Wednesday, 10 July 2013

here in dementia bay


costs money does paper
ink n’ stuff

and they get it on their hands

blackened fingers n’ nails
need scrubbed

n’est pas

and all that paper’ll lead to a fire hazard
don’t you think


why do the buggers running care homes always fail
to understand that there’s more to the art than say

we have to keep em clean

well dressed and


so we wash and clean and dress em well and sit
roll over


carry go die for the queen
don’t ruffle any hair

they don’t want to paint or make a noise

at their age they want hush and a lot of rest
and keeping clean

it’s what’s expected

best they get is tv (and mick jagger leading the stones
on stage at glastonbury)

the late mr nick minickers used to string keith Richards guitar, y’know

lest we remember

no   whitewash    gloss and make do with old age’s linger    here in dementia bay

© Philip Johnson

An active brain keeps dementia at bay.

Previously appeared in: Poetry 24, The Ugly Tree; Poetry Scotland, Emergency Verse, Write Away, Caught In The Net, Red Pencil, Writer's Hood, Transparent Words. He works in elder care.