Grandmother / Mother

A true story.

her thread came loose —

i was but a boy
maybe eight years old
and she

and she kept repeating herself —

she could not remember
what she’d just told us
and it frightened me

like i’d landed in a madhouse —

not my grandmother’s
new condo
where we came to visit

my mother talked to me in the car —

what’s wrong with grandma?

She is going through [what was then usually called] senility
She loses her sense of where she is, and
Time goes back and forth
In her head

but why?

It’s something that sometimes happens…
‘Senility’ is God’s way of reminding us that…
That the mind and the soul
Are not the same thing

will she get better?

No, son, she won’t.
Her mind will gradually unravel
Until she’s ready

ready for what?

To be free

with patterns

he struggling now with patterns, all
these shapes and corners, somewhere
is his home; i know, i’ve seen him on
the street or on this bench, and so i
lead him to the green door round the
way; the shapes and patterns: crosses
on the door, and in the windows; plants
that hang from fraying ropes; and calendars
of years and years before that line the
walls within a paneled room he calls a
study. then he thanks me, and i go, only
to see an hour hence, he’s back again, and
struggling with patterns, all these shadows that
mislead a man, and make him think that time has
been more kind

A Memory

Here’s my daughter and her friend
Waiting for the wave to fall;
Moments just before it hit —
Laughter, soon to peal in scads

Days I wished would never end –
Blue-green sea, and sky o’er all:
Having fun in all of it —
With girls (now women) who still needed

harbor time

the settled peace of harbor time,
a walk upon the windy docks,
and hands that intertwined without
a thought of anything —

you tangled were in many dreams,
the settled peace of harbor time;
somewhere, lost in the silence, i
don’t let creep in my life —

the years have come, like hammer blows,
and noise drowns out the memory;
the settled peace of harbor time
that laps at consciousness

for now i’m aging, old and gray,
and safe within a southern clime –
with sound, a wall my thoughts to rein —
from settled peace
and harbor time

What Meant The World

What moved me, beyond hope […]

What Meant The World


  What meant the world to me, means naught to children;
  What moved me, beyond hope, leaves them but cold:
  Those things I held to heart, now dust and shadows;
  For time has passed, and I have gotten old.
  My eyes, once keen, were filled with ardent wonder
  For things indifferent to the young, because
  What meant the world, is fading with the starlight,
  For that is how
“What Is”
“What Was”