Mum’s Alzheimer’s Disease Progresses …

Mum with Noodle

Where’s my money? It’s in the bank. Which bank?
So I am greeted by the dawn chorus.
Its twitters subside but this angelus
Frames our days. The ship of memory sank
With all hands in the storm, just the odd plank,
Maelstrom flotsam, remains, hard for us
To relate to that once proud vessel, plus
The compulsive fiddling, to be frank
Frays nerves. We’d hoped that Mum could be herself
In the moment but cut off from the past,
Unable to envision the future,
The present becomes in and of itself
Frightening. Her distress stands in contrast
To the tranquility that becomes her.

Grandparenthood

Nothing persuades your children you are an
Idiot faster than their own baby.
Since Developmental Psychology
Has advanced they’re far more on trend than
You, they’ve been reading everything they can
Lay their hands on about biology,
Embryology, anthropology,
All the other ‘ologies known to man.
Grandparents’ thoughts are politely dismissed;
Their age commands respect, if not their views.
But woe betide a parent with advice!
How condescending thinking to assist
Having not kept up to date, they accuse.
In response tongue-biting has to suffice.

Dreaming

I dreamt of playing Rugby for Wales
Last night. Were broadcast Premiership scores
I heard drifting off to sleep keys for doors
To lost desires? My mind unveils
Itself and I’m shocked awake. Details
Fade, but whistfulness lingers, gives me pause.
What deeply buried thing could be the cause
Of this? My mind’s conjured fairy tales
Far beyond anything in real life.
Am I mourning a youth that never
Existed when it was within my grasp?
Or was the game a metaphor for strife
That exists in the present forever
Entombed in the subconsciousness’s clasp?

Canine Seasons

Bertie owning the Internet

Spring

May in March
“Cast nary a clout until May be out.”
Does it reference the month or flower?
Thirty days before April’s sweet shower
Had any chance to pierce March’s drought
Hedgerow blackthorn blossom drifted about
In the breeze, scattering petals over
The path, spreading its heady aroma
Around the park where I walk, a devout
Worshipper of the Goddess of Spring with
My miniature Cerberus in train to
Make sure she doesn’t miss the real thing.
Persephone, peplos-clad queen of myth
May not feel the cold, but her view
Isn’t shared by me. I’m wearing sheepskin.

Summer

Bertie on the Beach
The sign at the beach says no dogs allowed
Between May and October. Wherever
You look you see loads of them. Whatever
The motives of the bureacrats, the crowd
Of dog-owners has expressed its view loud
And clear. The sand goes on forever
When the tide’s out, no reason whatsoever
To exclude such friends of man who, endowed
With such a willingness to gallivant,
Are most likely to enjoy the freedom
To lollop on the golden strand unleashed
After the sun-bathers have fled, views scant
Redress for the declining evening sun
Which painted skies as its power decreased.

Autumn

Japanese Maple in Autumn

It’s squirrel season, so Bertie has lost
Interest in his ball, and instead sniffs
Grass and trees, snuffling madly for whiffs
Of rodent or hedgehog. Having criss-crossed
The park he takes every chance to accost
The resident wildlife, trading biffs
With his doggy friends as they conduct tiffs
To establish hierarchies. He’s bossed
By pretty much all of them. Brave he’s not!
But pigeons and magpie families take
Flight at his approach, his upright tail
A shark’s fin knifing through as though he’s got
A snowball’s chance in hell to put a brake
On their escape. Two flaps and off they sail!

Winter

The gravel path spares footwear from the wet
That slickly glistens to the right and left
Pooling twixt the mole hills, plotting the theft
Of any boots that chance to stray and get
Stuck in the mud. But Bertie doesn’t let
It cramp his style, he bounds around the cleft
Tree felled by winter’s storm, his path the weft,
The warp the avenue of bare trees set
On either side. As he weaves snuffling,
Bushy tailed grey squirrels slide around
Trunks and run up, or slip under threadbare
Rhododendrons, silently shuffling
Out of sight. But Bertie is no sight hound.
The squirrels might just as well not be there!

Morning Glory

Bertie loves shoes …

Let out of the crate where he’s spent the night
Bertie steps gingerly onto the grass,
A one dog furry cloud he makes his pass
Across the lawn collecting moisture right
Before he squats, squirts, adds a bit to spite
The green, lifts his tail, shits then licks his arse,
Seeks out the birds whose song drowns out the cars
On the motorway, barks and they take flight.
Honour satisfied, he heads back inside,
Takes a running jump and I take a blow.
He slobbers on my face my neck my hair
Banishing sleep as he lies alongside
Delivering garden dew with a show
Of enthusiasm which I don’t share.

On Visiting The Parthenon

The Parthenon

Traffic-belched vampire fumes acidified
The air, drained life from stones atop the slope
Where the Acropolis bones, picked bare, mope,
Mourning the empire that in its pride supplied
Phidias the wherewithal to provide
The host of wonders lain within its scope.
Truly temples are graves for human hope
Shattered aspirations clawing, bestride
The ancient seat of power diminished
By looting justified as protective
Custody for remains that survived for
Millennia once history finished
With the glory that was Greece, effective
Anointment of London’s glories in store?