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(the fading of one's own memory) - For Heather Hubler's "Unscramble" Challenge

By Randy Wayne Jellison-KnockPublished 22 days ago 2 min read
Top Story - March 2024
Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

(For Heather Hubler's "Unscramble" Challenge which you may read about here: unscramble-challenge.)



The vane of my vanity

is fickle,

wafting first this way,

then that,

coursing through my veins

like fire & ice,

burning & immobilizing,

just beyond my grasp.




The science

of plaque

sieve of my nescience,

eScience of neurons

unable quite

to communicate



have become


& navies

no longer navigate

the naves

of my mind.





(I come)

bogged in the vances

(old English “marshes”)

unable to vince

(that is, “conquer”)

or evince naught

but confusion

& nascence of naught.




Nine or six


scattered in the drive

(worn on my feet?)

seven as a verb

means what again?


vain is my effort to

vise any


as evanescience

(is that even a word? Am I insane?)

forms the eaves of my mind

in the eves of my….





Yes, please.


“Evanescience” is a word I created when Heather reminded me that my favorite word (“evanescence”) only has eleven letters. With the meaning of “the fading of one’s own memory” ascribed by me to it, Heather granted me permission to use it.

Originally, I simply planned to have some fun with it. But as I entered into this writing, I began to flash back to the summer I spent working in a nursing home as an orderly & subsequently in my ministry to all those with whom I worked who were suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

In the nursing home there was one resident who only one aide was consistently able to get up & ready in the morning. The first time I tried, I failed miserably. The next morning the nurses had me follow & assist that one aide. All she did was say to him, “It’s time for breakfast, Roy. Do you want to get up?” He shook his head furiously, so she went to his roommate & helped him get ready for the day. By the time she had finished, Roy was climbing the rail to his bed, eager to rise. He absolutely loved breakfast.

She had simply taken the time to learn that & treated him with respect as a human being, as we all should.

After that morning, there were two of us who could get him up in the morning. And I had learned an invaluable lesson as I prepared to head into ministry.

surreal poetryStream of Consciousnesssocial commentarysad poetryperformance poetryMental HealthFree Verse

About the Creator

Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock

Retired Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church having served for a total of 30 years in Missouri, South Dakota & Kansas.

Born in Watertown, SD on 9/26/1959. Married to Sandra Jellison-Knock on 1/24/1986. One son, Keenan, deceased.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (32)

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  • The Dani Writer15 days ago

    Enjoyed reading this and the teachable moment you included at the end. So many people in healthcare forget this. Treat people like human beings with the dignity and respect that you would want for yourself and your loved ones. Great writing, Randy!

  • Heather Hubler15 days ago

    I loved how you made your version of the word really mean something. I felt the evanescience!! Brilliant form and equally loved the afterward. My grandfather had Alzheimer's back when it was less commonly known. It was so hard to watch him fade away. It was like the grieving process lasted for years and now I have another family member going through it. Thank you for writing this, my friend. Congrats on Top Story!!

  • Brin J.16 days ago

    I love the afterword of this poem. It brings so much to light about what the emotion of it is about. Truly a lovely piece, Randy <3. Congrats on Top Story

  • Forspiya16 days ago

    People nowadays are really stressed so this is all for you https://vocal.media/poets/wings-of-resilience-a-journey-through-adversity

  • ROCK 17 days ago

    I really loved this Randy. I, too worked with dementia in its various forms from a wide variety of causes in my younger life. As I age I wonder if I will notice if I am developing dementia or if I will simply succumb. This was clever and an excellent example of what a top story takes!

  • Cyrus17 days ago


  • Anna 17 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Christy Munson18 days ago

    You've reminded me of volunteer "work" I performed in my twenties assisting older folks as they deal with the day to day challenges imposed by Dementia. That experience was a million life lessons every few minutes, and so incredibly invaluable to my development as a human being. Enjoyed reading your imaginative piece. Thank you for confirming that you made up the word. I could have spent a deal of time ferreting that out otherwise. Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • Paul Stewart18 days ago

    Ah...this is wonderful. I love the backstory behind it all and the lesson learnt is a vital one. Well done on a truly awesome entry into Ms Hubler's challenge and congrats on a well-deserved Top Story!

  • Caroline Craven18 days ago

    I thought your poem was amazing and then I read the story behind it. It’s amazing how much difference listening can make and treating people kindly. I thought this was brilliant.

  • Lamar Wiggins18 days ago

    Call Webster! They may just add the word, who knows. Loved the backstory which was just as great as the poem. Congrats, Randy!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Kendall Defoe 18 days ago

    Neologism and a great ride? Well done! Top Story, indeed!

  • Ameer Bibi18 days ago

    Congratulations for top story 🎉🎉. Embrace your unique voice, for it holds the power to connect, resonate, and inspire others in ways only you can.

  • Babs Iverson18 days ago

    Impressive!!! Loved the back story too!!!💕❤️❤️ Congratulations on Top Story too!!!

  • D.K. Shepard18 days ago

    Incredible piece with a beautiful backstory! Dementia and Alzheimer’s run on my dad’s side of the family. My grandmother and aunt both had difficult declines. This really captured the turmoil of slipping memory

  • JBaz18 days ago

    I would attempt this challenge but after reading your entry I know I am not in this league. This was an absolute pleasure to read

  • L.C. Schäfer18 days ago

    Back to say congrats!

  • Sajan ali18 days ago

    Very good words

  • The word you created definitely should be a word! Some super cool 'new to me words' which I enjoyed. Roy's story was a touching end note. If only people would take a moment t undertstand others a little more 🤍

  • A story and then a story, surely you spoil us. And then such a wonderful poem. Seriously, I should have written mine in crayons...

  • Whoaaaa, this was so magnificently mindblowing! Loved both your poem and the backstory!

  • Novel Allen22 days ago

    What an interesting story behind the poem. I am a little lost in the whole thing. I have to read Heather's prompt. (anyway, I am having a tantrum as Vocal is ticking me off, my concentration is off. I want to participate, but we shall see).

  • John Cox22 days ago

    I loved the Ur story behind the wonderful final line of your poem. All most of us really need out of life is a little dignity (although we often want more). I also loved how playful you are with words in this piece (like vans as vehicles or a certain popular footwear). Well done, Randy, as always!

  • I enjoyed this piece Randy. It’s extremely clever and I love the story that come with this.

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