National Poetry Day 2014

The theme for UK National Poetry Day 2014 is ‘remember’, and so today I’m posting a poem which I wrote a while ago and put in a collection of pens and images called ‘Remote Sensing’. This poem was partly prompted by reading an excellent book about memory –  Charles Fernyhough’s ‘Pieces of Light‘.

In the poem I’m to trying to explain my gradual insight that my own memory works in a way which is, well – a wee bit wonky



My memory is different from yours.
Not just my memories, not
Remembered moments, since they
Are different for everyone so
Do not merit comment. No not
memories, for not-memories are
What I often find when I ramble
Through my jumbly loft, past
Vaguely boxed items of
Uncertain origin.

Somewhere there is a flow, a contagion
Of emotion, a vanishing shadow creeping
Forward from the past, a closing edge that
Sometimes terminates only handfuls
Of feathered yesterdays away.
There is so much I could not tell you, there is
So much I cannot say.
But I am out of sight of any lasting loss.  This is just
How I find I am.  Dotted fragments of
Distant experiences which can at times
Be dashed together to form a half remembered
Semaphore sketch-ago.  And oddly sporadic erratic
Items for which it works.  Less the whats and wheres
Or even half the whos, but more those oddly better recalled
Methodic ‘how to dos’.

And then there is that kindness.  For grudges
Fail without firm reminders, and singly embroidered
From my most distant childhood, I think she said, “In a
Week it will all be forgotten.”  A prescient motto for my
latterday cognition.

This foggy idiosynchracy of mental machinary is no
Disablity it seems, but how I find I am, or may
Have been, so in this telling you might begin
To follow what I mean when I say, that of course,
My memory is different from yours.



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About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is a poet and visual artist who also has experience in information design. View all posts by stevedsmart

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