My 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.
My second volume of poetry Love, Life, Loss, A Roller Coaster of Poetry Volume 2 – Days with dementia, was released on 12 August 2016.
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.
Our dreams are stolen
By the world of dementia
One by one they go
With losses so great
So many hidden from you
We must cry alone
So small yet so sad
Tragic incremental deaths
Of all our functions
One day they are there
The next day they start to fade
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.