Memory spiders twirling thoughts.
Nurse-white whisper shoes
sidle by. Clocks in freezer
stopped time when I knew me.
Thawed too fast, so they came
in loud tapping shoes.
And we danced ourselves into lucidity,
spotlight shining bright.
I remember tomorrow
like it was yesterday.

FullSizeRenderQuadrile 1 for dVerse Pub for Poets. Word count 44, using a form of the word dance – as in dance into a condition.

47 thoughts on “Dementia

  1. Mary January 18, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Smiling about the last two lines! Yes, sounds like dementia to me.

    (Bjorn had asked the word to be used with an object though – check the prompt – so maybe you can make a slight revision?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 18, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      hmmmmm…..”To cause to be in a specified condition by dancing: “The dog danced itself to madness.” This was one of the definitions in Bjorn’s prompt and my understanding was we could use any one of these three. as in “danced into lucidity,…” So I think I’m good to go here.


      • Mary January 18, 2016 / 6:55 pm

        Forget my comment. In Bjorn’s example ‘dance’ is the verb and ‘itself’ is the object. If you said ‘danced themselves into lucidity’ then ‘themselves’ would be the object. But as is, there is no object; but never mind. Seems few are putting objects, so I won’t mention it from this point on, as it seems it is too complex.

        Liked by 2 people

      • lillian January 18, 2016 / 7:06 pm

        Just continued my reply to you above… changed the sentence a bit….thanks for the very careful read. Much appreciated. Grammar is not as readily appreciated these days.


      • lillian January 18, 2016 / 7:04 pm

        It is indeed complex…..and I used to teach 10th grade English! Me thinks grammar is something we are not as familiar with these days. Changed the line… “danced ourselves into lucidity….” which makes good sense within the text. Thanks for the careful read….truly appreciated!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary January 18, 2016 / 7:27 pm

        Lilian, you do have it right now!!! Thanks for accepting my comment graciously. Yours is perfect now. “Ourselves” is the object! I used to teach grammar too, thus my familiarity!! Smiles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • katiemiafrederick January 19, 2016 / 12:24 am

        In Bjorn’s example
        number #3 it is
        clearly implied that
        the condition is the
        object.. the condition
        of ‘madness’ ..not the
        i wasn’t
        an English
        teacher but
        yes.. i can
        read.. with
        all due respect
        of course.. and
        just trying to
        make sense
        of all of this
        from the
        in.. smiles…
        in other words
        Lillian.. yes.. you were
        good to go already.. before..:)”

        Lillian here…..well, I can’t figure out any way to reply to this in a separate reply so will just add on. It’s no problem really…I just added the “ourselves” and took out another word and I actually like how it reads now. So all is well. This grammar stuff can be complex for sure! Thanks for the read and comment — all is well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Waltermarks January 18, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Well, at least I wake up in a brand new world daily. You have captured the essence of the dilemma, thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 18, 2016 / 7:05 pm

      The world of dimentia can indeed be seen as a dilemma… in which there are so many doors to maneuver and each time, a bit of the self is left behind. Thanks for the read and your very thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Waltermarks January 18, 2016 / 8:17 pm

        All too true, Lillian. Dimentia is a growing problem among an even younger age group

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian January 18, 2016 / 8:22 pm

        Hesitant to “like” this…..we need another button! “Sad” would work for this.


  3. Grace January 18, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    The opening lines drew me to the story right away ~

    Memory spiders twirling thoughts.
    Nurse-white whisper shoes

    And sound of time in this line: loud tapping shoes.-

    Thanks for joining in our first Quadrille ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 18, 2016 / 8:12 pm

      So glad you liked it, Grace. And thanks for the close read…..always always appreciated! Especially to see which lines strike readers 🙂


  4. whimsygizmo January 18, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Lillian, this is so beautifully done. This phrase is gorgeous, haunting, a stunner:
    “Nurse-white whisper shoes”

    I love the idea of dancing oneself into lucidity.
    I read “Still Alice” last year, and have a new appreciation for the struggle this brings. You have done a difficult subject so much justice, and brought it into beauty.

    I’m thankful to be reading your words. Happy to have met you at dVerse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 18, 2016 / 8:16 pm

      Oh my. Thank you thank you for your very kind words. I truly appreciate your kind words. I saw and listened to the author of Still Alice speak about 6 months ago at Mass General Hospital. Her work to get her information, her background, her insights were all remarkable. She explained to folks….many of you here no doubt, misplaced your keys last night and coudn’t find them this morning…hunting around the house and you, no doubt, said something like “Oh my gosh, I’m getting Alzheimers!” Well….many people get fearful of that — and rightly so as 50% of those 80 and older will be diagnosed with Alzheimers. Let me reassure you….it is normal to misplace your keys. It is simply a matter of paying close attention. It’s the person who, once s/he finds the keys, looks at them and says, “What are these for?” that is the person in early stages of Alzheimers. An amazing talk — and an absolutely heartbreaking disease.
      Thank you so very much for your kind words.
      And I am thrilled to have found dVerse…….learning so much here! 🙂


  5. Melinda Kucsera January 18, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    I read the poem twice. I love your turns of phrase especially those opening lines and “And we danced ourselves into lucidity,
    spotlight shining bright.” I don’t know why, but those lines call to mind “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” — a great movie about two people who erase each other from their memories. There’s a series of scenes in there where they’re erasing his memories of her and he changes his mind tried to hold on to her. The lines I quoted reminded me of that sequence–in fact the whole poem did because of the fluid treatment of time and memory in that movie. Brilliantly done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 18, 2016 / 8:18 pm

      Oh, Melinda. Thank you so very very much for the close reading, the connection to the film and your very kind words. I shall have to look up this film for a view. It sounds fascinating!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melinda Kucsera January 18, 2016 / 8:32 pm

        You’re very welcome. I saw some of the flack other commenters gave you and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they didn’t see the brilliance. Their loss. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. It was a good movie with a very intriguing premise and in it, Jim Carrey played a serious role and he played it very well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian January 18, 2016 / 8:45 pm

        Will check it out. Not to worry…..I am always up for constructive criticism and did a quick edit so I have it grammatically correct and still with 44 words.
        You, my dear, are a true friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Melinda Kucsera January 18, 2016 / 9:22 pm

        aw you’re welcome! 😀 I’m glad it all worked out in the end.


