Archive for the ‘prose’ Category


My father’s Alzheimer’s has taken hold much more than a few months ago.  If he even remembers that my mother is somehow related to him, by blood or marriage, he calls Mom by the name of his long dead sister.  He is also adamant about getting a job and helping out his also long-dead parents, and needs to go “home”.  In this case, home is where he lived as a young teen.

This is the “sundown effect”.  Symptoms of dementia tend to have a circadian rhythm, and usually are worse at sundown or after.  When I talk to Dad at other times of the day, he’s like he always has been recently – present in the moment, whatever that is for him.  He remembers when he is told, or at least imagines he remembers, what he did a few hours ago or sometimes a few days ago, on the better days but can’t remember how long ago it was.

At sunset, what I now accept as “presence” fades away.  While before he only spoke to us of stories from the distant past, even though they weren’t the stories we remember, and thought they happened recently despite the intervening years, now he lives out those stories daily around sundown.

My father started working to assist our parents before he was a teenager – nine years old sounds familiar.  Unlike many Newfoundlanders, we were not a fishing family.  I’m not really sure what we were, but fishing has never been mentioned.  At the age of 9 Dad took a job of some sort, and this is where his mind is now.

My father was a nine-year old 76 years ago.

The telephone next to me is flashing that it has a message from my mother.  The messages are often innocuous, but I know the day is coming when it won’t be.  This year, I’m trying to decide to go home to see Dad before the event we know is coming, the event in which he no longer responds knowingly to anyone, or if I should simply wait and go home after the next event in which he simply no longer responds at all, and his body finally gives up.

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Plugging Away

There’s no new poetry to report, but I’ve been putting a lot of my creativity into my jewelry.

Exploring creativity in that medium is interesting.  I can see my love of symmetry and my almost comical inability to not make things without patterns.

I’m losing track of all my online places to update with my thoughts, and blogs.  It’s easier to just make jewelry.


Expect a change in my blog.  The poetry will still be here, but the focus will change to my current endeavour.

Argentium Sterling Silver Wire-Wrapped Quartz Crystal

Argentium Sterling Silver Wire-Wrapped Quartz Crystal

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The first day of March has always been the point at which I start to mentally shoo winter away.  We still may encounter storms here in the northern latitudes but generally, it’s not as dry and bitter as February and late January.

I hope you are all dealing well with life.  The change in economy and credit markets are turning our budgets and financial plans on their heads.  This probably enhances what winter blues you may already feel.  Keep active, get plenty of rest, eat properly, and try to find a little time to yourself each day.  These concepts are good advice any time, but they also assist in reducing worry, depression and other negative emotions and states of mind.

Be well.  As the Desiderata says “Strive to be happy.”

I’ve been working mostly on jewelry, practing a wire wrapping technique over the last few weeks.  Doing something so unrelated to what I do for “work” is a great break and relaxing, even though it is technical and particular.  My jewelry website will be changing to a content management system (Joomla) to remove the work of writing web page code so I can enjoy my creativity rather than have to know multiple technologies just to show interesting items to the world.  I hope you’ll like it when it’s finished.


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by Paul Bishop — March 6, 1996

The sun shines bright today
Illuminating everything
Except for the shadows
Some people say that sunlight makes shadows
But not really
Shadows exist where sunlight cannot go
Where the sunlight has been forbidden
By an “un-transparent” barrier

There are always shadows where the sun is
And there are shadows where the sun is not
Would you like to walk with me into a land of shadows?
Where the sun is not, nor never has been? (more…)

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by Paul Bishop — October 29, 1995

Why am I in this God-forsaken place?
Alone after dark where it is equally mentally and physically dangerous…
What do I find so attractive about a place in the dark spiritually and emotionally?
The others come here – do they care about anything but themselves?
Or is it to get away from themselves that they come here? (more…)

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Grace By Association


by Paul Bishop — September 11, 1992

God, Creation, Existence, Life, Adam, Fruit, Sin, Curse, Evil, Wrath, Purge, Flood, Rainbow, Rain, Storm, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, Shatter, Glass, Fragile, Eggshell, Thin, Lines, Cross, Jesus, Sacrifice, Lamb, Fleece, White, Snow, Pure, Love, Heart, Broken, Hurt, Dejected, Me, Searching, Lost, Drowning, Sea, Water, Baptism, Spirit, Conviction, Guilt, Admission, Confession, Belief, Faith, Hope, Eternal, Heaven, Angels, Rejoice, HALLELUJAH!

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by Paul Bishop — August 15, 1992

(the capitalized statements are me speaking)

Acrid sulfur assaulted my nostrils
And burned my lungs in this land of tormenting flame.
My armour was heavy and I was drenched in the sweat of intense determination. (more…)

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