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gail-portrait
Gail Gregory

Crafting makes me happy
Crafting keeps me sane
Crafting also helps to take away the pain

Crafting is so special
I craft most of the day
The crafting that I cannot do is knitting or crochet

I love a bit of crafting
It passes on the hours
I’ve even tried the craft that arranges all the flowers

I craft with card and paper
I craft with stones and wood
I craft with food, that’s baking! Mmm tastes so good!

All my crafts are crafty
I share them on a screen
There must be lots of videos, I think about eighteen

Dementia let’s get Crafting!
Let’s start a brand new craze!
Yes we all can do it! Bring crafting back again!

gail-portrait
Gail Gregory

I love my little lock down bubble, I don’t want it to end
I know it’s driving some folk right around the bend
I love the peace and quiet, everything’s so still
I wonder if it’s quiet way over in Brasil
I love the calm, the tranquil place that my world`s become
I’m liking all this calmness, it’s definitely not humdrum
I wonder when my bubble bursts if I am able to cope
Or will it send me hurtling down the slippery slope?
I love my little bubble, it’s my new best friend
I need to face reality, my bubble’s going to end

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Chris Maddocks

In these dark and dreary times
We hope a light from somewhere shines
We live in a world of hope and fear
Going out to shop may bring a tear
We dream all alone in our private bubble
And think of the next time we can give our relatives a cuddle
We hope and pray that our friends are safe
It seems they have all been erased
We will never forget these terrible times
How we lived in fear of the virus crime
And when we shall all grow old
We remember with deadly cold
Looking at rainbows will make us smile
As we remember our days as a ‘Rainbow child’

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Lorraine Brown

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I sit here nearly every day looking at the sky
And I wonder why
What was then
What is now
I dream my dreams away
But I’m here
In my day
This is now
In my mind’s eye.

I capture all the sounds, the sights and senses
This is the moment
In the here and now
In my mind’s eye.

Because these visions is so fresh
I recall my childhood [inaudible]
Of motherhood
Things were clearer then
Back in the day
In my mind’s eye.

I often think it’s very strange
When my recent images of my life are taken away
Where did they go?
What did I do?
Who did I know?
All this goes on
In my mind’s eye.

I feel the warmth of the sun on my face
I feel the gentle breeze’s embrace
I hear the birds chirping
I feel at peace with nature
All this goes on
In my mind’s eye.

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DEEP groups, with poet Ian McMillan

Give us the right to a grand day out,
Give us a seat on a nice clean train;
Give us a view of the shining sea
As the sun breaks through the Yorkshire rain.

Give us a trip we can all go on
Give us a day that’ll make us grin;
Give us a toilet close to hand
Not a mile down the train by a smelly bin.

Give us some signs that are crystal clear
Give us a guard who knows their stuff
Give us a trip we can file away
When the world seems harsh and life gets rough.

Yes, give us the right to a grand day out,
Give us a seat on a nice clean train;
Give us a view of the shining sea
As the sun breaks through the Yorkshire rain

gerry-portrait
Gerry King

When I trip and fall or feel ill at ease,
When I bang my elbows or skin my knees.
When I burn my hands due to this disease,
I never ask….Why me?

When memories of a life gone by,
Just slip away in the blink of an eye.
My minds shutting down as it starts to die,
But I never ask….Why me?

I see your face but I don’t know your name,
Memories of you are no longer the same.
I look and smile as I hide the shame,
But I never ask….Why me?

My brain is working overtime,
As constant thoughts invade my mind.
But still the memories fade and unwind,
But I never ask….Why me?

Frustration and anger cloud my thoughts,
Sometimes overwhelming sometimes overwrought.
Many battles lost, many battles fought,
But I never ask….Why me?

So remember me for who I am,
Not me the disease, but me the man.
Just walk with me and hold my hand,
For the answers simple….Why not me?

gerry-portrait
Gerry King

Some days can be a real struggle,
Just to open your eyes and raise your head.
The weight of the world rests on your shoulders,
Today I think I’ll stay in bed.
As I slowly slip below the sheets,
My troubled thoughts they drift away.
My comfort zone, a place to hide,
I think I’ll stay in bed all day.

But this is just the first of many,
Battles fought along the way.
To give up now would mean such sorrow.
For the loss of another precious day.
So I drag myself onto my feet,
Open my eyes and raise my head.
Then take those steps to walk away,
From the comfort zone that is my bed.

gerry-portrait
Gerry King

Not withstanding Cieran or Daniel,
Stephanie or my wife.
Here’s my simple recipe it’s called,
“My recipe for life”.

