Category Archives: Poems about aging

After Seventy: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 29

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After Seventy

Is it gain or loss to feel contentment—
no wild surges of emotion,
no bodily electricity,
no need for thrill or wild abandon?
Is this not the time for settling, for thrusting all
those wild venturings back to a safe place
on a back self of memory?

The universe is built on repetition 
and change. This last stage, a sinking back into.
Communion with birds and dogs. 
A return to the careful watching of childhood.

Of  discussions with self as though you were
two people—one listening
as that inner person does all the talking.
Wisdom melding into sleep in the afternoon
in hammocks or on sofas.

Trying to distill wisdom from the flight of birds
or the observed quizzical reasoning of a small dog.
Old age, with one stiff arm I hold you at a distance.
I am studying up for you by reading books and by observation.
By reading myself for long otherwise empty afternoons.

Pinned in a backyard hammock by a small dog and by lethargy,
one foot on the ground, I steer us side to side—
A pendulum sweeping my life away, into corners,
fueled by the hovering of hummingbirds,
the quick flutter of butterflies
from throat to throat of the tabachine.

That seesaw of mind between the inner and the outer
as though practicing for that time when the one will claim me
and I will spiral forward or backward
with that wise knowing, perhaps, at last,
that they are precisely the same thing.

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that was a meditation.

If

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If

 

 

Prompt words today are coast, natural, aghast and venturesome. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/rdp-saturday-coast/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/06/fowc-with-fandango-natural/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/your-daily-word-prompt-aghast-april-6-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/venturesome-2/

The NaPoWriMo post is: Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Vagaries

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Vagaries

My mind is turning derelict. It often wanders on.
While I am still in need of it, I discover that it’s gone.
My thought processes aren’t uniform. They come and go at random.
Will and concentration no longer come in tandem.
It never ceases fascinating me that what was once
a certified ace student has turned into a dunce.
I know it is the fault of age and yet I often ponder
about this vagary of mind that sends it over yonder
when I have need of it at home. I find it most distressing
when common words are wanted, that my mind now leaves me guessing.


The prompt words today were fault, uniform, fascinate and derelict.Here are links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/rdp-tuesday-fault/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/26/fowc-with-fandango-uniform/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/your-daily-word-prompt-Fascinate-february-26-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/derelict/

Changing Places

 

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Changing Places

When I was just a little sprout,
I liked to boss my world about,
but now that I am old and gray,
I’m merely keeping it at bay.
Howbeit that life I used to rule
when I was a kid in school
has come to be the boss of me—
determining what I hear and see?

One-by-one, each faculty
just seems to be deserting me.
I find I’m often in the clutch
of a world that doesn’t listen much.
I’m less intrepid in my demands
as joints and organs, bones and glands
furnish surprises, glitches, quirks.
It’s sufficient if my body works!

 

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https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/rdp-wednesday-sprout/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/20/fowc-with-fandango-intrepid/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/your-daily-word-prompt-howbeit-february-20-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/clutch/

 

The Twins at Eighty

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Leonora

The lustre’s left my hair and skin. I’m simply bottom drawer.
My lovely high soprano voice has deepened to a roar.
My joints are gnarled and knotted. My back is bent a bit.
I’d prefer my stomach if I could see over it.
To say I am exasperated would be understating it,
but at least the truth cannot make the claim I’m skating it.
I blame it on the influence of age, chocolate and gin.
I’m simply not responsible for the shape I’m in!!!


Isadora

The gentlemen surround me in an unbroken cluster,
exclaiming over my smooth skin—its creaminess and lustre.
My drawers are full of love letters. Exasperated lovers
seek to win my girlish shape and woo it under covers.
They fall under the influence of my winning ways.
They do not guess my actual age when held rapt by my gaze.
I do pilates every day and all my life I’ve fasted.
Although I haven’t had much fun, at least my looks have lasted!

 

The prompts today are lustre, drawer, exasperated and influence. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/rdp-monday-lustre/
FOWC with Fandango — Drawer
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/exasperated/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/10/21/daily-addictions-2018-week-42/influence

Swimming to Sandy Bottom

 

jdb photos. Click on any image to enlarge all.

Swimming to Sandy Bottom

Working my way to sandy bottom,
through murky waters growing clear.
Through all the things I daily think of,
I hone in on what I hold dear.

Swimming down to sandy bottom,
down to past truths and future fears.
The daily details float behind as
I face old matters in arrears.

If my whole life should tell a story,
how do the details all add up?
I’ve always thought time was a sieve, but
perhaps I’ll find it was a cup.

Working my way to sandy bottom,
the flotsam of my years floats near.
All the past terrors and past glories,
and future truths I’ve come to fear.

Trying to reach that sandy bottom,
no oxygen to draw my breath.
Working our ways to sandy bottom,
we spend our lives to buy our death.

All the glories and the triumphs.
All the failures and the fears.
All the trophies we’ve collected,
and all the tattered, used-up years.

Working our ways to sandy bottom,
will there be gold grains in the sands?
Too late to spend discovered riches,
they slip like lives right through our hands.

Working our ways to sandy bottom,
our lives lift up as we swim down,
As we leave the past behind us,
we find our future all around.

 

This was actually written as a song.  I had a melody in my mind as I wrote it, but it awaits a more talented composer of music than I am. The daily addiction prompt word was “hone.”

Cruel Question


Cruel Question

It bothers me, I must confess.
What happens to a wedding dress
after it’s had its opening day?
Is it simply packed away?
If so, you’d think once time has passed
they’d finally reappear at last
in church bazaar or resale store
or other places where things of yore
emerge from attic, basement, closet
or other area of deposit.
(In whatever dark place they’ve all lain,
thinking they’ll be used again.)

There should be rooms filled with selections
of these nuptial confections.
Warehouses stuffed full of them,
varied in neckline, cut and hem.
Why do we not see huge barrages
of wedding gowns sold from garages
along with strollers and kiddie toys
cast off by grown up girls and boys?
Surely every aging bride
has a wedding dress inside
a trunk or closet—way up high.
What happens when their wearers die?

Garments of satin or nylon net—
what could be the etiquette
that guides a family in such matters?
If the gown is not in tatters
and worn away by age and mold,
surely it would be resold.
If so, where are the warehouses
where gowns bereft of brides and spouses
lie stockpiled awaiting chances
for other wedding vows and dances?
Where is the wedding gown museum
where we might journey to go to see ’em?

I’ll now chance being thought abrupt,
unsentimental, cold, corrupt
by saying what I have to say.
Do families throw these gowns away?
Buried under hills of trash
is there a wedding veil or sash?
Satin bodices and trains
diminished by decades of rains?
Do gowns once virginally snowy,
and spectacularly showy
now lie buried like their dreams,
slowly decaying at the seams?

These images, you might guess,
seem calculated to depress.
Who wants these pictures in her head
as her wedding vows are said?
This poem is meant for crones like me,
bent of back and stiff of knee,
who’ve run out of memories to ponder
and so must journey over yonder
to the macabre side of pondering
for their mental wandering.
That said, past brides, will you confess
what happened to your wedding dress?

The prompt today is abrupt.