Jill Boucher

Jill Boucher lives in rural Warwickshire. Her past life roles include actress, secretary, speech and language therapist; wife, mother, smallholder; academic neuropsychologist and author; grandmother and gardener. She has ‘always written poetry’.

Hippocampi

Deep in the brain
where psychedelic fishes
flick and sway
amongst the reefs and rocks
sea-horses pick their way
pitching and bobbing,
omnivorous scavengers
of day’s debris
cousins of deep-sea monsters
Neptune’s steeds
tamed, now, to be
custodians
of memory.
 
When they are gone
the undigested waste of timeless days
flocculates
smothering reefs
asphyxiating fishes.
Algae proliferate
and in the gathering darkness of the brain
the ghosts of galloping monsters
clatter and bray.
 

Jill Boucher

The hippocampi are sea-horse-shaped subcortical structures which play a critical role in the formation of new memories. Damage or degeneration of the hippocampi causes amnesia and contributes to dementia.

Poem published in Penine Platform, 2017

Publications:
The Autistic Spectrum: Characteristics, Causes, and Practical Issues (2nd edn), 2017, Sage (London).

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