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    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 191

    Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    For today’s prompt, write a memory poem. The poem could be about a personal memory, someone else’s memory, or even play with the fact that some people lose memories. Just remember to write a poem.

    Here’s my attempt at a memory poem:


    I can’t remember tomorrow
    when I always lose yesterday
    falling out an open window.
    I can’t remember tomorrow,
    not that I’m filled with great sorrow,
    because I still have my today.
    I can’t remember tomorrow
    when I always lose yesterday.


    Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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    About Robert Lee Brewer

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    117 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 191

    1. po says:


      Every poem is a memory poem.
      Of hot summer days when the
      tar bursts into bubbles on country
      roads. The joy as it pops when
      your bicycle hits it just right.

      In college how the last warm
      days of fall spend themselves as
      the sun nourishes more than your
      back. Days so rare you will never falter
      in love. But every poem is a memory.

      How wild iris mingles
      with the new ducklings
      in spring for a splash
      of color near the pond.

      Some stones fade. My Mom gone
      now for four years and her stories
      begin to need to be retold. Every poem
      is a memory and a poem.

    2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

      by juanita lewison-snyder

      after katrina
      we were never quite the same again
      no matter how hard we tried.

      the house in which
      my mother was born in,
      sisters conceived,
      parents wedded,
      where beloved pet memorials
      held backyard court over the years,
      where melons and apples
      grew ripe for the picking,
      and frogs lulled us to
      sleep late in the evenings,
      the home altar where fireflies and
      lemonade glued us to the screen porch
      and dance recitals and watching old glory
      climb the pole made us cry every time,
      a hearth where barbecues and fall canning
      invited cousins to gather ’round
      clapboards and shutters and blossom
      like sprigs of wild roses.

      but then the waters came,
      and with it a mountain of mud and silt,
      uprooted trees, bobbing vehicles,
      bloated animal carcasses,
      occasional corpse.
      the winds were fierce at first,
      slammed window panes and rooftops
      leaned backs and shoulders
      against sills and foundations
      until only slabs of pitted
      concrete and rebar were left,
      the once picturesque orchard
      and garden areas vacuumed
      off the face of the earth
      as if we never existed.

      after katrina
      we were never quite the same again
      no matter how hard we tried to forget.

      © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    3. tunesmiff says:

      (c) 2012 – G. Smith
      Just the night before,
      I stood on the very top floor,
      Looking out the windows on the world.
      Below the city lights,
      Shone clear and crisp and diamond bright,
      Mirroring the stars out the windows on the world.

      Out the windows on the world,
      Looking out the windows on the world.
      Could we have been prepared,
      For those things that we’ve all shared,
      Looking out the windows on the world?

      Who would have thought,
      The dinner that I’d just bought,
      While looking out the windows on the world,
      Would be the one that I remember,
      Since that long ago September,
      Looking out the windows on the world?

      Out the windows on the world,
      Looking out the windows on the world;
      Could we have been prepared,
      For those things that we’ve all shared,
      Looking out the windows on the world?

      Now Yellowstone steams,
      And fog blankets Alcatraz,
      Mists drift through the bayou,
      Like Dixieland jazz;
      The Rockies stand proudly,
      And the Hudson River curls;
      You could see it all by looking,
      Out the windows on the world;
      You could feel it all by looking,
      Out the windows on the world.

      They keep on going without,
      The windows on the world.

    4. tunesmiff says:

      (c) 2012 – G. Smith
      Over and over, again and again,
      I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
      Over and over, it goes on and on;
      And then in an instant; everything’s gone;
      Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

      Clear, cloudless morning,
      Sunny and bright;
      The city wakes up
      And shrugs off the night.
      Another day dawning,
      New work to be done.
      Where there where two,
      Soon there will be none.

      Over and over, again and again,
      I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
      Over and over; it keeps running on;
      And then in an instant; everything’s gone.
      Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

      The same old routine.
      Punching the clock;
      Walk down the hallway,
      Put the key in the lock.
      Greeting the faces
      You pass every day;
      Without being ready
      To see them taken away.

      Over and over, again and again,
      I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
      Over and over, it runs on so long;
      And then in an instant; everything’s gone.
      Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

      Over and over;
      Again and again.

    5. Tender memories.

      This is a tough one
      how to explain a life with someone
      who never remembers?
      Or more accurately sometimes does
      but in fits and starts
      and how that constantly breaks my heart.

      Because I’m like an elephant
      everything sticks.
      I remember a film from a line overheard
      a book from ten years ago,
      every moment we’ve shared
      each word and the way it was spoken
      but I live in a world where a promise is broken
      or rather it isn’t quite because can you call it a promise
      if the person who made it forgets its conception?
      Not in a way that can find recollection
      the data is gone ,its gone.

      Every day is a new day, a new beginning
      which sounds rather lovely and full of hope.
      I carry our history, treasure it carefully,
      curate our necessary frequent contracts,
      there has to be trust, because I am the only
      person who tells of the things that have been.

      And this is the way we have been forever,
      I tell you the story you follow directions,
      we laugh and we love and we have new adventures
      and I tell them to you so you don’t lose the moments.