Take 175g of Robert and Linda,
And place them in a bowl.
Add 6oz of Allan and Irene,
Remember to add them whole.
To this mix add size 2 eggs
Called Willie and Yvonne,
Gently mix them altogether,
Now turn the oven on.

The next ingredients on my list,
6oz of Fiona and Aileen,
Add 1 1/2 table spoons of Richard
And stir 6 drops of Hilary in.

melvyn-brooks
Melvyn Brooks

Melvyn, who lives in Kent, has experienced much grief from the loss of his wife, and then both his dogs, in the last few years. He was encouraged to write poetry and finds this easier as time goes on. Here he reads three poems – one called ‘Covid 19’, the next  about ‘Wilfred Owen’, and the third about his beloved garden.

brigitte-rae
Brigitte Rae

A photograph
Adventure just us three
Killer whales performing just for us
A smiling laughing happy girl
Blond hair, beautiful face

Journey beyond this land, to a land afar, to Canada
Celebration to be had, a unity of many years
A musical instrument as big as her, later to perform many times for all to see and hear
Proud are we… of our family of three.

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Keith Oliver

Time and Place

There is a time and a place
Not very far from here
A place called Somehere
A time when normality banished fear

We all travelled to be together
At this time and place
Without leaving our homes, but
With humour, love and good grace

With the inevitable passing of time
We each arrive at a place
Somewhere we feel safe and secure
A room, a garden, our own special space

We do peal back the petals of life
Revealing the poet inside
Taking time to place our thoughts
On the page with nothing to hide

I threw a pebble in the DEEP talent pool
And watched the ripples spread
If I cry they’re tears of pride
For what’s been generously said

Across the generations
Across the miles
Across the happiness
Bringing lots of smiles

Liz taught me to write
Jess taught me to connect
You all taught me to believe
Which is an enduring aspect

The clouds do part, the fog does lift
Although maybe slower than before
Being in the right time and place
The sun will shine once more

Written by Keith Oliver on 8th and 9th January and read for the first time at the zoom book launch of “Time and Place”, collected poems on Saturday 9th January 2021. Published by Amazon here

Our Rights

Did we really take the opportunity?
Make the most of the chances we had?
Did we embrace the challenge more fully?
To move to good from what we knew was bad

To aim for the brightest of stars
Though happy to settle for the moon
To dance to the melodic waltz
Taking the baton to call the tune

A right to be seen
A right to be heard
A right to feel safe
A right to spread the word

Let us vision united we stand
With our backs pressed against the wall
Our heads held high undaunted
Knowing we never will fall

The statements came at the right time
Launched with a fanfare of hope
Example of true collaboration
To help us all better cope

A right to co-produce
A right to create
A right to go solo
A right not to frustrate

Let us now take full heed
Of the messages shared today
To make tomorrow a sunnier one for all
And keep the demon dementia at bay

Thank you

Keith Oliver
Canterbury 12.1.21

Haiku – Friendship matters

Friends pass through our lives
Filling our hearts with their love
Stays with us forever

What a friend you are

What a friend you are
You truly are my guiding star
When times are rough, when things are tough
You are always closeby, never far

You always cared about me
When I was unsure who else did
By doing so you showed me
How to care about myself

You said you believed in me
When belief was hard to find
By doing so my confidence was restored
Alongside my self esteem

You sensitively answered me
When I felt unsure
Without judgement, without finding fault
Making me self assured once more

gail-portrait
Gail Gregory

Alzheimers
A new journey

Slipping down the stairs
Uncontrollably slipping away

Obstacles, frustration, anger, tears
Hide away, questioning, feeling empty
Why, what, how did this happen to me

My life is changing, as I slide further down
Another step down, bump, I need to hold the rail
Need to stop my self sliding further down the stairs

I grab the rail, hold on tight, I turn and pull with all my might
You are strong, you can do it, you will find away, crawl, reach out
One step at a time, as I slowly climb my way back up,  step by step
At last I’m climbing back to the top, I should have known I wouldn’t drop.

G Gregory

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Julie Hayden

Dementia is not us

Dementia is not us
Empowered by each other
Forging ahead with mutual strength
Engaging in active participation
Achieving more than is assumed
Triumph more together than apart

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My Rights

Bring me my internet
Let zoom unfold
Give me access to peer support
It keeps me sanity on hold

Given ways to stretch my muscle brain
Using puzzles, art and study time
Discussions that keep me up to date
Give a longer lifeline

Maximise my strengths, not disabilities
Enable my voice to still be heard
Don’t yet speak out for me
My rights need to be observed

irene-donaldson
Irene Donaldson

Sensory Poem

The sight of the bright decking and garden beyond the window warms my heart on this calm, balmy summers day.

