The years have swept my face
carving time in deep crevices
thinning my skin with relentless cold
Like a child pushing milk teeth
my smile is likewise gapped
though my innocence lays broken
like this child’s backyard toys
These days, I pretend that I’m busy
that I’m working, that I’m writing
but I’m not doing anything
I just wanted not to look too artificial
in these my final fading days
I have known my moments of fame
where my words stroked the hearts of man
and my poems filled a woman’s soul
but all these things mean very little to me
I am so much into the finality of the now
the past is such a strange thing for me
Oh, loving her was an incredible journey
a wonderful everlasting treasure hunt
I found emeralds in her eyes
and sparkling diamonds in her smile
golden coins tinkling in her laughter
but like all treasure, she lies buried now
and I am castaway upon these lonely shores
My life is a dead space, a dead time
if you describe it in colors, a grayness
The seasons no longer cut by
snow and rain and sun and falling leaves
but rather, like clouds pushing darkly
against one another in a stormy sky
my days blend beneath a blotted sun
I know the number of my evenings are few
and my remaining mornings fewer by one
but I am tired, and I am alone,
and I am ready
In the middle years, there is ecstasy, laughter,
hope, promise. happiness, delight, pleasure, bliss,
confidence, optimism, courage, faith, joy, desire,
hopefulness, buoyancy, brightness, anticipation,
choice, sex, cheerfulness, and contentment.
These are my winter years - when regret and recrimination ravage the soul. Half-remembered memories rattle like marbles in my brain-pan, conspiring against my forward vision. My voice but an opium whisper, offering no defense in the foul darkness of my affliction.
The souls of my feet rest upon cushions of prayer that never took flight, for my appeals were falsely laid; in this moment, I am content to lie upon my prickly bed, rankly scented with the sweat of whores and cheap whiskey. Offering no apology, and upon God’s ear none would surely fall, I hang contorted upon my cross – He has forsaken me to my earthly transfiguration.
The familiar smell of petrichor wafts through my open window; for a moment the abyss before me appears clean, washed, and inviting, stretching out beneath a crescent moon like the hangman’s noose. My dreams are shards of colored glass laced with the blood of my inequities. The red cold hours of this night unwind slowly, but unwind they do!
My tortured eyes yearn to see Death’s gnarled fingers reach out for me in the gray fog of morning. These are my winter years - when the mirror of my existence reflects the harshest light and my bones rattle in contempt. Free will was never intended for men like me whose eyes grow dim with temptation’s agony. If He had plans for me, He kept them to Himself, so I have chartered my course beneath starless skies.
I’ve threaded the needle once or twice
And paid the price for my sacrifice.
But now old age has tempered me
I’m not the man I used to be.
When I was younger, or so it seemed,
I still had strength and hopeful dreams;
With youthful promise I fought for love -
Reached for the heaven and stars above
Countless days lost in desire,
Lived to set the world on fire.
But now my time has much diminished:
Where once I started, now I’m finished
Youthful dreams do mock my nights
I now awaken to winter lights.
My life unfolds in finite measure,
Robbed of all the things I treasure.
The circle of life has run its course,
And to this point I reinforce:
Don’t lay to waste each given day -
For all too soon we fade away.