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Category Archives: Getting Old

Notes found on the refrigerator…June 11th.-13th. 2020 QUAR

June 11th. 2020

 Thursdays have always seemed to be quite days for me. yet on Fridays, I groom and saddle the horse… and ride her into Monday; tired and happy I walk in with a smile, saddle sore, bow legged, and never wearing spurs.

owl sees at night

daytime sees quick moving grass

best of days are here

 

June 12th. 2020

      I went to the coast today to help an old, self-quarantined friend, Miss Holly. Before heading off from the mountains, I texted her a note. Asking her to text me and let me know what she needed; I would pick it up on my way there. Please text me the list, because I may forget what you have said over your speaker phone; while you were watching the jewelry channel. 😊

     The first text listed four items. The second text added another five. The last text included provisions for a bunker and don’t forget toilet paper.

     No problem. When I arrived, she sprayed all the bags with disinfectant. I could hear “thru her deep suit diving mask” saying a loud “thank you” and bowing with grace, “ be safe”.

     She couldn’t see the smile behind my mask; so I winked at her and told her “I would see you next week. I’ll call and check on you during the week”.

*****

June 13th. 2020

 

     Miss Holly, has sold her house and has moved into a “senior village”. As usual she’s a little paranoid of people spaced within 300 feet or less of her property. She feels safe there but she still locks her door.

     After I run her errands, from groceries to printer ink, to medication, and to the next town for a scooter battery…( that was impossible to replace, having sat there for 2 years melted to the casing). I would sit, as I usually do, a little tired and smiling, on Miss Holly’s porch. I open a bottle of beer, lite a cigarette and take out my notebook and given the space to write, enjoying where I am.

     I’ll often look up to see strolling villagers. I think there’s about a hundred of them; widowers, widows, old couples and friends. Not all stroll by, but those that do wave and we exchange our gratitude for the day.

Flower between rock

Rain washes the grass true green

Time is age well spent

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 28, 2020 in Friendship, Getting Old, Haibun, prose, Zen

 

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A Sonnet For My Solstice Child

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.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 28, 2019 in Beginnings, Getting Old, Poetry, Sonnet

 

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Notes found on the refrigerator April & May 2018

       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

******

Entertainment:

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.

**********

Stubbornness:

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”.

Eatin’ potatoes,

without honey glazed biscuits,

               fried in pork fat rinds.

 **********

Acceptance:

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’. 😊

  • Finally:

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.

Richard.

 

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Redemption Dove ~>

     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.

 

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Cabin Fever Mutterings From Sandwich Notch NH

