“Dementia Unit Art Gallery” Published in The American Journal of Poetry

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I am deeply honored that my poem “Dementia Unit Art Gallery” has been published in the most recent issue of The American Journal of Poetry.

Dementia is a theme I revisit frequently in my work.  I have not yet found a way to communicate the full scale of devastation that all forms of dementia bring about. So while I despair of the reality of dementia itself, I keep trying to convey the profound feelings of horror, loss, and sorrow that dementia brings about in those whose lives it touches.

In imagistic language and an experimental graphic format, “Dementia Unit Art Gallery” casts a cold eye on the childlike state of cognition and creativity to which dementia relegates its victims.

I am deeply grateful to editor Robert Nazarene for bringing this poem out into the world.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Poems by Martha Magenta

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Photo: Mo Barger/Creative Commons/Flickr

Martha Magenta turns mammogram shadows upside down and sees dignity in dementia in today’s feature of the International Women’s Haiku Festival.

mammogram
my shadow
leads the way

Shadows usually follow us, not lead us.  Magenta’s turning that truth on its head is wonderfully playful – or would be, if the shadow in question weren’t the shadow on the mammogram image that every woman dreads.

***

knitting a shawl
grandmother folds
into the fog

This poem is a rich and dignified picture of generational role reversal.  The verb “folds” so gently unites the knitting work-in-progress with the grandmother who is fading into the fog of sleepiness or dementia – or both.  Was it perhaps the grandmother who taught the poetic speaker to knit?  If so, then those stitches weave the speaker and the grandmother together through the DNA of a beautiful handicraft passed down through generations.

Martha Magenta lives in England, UK. Her poetry has appeared in The Reverie Journal, Cafe Aphra, and Beaux Cooper; her haiku and senryu have been published in Modern Haiku, Presence, and Chrysanthemum, among others; her tanka in The Bamboo Hut, and Ribbons. She is owner of POETS community on G+. She collects her published work on a blog: https://marthamagenta.com/.

Find more information about the International Women’s Haiku Festival and submit your work at this link.