Dementia

Your mind is a traitor that has betrayed you
It has left behind a body
But stolen your personality
Your ability to have a conversation
Your presence is here
Although not really

We all pretend like you are the same
What you have created still stands
Surrounded by your family
Reminiscing about who you used to be
Your wisdom and generosity

I found you a different person
Robbed of your energy
Greif with a side of dementia
To remember again
To be reminded again
Just to go back into that far away world
The fuzzy place of your childhood
A false memory that does no good

You look at me with blank eyes
Not seeing me
And ask where your soul is
Where he is
What can I say
Nothing I say can make it better

I don’t want to remind you
You know he is not here
Your heart breaks over and over
Every time you ask
There are no words for this
I’ll hold your hand through the fear
I’ll stay by your side during the loss

There’s an empty chair
And empty bed
Empty after sixty nine years
A house full, but empty at the same time
A table with the centerpiece missing
A room devoid of pictures and light
You can feel that something is different
But can’t place it, can’t explain it
There’s a void next to you every night

The walls have shifted
A desolate wilderness is left behind
You are alone in the desert
An arid land with no reprieve
Trying to find him

You are looking for water
He was your oasis
And has dried up, disappeared
The world has turned upside down
You don’t know where your place is

Your spirit left with him
Your love of so long
I can see it in your eyes
You have already gone

Band Aid

You stuck to me like a band aid
The colorful one
That you put on sometimes
Just for fun

Giving my days a rosy hue
I’ll dig through
All my cluttered bags
For you

Soothing my wounds
Yet you leave a residue
When I tried to take you off
So I decided to keep you
An extra layer
I try to make belong

A charismatic plaster
Always in the midst of some disaster
Creating wounds
And dressing them up
An illusion that they’ll heal faster

A band aid
Covering my fears
But you never expose yours
Non absorbent
Deflecting my tears
You always disappear

A dreamer
Who doesn’t do
Eating up my time
Always making it about you
Talking yourself through

A band aid that has no depth
Adhesive worn thin
It only lasts for a few hours
You always leave, hide
Evade my deepest desires
When I need you

I’ve taken you off so many times
And walked away
My emotions sway
But you sneak back in
Enough time
Allows you to play
Tricks on my mind

The one that got away
Is easy to say
Every time your efforts
Had a delay
It’s much harder to show up
To be the one willing to stay

A dirty band aid
On the floor
You’ve been ripped off too many times
I can’t make you stick
Anymore

Holes

I am full of holes
A human sieve
Emotions pour through me
But they don’t stay
I am putty
I allow people to play
Mold my identity
Sometimes irresponsibly

There are holes in my soul
My experiences are vague
I can’t make sense of
Any feeling, any day
Nothing sticks
Everything flows through me
While time passes away

My mind is full of holes
Things that happened long ago
Morphed into memories
Blank spots
Illusions and stories
That I can’t show
Shape-shift and sway
In my conscious
They are close
But happening so far away

My body is full of holes
Incomplete
Fragments of humanity
People I meet
Everyone sees me
And experiences me differently

I must be careful
Not to fall in my holes
They like to hide
I don’t know their exact location
It’s hard to see when I’m inside
Their depth is immeasurable
Their deception penetrable

Old holes and new holes
Needing repair
How can I heal myself
When there are holes everywhere?

Deserving

Deserve is a strange word
We need a reward for just being
All of our desires must be heard
By the Universe
Which should cater to our needs
Our purpose and meaning

But who gets what they want
Who is deserving
And who gets punishment
Does anyone deserve to be the brunt
Of the worlds cruelty?
The harsh divide between you and me?

Does everyone deserve to eat?
To have shelter and seek
Security, a better life
Who is deserving?

And who delivers this reward
It seems deciding who is hard
Can we make these decisions?
Without having all the information?

Who deserves land, territory
Who deserves to tell their story
Who deserves to be recognized
And who should be despised

Does anyone deserve war?
To have their hearts broken
Do some deserve more
Than others?

Is this something you manifest
Perhaps this is all a test
Of our humanity
Our willingness willing to give
To someone with less

To think about others
When it doesn’t benefit us
To accept what we have
And be more generous

Or do we think we are better than the rest
The less deserving
We are so self serving
Our entitlement will be our demise
Unless we become interested
In others lives

Others that are far away
That we haven’t met
That are separate
How easy it it to forget
We are all human

Who deserves to live
And who deserves to die?
We pretend we know
We think we are right

But our window is so small
Do the Gods respond to the prayers of all
Can everyone’s pleas be heard?
Do everyone’s dreams matter?
What do you deserve?

The Truth

What is the truth?
A perception
A feeling
A created reality
The space that exists
Between you and me
You say I’m toxic
I think I’m healthy
Which one of us can’t see?

Is truth what exists
When there is silence
When the mind is quiet
If the mind is ever quiet
How can we find it

Our truths are not the same
One persons truth
Is anothers pain
Is there one truth?
Is there one right way?

Sometimes I think I know
Other times it’s grey
So many stories
So many lives
The mind is powerful
But sometimes it lies

Have you ever been lost
In your own mind?
Maybe I create my truth
It may bend a little to connect
With you
The more I experience
The more I question what’s true
It feels like questioning
Is the right thing to do

I decide
What’s right
But I can always change my mind
Perhaps the truth doesn’t exist
Or maybe it’s just hard to find

We are all living separate truths
In our own lives
The writers of history
The makers of time
But what is mine?

Lines

I stare at myself in the mirror
Expression lines
Creases
Crinkles
A story etched into my forehead
When did I get wrinkles?

