Alzheimer’s Disease

I can feel your deep darkness closing in,
With its harrowing sense of helplessness,
Soon obscenity sours tongues gathering;
Havoc’s wrought by every hellish djin
As chaos kicks aside your selflessness,
Guilt, aplenty, glee guilds in fathering:
Flaunting tones of stricken folk fail true faith,
Whilst naught stands twixt birth and eternity;
All is lost to those fondling piety,
Murmuring minds of men lull, so Simon saith,
Womankind mocks mankind’s fraternity,
Yet each painful breath plumes anxiety.

No New Jerusalem here, not inside,
Only the Dead may feel self-satisfied.


A Heavy Heart’s Hope of Heaven

My love with the dress of a blue beacon,
I kiss the fever of your face,
Where the light sleeps in secret enjoyment,
I love and I sob, I am alive.
René Char. 1947, “My Love with the Dress of a Blue Beacon”

Here I am, seeing yesterday’s cold face,
Filling my tired mind with new echoes,
Wondering about the silence of sad eyes,
Char would have called my glance a disgrace,
Besieged memories emerge as prose,
Perhaps soon, perhaps in ages, and as lies;
Eager with hope, I must learn life’s lesson,
Rob the rich night of all it has to give,
Seek salvation in love’s lamentations,
Build beauty from love-kissed lips confession,
Pose as the slave of sensuousness, and live,
Taste tenderness in dream-filled sensations.

Time is my teacher, newly ordained,
One moment stilled, a precious moment gained.

© Sam Gilliland


Residing in Scotland, Sam Gilliland is a champion of Lallans (the Scottish language) poetry and a recipient of Sangschaw’s prestigious MacDiarmid Tassie. With three previous collections of poetry published his work in Scots includes A Rickle O Banes (Penny Wheep Press). Founder/Secretary of Ayrshire Writers & Artists Society the organisation became the home of The Scottish International Open Poetry Competition, to which he devoted twenty eight years of his life as co-administrator and judge.

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7 Responses

    • Sam Gilliland

      Thank you, David. Must check out THE GRATEFUL DEAD, anything that tickles the imagination! Wonderful. Aye & aye, Sam.

  1. Leo Yankevich

    These are both well-made sonnets. There’s no amateurish iambic thumping, only skill and an original voice singing of loss. Bravo!

  2. C.B. Anderson

    I’m inclined to agree with (and echo) Leo. What most struck me most about both poems was that the progression of ideas was not linear, but tenuous, elliptical, and surreal.

    • sam gilliland

      Surrealism is certainly something to employ. To span eternity with a smile/and the universe in one stride/ becomes the poet, and with poetic guile/ conceals what lies within – outside! Aye & aye, Sam.


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