Dementia Unchained

Glimpsing forms lacking definition,
women & men search for lost shadows
secret maps under redwood burls, beneath false drawers
I think. I think. I can’t be sure.
They wave to one another, expect a reply
yet melt into shades lurking below trees
or rest hooded heads like wraiths on tombstones.
Wavering, Wavering. Unstable—alive.
Ink blot semblances of human arms emerge,
enigmas that forfeit unconscious thoughts
reconcile anima & animus, a balancing act.
Interpreting. Interpreting. Untangling a web.
Twilight bodies, alleyway tramps, hide among
trash cans & apple barrels; hoop apparitions linger & we
become invisible as nights grow longer & memories fade.
You knew me once. I knew you. Now we meet as strangers.
On the precipice of misfortune unavoidable,
loneliness spreads like a peacock’s fan linking
fleshy silhouettes, bridging doppelgänger chasms.
Aware. Aware. For a single moment almost aware.
We wake early these mornings as Robins & thrushes launch
into daybreak’s ambient song, joining dawn’s familiar chorus
Still, I forget. I forget.  Memory lapses—I continue to forget;
murky sights merge—people, places, details rush by in a blur.



Sterling Warner

A Washington-based author, educator, and Pushcart nominee for poetry, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in many international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as The Ekphrastic ReviewAnti-Heroin Chic, Sparks of Calliope, and others. Warner’s collections include Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Memento Mori, Edges, Rags & Feathers, Serpent’s Tooth, Flytraps,  Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction, Halcyon Days: Collected Fibonacci (2023) and Masques: Flash Fiction & Short StoriesCurrently, he writes, turns wood, and hosts virtual/face-to-face poetry readings. Warner highly recommends the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, December 18, 2022 - 21:10