Poetry Books

Poetry book with keyline CMYK 18-2-13My first volume of poetry Love, Life, Loss, A Roller Coaster of Poetry Volume 1 is a beautiful hard cover book with 88 poems. Some are not for the faint hearted, but they tell a few of the stories of my life, and other things too.

One poem (the 88th) was written for me by my best friend Jacinta, and I have included it below because it encompasses our love and friendship beautifully.

This beautifully bound self published book is currently only available through direct orders via my website. Contact me here to place your order.

love life loss v2 coverMy second volume of poetry Love, Life, Loss, A Roller Coaster of Poetry Volume 2 – Days with dementia, was released on 12 August 2016.

It is currently available to order through my Adelaide publisher Ginninderra Press, or through The Book Depository.

It will also be available from Amazon and other outlets soon. You can read the Foreword written by Amelia Walker on my blog here. The back cover piece, written by Emeritus Professor Roly Sussex says:

“What do you do with a diagnosis of dementia? And especially younger onset dementia?

Kate Swaffer responds with love, life and torrents of words. Some of the words show loneliness and fear, exclusion, apprehension. But her strong theme is how to be a vigorous involved participant in the world of light, gardens, cats, and above all, people. Her poems affirm “believe you can when others say you can’t”. And on behalf of people with dementia, “we are all real!”.

“Like a good red wine or an old red rose”, these poems are full of wisdom, understanding and a view of the world from someone with dementia, living through dementia, but also above dementia.”

This is my National Poem Writing Month 2013 challenge, a collection of 30 haikus for the month of April.

Below I have added a few of my poems most of which have been published, to give you a taste of my style. You may share them as long as you let me know where and how they have been used, and credit me. Thank you.

Stolen dreams

Our dreams are stolen

By the world of dementia

One by one they go

Crying alone

With losses so great

So many hidden from you

We must cry alone

Losses

So small yet so sad

Tragic incremental deaths

Of all our functions

Dreams

One day they are there

The next day they start to fade

Disappearing dreams

Cranky old man

Remember this poem (I am not the author) when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within … we will all, one day, be there, too!”

The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

Cold, alone and dead

Seeing you lying there, cold and alone on a single narrow mortuary bed

Covered in the cloth of the dead, a pure white shroud

Wishing, hoping, praying that it was not really you

How did I know it was me the Priest had come to see?

My soul knew that you were gone, the sad emptiness that I felt,

Before I knew it was you, the knowing that you would never again smile.

Peering through a tiny window, wanting to touch your face, to kiss your lips,

To hold you in my arms. Just to feel you warm again

Oh my darling, why did you choose to die?

Kate Swaffer © 1987

Friends are forever (written for me by my friend Jacinta Lynch © 2009)

Friends are for laughing with

Friends are for crying with

Friends are for eating fritz sandwiches with

Friends are for having spaghetti on toast with

Friends are for sharing secrets with

Friends are for going away with

Friends are for having a wine with

Friends are for telling stories with

Friends are for sharing old photos with

Friends are for working with way back when

Friends are for being in one another’s lives

Friends are for making mistakes with

Friends are for reading with

Friends are for loving forever

Kate Swaffer © 2011/12/13/15/16 | Author, Poet, Chef; Advocate and activist for aged and dementia care. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “Poetry Books

  1. My mother died of dementia just before last Christmas at 86 years of age.Her mum died with it too as did my great-great grandma (it skipped one generation that being my great-grandma) my mother’s illness was something I wont ever get over it’s torn my heart out and made me feel very angry.I saw things during the last three months that were wrong,treatment from medical people towards dementia patients that was without empathy.I want to be one of the people who helps to change such ignorance.My mum reverted back to childhood into a time when taps were different to the modern ones of today and doors did not have so many locks and did not slide open.She came from a time when modesty was very important yet no one seemed to tread softly around her issues…she was terrified and lost.I tried to change the way it was but no one listened and I got no help,now I am haunted by what she went through…something has to change.If there is any way I can help to change things let me know as I want and need to help change the way dementia patients are treated.Since mum’s death I put in a complaint to the age care commissioner but even though I have been told that changes will be made due to my complaint…in my heart I don’t believe changes will be made and there is no way I can go back to where she was to check that they have made the promised changes as she was in a ‘secure dementia unit’ and only relatives of living residents can visit patients there …so as far as I know ,nothing may ever change.

  2. Hi Kate, I really like your poetry. I am one of the Younger onset Dementia Workers for Alzheimers Australia Vic, and I am wondering if it would be OK with you if I read your poem “Stolen Dreams” at a workshop I am giving in Bendigo next week.I’m talking about Younger Onset Dementia and I think Stolen Dreams is a really lovely poem which would help people understand your situation.

    • Hi Jo, I would be honoured, and thank you for asking. Good luck with your work there. I am in Ararat and Ballarat the next week presenting a couple of times, so not too far away!

    • Hi Shelley… you can be bold, especially on this blog!! It was written about my partner David of many years ago, who took his life in 1985. I was 27, and it changed my life forever. x

      • Thanks dear Kate. Of course, it always changes your life. I’ve had a nephew and a best friend’s beloved son (plus others), so I can understand a bit of how it is, that’s why your poem touched me deeply; but it would be so much more amplified, being your partner.
        Thanks for your wonderful poetry, I can share it with other people – relatives living with those with dementia and carers as well. I’ve often thought about your words (prior to reading your words I agreed with you – if that makes sense, as I think about things…) I understand where carers are coming from (and how sometimes it is about them…) and I do understand that many times it mustn’t be about them too; I can see both sides – as I’m sure you can. Happy New Year dear.

      • Dear Shelley… thank you so much for your kind words and support. Poetry, it seems, is pouring out of my soul lately! I’m glad you feel you want o share it with others too. Take care…

  3. Kate,
    Thank you for sharing your inner most thoughts and feelings! Your honesty is appreciated and I will always remember and reference others to your sight to have a better understanding of dementia that speaks from your heart and that is REAL! Thanks again.

  4. Hi Kate, just re-read your poetry. They are very soul searching and so beautiful. I particularly like your friend poem. Hope it is OK with you if I send it to some of my friends. Hope and Love Robynx

    • Of course you can share my poems, but please reference them to me. I will have my first book or poetry published by February. The Friends poem was written by my beautiful long time first ever nursing girlfriend Jacinta, and I love it too. I’ll let her know you love it too, just in case she doesn’t read your comment about it. xx

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