Coals on the Hearth of Time


Most of us know of someone who suffers from dementia. As we get older our minds sometime lose their short and long term memories. We got a first hand experience with this in 2013 when my father-in-law became debilitated from short term memory loss and had to enter a facility for Alzheimer’s patients. It is sad and difficult to watch this happen knowing there is no cure for it at this time. This poem reflects on memory loss and how it can affect us.

Coals on the Hearth of Time

Gone the fire once burning brightly

Life’s logs burned down to glowing embers

Slowly consumed white with age

Raging inferno of youth left behind

Dreams long lived slowly exit

Sifting out past memories

Coals of childhood smolder in the darkness

Warm glows grow dim on the hearth of time

Flickers are all that remain of a glowing life

Short bursts reappearing for a time

Flash paper memories

Lost in smoke of the dying embers

Clinkers from the past refuse to burn

“Where is Helen?”

Wondering why

Not remembering the question

Not knowing the answer

Repetitive memory now gone

Waiting Waiting Waiting

Remaining coals turn to ash

The fire dies

16 thoughts on “Coals on the Hearth of Time

  1. Love your poem Dwight, and thanks so much for the nomination. Memory and the loss thereof occupies my mind a lot – both creatively and personally from having experienced Alzheimer eroding the memories of both my grandmothers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful poem – a great way to relate to dementia. My grandmother developed dementia in her final years and it was a difficult process – more for us than for her because those who have the condition usually don’t know what’s going on. The loved one are the ones who see the mind clicking back and forth with reality and this new world their minds create. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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