Poems from Taking Flight


“It is well known that people with dementia are continually absorbed by the past. That means they can still recall the past vividly. The information from the past remains accessible the longest. They sometimes experience the past as the present.”

             - 'Dementia in Close-Up' by Bère. M. L. Miesen

I. Blue Lias

In the Blue Lias that is your head
succumb to wave and gale.
In time, they crumble.

      And the small bleeds
         forcing their way on the inside
            are the treacherous springs
               which thrust the fossil past

                  to overlay the parts of you
      we tried to unearth
      only yesterday.

III. Xenoliths

Stranger stones
   by magma thrust
      from earth’s deep crust
   into a vulnerable present
allow geologists
   to probe the past.

Time is in schism
   as granite gives way
to anachronism.

I melt into my mother
   or your aunt.

VI. Ammonites

Your brain closes on itself
like a serpent stone. Its chambers
calcify. We trace the sutures with expectant fingers;
but what was knowledge –
forbidden or otherwise –
is banished. Fled, without
St Hilda’s whip.