      I sit in my bedroom and I travel in time
      and scents and sounds and feel of the air
      and sun on my skin and I’m there
      while I’m here
      and I cry for the you
      who will never be able
      to hold onto a moment and love it forever.
      So I’ll love it for both of us,
      I’ll love us for both of us,
      and that will have to be enough, forever.

      Michele Brenton 11th September 2012

    6. THE SHAWL

      A shawl; a shroud.
      Crocheted in hues
      of black and crimson yarns,
      the winsome tatter across her shoulders.
      A gift perhaps,
      or a remnant left at her disposal.
      No offer or proposal, just a spinster maybe,
      or a not-so-gay divorcee. She wouldn’t say.
      Her silence is her voice; her stare, vacant and dead.
      Around her head, a babushka cinched tightly
      beneath her chin, a lofty noose without a victim.
      The window opens the world to her disinterest,
      at best, she has random flashes of its existence.
      She clutches the cozy covering closer to her,
      a sanctuary of sort. A harbored port
      in this station of her life. Once someone’s wife
      she remembers. Or she doesn’t. It matters not.
      People did not find their comfort in her company.
      Hers was offered in chastisement and vitriol.
      This decrepit soul lost in the warmth of her frigidity.
      It’s a pity. She does not remember that she was evil.
      But, she knows that she feels cold.

      **Written in response to Polish poet Anna Swirszczynska’s “She Does Not Remember”.

    7. PowerUnit says:

      Back in the day I’d pick you up
      in my yellow Ford Pickup
      the tailgate rattling
      as I gunned it over your gravel driveway
      I’d bring your little brother sparklers
      a young boy’s vice
      and a book of matches
      so he wouldn’t have to steal your mother’s

      We’d drive all night
      with the other Friday Main Street rally drivers
      coolness on wheels
      beer cans at their feet
      and girls under the free arm
      drinking cheap wine from the cold, hard, green rim.

      And now we sit in our flowered room
      watching movies on our flat screen
      olde Butch sleeping at our feet
      We sip our wine from shaped, formal glass
      waiting for our child to come home

    8. Andra the Cheshire Cat says:


      What I once so tangibly remembered was your smell:
      it was so warm – you smelled of freshly minted life
      and nothing could distract me from weaving between peals of laughter,
      following its beckoning trace -
      not your ample hands,
      nor your furrowed brows before that very captivating book,
      not even your proudly-displayed chest,
      the subtle thief of my attention and affection.

      I allowed myself to take notice
      because there was no talk of life and death that afternoon:
      no bullets graced the sky,
      no news of the technocracy, nor of the fate of this Great War –
      yet whispers begged through glimpses and gestures for the promise
      that it would still be like this between us after the end,
      constant through each end within end within end.

      On that cursed day, after it was all over,
      they took me home and covered me
      in mounds of dry fragments of perception
      the inheritors of the Phoenicians sold them
      inside a tiny velvet bag,
      while the spices that once underscored your smell
      were not afforded the benefit of a potted keepsake.
      As the men with doll-like hands cast you aside,
      my others bathed me in coconut oils and rinsed me with pomegranate juice
      until my skin was tight and flayed
      and my mouth was swollen with the taste of
      not three,
      nor six,
      nor six thousand crimson gems,
      but of all the ever-invented gems
      (including the stray one, drifting through that oddly baptized galaxy -
      the one you, with your stargazing heritage,
      have probably become intimately acquainted with by now -
      that one must have been from you).
      All these dainty drops fought tooth and nail
      to cram into the nook
      reserved for the slithering taste of your smell.
      I allowed it from a distance, remembering your voice
      as it laid out before me the heathen tale it captured when you were a boy,
      the one whose steps we used to trace without meaning to – WHAT A FRAUD!
      What kind of people would promise a woman such a thing,
      who could have it in them
      to come up with such a filthy lie,
      to tell me that the more I taste the food of the Underworld,
      the closer I shall bind myself to you …

      So that is the story of how I lost your smell for a while …
      A slice of time later,
      when the last torrent of unconsciousness had finally dripped out of me,
      I went out and I sought it in our city,
      I sought it in the books you used to love,
      in the people long-ago branded by a shake of your hand, even
      in the sky scattered through with your ashes
      and in the still-wanton soil.
      It was gone,
      lost at the bottom of the mighty waters
      the crimson seeds had borne inside me.

      I looked so hard, yet
      I could not find it in your coat,
      your large pressed suits,
      your stray poetry –
      only serendipitous wisps
      that somehow swim against the current in tiny bursts
      and magnetize my secrets
      and draw them out through the corners of my eyes
      like tiny cockroaches which crawl out of the upper corners of my walls
      at the most unfortunate of times.

      Perhaps this is the way the mighty waters shall rid themselves of me -
      constant through end within end within end.

    9. For a dying friend:


      You walk down the long hall for the last time.
      Framed photographs hang on both walls –
      your memories lined up as a gallery.
      When you reach the other end,
      Your picture will hang there too.

    10. sjmcken says:


      Like celluloid stills in a row,
      flashbulb moments held in tow,
      life’s history culled from freeze-framed stops
      knit akimbo in memory swaps,
      like celluloid.

      Spliced and spiced, only apropos
      scenes to match old things we know,
      our knowns the cozy comfort props
      in celluloid.

