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Category Archives: Getting Old

Notes Found On The Refrigerator May 2017

Thankful twigs, children of the blight:

Used as kindling from Camelot to Brooklyn, with ancestry in branches of Majestic Elms—

Extinct in the flames of purification they crackled and glowed in memories

Of the beautiful Main streets with bustling thoroughfares.

—when they, in regal tradition, stole the whole show.

Some interesting research digging around on the subject (for whatever, when it popped up in my mind) about the Elm tree… and perhaps I was looking for something about our future? Understanding and approaching it with history’s humility

: https://growinghistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/some-history-of-historic-plants/

 

*****

            No matter where I have been, in my heart I have always heard “welcome son!” And, I am as sure as my sisters have heard addressed— personally to them. The question that accompanies such a greeting is; where exactly are we? That we are being received and welcomed? And, of course, how our etiquette suddenly begins and our exit should end.

Rain falls hard on thorns

Roses soon to bloom perk up

Both will co-exist

*****

Whoa, Silver! Here comes the black stallion to welcome the Pinto.

*****

I sit here by the firelight of life, feeling old, tired, and worn out.

I sit proud with a peaceful heart after battles lost and won—

I notice the imprint of my shield, above the fireplace,

Nicked and gashed in gallant memory as history touts.

It has been sold. Two weeks ago. For bread, vegetables, lettuce, meat,

And sprouts.

I am neither happy nor angry

Nor am I hungry.

 

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Papa’s First Dance

It was never hard to find the lines

To greet you or your brothers. And, put them into a melody

For a song that sings in harmony

With love— for you.

Yes, you all have grown, still magically dancing,

Sliding off the top of my shoes—

Kissing my cheek without having to explain

Oops!

 

papas-first-dance

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Children, Existential, Father, Getting Old, Love, Poetry, Spiritual, Zen

 

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A Private Conversation With Me And I

My life has misplaced my glasses,

The remote, and my e-mail password.

“Stop staggering,

Are you disoriented”?

Yes, someone has stolen my memory.

And, taken all the labels off the cans.

“Oh Shoot-MaHoot,

what are you going to do”?

Open one or two cans

And, expect a supper surprise! What else can I do

Go hungry— never knowing what else to do?

“Sounds right, eat right,

Walk it off, sing a song,

then take a shit

Before you go nite-nite.

 

Hmmmmmm…

 

Glasses, remote, and e-mail note

are balanced on the toilet paper.

left there last night,

busy thinking about tomorrow.

 

Oh, and your cup…

And tea bag

Are on the saucer

On the windowsill.”

Thanks, I remember—  now

I am, on my way there.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Existential, Getting Old, Poetry, Silly stuff, Zen

 

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Saint Peter’s Orphanage 1950

Starless night, cold gray fog creeping up steel posted gates;

In spaces of bowing heads and hands being held,

Shadows grow and withdraw under muffled haloed lights.

 

Creeping through the entrance, they all looked up to see

Guarding the gate; a damp dew dripping concrete statue

Standing with a heel on a serpent

 an Archangel with flared wings wielding a sword.

Forever to be their best friend.

 

The witnesses passed by slowly. The children, carrying paper bag suitcases

In one hand and the other clasped tightly to each other.

 

Unpredictable darkness merges into a softly glowing doorway.

Their father quickly blesses himself

Whispering a Hail Mary, takes out four quarters.

 

Placing one in each daughter’s hand,

And slipping one in each boy’s pants pocket.

He gently knocks on a well-polished oak door.

 

Dim yellow light emerges.

Sister Saint Helen opens the vestibule.

 

Smiling, she places the paper bags on a large mahogany table,

Shushing them together, closing the heavy, silent, well oiled, orphanage door

She nods good-bye to the children’s father.

 

Sealed in, they become frightened like birds

With a broken wing.

 

 

Two bedroom flat above the American Legion, a band is playing downstairs.

Hat on the kitchen table, the young father sighs as he pops open a beer.

It’s been five years since the war.

Six years since he graduated High school

And, two years since the boy’s mother left them.

Acknowledging his inability

To come to grips with his situation;

Being abandoned by love, a turn of the cycle begins.

Tears blur his eyes; his heart sinks,

Then floats on Holy melancholy consolation.

 

1956

1956

(Forty years later, father having passed away in a veterans home)

 I’m sending you, mother and father, your youngest son September 24, 2016

Welcome him to a place where the Butter nut tree

And the bitter-sweet is still called home.)

 

rev:13

 
18 Comments

Posted by on October 2, 2016 in Getting Old, Love, Pine Cone Diaries, Poetry, thoughts

 

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Ms. Holly’s Electric Bill

    In her late eighties, Ms. Holly invited me over one evening for conversation and a glass of wine.  Upon my arrival, Ms. Holly politely greeted me at the door.  After being asked for my coat and hat, I was escorted to the living room and instructed to be seated.  I chose the couch instead of one of the many decoratively upholstered chairs. Ms. Holly quickly left the room which was well-lit with five or six lamps, some on end tables, and others on tall, ornate stands.

