Toronto Poet Kate Marshall Flaherty recites her poem “Far Away”. The two man film crew (musicians Mark Korven and Tony Duggan-Smith) follow with camera. Music by Mark Korven performed on the nyckelharpa, a medieval keyed violin originating from Sweden.

Far Away


Pictures taped on the wall,

tenderly showing sequence—

panties before skirt, socks before shoes—set me

wondering what an Alzheimer mind

feels like inside …

scrolling back to childhood

where daughters seem sisters,

déjà vus cobweb, and

Sleepwalkers startle and wake

under snowy lamp-posts

where I think I must know you but

your name dissolves like tissue in a tub.


Such a mind

a stalwart mule refusing the harness

and cart: ox cart, oxo cubes, hugs and kisses,

signatures flatten to a scrawl and this

was once poetry with words like luminous and

They say you stew in your own juices—

if you were sweet you thicken; if sour, then

Old Sneep sucking on a lemon.


How is it amnesia doesn’t wipe away language?

The life-story forgotten but not the words;

we lost the way but not the meaning

I am lost.


Aren’t we all? And to be

shuffling down the corridor vague as melting clocks,

dilly dally, daily times and dill pickles, doorknobs

opening the tin and sons become brothers,

names fall away like flesh from soup-stock bones.


Lily pad thoughts float on murky ponds,

white and clean as these daisys on the gurney,

chalk-white like the nurses’sensible shoes but somehow

those fingernails on a slate, black hole

sucking in everything like a hoover;

eightball rebounding but never sunk.

And sometimes, after long long days of staring

at nothingness:

Oh! Lemon squares!

“Far Away” is from Reaching V, Guernica Editions (c)