I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

6 May 2012

High Care

I try to recreate a homely feel
within the nursing home. It isn’t real
and their new schedules take you when I leave.
It is the very contrast makes us grieve —
this isn’t home. Nor is the old home now
without you. I would bring you back — but how?

I must surrender you to better care
than I can give, although it seems unfair
and you believe I have abandoned you.
In fact it was the only thing to do.
I want to smile, not weep when I am here
visiting you. Let’s find some new joy, dear

for still we’re never one whole day apart,
and surely home is in the other’s heart?

A response to the dVerse FormForAll prompt: Clarian Sonnets
though written too late to be included in the line-up there.

Also linking to the dVerse 2019 Sonnet Challenge.

The Clarian Sonnet is my favourite kind of sonnet – though the Neruda-style free verse sonnet runs it close. (Which is interesting, as the one is so modern, the other so classic.) The Clarian seems to me somehow less of a virtuoso performance than the Shakespearian, Petrarchan or Spenserian, so that the reader's focus is hopefully more on what is said than how it is said. In the others, even the very best of them, my attention is split equally between both. I love playing with form, but I like it to be in the service of – even subservient to – meaning.


  1. oh my..that's not easy and i can imagine that it creates a mixture of emotions that are hard to handle...but love the closure with home being in the other's heart..def. a point to focus on and a starting point to finding new paths..

    1. Thanks, Claudia. I took him a copy. He got teary and said, 'That's nice.'

  2. ugh...really nicely done to form...what caught me was the realization of needing to surrender to greater care...that is a hard one...actually that simple line popped tears in my eyes...as i have been there....

    1. Thank you Brian. I am sorry you've been there. A hard place indeed.

  3. Let’s find some new joy, dear
    I was filling up as I read your poem, but that was the line that choked me up. What a tender poem of explanation, surrender, and yet, hope.

    Only one of my friends has had to go through this with a long-time spouse. Alzheimers hit him in his 60s and she cared for him as long as she could. He is in a home not far from their Home (and I love how you showed that even Home is different) and she visits twice daily....

    1. Thanks, Lydia. I have been visiting twice daily. I guess we'll adjust. My husband is 83; I'm very glad this didn't happen in his sixties! Even now, his Alzheimers is not very advanced; it's the physical problems causing reduced mobility that necessitated the move.

  4. This is such an incredibly gentle Clarian sonnet, wistful and caring, even through the letting go. I can only imagine what it must be like, but what I do know is that with such love as you are offering, there will be understanding.

  5. Oh, so sad. A wonderful sonnet. Agree with Sam- so gentle and wistful, the form a quiet reinforcement of the plea. Really lovely. So sorry for your difficulties. K.

    1. Thank you, Karin. I'm glad the sonnet works — a form I have found daunting in the past. The Clarian kind is certainly easier, and very enjoyable to work with.

  6. So tender and full of passion. I know you miss him.

    Thank you for sharing this,

  7. xxx to you Delaina. We did transcend this unhappy time, as you know. I'm so glad I took him out of that nursing home, against everyone's advice, and later found a better one.

  8. I like the thought that home is in the other's heart.

  9. You really took me there with the volta, after the struggle of putting someone in a nursing home we come to that "resolution" of a home in the heart... so fun to read one I've not read before, and to see all the familiar poets commenting.


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