      We see what we expect, blind to
      the true, our self-talk quid-pro-quo.
      The conscious mind, late guest, up-pops
      selecting stills, then photo-shops
      and catalogs those snaps just so,
      to have a tale to tell, a flow
      like celluloid.

    11. The Number

      As the dusk faded away
      And the moon rose high
      In the midsummer night,
      His thoughts wandered
      To the faded phone number
      Scrawled in pencil
      On the back of a recipe card,
      Buried with the essentials
      In his rucksack
      But never far from his mind,
      A ten digit link
      To the life he could have had,
      The one within his grasp
      Until anger built a fence
      They could never climb.
      He could call that number,
      Beg to be forgiven,
      But after all these years
      He knows that number
      Only connects
      To an empty phone booth,
      No operator assistance available
      To trace love’s last call.

    12. dezeree3387 says:

      If I Had One More Moment

      If I had one more moment to say all the things I needed to say,
      I’d tell you how much I’ve loved loving you this way…
      Thank you for being my shoulder,
      Thank you for being there for me.
      In case you ever questioned,
      I couldn’t have left more happily.
      If I could open my eyes one last time,
      I’d open them to see your face.
      To have your image engraved in my mind,
      Would make eternity such a better place.
      For every second that I’ve spent with you,
      For all the beauty that we’ve shared,
      I’d give anything to go back in time
      Just to prove that I’ve always cared.
      With all my heart and all my soul,
      I need you to know how wonderful you are.
      You’ve given me everything I’ve ever asked for,
      You’ve always been my shining star.
      I hope you know that I never meant to take you for granted…
      Never once did I not believe in you.
      You were the greatest thing to come into my life.
      Since the day we met I’ve been in love with you…
      I just want to say thank you for making my life worth living,
      And for fulfilling my every day.
      If I had one more moment left in this world
      I’d simply tell you how much I’ve loved loving you this way…

    13. priyajane says:


      And in the distance I do see
      Golden, abandoned territory
      Some images that  had disappeared
      Now follow me and seem so clear
      Why do these ghosts still show their face?
      Why have they left their hiding place?!

      Some rocks inside the treasure chest
      Have sparkling diamonds amidst their nest
      A lingering fragrance from the dried up rose
      Why,the broken thorns don’t hurt my toes?!
      Those tears,now pearls I hold them close
      And gently let them decompose
      For, time to climb back to the ground
      Embracing what I see around
      But a hint of fairy dust has sprayed
      A glitter of those Yesterdays
      Into the churnings of Todays—-

      PriyA Jane

    14. carolemt87 says:

      So Long

      It’s been so long
      since we tossed the ball around
      so long since we played pickle in the rain
      so long, catching pop-flies
      under a muskmelon sky
      so long that glove you gave me sits
      Rusty Staub on Rawling’s
      Flex-O-Matic palm
      worn leather webbing
      crackled like old paint
      along the edges of fingers
      so small, so long ago
      so long,
      so come,
      play catch with me,
      it’s been

    15. SJMcGowanwrites says:

      This is a memory poem which I wrote dedicated to my Mother

      Are there ever any dreams in heaven?
      Like those about winding roads
      That leads you to remember me
      With my small hand in yours
      And will you pray for me?
      Because I miss your eyes and smile
      And the way you comforted me
      In my heart of a small child
      Will you not forget the bond we had?
      As I told you all my cares
      And you said to “trust in God
      For he knows all your fears”
      And you said you wish
      You had money back then.
      You never strived for fanciness
      To broken to care about success
      But the love that you had
      You gave the best
      From my heart of a poet
      Mom you’re the best.

    16. Ann M says:


      When he came down
      from the woods,
      the dam had let out
      and the kayak was gone,
      swept downriver.
      Later he saw a white
      kayak with orange stripes
      on top of a car on Roswell Road,
      but he couldn’t catch up.
      Now he has a different kayak
      that he paddles in Kailua Bay
      at dusk when the turtles
      swim near the surface
      so close, he can reach out
      and touch them,
      but he still feels like
      he lost something else
      and needs to keep looking.

      • sjmcken says:

        Evocative…I recognize the reverberating sense you describe…I like the scenes you placed it in…..both of these aspects are memorable (no pun intended!). Thank you… !

    17. An oldie. (Sorry. It seems I’m doing that too much lately.)

      Niles Korner Dairy

      A long way back, in ’66,
      When we were eight years old,
      A dime was lying in our path,
      And we thought we’d struck gold.

      My cousin Tom and I took off.
      We ran, so we could pop
      Into the Korner Dairy
      With the Christmas Tree on top.

      The Korner Dairy carried
      All the stuff kids LOVE to have.
      Every candy known to man;
      Yummy sweet-tooth salve.

      Bit-O-Honey, Beamans’ Gum,
      Mary Janes, and Pez.
      Golden Nuggets, Nik-L-Nip,
      “Cool,” my cousin says.

      Flying Saucers, Circus Peanuts
      Goobers, Pixi Stix,
      Saf-T Pops, and Tootsie Pops
      (They take how many licks?)

      Rootbeer Barrels, Good & Plenty,
      Necco Wafer Rolls,
      Life Savers (made in Cleveland;
      Candy rings with holes).