  6. lynn__ January 18, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    My husband’s mother died of Alzheimer’s…a cruel disease. We remember and honor who she was. Thank you for this beautiful poem! I smiled at “I remember tomorrow like it was yesterday”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 7:19 am

      Good morning Lynn.
      So very sorry that you lost your mother-in-law to Alzheimers — it is indeed a cruel disease and really takes its toll on entire families in a very unique way. Sometimes the person can be “well” but just a shell — not there in any other sense except their body. We see them — and it is so hard to believe.
      I was just reading about a woman who is using poetry to reach these patients — having them work in groups to write poetry. Cannot remember the exact citation…but if you Google Growing Bolder using poetry to work with Alzheimers, I’m sure you can find it. The Growing Bolder (instead of “older”) is quite an interesting site.
      Thank you for your read and I’m so glad to have made you smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. C.C. January 18, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    I read this several times because it packs such an emotional wallop. “Memory spiders twirling thoughts” is brilliant writing and the last two lines are so clever. Really well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 7:20 am

      Thank you so very much…especially for a double-read. It seems to have touched a lot of people and for that I am most grateful. Your very kind words have me smiling over my morning coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 7:22 am

      Ah thank you my friend….may I call you that? Appreciate your kind words very much! I am really so very glad you have joined this group. Will get back to reading those who’ve written after me now…had done those before….
      Very interesting form to write in.


  8. katiemiafrederick January 19, 2016 / 1:06 am

    Dancing memories..
    feelings sway through
    hips and fingers..
    Dancing thinking
    so concrete..
    memories of
    but Love
    sTill now
    living life sAMe
    without feelings
    iS dancing liFe
    with no home
    being now..
    love memories
    connecting now..:)

    After living life
    with no emotions
    for 66 months as
    a side-effect of the
    worst pain known
    to humankind..
    type two..
    from wake
    to sleep..
    truly it is a
    that emotions
    are the
    last to
    go in
    if nothing else..
    as i can surely
    say that no
    is really
    as it is
    even worse than
    the worse pain
    known to
    assessed as
    my friend…
    but sure.. some
    wheRe.. some place..
    tHere may be a darker
    hell that that as even worse….
    dancing alone… sings no song….

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 7:31 am

      Thank you for the read, Katie. Living with chronic pain — dancing alone. So many times we see people and truly have no idea who they are. It is so very sad to say, some people have their hell on earth.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kathy Reed January 19, 2016 / 4:29 am

    Touching, moving quadrille about a disease I have not experienced first hand. Nurse white whisper shoes say so much..and the intricate dancing between past and present and eventually only the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 7:35 am

      Thank you Kathy. I, thankfully, have no first hand experience of this disease either. Other than attending an amazing presentation by the woman who wrote the book about Alice, that then became a movie and the woman won an academy award for her portrayal of Alice. At that presentation, attended by many, there was a question/answer period. It was at Mass General Hospital. A man, maybe in his 50s stood up and shared that just that day, at Mass General, he’d received a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimers. Then breaking into tears he asked the speaker, how do I go home and tell my children? It was a very emotional evening.
      Thank you for your read Kathy. And your kind words here. Truly appreciated.


  10. Bryan Ens January 19, 2016 / 8:15 am

    This is so well written. You have captured the heartbreak of dementia from within the mind of the one going through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 8:19 am

      Heartbreak indeed. Thank you for your read and your kind words.


  11. Karen January 19, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Great last line. I can’t say I know anything about poetry but I like your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 8:30 am

      Always great to see a reaction from you Karen!! For me, that’s the point. That my words create a connection – they’re accessible to anyone who reads them. Say hello to Spain for me!


  12. kanzensakura January 19, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Oh, this made me cry. My poor mother….I had told her about the day and time of a Duke Basketball game and then it ended up not being on in our area or her area. When I called the next day to check on her (she lives in another city with her sister), she told me how much she had enjoyed the game and how well they played. Bless her heart, she “saw” a game she couldn’t have, but she enjoyed it. sigh….I wish she could dance herself to lucidity. Good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 19, 2016 / 3:53 pm

      So many people touched by this disease. Bless your mother indeed. Thank you for the read — it has evoked many emotions.


  13. mishunderstood January 20, 2016 / 11:12 pm

    You had me at “nurse white whisper shoes”, but it was the ending that really summed up the agony and confusion of this horrible disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 21, 2016 / 6:20 am

      Thank you so very much for the read — and for your kind words. You know, since I’ve written this poem and left it here to rest, I’ve tried to recreate those last two lines in my head, say them aloud, tell them to somebody….but for the life of me, I can’t get them “right.” Meaning, I can’t say them as they’re written in the poem. Which tells me exactly what you’ve said here…..they really do illustrate the confusion of this awful awful disease. They’re so mixed up, that I can’t repeat them, remember them as is.


  14. sreejaharikrishnan January 21, 2016 / 9:18 am

    Great opening….and nicely conveyed…a very confusing state..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 21, 2016 / 9:24 am

      Thank you. Yes — this is an absolutely confounding disease process….for family, friends and for the patient.


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