Category Archives: Getting Old
Oh, shadow upon me as a steel gate
Keeps a fountain frozen; longing for spring.
In darkness, with the light’s promise, I wait
for the rising sun on new mornings’ wings.
Seeds beneath ice reject deaths history;
In a mind’s aging place of well-tilled soil.
Hands cold and crossed, holding joy’s poverty
In prayer, for passing summer’s last spoils.
Each day in lengthy dour to silver night,
A child, my youth, an ember in my heart
Awakens in warmth beyond blackened light;
I await creation’s surprising spark;
I welcome the ‘morrow’s guest to arrive,
With gate left unlocked, for my solstice child.
It happened one day, when I discover humility: from the beginning, to its beginning, when I was unable to peel an orange, bake bread— or, crack an egg… before I made my breakfast, drank my coffee and settled for cold cereal.
I still get up for one more day’s length —from my inviting bed, and make my many visits to my children and grandchildren; catching up with things I never heard, though has been repeated several times. Any way, I usually, on my way out, steal from large pottery bowls, an apple or an orange, sometimes cashews left on the counter tucked in-between in a smaller bowl.
Waving a right handed good-bye and a thankful smile, I drive through Center Sandwich village, before sunset and well before the June’s moon will rise.
I get home, make a late supper, take in another amazing day; then I go to bed smiling with my beads in grateful prayer.
Presence is not known
Until it reveals itself
In true existence
The greatest movie in the evening, I go and watch, when I become bored with myself and have no desire to make a meal or take a walk or even to pop popcorn and turn on the TV —I look out my window.
I watch the leaves dancing on branches making songs from the wind; so I rise and go outside and join in on the chorus as a movie extra, in the production of the “H.M.S. Pinafore”.
Mystics from the past
carry you through the seasons
—you met once before.
On Monday morning, he opened his door, ole slim Lewis just raised his price, at the corner store. Raisin’ the price of flour from 5 cents to 15 cents a pound, no less no more.
I can still hear mama sayin’, “I’d just as soon pick a handful of dandelions and trade them evenly for a pound of pork rinds than give him —the extra dime”.
without honey glazed biscuits,
fried in pork fat rinds.
He feels the strength of her independence,
when she stepped forward —naked with strangers in a local stream;
far from her parents and her lover sitting, with tee-shirt
and dry swimming trunks, life guard symbol on his seam. He is wondering
whether to sit, or, to hold up her abandoned towel —to stand
up, to greet her, with a smile and without giving her any shit, holding out
both his hands.
Yo’ Bro’ wass’ happinin’?
Looks like love has seen a ghost,
Groovin’ and strollin’. 😊
Memorial Day 2018
The threat of death whether on the street, or, worse yet,
being an actor in the theater of war. Death, is ever-present
in all of them; from desk, teaching, jungle, or sand.
Whether killed, captured, or not;
is this fear, whether dismissed in discipline, forgot.
It is because of them, under constant threat,
you can sleep tight, and won’t let the bed bugs bite.
R.I.P …mon père, mes oncles pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale et mon frère cadet, le Vietnam.
Je vous remercie.
Oh mourning dove, sing to me this evening in the last glow of sunset —so clear and so resound in song —with hope for me to remember what was lost, now if sought, could be found. You echo through the forest, on the edge of fields, sidewalks, and across the parks.
I open my window wrapping myself in my sheet and blanket as I sink into my pillow. I close my eyes to hear your song. Falling asleep, I understand your repetitive melodic low-high pitched notes, as I move through age.
I listen to sounds about my life; with its many ups and downs. Finding in your chorus, a gift of an early morning spirit, that has forgotten yesterday —woo, WOO, wooing, into a ‘morrow, without the cloak of fear.
Large black crows in flight
carnivorous in their plight
landing —find new life.
*Please Note: …By virtue of their melancholy call, mourning doves have been fittingly named. Their distinctive “wooo-oo-oo-oo” sounds may evoke a feeling of grief over the loss of a dearly beloved.
But far from representing death, the symbolism of mourning doves gives us optimism with its spirituality. Beyond their sorrowful song is a message of life, hope, renewal and peace.
Spring Will Be Early This Year
My young friend in her late 50’s, is experiencing hot flashes.
I, on the other hand, in my 70’s am cold all the time;
often checking to see if I’m dead as sunlight passes.
This winter has been a very cold one.
We have to flip to see who controls the thermostat.
