Tag Archives: poems about aging

Story Lines

Story Lines

I’m enlivened by my lineaments. They show where I have smiled.
Without them, I am sure my face would be too bland and mild.
It surely would be awkward if I had no tracks or lines.
A face would be so boring without channel marks or vines.

Wrinkles liven up a face. They show where it has been.
They tell what’s happened in one’s life, but don’t tell where or when.
They leave up to mouths and hands to embellish the story
with details more specific—more romantic, funny, gory.

Your face is the epitome of how you’ve lived your life.
It shows the tracks of pleasures, of sadness and of strife.
Without the stories that they tell, there’d be no place to look
anywhere on your body to read you like a book!


Word prompts today are lineament, epitome, awkward and liven.

The Duchess’s Hair Comb

The Duchess’s Hair Comb

In a very strong wind, in a leap of confusion,
a grasshopper staged an act of intrusion.
His leap took him higher than ever before
just as a visitor opened the door,
and he rocketed high over carpet and chair
to land in the dowager’s snowy white hair.
His illegal entry unplanned and unwitting,
he clung to her coiffure and he ceased his wild flitting.
As friend after friend arrived at her door,
each was given to say, “I simply adore
your new hair ornament. Is it vintage Lalique?
and they came a bit closer, the better to peek
at the grasshopper clinging within a stiff curl,
sprayed liberally so it wouldn’t unfurl.

The grand dame, a bit dotty and splendidly vain,
said over and over and over again,
“Yes, it is,” and bent over to pour out more tea.
Then she  settled again, with a cup on her knee.
As the gossip flowed on with nary a bleep,
the grasshopper settled and soon fell asleep.
By this means, he avoided a swat or a squashing
as all of the ladies continued their noshing.
They murdered each sandwich and cookie and cake,
never once taking note that her comb was a fake. 
And when the tea ended, he took a small ride
as his patron accompanied her guests all outside.
Then he took a great leap and was finally free
to luxuriate in his new liberty.

Not one person there knew the truth of the matter.
One guest told the tale to her favorite hatter
of the fabulous jewel the dowager wore
and the hatter relayed it to more and to more
of his customers, then asked the lady who wore it
if she would show him, so he, too, could adore it.
So she raided her vaults and her jewelry case,
but the jewel had vanished—was gone with no trace.
And the lady, known lately as vague and forgetful,
imagined great loss and grew angry and fretful.

She questioned her servants, then called the police,

but since she could find not a trace of the piece—
no receipts or photos or proofs of insurance—
the police could not give her any assurance
that they could recover it, and soon departed,
leaving the dowager so broken-hearted,
now convinced that this hair ornament was her favorite,
mourning the fact that no more could she savor it.
Thus goes the story that was handed down
among the servants and all over town.
It went down in history as a grand theft
that left the grand duchess sorely bereft.
While down in the garden,  hearty and hale,
her purloined jewel calmly munched on her kale.

Prompt words today are carpet, rocket, garden, intrusion and illegal.

Empty Windows


Empty Windows

When it comes to neoteric, it is something that she’s not.
Way back in the fifties she’s permanently caught.
Travel to new countries? Definitely no.
She won’t have other countries profiting from her dough!

She has no curiosity about the human race.
Her interest in humanity ends in her own face.
She sits before her mirror like a window to the world.
Is her lipstick even—her hair correctly curled?

Bravery to her is answering the door.
She walks out to her mailbox, but further? No. No more.
She boils all her bed linen, lest creatures linger there
to creep onto her body and nest within her hair.

All the wounds her life will bear long ago were healed.
She’s a preserved specimen of life, hermetically sealed.
She’ll face no other heartache, no risks of being hurt.
She will not chance a world of germs, bacteria and dirt.

Cats are unhygienic and dogs an equal threat.
A goldfish in a bowl is her single lonely pet.
No companion goldfish to fill its tiny bowl.
Its full attention trained on her seems to be her goal.

All those empty windows with their draperies pulled tight.
All those single bedside bulbs burning through the night.
Behind each building’s blinded eyes, how many just like her—
sealed inside a bell jar, safe from the world’s rude whirr?


Prompt words today are bravery, window, travel, neoteric and boiled.

I’m leaving in 15 minutes for my writers’ retreat with eight friends at a resort across the lake so probably won’t be blogging until next Friday. Although I forgot to ask him ahead of time, perhaps Forgottenman will once again be my guest blogger. If not, see you Friday, and if you miss me, go back to some of my earlier blogs from 5 or 6 years ago or any year prior to your following my blog. I’ll miss you all. See you Friday with some new tales. Now, I’m off!!!

Old Lovers


Old Lovers

We meet in the kitchen,
your face slightly blue
in the light from the refrigerator.
Left-over shepherd’s pie in one hand,
a half-gallon of Costco vanilla ice cream in the other,
you seem suspended in a middle land
between repletion and guilt.

Being here for the same purpose,
I offer absolution,
and we talk about the future,
sitting with forks and spoons aloft,
eating from the same bowl and carton.
It is part of our sensuality,
this culinary communication at 2 a.m.

Wishing to go deeper,
we seek out chocolate
in that place
where you have hidden it
for years––on top of the refrigerator.
Knowing all your secrets,
I am the one who retrieves it this time.

This is what might happen
if we were not divided by miles,
you in your country,
me in mine. As it is,
you feast on ribs from Dexter Barbecue,
I eat the ice cream with a single spoon—
these mid-night fantasies
reality enough for old lovers
building new communions.




Prompt words today are talk, middle, sensual, future and kitchen.

Memory Games

Memory Games

Half over-achiever, my other part is zen.
Sometimes I concentrate on now, other times, where I’ve been.
This morning’s evanescent. I can’t remember shit.
I know I found my car key but what did I do with it?

