Tag Archives: Aging

Mutable

Mutable

No matter how we grovel, time marches staunchly on.
You do not need to call it, for it will come anon.
Moment after moment, we can’t avoid its flight.
It segues from each morning to afternoon and night.

We can’t exceed its time limits, for it determines when
we pass from pretty newcomer to become a has-been.
It is the plan of nature. We can’t escape the way
that time chooses to change us day to day to day.

Prompts today are flight, grovel, pretty, exceed, moment and segue. This post, I realize, seems a bit self-centered, but I couldn’t find photos of anyone else that showed this many stages. I had more photos that included people from different stages, but unfortunately I forgot to save it so after an hour of work, lost it. These are hurried photos briefly illustrating the mutability of life.

To the Moon, Alice!

How exciting. My poetry is going to the moon in the Polaris time capsule!!!
(Click on the first photo to read the details.)

What is most ironic is that this is a poem I read at the reading at the Nueva Posada today. The synchronicity of  later receiving a message that my poems were going to the moon is just too much to overlook: 

A question posed by one writer can often serve to provoke an answer by another. So it is in this poem, written seven years ago which is an answer to a question asked by Joan Barfoot in her book Luck. 

What happens to someone like her as she gets older?
                                                             –from Luck, by Joan Barfoot


Answered

She loses her balance, starts to fall.
Once in the kitchen, three times in the hall.
Finds it harder to remember, spends more time alone.
Speaks her mind more freely, less likely to atone.
She starts attracting cats that come inside and do not leave.
Wears frays in her clothing–hemline, neckline, sleeve.
Starts forgetting passwords–sometimes the names of friends.
Her search for keys and glasses never really ends.
Starts waking in the nighttime to contemplate her death.
At midnight, has to go outside to try to catch her breath.
Counts the years before her instead of those behind.
She could live to one hundred if fate is being kind.

Will she live her last years with sister, lover, friend;
or will animal companions help her meet her end?
Will anybody mourn her? Does she want them to?
Will she be remembered by a poem or two?
Will anybody read her after she is dead?
Will all her future poetry die here in her head?
Will her blog named “lifelessons” finally cease to be?
Will they give the name away for a modest fee?
Will they erase her blog spot, burn her files of poems?
Cause a glut on EBay of her leftover tomes?
If she sells a book or two every other year
where will Amazon send the money when she isn’t here?

One day in the future in three thousand two
will Zee, (some bored teenager, with nothing else to do)
go onto the internet connected to her head,
close her eyes and throw herself backwards on her bed
and stumble on an errant line that floats through cyberspace,
and Google it to try to find its author, time and place?
“What happens to someone . . . ?” are the words that Zee has found.
Her fingers start to twitch as she is driven to expound.
The printer prints the words she says without her further action.
Tied into her speech and thought–spontaneous reaction.
” . . . like her as she gets older?” is printed on the wall.
For there’s no paper in the world. No paper left at all!
Her face is flushed, her eyes dilate, her eyes first squint, then blink.
This random line floating in space has provoked her to think.
First she’ll finish cyber school, then link her living pod
with a blowout sort of guy with a gorgeous bod.
They’ll make links with other blogs and party with their friends
for a couple hundred years before they meet their ends.
She thinks back on the interbrain to look for thoughts and links.
Lets her mind go soft as into cybermind she sinks.
Looking for her future job. She knows it’s there to see.
Time being just a concept to wander through for free.
She plops onto a webpage from two thousand fifteen,
all the information still there and easily seen.
The line Zee thought jumps out at her. She sees it’s not her own.
It’s been used two times before and now it seems it’s flown
into her thoughts to sort her out and give her a direction.
As she reads on, she catches on to this writer’s inflection
in every word she writes and when she gets to the post’s end,
she goes on reading through her life and starts to make a friend.
After two days of reading, she winds up at the start
knowing every detail in this blogger’s heart.
Then she goes back to where she started and sees her doubts and fears.
It’s then that she fast-forwards to the blogger’s final years
and sees the truth of everything that’s going to transpire.
The failing health, the hopeful mood, the ad, “Wanted to Hire
an interesting friend to talk to while I fall asleep.
One capable of caring and thoughts that wander deep.
Someone to be there some nights when it seems that I might leave
for one last time this life that’s loosening its warp and weave.
No heavy lifting needed—a weighted thought or two
is all that I find necessary. Weighing thoughts will do.”

Zee zoomed back to the entry that had drawn her thoughts at first.
The very sentence that had caused her gloomy thoughts to burst.
January was the month and 14 was the day
The year 2015, when she’d been the first to say
those fateful words and now Zee, too, was thinking just the same–
moving to the comments to add her words and name.
“Dear Lifelessons,” she’d say to her, and then add her assurance
that everafter she would be her safety and insurance
that she would never die alone or be bereft of friend
for Zee was vowing here and now she’d be there at the end.
She’d looked ahead and so she knew that she would keep this pledge.
She’d known the center of this life and now she knew its edge.
She knew the dates that she’d be needed in the years ahead.
She made a list and filed it in a clear spot in her head.
And then she went on thinking what those words meant in her life.
Would she be a scholar, an actress and a wife?
Would she produce children and would they be there for her?
That sentence found in cyberspace created quite a stir.
But all her dreams it prompted came true enough, what’s more
she kept her date with Lifelessons in 2044.

