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I have recently received a copy of an anthology containing my latest publication.  Memory Weaving, published by Poetica Christi Press and edited by Carolyn Vimpani, is a thought-provoking collection of dementia journeys that describes the loss of a person to this debilitating disease.


There are poems about anger, confusion, love, grief, acceptance, sometimes humour and surprise, all of which have been thoughtfully grouped together under one of three headings – frayed at the edges, unravelled and threadbare – to denote the gradual lessening of the self to dementia.

The call for submissions was sponsored by Manningham City Council to promote awareness within their community of those living with dementia, their families and carers. To purchase a copy of the anthology contact the publisher directly, otherwise here is my poem to give you a sneak peak between the covers…

Visiting hours


Her hands don’t belong here

bewildered starfish beached on the table.

She wants to put them away

with the napkins and knives.


When the doorbell rings she answers the fridge

confused and then thrilled

to see her teeth grinning back.


She thought it’d be her daughter

nods polite to the woman who’s stolen her name.


Later she remembers the time

shuffles in slippers to find it again.

            Copyright © J V Birch 2013

To celebrate mental health week (6-12 October), there have been a number of events and activities organised by the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia with the aim of increasing awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing. 

One such activity was the Open Your Mind Competition run by mindshare, an online mental health community, that invited submissions of poetry, short stories and blogs in a range of categories. 

I found out earlier this week that I won the ‘Metro’ category with my poem Just like you, which will be turned into a piece of digital art, so watch this space!


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