      Wax Lips, Mallo Cups,
      Bazooka Bubble Gum,
      Whistle Pops and Whirly Pops,
      And Slo-Poke Suckers (Yum!).

      Sugar Daddy and his Baby,
      Candy Cigarettes,
      (Which today is too P.I.),
      And Chocolaty Croquettes.

      Charms Blow Pops and Fireballs,
      Bubble Gum Cigars,
      (There’s that darn P.I. again),
      And Hershey Chocolate Bars.

      Bottle Caps, Marshmallow Cones,
      A Candy Popcorn Ball,
      Candy Buttons, Chocolate Coins,
      Why can’t we have it all?

      We could share an ice-cream cone,
      If that is what we’d like.
      Or perhaps a giant box of
      JustBorn Mike and Ike.

      Hooray for dimes in ’66,
      So Tom and I could pop
      Into the Korner Dairy
      With the Christmas Tree on Top.

    18. Scarring

      I don’t remember much about that day,
      Just broken movie clips haunting my mind,
      The orange glow of the flames in the back seat,
      My tumble out the door onto the pavement,
      The two women with the kind eyes
      Holding me on the tiled counter
      Next to the sink pouring water
      Over my charred skin.

      But the scars, those have stayed with me.
      As a child they were all I could see
      Looking in my broken mirror,
      The grotesque bubbling of my skin
      From my chubby fingers
      up my arm to my shoulder,
      So sure that everyone else saw
      The hideous beast lurking
      In my mirror just as I did.

      Scars, at least the visible kind,
      Fade with the passing of time,
      And today no one even notices
      If they do not already know they are there.

      It’s the invisible scars
      From voluntary fires
      That still persist.

    19. cstewart says:

      Memory 2
      (Haibun Poem 2)

      Fortunately, memory is selective. Those you knew in the past are usually
      remembered only for their positive qualities. The problematic parts of their natures
      are shifted to account for meanness, lack of ambition or perhaps, bad judgment. There is
      no definite accounting for historical improprieties. Memory cancels the less likely.

      Imbecile person!
      Leave quietly on tiptoes
      Over time, gently.

    20. zevd2001 says:


      The epicenter was somewhere in a region that

      wasn’t heavily populated, yet all around

      the ground shook, all the houses found

      themselves in heaps. Babies crying, what

      nobody said could happen, in a moment

      everything fell into this chasm here

      before us. So far all we know, it’s clear

      all the human survivors were saved. We spent

      those long days, archaeologists, we come

      to pick up what we can gather to know who

      they were, those who dwelled in his shattered pool

      now that they have left for good, all numb

      from the fatal seconds the ground that stood

      split in two. Treading carefully, down we go—

      a picture frame, a president, Kennedy, so

      saints and sinners . . . alongside worry beads, wood

      trays in disrepair, we look for evidence of glass

      or plastic perhaps, a large blue pitcher a sign

      of someone who produced it, yes, April Wine,

      at the base, MADE IN CHINA. We rest, a class

      will be coming soon, we have to reveal

      to them something about the people of this house

      about some details, to excite their minds, to rouse

      their curiosity, their intellectual zeal.

      Zev Davis

    21. Susan says:

      This is a very long poem–both a memory poem and a Haibun. (Should I post it twice?) Some of the formatting is lost below, so you may prefer to read it at my blog: http://susanspoetry.blogspot.com/2012/09/resurrection-2012.html

      Resurrection (2012)

      I wake at 5:55 AM, noting the triplets again. Yesterday, I glanced at the clock at 4:44 AM. and the day before at 3:33. I anticipate tomorrow’s magical number at 6:66, but that cannot be. “Christ is Risen!”

      I journal: 5:55 AM on Easter 1971, two hitchhikers woke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He and I were wrapped in each other against the cold, waiting for the sunrise service to begin. Red rose. Blue shot through. Dawn warmed our tips and dried the air. Awe was all ours. By nine, people arrived. Three hours past first light, the spirit had passed, but Bibles were open and folding chairs shaped the congregation. Holy words filled the air, “Truly, He is Risen!”

      Easter 1981, I sketched out an exercise for a rape play at the women’s center. We planned to confront the audience with a single actor rushing to get help. “My girlfriend was just raped. . . . and you weren’t there! You are never there, are you?” Witness would follow as each woman told her story . . . but this scenario never seeded nor bore fruit. Instead we built a theatre company among our river of women.

      9 AM, I put my journal away and take my coffee to the backyard to hear spring dance: the blues sound the bass in the un-mown grass with hyacinth, violets, periwinkle and wisteria; the golds point up the rhythm with crocus, daffodil and dandelions; and the creams punctuate the melody with snow bells and dogwood. The robins taking turns on the dance floor are as big as the grey squirrels and the white butterflies are as small as the bees. To be here now brings peace.

      Easter 1991, an Assistant Professor of Theatre directed at a 4-year college. Back East from a West Coast doctorate, I revisited the Native American grounds of the Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice. It did well, I think, for as long as it lasted. I had walked away a Quaker embracing Alternatives to Violence. Every day is Holy. God speaks. Resurrection is daily.