Ameliorating circumstances? Sorry. There are none.
I simply have no memory of what  I have just done.
I know I wrote a poem, but I can’t recall a bit.
I haven’t the foggiest memory of what I said in it!

It’s said I have good judgment and a judicious mind,
but as to short-term memory? I fear I’m in a bind.
I remember blow-for-blow what happened as a child.
My college years I recall well. My twenties are well-filed.

When I write, the memories pop readily to my brain.
It’s only hours later that the memories don’t remain
of what I have just written or the words that I have used.
The present and my recent past simply are not fused.

So if you want a memory, please choose one in my past.
The farther back, the better, if you want my reply fast.
Fifty years ago are fine. The details I’ll relate.
But details of this morning? I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.

Prompt words today are ameliorate, judicious, zen, evanescent and bit.

Dear Son

Dear Son

Everything exhausts me. I’ve lost my zip and moxie,
so I’m surrendering control and giving you my proxy.
You can handle matters––earthshaking or mundane.
Having to make up my mind has grown to be a pain.
Today began my countdown for withdrawing from my life.
I’m hiding from decisions, the news and other strife,
compressing the world’s problems into a tiny ball
and hiding it someplace obscure that I will not recall.
I’ll binge-watch old TV shows like Dynasty and Friends
from their initial episodes right up to their ends.
I’m sleeping in ‘til ten o’clock, going to sleep at eight,
throwing away my calendar. I need not know the date.
Here are my credit cards and checkbook. Do with them what you will.
Run away to the Bahamas or pay my water bill.

I’m relying on your character and inborn need to please.
If you don’t pay the light bill, I guess that I’ll just freeze.
Please don’t report your payments. Don’t bother me at all.
Do not text or Facebook. Don’t tweet or Skype or call.
From here on in my life, as planned, is going to be a breeze.
No cooking or dish-washing. I’ll eat takeout Chinese
for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ll just do what I please––
I’ll rock for hours in rockers, my cat upon my knees.
I’ll have no need for intercourse. I’m cancelling the phone.
I’ll fill my life with pastimes that I can do alone:
Sudoku and Solitaire, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles––
no lady friends, no social sites. No kisses and no nuzzles.
Type two Agoraphobia is what they’ll say I’m suffering.
But only you and I will know that I am simply buffering.


I’ve been without phone and internet for two days.I’m posting this at a local restaurant.

Prompts for today are proxy, mundane, countdown and compress.




My future is amorphous. It has no shape or plan.
Up the creek without a paddle, I have no job or man.
My freedom? It is ludicrous. I’m well out of the chase.
All my time is leisure time. I live a slower pace.
Who named this phase re-tirement? There’s nothing that is tiring.
If they want to tire me out again, they’d best replace my wiring.


Prompt words today are chase, ludicrous, amorphous and paddle.

Memory Care

jdb photo

Memory Care

I’m tumbling backwards into silence.
My words have lost their spark.
When I seek enlightenment,
I’m only met by dark.

When I try to pick a theme, 
my thoughts quickly retreat.
Looking for a place to rest,
they rarely find a seat.

Where do memories go to 
when they cannot find a door—
when there’s no exit for them, 
and there’s no room for more?

Does our memory simply melt
starting with today
so the things that we remember
are only yesterday?

Do we wander empty corridors
or is our distant past
our favorite thing to think about
so they’re the thoughts that last?


I’ve been thinking a lot about dementia lately, but no, I don’t feel I’m describing myself in this poem. I am, however, trying to put myself in my sister Betty’s place to try to figure out what might be going through her mind…or what in her mind she might be going through. Certainly, we all have enough memories stored to entertain ourselves for life, and perhaps as we run out of room it is the last memories, more seldom thought of, that vanish first, leaving us with a rich inner world we are loath to leave. I hope this is true, or that we go back to a state of consciousness similar to where an infant exists before it is born, listening to the mystery of outside sounds and wondering where we are going to fit into them. Without words, are there thoughts? Unfortunately, not all mysteries are solved.

Prompts today were spark, pick, silence and backward. Here are links:

Memory Games

Memory Games

My memory’s in jeopardy of growing rather fuzzy.
I can’t remember punch lines like “He wasn’t fuzzy, wuzzy?”
Quips like “Betty Botter bought a bit of bitter butter”
used to fly right off my tongue, but now they sit and flutter.

It’s true my thoughts surround me but they won’t assume an order.

It is as though instead I have become a memory hoarder
with stacks of memories piled up in my halls of memory
where perhaps I could still find them—if I had the energy.

But as is, names aren’t stacked near where my face recall is kept,
so when I meet acquaintances, I’m chillingly inept
at sorting out the names to go with their familiar faces.
This trying to put face with name sure puts me through my paces!

Somehow the very minute I recognize a face,
its name flies out the window, so I hasten up my pace

to scurry ’round the corner before they might see me.
It’s not my heart avoiding them. Just blame my memory!

The only reassurance in all this memory Hell
is that lately I have noticed others scrambling as well,
so perhaps it isn’t only me who’s exercising guile
trying to avoid my friends in the grocery aisle.

Prompts today were memory, jeopardy, surround and fuzzy. Links below:




Time marches on. It has no instinct to appease.
It will not stop for anything. It has no need to please.
Young  girls who start out radiant eventually dim.
Dreams  that were fantastical turn nightmarish and grim.
Aging is a truth of life that can’t be circumvented.
It  seems we do not own our lives. They simply have been rented.
One day the lease will lapse on them and we’ll have to go
back into the vapors to join the ebb and flow.
That’s how nature plans it. We cannot break the chain.
Our only hope is being recycled again.


Prompt words today are march, radiant, fantastical and appease. Here are the links: