When I am old and struggling to move,
I’ll think about you here, upon this beach;
Though many sorrows, pains there be that prove
That youth and all its warmth are beyond reach,
But only physically. For in my mind
I’ll see your hat, your tan, the lotion smell,
And know that while we left such days behind,
They live in those who still recall them well.
For I’ve known pain. I’ve known it by the hour;
It never leaves except to come again —
But memories of what is good have power
To lighten, some, the ladenest of men.
By this small thing, to spare your skin from rays,
I get the gift of better older days
Unitasking: that is is this year’s theme.
It was the best-I-could-come-up-with scheme
For maybe less anxiety and stress,
And being more by trying, doing less.
The hay is in the barn, and now some care
Is taken for it’s safety; it’s the phase
Where farmers must be cautious and beware,
For barn-burner’s not just some made-up phrase.
But this is how it is when storing things:
We think of them inert, only to find
They may catch fire, in a barn, or mind
With all that flaming devastation brings.
So keep your vigil, let not heed abate,
What seems inocuous may deflagrate
Oh, how I loved her. I was maybe nine, ten, I’m not sure.
A fountain that I ran in as a child
Cool, wet upon my face – a Summer day
And breezes blowing in, perfumed and mild,
Bright sunshine where the shadows used to play.
And she, the water, breeze, perfume and sun –
Grace, freedom running, unrelenting joy;
Myself, the face, the child, the lucky one –
Great moment in the journey of a boy.
Laughed with her in the yellow summer light,
Ran with her as the stars began to rise –
And thought of her there, far into the night,
And dreamed of her sweet face and hazel eyes.
And woke not from that dream, and haven’t since:
A lovesick frog she turned into a prince.
The places in our lives are part of us,
And I spent days with family in these aisles.
So much we buy just seems ridiculous,
The stuff we brought along for all these miles –
Her cousin was the manager a bit;
We’d see him upfront, sometimes, tall and straight —
They let him go before the worst had hit,
So he, his wife, and kids moved out of state.
And I remember toys – my son was small –
Including some my grandkids play with now;
I know that life just happens, that things change,
But some days it still gets to me, somehow.
So many turns and orbits by our clocks,
The once-alive that’s now an empty box
For three days, she was in my magic world,
Or else she was the magic, I don’t know.
The cityscape before our eyes unfurled
And I was mesmerized within its glow.
That someone so unknown to me could be
At once, an every-little-single-thing
Was hard for me to gather, or to see
How fast the wind could take what it might bring.
But still, in frozen moments brought to mind,
I see her silhouette against the lights
That made infatuation into hope
And bits of thoughtless passion into nights.
A magic act that’s well and careful planned,
With tricks we’ll never know, or understand
There’s much we’re given that we cast aside.
The process: fitting in or standing out —
And yet, heredity is hard to hide:
Its workings leave bystanders little doubt
As to where we might come from. After all,
Although our own uniqueness we might tout,
Genetic code across us like a scrawl
Is penned. Then add to that the same environ,
And few things but a total overhaul
Can change us: family figures, wrought in iron.
Those differences that once seemed deep and wide,
Are blurred, be we all buffalo or lion,
The tether of our sameness keeps us tied,
Another reason when we left, we lied
His marriage wasn’t what he was about.
When she left him, he didn’t care too much:
His marriage wasn’t what he was about.
Instead, there was his working life. And such
Was all the weight he placed there, beyond doubt.
But then he got laid off out of the blue,
And found himself detached, alone, uncheered:
For suddenly, the purpose that he knew
And lived for all his life – had disappeared.
And he thought back to her, not for her faults,
But for the way he looked at her lost state;
He’d called her lazy, treating wounds with salts —
Not knowing how Injustice leads to Fate.
What he placed in the oven, then, to bake?
A meal of which he’s now must needs partake