense of space or time.
Increasingly rendering her primitive
As higher functions decayed.
What fears did she feel
As her world closed in around?

She, who was once sentient,

Reduced to violence to tell the world
How she is feeling.
Language no longer speaks

Any sense of her wishes, desires,
Hopes or intelligence.
All is going or gone
Never to return.

Her mental darkness grows ever faster.

Haunted by demons
Of her past and future
Only she can see and hear.
She sits dribbling and trembling

Throwing bowls of super heated soup
At those who care

But she sees as killers.

My mother, flesh of my flesh,

Giver of my life, mind melts away,
As snow on a roof,
Leaving just a shell behind
Resembling who she once was - but is no more.
A shriveled demon of hatred
Who now blames us, her child poisoners,

For her own sad misfortune.

Our love is unconditional.

She is who she now is
But also remains who she once was.
A strange dichotomy with which

Us siblings must juggle
And resolve for our own minds' sake.
Deal with our sadness
While waiting for the end.


  1. Peter, in a special way, that was truly beautiful.

    And you have all my deepest sympathy.

  2. I am lost for the right words to respond to this.

    Your poetry is hauntingly beautiful, and yet so very wretched at the same time.

    I have tears in my eyes for your mother, and for you too, because I can understand, at least a little, what it is to lose someone in this way. Not suddenly; not even quickly, but little by little over a long time.

    My grandmother, whom I loved dearly, suffered as your mother does. She became helpless and lost in her own worlds, sometimes relatively happy worlds, often sad and depressing ones.

    But a grandmother, for all my love for her, is not a mother. For you it must be many times worse.

    Looking back I have no idea how I coped. Somehow you do, because you have no choice. I think I probably had to become someone else for that period. I don't know if I could cope again. Necessity is a great provider of strength.

    I hoped that writing that piece helped you. I'm sure it did. There is, I think, a cathartic element to artistry.

    I hope that you will daily find the strength to bear the awfulness of what you are going through.

    I too send you my sympathies and my best wishes.