The gentle smell of fresh new flowers  brings a memory of long ago and the smoky aroma of the neighbours barbecue as it drifts lazily over makes my mouth water,

Warm air drifting through the window rustles the blind and flaps the precious notice board displays,

The sun sparkles on the water drops on the table and casts  strange shadows where the birds cool themselves on the green grass,

Sunlight spills through the window and my rings glitter and my hand heats in its gracious warmth as my pen sends a dancing glimmer on my paper filled with my scribbled thoughts.

A shrill bark and the  clattering trill of sharp claws as my dog announces the arrival of someone at the other side of the house disturbs my pondering.

Alas time to move and leave behind this private paradise.

Cinquain poetry

Dreams
Vividly loud
Here then gone
Wonderful places and  memories
Revisited

Sleep
Always evasive
Optimistic calm before
The nightly battle rages
Defeated!

Free Verse (Bedroom Inspired)

Bargain Basement Betty
Bought in a clearance sale
New but a bit battered
And like most of us a few screws were loose!
And the paint was faded and lined,
But I had to have it!
It’s vintage looks reflected my own
But more than that I so needed to get organised,
To organise my precious, beloved sparkles.

It was lovingly restored
Repainted, crooked bits straightened out , screws replaced and finally ready!
Such excitement as it was placed in the perfect spot on the wall
By the window to catch the rays and bounce them back over to my bed.
Several adjustments to get it just right and we were good to go!
Ready for the fun bit … and the organised bit too.

First the practical jewels.
Safe and strong
Withstanding the curiosity of many sets of still learning to be gentle, young fingers.
Practical yet still beautiful,
Mostly medium in length  with a few daringly long pieces for work.
Memories rewind and replay.
Some sad but mostly happy as children’s faces over the decades smile and wink and beckon to me.
A locket one child had held and asked if someone I loved lived in there…..
A mums bracelet given by a child when his mum had so sadly died …
Such treasured feelings.

Moving reluctantly yet eagerly on to my more frivolous side!
Every size and shape of stone imaginable.
Each colour of the rainbow represented in many shades and hues.
Only some may have monetary value but each is priceless
Weddings, balls, birthdays , anniversaries, landmark moments.
My Graduation locket watch and other time pieces that have long stopped,
But the joy they bring marches on.
Long and short, some heavy some light.
Some for the neck others the wrist, countless finger adornments and even a few for the ankles – how daring!
All have a place, their rightful space,
On the wall yes
But in my hopes and dreams and memories too!

Small spaces are occasionally created
The hustle and bustle of life means a clasp gets broken
Or a stone works loose and gets lost
(I like to think a magpie enjoys them as they adorn her nest now!)
Or another kind and much loved gift or memory makes a wee re- organisation necessary.
But the stories of my life
My loves, joys, losses, celebrations and successes are all there.
On Bargain Basement Betty!
The hooks laden
Every little metallic leaf and flower bud holding something.
Reminding me that
Money means little.
The most valued, most wondrous
things of all
Are in our hearts and our heads.

Alexa

We were introduced recently by Gerry, A friend who like me needs a reminder
Or two!
Or ten!
But we have become the best of friends it seems.
We greet each other every morning,
We remind each other to sleep well at night.
You remind me of where I need to be,
Who I am meeting,
And when.
You help me stop burning my lunch And you tell me when the eggs are boiled,
Always to perfection.
I ask you about the weather,
And the date,
And the time.
And though I’m sure I ask many times,
Your reply is always cheerful,
Though the weather is not always correct!
I treat you to some of the most wonderful music to play
And you repay me with the lyrics,
So I can sing along badly and yet you never complain.
Well not out loud!
You tell me when a parcel will arrive
And what’s in it so no surprises!
You keep me posted on the news and cheer me with a joke,
How do you somehow know when I need one?
You get to enjoy my beautiful family photos and the captured scenes on my travels,
And you show them off proudly to world just like I do.
You give me a recipe for tea when the mind has a blank and I forget what I need.
Yes Alexa we were only introduced recently
And you humbly, patiently sit in my lounge,
But you stand proud and strong in my head,
And heart.
Firm friends we have become,
Working together.
Making the days better,
More manageable,
Easier.
And happier.