      9:30 AM, day-dreaming in my garden seat, envisioning past friends sitting in a circle in the grass. The boom clang is an echo from the road beyond, not a drum ritual urging movement in the pattern of the grandmothers, not a bell from the adjacent church calling today’s services. I blink and they are gone but for the relics: stones here and there, me sitting peacefully.

      Easter 2001, teaching English in Philadelphia—a Mecca for American Friends—and my ministry is creating environments for learning, participation, helping cocoons become butterflies. Students think I am crazy, “You even expect us to enjoy it!” They walk the walk though and the room buzzes with their symphonies, their delightful dissonance.

      10 o’clock: I stand with difficulty musing about Easters I have known with drumming circles, in church, in Meetings for Worship or with my family and compare them with this day set aside for writing. They are all the same, all lead to communion, the egg I am about to eat for breakfast, the bird that hatches and flies into eternity. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.*

      Yearly Spring Show
      dark earth flings open its doors
      color dances in

      *~Psalm 118:24~

    22. addi22 says:

      Living memories

      No matter what you say,
      from now on I’ll start fading away
      every day from your memory.
      You’ll still remember me for a while
      but later I’ll become a dusty photo
      in a boxed file.
      Bit by bit,
      my fading image will become
      a now ignored story on a diary page.
      My dreams and hopes you once incouraged
      will be turned into ghosts
      and will feel so strange.
      But when seeing someone
      looking like me on a back street
      you will remember me
      and the memories of us together
      will be alive again.

      Alive and free!

    23. Mike Bayles says:


      Every memory
      creates a circuit in my brain
      like rivers
      cutting across the land I love
      the land I shared with you
      bright and luscious
      in daylight
      midnight blue
      in depths of night,
      waking thoughts
      and dreams of you
      so long ago,
      a tangle of memories,
      and the rivers still flow.

    24. pmwanken says:

      this looks better, centered…but here it is nonetheless…


      hidden treasures
      swirling and twirling
      daydreamer’s dance
      comforts and

      P. Wanken

    25. on reading Anne Lamott

      some books are too beautiful to read
      some music more than one heart can hold
      some art aches beyond what the soul can bear

      hard days I keep radio silence, wipe down
      the empty walls, the pleading spines
      fearful of an embrace that cannot last

      for beauty is memory unfettered
      tidal and wild, unbearable
      I do not wonder that artists go mad

    26. seingraham says:

      What It’s About

      You run forward but look back over your shoulder
      And in that glance I see your mother grinning at me
      Her dimples are yours, your giggles ringing in the air
      Take me back years and years and I speed up
      Swoop you up in my arms, arthritis forgotten
      As I jog along tickling you and blowing kisses
      Into your sweet neck – we both laugh ourselves
      Breathless; I am surprised by sudden tears
      Blink them away before you notice – it’s just that
      I can see so far into the future and every bit
      As far back into the past in that moment
      And the perfection that is my life catches me
      So by surprise, I want to grab it and hold it close
      Capture it somehow so that I can take it out
      When I forget how good I have it – study it carefully
      Remind myself again and again, this is what it’s about

    27. RobHalpin says:

      Things Forgotten
      (a cinquain)

      I don’t
      remember when
      I started forgetting
      things that were important. Maybe
      they weren’t.

    28. I actually wrote a journal entry and a poem about memory… I hope you will visit my blog at http://hopefuljo.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/365-creativity-project-day-240/

    29. Ber says:

      Caught in Time

      As we would sit and talk
      for hours on end
      the time we had back then
      running racing having fun
      oh sometimes how i miss it when

      Silence is the house
      silence is the air
      walking through the open fields
      memories of this place
      almost seen myself running past
      a smile upon my face

      Adventure was our playground
      we done this quite well
      ice rink hand made
      on the cement ground of white

      Skipping ropes sometimes two
      under the moon and over the stars
      eating melted chocolate bars
      questing which color of the next car

      Looking at the stars up above
      singing out not a note
      wearing our sleeves as gloves
      Fields of red against the gold
      stories of the young
      stories of the old

      Open camp fires
      catching our hearts
      laughter filled every corner of the estate
      no one fought
      there was never hate

      Stand by each other
      played sports of all sorts
      achievements made by all
      no one single person gloats

      Pride for each other
      team play in our name
      supporting networks
      we gave it all
      we had our perks

      Setting the standard for the next to come
      we had our hearts filled by all
      as we speak of the past
      we knew we had fun
      we had a blast we made it last


      In the last days she was leaving
      into the place old dogs go,

      when love of master’s hand and the daily
      joys of walk and dinner bowl

      become forgetful;
      when without wishing the ears

      muffle over master’s voice,
      and curtains silver-glaze

      the eyes against daylight – painless
      but wandering from her life

      into a new one without us. Solitary
      unless every cell

      of fading body feels at its walls
      the tremor – the soft pad of others

      on the far side, their heads lifted
      to an unworldly breeze

      that already bears to them
      her approaching,

      remembered scent.