I want them to leave
Exit immediately
I rub creams, oils, masks
Apply sunscreen desperately
I wonder if you see what I see
Instead of looking into my eyes
You are looking at my lines
Folds that tell you I’m getting old

Markers of my experience
My time
A life of stress and excitement
Hard decisions I’ve had to make
All the paths I’ve chosen to take
Repentance, glory, and sin
Worn on my skin
A face full of life
Seeking
A bottle of collagen
My youth has disappeared overnight

I stare back at them hard
I see every faint crease
Every mark
I run my hands over their indentation
Setting an intention
To love myself
I’m learning so slowly

I try hard not to move
My eyebrows, my eyes
Trying to improve
The situation
As if I keep still
They will reside
My forehead will smooth
Milky white

My perfection, my youth
Faintly slips away
I suppose these lines are here to stay
I find myself further inside
Tempted to hide
My flaws, my face
I think about Botox
Trying to erase the evidence

I embrace my age
I embrace my lines
Knowing my wrinkles
Don’t define my character
I want you to see my life
My old soul
And know that’s it’s full
My happiness shows through my crinkles
I smile deeply
Crows feet
Even though it creates
What I hate

I want to be this person
I want these lines
I want all of my experiences
My expressions, appearances
But I fear growing old
We’ve all been sold
An illusion of perpetual youth
Unflawed, non-reality
Smooth skin
And told it’s our duty
To look this way
I accept who I am in the mirror
I refuse to pay
These wrinkles are here to stay

And then with a start
I turn the off the lights
I can no longer see, only feel
My innermost self, beautiful
My lines disappear in the dark
My skin recedes
Blackness envelops me
And I become energy

Why

Life feels like I’m running on a treadmill
To no avail
No lost weight, just time.
Like dieting, desperately
Just to find
I look the same
Nothing’s changed
No matter what I do
I’ll never be able to fit that small size

Why still try?
It seems as if the Gods
Have already decided
They are against me
A fight with reality
A fruitless effort
A frustrating ride

I spent an eternity calling you in
Yet you just walked by
Without a smile
Without catching my eye
A life wasted
An unsaid goodbye
A lucky break
For the wrong guy

I put in so much effort
But I’m barely getting by
Dated my whole life
And never met my soulmate
Did all things right
Except participate

Got caught in civil wars
Poor countries
The wrong side of the caliphate
An incorrect direction of fate
Born in the wrong color
The wrong state
One year, one minute
Too late

Punished for things
Beyond my control
That happened
Before I could even cry
At what point am I responsible
For my life?

I’m unable to find a reason why
A universal struggle
With no answer
To the question
That’s been asked
Since the beginning of time

Or so the story goes
We all wonder
But no one really knows

Why?

Maputo

I sit on the ledge
Waves lap at my feet
I’m content, yet not present
You’re always on my mind
So many things I’m searching for
I have yet to find

Tears fall for the things I want
A feeling that will never stay
I don’t believe in God
Otherwise I would pray
For you

I wonder where you are
I know I’m so far away
But I still care
More for you, than you care
For yourself right now

You are not well

I don’t know how to tell you
You need help
Yet you will not help yourself
There’s nothing I can do
But to care for myself

So I sit here
Wipe away my tears
Ten minutes feels like years
Smile in response to stares
Dodge potholes, centipedes
Try to fulfill all my needs
In a foreign place
I have so much space
So much time

I want to leave
But I don’t know where to go
Or how I’m supposed to know
Where to be

So the cool ocean breeze
Soothes me
And I make peace
With my tears
My fears of losing you
For I have so much to do

And so little control
I send my wish
Out to the sea
And breathe deeply
I keep walking
In Maputo
Eventually,
I’ll know where to go

Wilderness

I walk amongst the ruins
The visible passage of time
Life displayed outside
And I think about mine

Nature dominates all that we create
We think we are in control
Yet the gnarled branches overtake
The wild chaos determines our fate
We plant the seeds and must surrender
To the overgrown brush and weeds
Rough and rugged, somehow tender

Amongst tall grass and flowers
Is how I pass the hours
There is no set path
Each way is correct
All the winding trails connect

Weeds softly caress
Doing their best
Flies buzz around me
Also looking for a place to be

I shake off webs that tingle
I dance with the flowers and mingle
Birds and bugs sing to me
Reminding me all I have to do is see
Beauty

Appreciate what is
Everything around me lives
Life gives life
Forget your worry and pain
Time will pass all the same

Enjoy the moments where you find
Quiet in your mind
And wilderness in your soul
The wind gently pulls
Me closer

Life takes it’s toll
But the rivers wash over
My troubles
And I become whole
For a moment

I find bliss
In the wilderness

Decisions

How to make the right decision
And is there a right one
If I choose one path, do I forfeit another
I’ve made my choice but I still wonder
What I should have done

Making choices is hard
I try to go with the flow
But even after I decide
It’s hard to know
What I should have chose

I sit here and ponder
Where I’m supposed to be
What path should I have followed
Sometimes I wish I was not here
But I’m waiting for the Universe to lead me
How long do I wait
Do I follow or choose my fate

I accept my consequences
I choose my actions
Yet I question myself
Every time I become uncomfortable
I don’t accept my reactions
To uncertainty
Despite my precaution
There’s no guarantee
That I’ve made the right decision

For whatever is not happening
I cannot find
It’s not real
Only transpiring in my mind
Yet I question everything
Drive myself crazy
Filling my time
What if I miss what’s right for me?
Make the wrong decision
I try to re-evaluate
Adjust my position

For I always have another choice
I am not stuck
Despite my feelings
My apparent luck
The things that don’t go my way
I always have a voice
I can choose my path anytime
Shift and realign

Perhaps the best I can do is think less
Let go and try to not make a mess
I don’t know what’s supposed to be
What’s right for you or me
For there’s so little I can control
I can’t comprehend or pretend
To understand the flow
Life is a practice of letting go

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