Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Buddhamentia is a poem I wrote a few years ago to express the tension between choosing to “live in the moment”, a goal many hectic type A’s aspire to and having to choice but living in the moment as a result of dementia. Romance is often easier to watch on a movie screen than to live though…. Here are some REALLY fine poems on the topic:
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
Lines Lost Among Trees
These are not the lines that came to me
while walking in the woods
with no pen
and nothing to write on anyway.
They are gone forever,
a handful of coins
dropped through the grate of memory,
along with the ingenious mnemonic
I devised to hold them in place –
all gone and forgotten
before I had returned to the clearing of lawn
in the back of our quiet house
with its jars jammed with pens,
its notebooks and reams of blank paper,
its desk and soft lamp,
its table and the light from its windows.
So this is my elegy for them,
those six or eight exhalations,
the braided rope of the syntax,
the jazz of the timing,
and the little insight at the end
wagging like the short tail
of a perfectly obedient spaniel
sitting by the door.
This is my envoy to nothing
where I say Go, little poem –
not out into the world of strangers’ eyes,
but off to some airy limbo,
home to lost epics,
and fugitive dreams
such as the one I had last night,
which like a fantastic city in pencil,
in the bright morning air
just as I was waking up.