    31. Love yours, Robert.

      Memory Jogger (an etheree)

      Two little girls climb into car’s back
      seat, faces filled with dread of long trip,
      parents proffering canned ginger ale.
      I recalled two other girls,
      pale sisters throwing up,
      quick stops the whole way,
      car reeking, dead
      cigar smoke
      from Dad’s

      • Oh my! Unfortunately, you did a grand job here, Sara! Reminds me of a trip from NJ to OH late at night, my favorite cousin and I in the back seat with our dolls, and my cousin throwing up the hot cocoa we enjoyed at our last stop. Some memories are better than others. ;)

    32. ALSACE/ELSAß

      That photo he clicked between shifting
      borders – you don’t remember looking
      like that: schoolgirl sitting
      on a dragon’s tooth, so far from home.

      Drachenzähne, you’d read of war,
      but it hadn’t touched you.
      Stories of ancestors eating roots
      after fields were harvested by sword.

      They packed that genetic information
      into bags and sailed it
      on the tides. Down years, to you.
      That look the camera shuttered –

      your lips shut tight. How generations
      can slip the sound of a vowel
      so it comes out foreign, so it takes
      decades for you to remember.

    33. ChristineA says:

      Skipping Out of Work Early

      “Mommy, I want to go higher!” she cries
      Head upside down, those big brown eyes.
      Back and forth and up and down
      Goes the swing on our playground.

      Giggles upon giggles echo in my ear
      I’m grateful for the chance to just be here.
      Feet in my face but I push her still.
      My arms are tired, but I can- I will.

      Higher and higher, this climbs for the taking
      I fear the now shaky swing set is breaking.
      No fright, no trepidation, she glides with ease
      Until she can see over the tops of trees.

    34. Secret Cache
      By Madeleine Begun Kane

      A fellow had a secret cache
      of coins and stamps and gold.
      He planned to sell it off one day
      when he became quite old.

      That time did come for him at last—
      age ninety-three or more.
      Alas, he’d thrown his cache box out—
      forgot what it was for.
      Madeleine Begun Kane

    35. tjholt says:

      Red Heads

      He smacks her
      she remembers
      the headscarf ‘s at home.
      Damn it woman
      I don’t need a bath.
      The aid tries again,
      he strikes once more.
      He remembers
      he doesn’t like redheads.
      He doesn’t remember
      hitting his wife.
      He doesn’t remember
      she was a red head.

    36. Punctured

      You were not what you appeared
      to be, scrawny, dressed nice in white button-down
      shirt, bent over a flat tire. I remember you, my hero,
      saving the day and me, though,
      as you recall, you didn’t want
      the job, leaving me a wretch
      with a wrench in her heart, a tire deflated,
      never again to be filled with breath.


      Your ashen features, freckle-pocked and framed
      by flame colored tresses, make me whole.
      My guess is that your soul has stayed behind
      while you search to find the end of the universe.
      And I, ensconced in verse, continue to purge you
      without sounding like this dirge that plays in my head.
      Those lips that held the sip of beauty’s savor
      were a favor given gladly, but sadly silence
      is the song that they sing eternally.
      Your eyes melt me like the chocolate they mimic,
      and your nose, pert and lovely – behoove me;
      they move me to tears, and my greatest of fears
      is that someday I will forget you if I let you go.
      I’ve grown accustomed to your face
      or at least the trace of it that still remains.

    38. “lost words”

      judge her not—
      for loss of familiar

      words in her runaway time—

      mislaid time is no time for tucking words
      away into her lost mind,

      but time is all she has—this rare day
      she finds lost beauty praised

      while lost sorrow are lost
      time and time again

      I glance into tomorrow’s certainty
      of lost words
      and hug her against my soul.

    39. claudsy says:

      Silent Wishes

      Experiments rose from need,
      For curiosity’s sake,
      Taking me places unfamiliar.

      A need to know,
      To understand my place
      Within time’s fabric,
      Drove me to silence
      When others chose chatter.

      A question needed answered
      That I might know purpose,
      My thread on life’s loom.

      Silence claimed my voice,
      Though rare subvocal
      Responses reassured those
      Who needed to hear something
      From one who’d gone quiet.

      Weeks rolled by,
      Without comment from others;
      No questions rose.

      None wondered why I
      Remained silent and still.
      Did they not notice my

      Stillness or my avid attention
      To things beyond speech’s use?

      When six short weeks passed,
      Mother asked if I was ready
      To rejoin the rest of the world.

      She needed no explanations,
      No reasons for sudden silence
      Or stillness of spirit within me,
      But knew I required time to
      Find that space made for my use.

      My lesson had arrived in
      Silence and observation,
      My fate sealed in those weeks.

      I’d learned to listen,
      Both within and without;
      Silence speaks loudly
      Of worlds little known
      And seen only in quiet questing.

    40. De Jackson says:

      atrial footprints
      (a shadorma)

                                                some things will
                                                      stay, never stray far
                                              from this heart;
                                                            laughter loosed,
                                                 the inky sea of your eyes,
                                                       the slant of your smile.