Warm, if I’m the winner—an evening well done and that’s that.
Loser, I have to wear hand warmers, two sweaters,
a 100% wool lap blanket and a hat.
Or, as previously noted
—she sits on the porch,
Oblivious of accelerating spring flowers.
Ain’t love grand?
Unable to figure it out
But we always accept
It’s beautiful and mysterious whereabouts.
Years have passed:
when we were young, we could tolerate physical pain,
emotional blizzards, and blinding rain.
We sought recognition, fortune, and sometimes illusions fame.
We chased stars in glittering summer nights keeping sentry for sunrise,
celebrating each dawn with a brand new name.
We could even cry, winning or losing, without forcing a fight.
We could talk, discuss, and compromise.
We recognize the beauty in unsuspected surprise.
We were always able to light a candle in the wind
Finding our way back home on sad dark nights.
We often laughed at ourselves. Believing that pennies
we flipped, fluttering to the bottom of wishing wells
We’d became Peter Pan and Wendy
never growing old. And, totally ignoring Tinkerbell,
we watch our directions flow.
Following our hearts and the work of our hands
we traveled roadways, highways, and paths;
where distance seemed far and time immeasurably fast.
We floated above concrete, soft tar, and beaches with ankle deep sand.
Even paths that were crooked and twisted in shallow water or on solid land.
We were always on each other’s map!
We frolicked in spaces that love only knows
where time, never existed;
along with places, where sadness, was only a short visit.
Eventually, I suppose, age and Peter Pan eclipses
those days, when we are young.
There is only time now:
when we are old. We sit with aches and pain.
Our clothes begin to slip or are frayed or they just don’t fit;
along with our recognition, fortune, and the reality of expected fame.
We wear sweaters and warm cotton hats on cool summer nights,
seeing only darkness as a distant fading light.
We Sleep uneasily on worn, thin but forgiving linen.
We, sometimes, forget ourselves with mixed memories,
stuttering on birthdays, which have evaporated in wishing wells.
We try to avoid being stubborn— guilt ridden for actions mistaken,
poor mathematical intelligence, slips of jealously, pride,
and recognize that we, as we knew, is we that is forgotten.
From steel to rust, from rock to gravel,
from coal to diamond
and back to dust.
The sound of muted bells tick off the clock, like muffled thunder
under the hoofs of deaths’ mercenaries; some from heaven,
and maybe one or two from hell.
We may shed a warm small tear, becoming a prism, to glitter
In the sliver of a waning moon; signaling with joy—
tomorrow’s brand new day,
with its bright sun chasing
A weathered Sundial’s ever-moving shadow
~The Night Before Breakfast~ Vol. I Another Draft Revision
I’m back from Ashland, the small town’s only laundry mat. I haven’t been to one of those since I was single. Now, older as things get ignored, I wait until I run out of socks and underwear. Oh, and tee shirts they’re always along side two or three more.
Two pillow cases in and only one with all folded, coming out. Sometimes, it’s both being carried out when I take the sheets, towels, a couple of dress shirts, and a few blue jeans, at the heel with frayed threads falling out. But today its tee shirts, socks, and underwear; one pillow case, the other carried inside out.
I have been in my robe all week, tee shirts and underwear underneath. Yesterday I was remembering a place with a washer and a dryer. Where it was my turn to do the laundry, a turn I would keep. I would turn on a blaring rock and roll radio station, sorting whites from colors. Sometimes I would inject a little shuffle and dance as I measured softener and twenty-mule team borax, half a cup or more singing out loud almost in a holler.
From gentle to hard-core, as the cycles went. Washing, drying, and folding. Picking up the kitchen in-between the squashing and swirling I would sweep the floor. With things sorted from white, colors and who knows what. I did two maybe even three loads. But, ah, back to my rented room in its ultimate bore.
On my inherited mother’s nicked kitchen table, on a lace doily gathering dust, sits a blue antique bottle and this summer’s dried flowers. I laid my car keys and emptied my pockets making them lighter of contents, putting them on her table.
Two straight-backed chairs next to yesterdays mail, the morning sun struck the table, breaking through the windows hazed of last night’s cigarette smoke, I heard a voice from my past, as my mother spoke, telling me to at least, “keep yourself clean, don’t live precariously, do your laundry, every week, listen to me, please!”
I’m back from Ashland, the small town’s only laundry mat. I haven’t been to one of those since I was single or with my mother as a child; since my divorce.
Photo by RKG