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An Aging Cycle

on getting older

as my next decade takes
its careful aim at my hair

I reflect on life as I
have known it thus far

we men, still fascinated by fire
still with the visceral pleasure

of the smell of the smoke of the meat
the gas grill backyard barbeque

recalls the cave, the life of bears
and stirs our thinning blood

but the libido recedes with the hairline
and the prostate expands with the waistline

and the demands of a caffeine economy grow
to meet the available excess in salary

where does the time go
where does the time go
where did the time go

I was a building on fire
I was the sword in the night
none dared cross me
I was the big man, the boss
the wanderer

I was the man

The fire smolders now, and I watch as young men pass me without a glance
young ladies too, they see me without seeing me at all
no longer am I the fire, the night, the force with which to reckon

but not yet the reckoner, not yet the worrier
I walk unmolested, the shadow of my youth still preceding my step.

For now content, while the shadows grow.


snows of our fathers

how many of these will begin with the days of my youth
the snows of my memory were not just bigger
they were more pure, and more purely real
the better part of what they meant to be
the purpose of snow
driven to the drifting hills
mountains of molehills on the prairies.

the snows our people stepped on, in the days before the cars
was whiter snow, was more truly what it meant to be
the snow shovel is a recent invention
another of Henry Ford’s bastard stepchildren.

It falls on the ground, the ultimate democrat,
and we – out of our minds – feel the need to
pick it up and move it?

Our ancestors would surely howl, laughing at our modern need
to dictate where the rain will melt

and where it will not.

And while the power of 150 horses cannot take me a single foot past my driveway
a single horse carried our fathers miles through snow like this.


things are getting dicey

I feel like we’re at cliff’s edge, contemplating the drop.
Memory rises unbidden at the sight of an old photo of us, arms around shoulders.
There we were,
in tune with our time.

Here we stand, leafing through this album,
photos of a

Maybe God doesn’t play dice with Man in Einstein’s universe,
but She sure seems to be placing odds here.

I love you.

Definitely dicey.


shoes, new, in box

I stand alive, staring at these Mezlan ‘Opera’ Oxfords,
With soles that have yet to touch the ground.
My eyes are fascinated with the eyelets, five-a-side,
Staring seemingly back as I stand looking into the box.

This quiet patent finish is perfect, without flaw or marring of any sort,
Leather the way to go, shiny, silk lining on the inside,
Very expensive, stylishly understated, and the tongue is never loose.
This is the perfect finish, a metaphor.

The fit is almost custom, and customs are important – you taught me that.
I wish I could show you these shoes, in whose leather shine
I see only the reflection of myself,
Frowning back at my beguiled countenance.

The obligatory shoes I purchased for this customary walk
Pinch as I shift my weight, a reminder:
I may wear their like, but
I will never fill those shoes.


the age of my art

The Age of my art is long forgotten.
No more masters, no more masterworks
to lighten days and \          / tongues
                              \ trip /

at nightly storytelling time.

Modern music holds our tempo,
time, our truth.  Outside, the world
has lost much of the
         that was found in the days of
the great poets, of the great poems.

          But not all.

knitting a sweater goodbye

long sleeves
it’s beginning to look that way

long sleeves
it’s beginning to be OK

long sleeves
it’s getting to be that time

long sleeves
it’s beginning to be that way

I’ll miss
the sight of your naked arms

I’ll miss
the way that your elbows bend

I’ll miss
the shape of your small tattoo

I’ll miss
the delicate sight of you

long sleeves
the sight of your naked arms

I’ll miss
it’s beginning to be OK

long sleeves
the scent of your small tattoo

I’ll miss
the delicate sight of you

Definitely dicey,
but still, for now, content,
while the shadows grow.



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