We Are Forget
Gary Glazner

We are the words we have forgotten.
We are shifting and pacing.
We wrote this poem.
It’s a pretty poem.
Can you bake a cherry pie?
Never more, never more.
We have no horizon.
We don’t recall washing or eating
or what you just said.
Ask me my name.
Ask me if I have children?
You’re a pretty lady.
You have beautiful eyes.
Wash me, put me to bed clean,
hold me as I fall asleep.
Give me a kiss, brush my hair.
You are my daughter?
Light washing over us moment, moment.
You’re a handsome man.
Our hand writing is beautiful
twists and loops of letters
we can’t remember our hands.
Our ears are wishful
we can’t remember our ears.
We can speak every language,
we can’t remember our mouths.
We are porous.
We are the past.
We are forget.

Copper Mine

Jose Mondragon
(Poet and Founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, Gary Glazner took an oral history of Jose Mondragon’s experience working as a miner to create this poem on October 4th, 2011 at Sierra Vista Assisted Living Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico.)

The rope was like a rope
you would tie a horse with,
about as thick as a quarter.
To pull you up or down
out of the mine.

The whole thing
came sliding down.
I put up my hands
against the board.

“Oh- God,” that is all I say.
They tell me-
I don’t see myself.
I was in a little hole
about as big as my body.

In the mine,
in the chute,
I held my breath.
I passed out.
They tell me-
I don’t see myself.

A bunch of water,
blue, blue copper mining water,
it was running all around.
Dirt coming down the shaft.

That board came down.
I was standing to one side.
Looking up to the top.
Looking up to my partner.
I could see his light.

The dirt came down like snow.
I stuck my head underneath the board.

They put me on a stretcher
and brought me up the shaft.
They had one little cage.
It could hold only two men.
They put me in the cage,
standing straight up on the stretcher.

I passed out.
They took me to the hospital.

They put me in the hospital freezer- like I was dead.
I said, “God help me.”
They tell me- I never saw myself.


Key of Poetry
-Jalen Bell
(2014 Poetry Out Loud: Arkansas State Champion)

Minds like locked boxes
Presented in the round
I used language like keys
And love is what I found
Love for the now and for history
And the love was unlocked
With the key of poetry

Celebratory Confetti
-Stuart Hall

My mind's not at all a blank slate,
Though I cannot keep track of the date
Or the day of the week,
And facts play hide-and-seek,
For my mind to be blank would be great.

Instead it is wired like spaghetti;
It conflates the important and petty;
The connections of things
Are like tangles of strings
Or like celebratory confetti.

Super Duper Chicken Soup Man
(Poet Gary Glazner and the poets of the New York Memory Center
created this poem, on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015. Our inspiration was all the superheroes.)

Putting a smile on your face
And a twinkle in your eye
Is his super power.
He makes a super version of chicken soup.
Everybody has to eat it to be healthy
And for their training.
He also makes an ice cream so
Delicious and tasty it makes you smile.
The ice cream is so powerful,
It makes its own crunch.
Super Duper Chicken Soup Man’s
Hidden identity is:
Freddy Bop.
In the mornings Freddy works at
The chicken soup factory
And in the afternoon
He works at the Post Office.
When you mail a letter
You get a sample of chicken soup.
It makes you strong
And gives you muscles.
Super Duper Chicken Soup Man’s motto is
“Drink a lot of water, eat chicken soup
and smile a lot.
Super Duper Chicken Soup Man is quick as a wink.
Super Duper Chicken Soup Man sounds like a slurp.
Turn on the heat!
Pour it in the pot!
Watch it bubble!

His side-kick is,
Matzoh Ball Boy!
His super power is to roll around
And always taste good!

Soup du jour, fur sure- Yeah-
Soup du jour, fur sure- Yeah- Man!

Here Comes the Rain
by Fabu Carter with the Karmenta Poets
Here comes the rain
Love Rain Over Me.  
Who souldn’t love that ?
At night, I hear the raindrops
on the roof.
We can’t do without the rain.
Rain waters your flowers.
I do not like getting wet in the rain.  
It feels cold.
It helps the grass grow
and then you’ve go to mow.
I think about the rain.
Rain makes my knees hurt.
Rain, it just rains.
Rain (she shook her head)
I’d like to walk barefoot in the rain.
Applause can sound like rain.


Memory Loss
by Fabu Carter with the Burr Oaks Poets
Feels like yu are losing focus, you may have memory loss.
I am 45 in the Lord.  
45 years as a Christina which is my spirituality.
Every person has a space in their brain
which houses memory loss.  