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.

~~~~

 
19 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2018 in Getting Old, Humor, Love, New Hampshire, Poetry, Zen

 

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The Glass Sword

[Children all over the world are being slain without an enemy, other than ours.]

Each evening puts tears in our eyes

as we watch the world

with arrogance, stupidity, and greed

carnage souls and minds.

***

I know we are getting old.

But, what did we teach them?

Are they awake? What have they learned?

***

I thought we buried the sword!

If we have left the handle above the ground

—place it back on the slain bodies deep,

and shatter it where it was found.

***

Kneel and be still.

Then rise, as the new day, with bright eyes.

And, continue to teach each other;

why we all, see the beauty of each sun set

—and why we all, look forward to each sun rise.

~

 “Children are our second chance to have a great parent-child relationship.”

 Laura Schlessinger

 

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A Tale of The Weathered Sundial’s Ever-Moving shadow

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.

Confused, misunderstanding,

we complain.

 

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

 

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A November Divorce

 

     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

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Divorced, Getting Old, Love, New Hampshire, Prose Poetry, short story, Zen

 

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PoPo Teaches Grandpa A Lesson [rev2]

How stupid am I?

Well it starts out like this—

My Grandson, leaving a summer math class
carrying a piece of folded paper

—Followed by his gracious and grinning teacher

I asked, “What is that?”

Pointing to his hand holding the paper,

Hoping it wasn’t a note from the “warden”

Being shot by one of his righteous and never wrong Heroes.

He handed it to me—
It was a bunch of math problems
He needed to solve before tomorrow’s class.

Looking at it with a quick glance,

Spotting the first problem to be solved—

I asked, “What’s 9 times 3?”
Looking at the sky,

As we were going towards the car
Quietly said, “27”

Hmmmm!

Then he turned towards me and asked,
“What’s 9 times 0?”
I said “9”! Quite proudly—

 Both he and his teacher burst out laughing
As she patted my grandson

On the back, saying, “see you tomorrow.”

Opening our car doors, he said,
“Grandpa, you know what ever number times zero
Will always be zero.”

 Driving off

I looked in the rear view mirror
And saw him wearing my baseball cap
Usually left in the back—

He was wearing it backwards
And giving me this shit eatin’ grin.

It was a long ride back

Thinking how smart I really am.

 

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Notes Found On The Refrigerator June 2017

21st. century compass has no true North.

It circles quickly left— counter clockwise

 then, clockwise right—  endlessly spinning

in no direction

                                    —until you step on it.

                        Then…

                                    with crystal glass chips or plastic pieces

in the soles of your  steps—  they become new footprints.

Without arrows, digital flags, religion, or discrimination;

moving your steps equally forward in moral direction

for all the children

—We have wished for

Or given birth to—

Wishing peace in each movement

—life in progressive harmony.

—Forgiving each other in step

—without history’s cruel march

of forgotten sins.

*****

How dare you say I ran away!

I escaped!

            — Gun fire, violence in the street,

Whispers about how I look or speak.

I am huddled in an alley finding nothing new.

We agreed for something else—  beyond  boundaries

            —Kicking ass and often hitting the ground

covering our face, committed to our personal space.

I went over the wall

and fucked the barbwire

                                    — escaping with the  truth.

***** 

Ladies I would invite you up for champagne and lobster

but, since I can’t get it up anymore—

would you like cheese and crackers?

Oh, you old ladies of lords!

Let me open the door

and light a candle

that excludes us from history books

banishing us from false assumption

enjoying each others company

—eating crackers and cheese.

     *****

When I said— what I said

and then— did something different

It was not false.

I just moved on—

not convinced of that particular truth.

*****

Sooooooooo…

Scolding me at 70 years old,

having burst in my youth with fire,

is about as productive as a wet match.

 *****

Although, I believe in the right of your opinion

and should be shared—

I also believe  you will treat our intelligence

and our ignorance, with the stipulation—

of mutual respect.

*****

Why do you insist on haunting

me with my past?

I have been forgivin’

…and have made retribution

from history into history

as I have clicked my mistakes

Into humanities recycle bin.

****

The sun has set

into memories—

as so have you—

In the morning glow

of love— my  tears of dew

—misting rainbows from my heart

falling to the ground

eventually dries

in full sunrise

in my opening eyes.

Yes, I miss you.

Though I will rise to dance in the morrow’

with the day’s first quest

half-smiling—  after— sleeping alone.

*****

  All I can do, is adjust the jib until you hoist the sail”

                                                            —I said

As she was running calm waters with only the kicker on

                                                            —leaving the bay

Not needing any wind, just a cool facial breeze

                                                            —ignoring everything I say.

 Still—

in  silence, the wind picked up.

We stood nodding to each other, fore and aft, tightening the main sail.

                                                            —we sat together hand splashing water

                                                            leaning— into a beautiful day

*****

Life is not a bowl of cherries

it’s a nutty fruit bowl of reality

—in full color

transcribed from black & white

over dark ripened rectitude

—spoiled by miss-steps, success,

and the feeling

you’re the only cherry in the bowl—

with sprinkled sugar and heavy cream.

Perhaps, as sour or perky as we are

we still spit the pit onto the floor

of destiny—

bowing on or mats,  kneeling in our pews,

and howling at the empty bowl

—of the rising moon.

 

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