    41. Jane Shlensky says:

      Memory Exercises

      The article told its readership to put music
      back into their lives—literally. Play
      an instrument, sing along, dance while you can,
      do it every day, for music improves memory,

      each melody and harmony repairing the ties
      so thoughts are not derailed, snappy lyrics
      staving off dementia for a few more months,
      each note creating small ledges that our forgetful

      selves can rest on when our futures
      shuffle along on question mark walking sticks.
      At the assisted living center, they bless my heart
      for playing the songs of their youths, the ones

      they fell in love to, the ones they made up
      dirty lyrics for and sang beneath their breaths.
      Now they remember themselves as kids
      and laugh, loving themselves all over again,

      singing aloud their naughty versions of songs,
      moaning the blues, snapping the jazz,
      popping the pop, waltzing hand in hand
      with lyrics, dancing from their chairs

      to the oldies, a fragile today traded in for
      a sturdy yesterday, and the hope
      that tomorrow will be kind, or at least
      remembered like an old love song.

    42. De Jackson says:

      Rearview Mirror

      You spill out some story
      in your garbled two-sie tones,
      greenblue eyes bright, feet flailing,
      carseat rocking with that bingbingbing
      energy level you have never quite lost,
      busy hands tossed into the air and tumbled
      words poured loose by the hundreds;
      take a deep breath, and then:
      “Wasn’t that a good remembry, mama?”

      Yes, Baby.
      Yes it was.


    43. JWLaviguer says:

      deja vu

      Something in your eyes
      looks familiar
      Have we met?

      Not here, not now
      you say
      Another life, perhaps

      We have journeyed
      together and apart
      And meet again

      Two lifetimes ago
      I lost you
      Not again

      For eternity
      is unknown to us
      yet we’ve lived it together.


    44. Misky says:


      Grandma had a fox fur stole
      that she kept stored in the freezer,
      and when she wore it against her chin,
      she looked just like a geezer.

    45. Memory

      He knew they were tests,
      those questions posed so flippantly,
      Do you know what year it is?
      What state are you in?
      Why should it matter what day or year or month
      if all he does is sit in this same chair, waiting for dinner
      or bingo or, if the stars align just right, a visit?

      If he tells them he’s in the state of boredom,
      of discontent,
      or steady decline,
      will they read the dark humor intended
      or prescribe a little something
      to lighten his mood for their benefit?

      Even he can’t understand why
      he remembers a single meal
      from childhood more clearly than
      this morning’s breakfast,
      or why
      he recalls every nuance of a conversation
      from his early courtship, but not
      whether the children called today.

      They call it density—those memories
      etched in the recesses of the brain
      when he had fewer names
      or birthdays
      or phone numbers.
      Now he wonders at the poor use
      of grey matter, filling those cells,
      firing those synapses to memorize
      times tables, the Bill of Rights,
      the states and capitals,
      the days, the months, his old address,

      taking up space where he might have stored
      for each retrieval, the names
      of all his children, the scent
      of his wife, long faded from her pillow,
      the songs he’d meant to write down,
      to be sung at his graveside,
      all now muffled by the white noise
      of the inconsequential.

    46. Domino says:

      Who Are You Again?

      I just can’t remember your name.
      I know you, I think I do, don’t I?
      Your face is familiar, that’s plain,
      But I can’t remember your name.
      My memory’s just not the same
      I suppose even I can’t deny.
      I just can’t remember your name.
      I know you, I think I do, don’t I?

      Diana Terrill Clark

    47. Domino says:

      Grandma’s Place

      Wild roses growing on the gate
      scenting the air with floral spice
      on their half broken down estate
      Wild roses growing on the gate
      Go to bed early and sleep late
      Nothing sweeter or half so nice
      Wild roses growing on the gate
      scenting the air with floral spice

      Diana Terrill Clark

    48. Marianv says:

      “There ain’t no sunshine when you’re gone”

      A warm and humid morning, the first time
      We walked back to the pond. You, your
      Sister Kathy and me.
      You told us about the weather in Seattle
      And how this day reminded you of it.
      The weather report had mentioned the
      Possibility of afternoon showers and you
      Hoped so, on the Pacific coast, you told us
      There was not a lot of thunder and lightning.

      Kathy quickly climbed down to the water and
      Sat on a big flat rock where she took off her
      Shoes and socks. I climbed more slowly,
      Sliding now & then on my rear end which was
      Easier than watching where I stepped. A few
      Seagulls flew overhead, screaming out their
      Seagull song that seemed to carry echoes of dis-pleasure

      You remained on the bank, staring out over the quarry
      Which was more treeless than you remembered, but
      Still speckled with those tough, bristly hemlocks which
      We always cut down to use for our Christmas treel
      You started to climb down the bank but ended up on
      Your rear end, the way I did. You and Kathy lit up
      Cigarets and we all looked blankly at the water.

      That was when you began to tell us about what all
      Had happened to you in Seattle. When you talked
      About your fiancée, and your memories of the day
      He left, you began to cry and soon Kathy and I were
      Crying with you. Those were the days when you were
      Still mad at everybody back here and saw that psychologist
      In Palm Desert who taught you how to blame everything bad
      That happened to you on some childhood memories that.
      To your anger, few of us remembered and then only barely.

      But you are here, (or you were here) and once again at the
      Quarry which you had missed. We all cried harder when
      You told us you wish you could take away all the things
      You were sorry for nd how was it that people could all
      Remember different things from the same day and place,

      After we had all calmed down and kissed, you said you would
      Always remember us like this and the quarry and the misty day
      That smelled like rain.

      But you didn’t remember it very long. It was only a few months
      Later when they shipped your body from Seattle and we buried
      You in St. Joseph’s cemetery and try to remember the good times
      Which took a long time to do, bot now we can and see, I wrote
      This whole poem about the last time we all went to the quarry
      Together only of course we didn’t know that that time was the last.

    49. MeenaRose says:

      Moonlit Memories
      By: Meena Rose

      Sister Moon, remember?
      Those long ago nights
      When I looked upon
      You ahead of the
      Silvered misty

      Sister Moon, I remember;
      Your delicate hands
      Reaching down offering
      The sweetest caress;
      A butterfly touch
      Wiping away tears.

      Sister Moon, remember?
      Those long ago nights
      When we sang our Heartsong
      In the forested grove
      Two voices twined
      Into one song?

      Sister Moon, I remember;
      The calming of Soul,
      The opening of Heart,
      The willing surrender
      To the Great Mystery
      Of Life.


    50. “Memories are Snails”

      Memories are tiny intangible snails
      That tag along behind you,
      Leaving their sticky residue
      In persisting, twisting trails

      And even if, after a mile or two,
      They fall so far behind
      When you take a rest, you find
      They soon catch back up to you

      You might even want them gone
      So you throw salt in their way
      But even if they shrivel or decay
      Their shells keep rolling on

      And if you try to break those shells
      The fragments are still there
      Stuck in your fingers and toes so bare
      So the pain never truly quells

      So let the snails follow as they will,
      Acknowledge them, but walk ahead
      You’ll gather more on the road you tread
      As your earth-changing trail grows longer still.

    51. nitapita says:

      My first post…
      Moments appear fleetingly
      Like slides upon a screen
      Breif accounts of a lifetime
      Of things I’ve felt and seen
      But as my hair grows grayer
      And my mind gets weeker
      The details aren’t so keen

    52. Memory

      M ay remember it, may not
      E very day’s a guessing game
      M ay remember it, may not
      O ften he doesn’t know my name
      R emembering is like fishing
      Y ou catch some, but most get away

    53. you’ve been gone so long

      and what if Ican’t remember
      and what if I forget
      your name
      and how we first met
      floating on that rocking dock together
      storm clouds rumbling in
      your certain smile
      as our surging bodies
      and how they felt
      as if they’d known
      each other
      a thousand


    54. JWLaviguer says:

      I Will Remember

      The first time we kissed
      The first time you said you loved me
      The first time

      Those days are passed
      But I will never forget
      The day you broke my heart

    55. SharoninDallas says:

      Ten steps
      From bed to bath
      One to lay the other way
      Ten seconds to wait the pain
      As nerves squeeze and leg draws in
      Two seconds for squeeze to ease
      Sitting up, standing lean, now just the normal pain
      Ten steps
      From bed to bath
      Now begin again.
      Ten strokes of her hand
      Gentle sweet and soft
      My strength my heart my rock my mom
      Forever and oft

    56. Misky says:

      Poetic Form: A Haibun

      Remembering You

      I am home, just two days away from you, but I’ve travelled across harvest-stubbled fields that still smoke and smoulder in wisps, across creeks clearer than glass, across hills that winter will cover with snow like bosomy rounds, through tunnels where the secrets of water are kept from wavering eyes, passed cows and goats that hint of cheese, and beyond the sound of your sleep that rattles like peddles on the beach as you breathe.

      September sun glares
      Home is where your heart remains
      Autumn comes just once

    57. Shaded
      too many grey hues
      to make sense
      of what is or isn’t
      inner god-
      dess goodness.

    58. “What we remember”

      Fresh memories
      grow stronger
      sinking their roots
      pulling nourishment
      from older memories
      and melding them both
      into something
      that looks like me.


      File boxes brimming.
      Possessions skimming the surface
      of a tired mind. I find trinkets
      and “tchotchke”, treasures
      I took pleasure in when youth was kind.
      I find their stories come to mind haltingly.
      I fault age and a life rife with abundance.
      Photos and stubs become hubs
      for a slow moving wheel. I steal memories
      from the vault buried within and I grin.
      It saves me from forgetting. I won’t let go.

    60. DO YOU RECALL?

      It was in the fall.
      Do you recall the time we met?
      I’ll bet you haven’t forgotten.

      It was in the mall.
      Do you recall seeing me near the food court?
      Can you sort out those thoughts?

      I gave you a call.
      Do you recall the way my voice cracked?
      The cards were stacked against me.

      We had a ball,
      do you recall laughing at my plight
      and talking all night to the strange stranger?

      Or the banquet hall?
      Do you recall that first nervous kiss?
      I could not resist those lips.

      Our relationship stalled,
      do you recall the reason? Or the season?
      After a brief lifetime our time had come.

      I remember the pall,
      I do recall saying good-bye as they lowered you,
      to the earth’s cold embrace. I remember your face.

      Do you recall?


      I left you moments ago,
      and I know you will be gone
      for as long as your heart will allow.
      It is now that I feel your absence.
      But your presence will linger
      long after your image fades.
      Nothing can erase
      your face from my heart.
      I will start to miss you tomorrow.
      I left you moments ago.

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