Tag Archives: poem about old age

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.

Overheard In the Home for Retired Musicians

Overheard in the Home for Retired Musicians

I’m stymied by your crepitus. Your embouchure’s divine.
If you don’t have your own tune, would you harmonize with mine?
Your tonality is breathtaking, your rhythm right on beat.
Your syncopation’s perfect. I fear I can’t compete.
As we play, our joints keep time. My knees snap, crackle, pop.
If our music were to lead to love, you’d have to be on top!


The prompt words today are crepitus, stymie, breathtaking and embouchure.


Anticipating Codgerdom

Anticipating Codgerdom

Sometimes I have a feeling I’m becoming rather stuffy.
My reflexes, once numerous, are getting sort of fluffy.
Whereas shocking folks was once my avocation,
all of my bravado seems to be on a vacation.

But probably my seventies are simply a respite.
Once I become older, I can cuss and hit and bite
and create all the problems in the realm of my ability
and everyone will not blame me. They’ll blame it on senility






Ode to Father Time

Ode to Father Time

What have you taken from my life?
Some of the sorrows. Some of the strife.
Drinking and dancing with my friends.
In youth, the party never ends.
Morning alarm bells, up at six.
Papers to grade. Coffee to fix.
Some nights of pleasure, some days of pain.
Then all of it over all again.
That midnight passion, brief morning touch,
fire of the engine, slipping clutch.

Trying to sort our lives out from
life’s busy energy and hum.
So very young, so very dumb.

When we grew wiser, we found the one—
a milder comforting type of fun.
Dependable like a well-worn glove.
a thirty-something sort of love—
not only heart, but also mind.
We ‘d finally found one of our kind.
Moving closer to ourselves,
picking new parts off the shelves
of all those selves we had inside–
out from where they used to hide.

Living life from day to day,
spending life along the way.
Not knowing we would have to pay

Now two-thirds gone, life prods us still—
a bit more slowly up the hill.
Support of friends, support of canes,
support hose for our varicose veins.
Blander diets, switch to red wine.
(Medicine grown on the vine.)
Earlier hours, newer friends
as the old ones vanish around their bends.
All of life is still a dance
that we’re still in by luck or chance.

So seize life by its swinging hair.
Pull it to you. Risk and dare.
Always changing, but it’s still there.

img_1510Take a vow to dance at least once in 2017

Today’s prompt word was “gone.”