Psychological tests point that out.  
I was supposed to be a paripelegic.  
The boss upstairs said “No!”  
I am now working for homelessness.  
Homeless people suffer from memory lost.
I think memory loss doesn’t have a particular age range----
everyone forgets from time to time;
in all of my conversations,
I will say “I just can’t remember thatperson.”
I could never get students on Monday
to remember what we talked about on Friday.
Once I got tested for Alzhemiahs
and was told that I had average memory loss for people my age.
I remember simple thinks;
my sister’s arems outstretched in a crib.  
I remember thinking, “I love her.”  
She had been crying and wanted to sleep.

Quiet help with memory loss
when samall important things come up.
Someone will mention a word
and we reflect on the memories that come up.
Are you afraid of forgetfulness?  
I am past the fear.  
I’ll say “this is interesteing.”
I remember Authur Murray and the poka.  
I like the cha cha dance.



(People living with dementia and their family members created this poem at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island on a field trip for the Memory Arts Café. We were inspired by the “Jellyfish- Alien Stingers,” exhibit and created the poem by asking the participants to describe the jellyfish. We sang “Under the Boardwalk,” and recited poems about the ocean including Walt Whitman’s “The World Below the Brine,” with its wonderful line, “…Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water…” Poet Gary Glazner led the session. The Memory Arts Café is co-produced by the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project and New York Memory Center.)

Jelly, jelly, cha, cha, cha…
Jelly, jelly, cha, cha, cha…

They are just the cutest little things
I have ever seen.


Run for your life!
Run for your life!
Run for your life!

They are just the cutest little things
I have ever seen.

I hope they don’t sting me.
Peanut butter and jellyfish!

A delicate balance.
A delicate dance.
A delicate balance.
A delicate dance.
Wearing our delicate jellyfish pants.

They are stingy and stringy and slimy.
They’re fast.
They are beautiful.

Oh, I see a jellyfish.
How I wish they were on a dish,
Because I’m hungry!

They look like clouds floating in the water.
Tranquility and beyond.

Liquid buttons.
Liquid buttons.


How I wish they were on a dish,
Because I’m hungry!

Questions for God
(By poet Joanne Dwyer with the poets of Pacifica Senior Living.)

 I had chemo once and I wouldn’t look in the mirror.
I disappeared myself.

My wife was a beautiful woman. Her name was Evelyn.
Both of our sons went to Vietnam.
One son, a marine, died from alcohol after the war.

I barely knew my dad, he was a marine.
I never knew if he would come back.

Children ask a lot of questions, but we think we know everything.
But what if we could have a moment face to face with God –
and we could ask him a question?

I would ask why do bad things happen to good people.
I would hope that he finds me helpful – kind and loving –
if I have done a good job.

For what reason has he created us.

While I’ve been here at this facility, why am I the only man in every group.
I feel outnumbered and out of place. I love all these beautiful woman –
and I mean inside and out. But I feel I’ve been kidnapped.

I would ask why do some people go too soon?

Impossible for me to talk to God – he’s too big
and I’m too little.

I’m full of questions like I have been here a long time –
how much longer will I be here.

I would be so happy to be there with him. I’ve always had
God in my life – well most of the time.

I would ask him what are some of his favorite things to do.
I would ask him if I could kiss him.

Here I Am
-Peter G. Beeson
(From Sparking Memories: The Alzheimer's Poetry Project Anthology)

So I'm here,
Well, sort of here,
Mostly so,
But not quite all,

There is a detached
A distant vagueness,
An absence
To my being.

Life's become a struggle,
The day-to-day a challenge,
The ordinary a novelty,
The routine an obstacle.

I long for the openness,
The emptiness,
The vastness
Of the Great Plains.

I long for a place
That matches my mind,
A place detached from memory,
An endless nothingness.

A place to lose oneself,
A place to disappear,
A place to become one
With earth and sky.

Fear and Delight
(Sierra Vista Poets with poet Joanne Dwyer)

The poem makes me feel that I am weightless and floating.
Like everything is rising.

It’s okay to sit on your porch and look at the ants.
All that matters is that you care about other people.

I’m afraid of the maybe imaginary things I sometimes see.
Not sure if I should be seeing them or not.

I’m fearful of things that don’t cooperate.
I was afraid when walking in the forest as a child.

I have family concerns – I’m still a mother, you know…
I do not wish to elaborate on my fears.

When you know everything is alright within,
you are not fearful of things on the outside.

I’m 99.9% sure I’m not afraid of anything.
A nursery is where we keep our babies and
where we buy flowers. I love fried mushrooms –
the kind my mother used to cook.

The food I love is not extravagant.
Beans, I forgot to say beans.

My sister’s name was Avis. She passed
away. Her name meant flight.

I recommend being an only child. I felt lonely,
but I had dolls which helped.

And loneliness translated into a lot of loot
and later a car.