 

    Ms. Holly returned with a glass of wine in one hand, and in the other, a glass of water. She offered me the glass of wine. She started talking immediately, speaking without pause, walking towards her high-back chair. As she turned and sat down, she stated: “This is my opinion on very important matters.” She covered topics ranging from politics, family, and religion, to the economy and the new world order. At no time did she ask me what my thoughts were. Ms. Holly was very specific in her speech, using colorful words and illustrative detail. Although sometimes redundant, she was consistent in every repetition. Regardless, she hopped from one subject to the next, and suddenly, with quite the verbal grace and bow, splinter into a new conversation about her “opinion on a very important matter.” 

 

    Captured in the wonderful web of her experiences, imagination, and reality, I was finally asked: “So, what do you think?” Everything she related, positive or negative, seemed to be under Ms. Holly’s control, with its remarkable, opinionated unpredictability. Despite my interest in and enjoyment of her fascinating conversations, subjects discussed with redundancy stuck most in my memory. They were repeated so often that I remember them.

 

    I said, “The electric bill – it keeps going up and up and you can’t explain it! Is there any way you could cut the cost?” “I’ve tried everything,” she confidently stated as she got up, motioning with her hand towards the kitchen and left to refill her empty glass with water.

 

    I got up and turned off two or three lights in the room, then proceeded to join Ms. Holly in the kitchen. The kitchen was easy to find, well-lit with five or six lights. She nodded upon my entrance and continued to fill her glass with water. I began to turn off one or two lights before she sternly asked me, “What are you doing?” “Saving electricity!” I replied. “Let’s go in the other room,” she said, “and let me explain to you about life and the All living.”

 

    Upon entering the room, Ms. Holly turned on the lamps I had turned off.  I sat down, and in posture for debate and conversation, before Ms. Holly could sit or speak, I said, “You mentioned many times the cost of your electricity, and how that was your most unexplainable cost. So I went around turning some of the lights off, to lower your bill, incurred with keeping so many lights on.” There was a moment of silence. Ms. Holly arose, and then offered me her arm. She escorted me to the front door, handing me my hat and coat, explaining to me as we strolled, “I am alone… having all the lights on, with or without the electric bill, brings me comfort, anticipation, and peace. My best friend… my late friend, and my late Angel are still expected home.”

  

    Yes, Ms. Holly and I continued to talk often, with me, sipping my wine, listening intently; and her, drinking her water and telling me “her opinion on very important matters.”  Inevitably, the “electric bill” would come up, and of course, as I cleared my throat she would creatively, in the wink of an eye, divert the conversation. However, she continued to end our visits by offering me my hat and coat, stating, “I look forward to our next conversation, and, by the way, I’m still keeping the lights on.”

This Sunday, I discovered that all Ms. Holly’s expected guests had arrived.

    For now, I will keep my lights on and give “my opinion on very important matters,” particularly concerning the cost of my electric bill, which I cannot explain. I’m thinking, perhaps, Ms. Holly really had a better understanding of it. So, I sit with a smile and a heart full of joy in a well-lit house, waiting for my guests to arrive. I sit with great expectation.

Wind follows the stream

Electricity on trees

All has arrived.

 

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Notes found on the refrigerator August 2015

Dancing In Silence

Often,

Silence is a noise we try to avoid.

Whether in conversation, in loneliness,

Or, when we are bored.

Yet,

When it is present, it opens the door

With no mind, to a room softly making love

To no one, in no space, for nothing.

So, before entering

We kiss our mind gently good-bye;

Entering where our heart is,

Dancing to the music, of a silent chord.

********

Light Green Panties

Can-Can leaves dancing in frenzy

Lifting and turning up

In Rhythmic breeze,

Fluttering in the same direction,

Without any shame,

 Their light green panties.

Oh, such beauty,

And, oh such a tease;

Waiting for the applause

Of the incoming rain.

********

Song Bird, Oh, Song Bird

Song bird hiding in the bush

Beside our porch.

Born in the spring,

Finally twirping a song to sing.

We hold each other’s hand

At sunset.

Creaking in time, swaying along

In our old weathered swing.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Getting Old, Love, Nature, thoughts

 

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Bonsoir Mémé et le Pépé, Bonsoir

 (curtain rises…both are getting into bed)

Mémé: I’m not asking you to cheat

            Only to tweak. (turning over, back to Pépé)

 Pépé: I refuse to participate, in the choices they make,

can’t you see, Just let it be!

(he does the same and turns over. now both are lying back to back)

Mémé: Get off your arse then, and turn off the light!

            There ain’t nothing right… left to be seen this night.

Pépé: I thought it was your turn

To turn out the lights, tonight.

Mémé: You want to fight?

(as a matter of fact)

            I still got a good right.

(giggling)

Pépé: What is it that you want me to do?

            Again. Before I lay down.

(slowly getting up)

Mémé: Go and tell the grandchildren

            To stop this, this… “Messing around!

…La vie ne est plus le pont de d’Avignon.”

Pépé:  

  (re-enters and gets into bed facing mémé)

            Bonsoir Mémé.

Mémé: Bonsoir Pépé.

(Both start humming  ‘Sous le pont de d’Avignon’)

(Curtain closes)

 

On the lighter side, in my “research”, I stumbled on this and if you have the time… [growing up with this song, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1-hZQNdC4

 

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