                                                                            –Judy Dykstra-Brown, Lifelessons, 2015

 

Thanks, Lady Nyo, for giving me the news that our poems were going to the moon!  Below is a link to her blog.

https://ladynyo.wordpress.com/2022/09/02/our-poetry-moon-bound/

A “Golden Years” Rebuttal


A “Golden Years” Rebuttal

Those who call these “Golden Years “deserve my blunt oration,
for getting older, you should know, ain’t no free vacation!
The abundant pains of aging for sure are not a bonus,
for to suffer silently seems to be our onus.

Our skin’s variegations you may think are bad tattoos,
but what you see as sub-par art, alas, is just a bruise
from taking our blood thinners. Every blot and every dot
is a new reminder of a bumping that we got.

When you bring us nuts and caramel, we thank you for your ventures,
but we do not mention we can’t eat them with our dentures!
“Old age ain’t for sissies,” is an adage often told,
so I am not the first to bemoan this getting old.

 

(Just kidding, Dolly.) Prompt words today are caramel, abundant, oration, variegation, and golden. Retablo and photo by jdb.

Surrendering

Here’s to Fate!!!


Surrendering

The conferral of my future to the errant whims of fate
has cleansed my mind and eased negative feelings as of late.
My checkered past spread out with joy and pain  in rich array
as I lay me down no longer adds to my dismay.

What comes will come. The practicality of recognizing this
is, in short, what most contributes to my present bliss.

 

Prompt words for today are array, checkered, practicality, conferral and negative.

The Comforts of Age

Click on photos to enlarge.

The Comforts of Age

My Donnybrook days of parties and fairs,
of baltering frolics in passionate pairs,
are primarily over. Instead of wild rioting,
I spend my weekends just grousing and dieting.
What has replaced my past jubilation?
I hate to admit it is blessed hibernation.

Prompts today are Donnybrook, balter, grouse, primary and  hibernate,

Joys of Aging

Joys of Aging

I expected wheezing and perhaps crepitations,
creaking joints and even gaseous emanations.
Minor loss of memory and odious rolls of fat,
problems kneeling on my knees, but apart from that,
Mother never taught me and Father never told
the most bothersome drawbacks there were to growing old.

These lines and tracks enmeshing my neck are most distressing.
I can’t conceal them with cosmetics or the way I’m dressing.
They’ve crept onto my forehead and made crow’s feet near my eyes.
These crevasses above my lips I simply can’t disguise,
and though I crave a remedy that would work for sure for them,
no website has  a cream and no peddler has a cure for them.

The only sure solution is a boyfriend who’s my age
who has similar problems so we’re on the same page.
And hopefully among those ills, he’ll suffer from myopia,
macular degeneration or perhaps presbyopia
so he will not notice the fissures on my face
or the deterioration of any other place.

Prompt words today are father, enmesh, peddler, apartcrepitate, presbyopia, another.

 

Surprising Thoughts

Should I be embarrassed to admit that at the age of 74, I  still feel like a kid thrilled to be able to live as an adult?

Join Me!!!

The next time you find yourself thinking a surprising thought, write it down and send it to me here. Above is my own surprising insight that caused me to extend the invitation for you to share yours as a comment below. Links to blogs are fine.

 

At 74

At 74

After all the rushing, the extremes and the thrills,
After all the ups and downs, declivities and hills,
I’ve shot enough wild rivers, forded my last rill.
I do not mind the still life, that cup that I must fill.

Though my pace has slackened, still I do not stop
filling up my cup until it’s reached the top.
If it then spills over, what more can I ask?
Dealing with the overflow will be a welcome task.

 

Prompt words today are still, extreme, declivity and brief.

This poem, although it was posted and received some comments, suddenly disappeared overnight and when I woke up this morning, I found it in drafts and completed it, reposting it under a different name. Then, just tonight, Forgottenman found this original version in drafts, where, even though I couldn’t find it there this morning,  it had somehow been mysteriously relocated. So here it is again, with the same opening lines as the second version. Weird, weird. If you want to see the second version of this poem, rewritten this morning and renamed “Everything,” go HERE.

Fixer-Upper

Fixer-Upper

I am a fixer-upper. My joints are caving in.
My parts are getting even with a long life lived in sin.
Way too many hamburgers, fries and Hershey bars.
Too little time spent jogging — too much time spent in cars.
The fact I’ve been degraded, I admit is not disputable,
for since my early teens my shape has been too often mutable.

I tried to stage a victory over this decline
sometime in my thirties, but somewhere down the line
my resolve grew weaker and I gave up on pilates.
It was too degrading competing with the hotties 
who clinched their little derrieres and flexed their perfect arms.
I simply could not stand the comparison of charms.

I’ll never flip this body. I can’t touch neck to heel.
How can I execute “down dog” when I can barely kneel?
In spite of diligent efforts now and then throughout my life,
with starts and futile endings my biography is rife,
I came up with excuses, I “hee”d and “haw”ed and “hem”med.
Then finally had to admit, this property is condemned!

 

Prompts today are fixer-upper, diligent, victory, mutable and degraded. Photo by Basil Anas on Unsplash, used with permission.

Old Friends

Old Friends

Like a well-worn garment rubbed thin by life,
I’m becoming translucent,
my secrets still partially obscured,
lest you be inundated with the whole of me.

Friends of long duration, 
we see each other 
as through a light fog,
that scathing inflexibility of youth
loosened in us,
as I grant you the foibles
I hope you grant in me.

Prompt words today are translucent, inundate, flexibility, scathe.