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.
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 now mock my nights
I awaken drenched in winter lights
My life now 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 let waste each given day
For all too soon we fade away
Before the ashes, Vulcan’s vengeful fire.
Before the sex, a deep and burning desire
Before the storm, a dark and restless quiet;
Before the morning, a deep and somber night.
Before the hunt, the frightened fleeing fox,
Before the race, coiled tightly in starter’s blocks.
Before the cut, such soft unblemished skin;
Before the blade, sparks fly, the whetstone spins.
Before new love, the queasy, nauseous start;
Before the kiss, a young and hopeful heart.
Before rejection, all things possible, bright, and new;
Before enlightenment, faith in what we say and do.
Before Sun’s rays, dark clouds enshroud the planet
Before the sculptor, Creation locked in blocks of granite.
Before the fall, transcendence true and boldly rising;
Before the gasp, in silent awe, a sweet surprising.
Before the rose arises first the lowly bloom –
Before the family, a dark and empty room.
Before old age comes the child full of life!
Before victory, the pain of loss and bitter strife.
Before the Universe, a bright and solitary star
Before the nearness, a cold and distant far
Before the night, a day of brilliant cerulean blue
Before the “Us,” a prayer for joining “Me” to “You”
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
The royal robes of winter’s night tightly bind me
in its blue-black grip; and shadow of majestic mountains
kneel on the banks of frozen rivers, its cracked ice,
like braided lace hemming the barren valley floors.
An amber moon spills bitter glow through naked branches
like brittle fingers clutching a button-less cloak.
Icy winds whip swirls of fog across lifeless lakes,
and on broken wings doves fall from a voiceless sky.
In a distant village, old ladies warble lullabies
to their dying husbands; soft verse cutting like
jagged blades through thick cherry smoke,
bleeding from pipes clenched in broken teeth.
The children, with bellies as round as their joyless
eyes, feed upon fermented peaches and dance
on knitted bones, playing hide and please, don’t seek.
I have walked a lifetime to return to this, my kingdom,
stretching as far as the blind eye can see.
My head is crowned in a spray of dying stars
as my spirit is drowned in muted prayer.
My hobbled feet were cut upon jagged stones –
This is my doomed destiny; my home made in hell.