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April PAD Challenge: Day 23

Categories: Personal Updates, Poetry Challenge 2008, Poetry Prompts.

It’s hard to believe that a week from today I’ll be posting the last prompt of the month. We’re already almost a month older than we were at the end of March. Time just continues to fly by–even in a poetry challenge, huh?

Well, today’s prompt is sympathetic of the fact that time continues its march and that things continue to change and stay the same all at once. Today’s prompt is to write about getting older.

No matter your age, everyone gets older with every. single. second. and. heart. beat. Seriously, even my 4-year-old laments over how he’s getting older and misses the good old days of not going to preschool and having “to learn stuff.”

So, you can lament over your glory days, express your insecurities of being in transition, or brag about how you’re at the perfect age to live life completely content (lucky you). I’m guessing y’all will have a lot of fun with this one.

Here’s my poem for the day:

“Today”

“Your hard work will pay off today.”
                       -Fortune Cookie

Sometimes I wonder if today is the day
that everything comes together, and I
get the raise and the girl and the parade
through downtown. Is this when I get
my “pay off” for trying? But then, I think
maybe my “pay off” comes every day.
Maybe it’s simply the process of getting
from here to there. Maybe my “pay off”
is hard work and two boys who love me,
that moment outside the laundromat
late at night, listening to her voice and
the stillness of a spring evening suddenly
broken by bikers cruising the streets
on their hogs. I’m still just a teenager
at heart and in love with the world, but
sometimes I wonder if today is the day.

 

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

187 Responses to April PAD Challenge: Day 23

  1. Linda H. says:

    Oops! Rereading all the poems and noticed errors in my first one. He is corrected version.

    30.04.2008 09:11:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
    This is all I could must up today. Time is short and so is this poem!!

    When I was a young,
    athletic, size 3 teenager,
    I was often scorned for
    throwing off the test curve.

    Now, much older and larger,
    working endless hours,
    no time for exercise,
    I scold myself
    for the curves I have.

    Linda Hofke |LNSHOFKEAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

  2. Linda Hofke says:

    In my school years
    I used to skip rope with my friend.
    I used to do jumping jacks to no end.
    I used to play hopscotch, bending down
    To pick up the stone from the ground.
    I used to run miles with the team.
    I used to be a fit, skinny-minny teen.
    You could say I was a walking stick.

    In my adulthood
    I often find the need to skip a meal
    Or hastily eat while behind the wheel.
    I can jump to conclusions way to soon.
    I run errands in the afternoon.
    I sometimes like to bend the rules.
    My exercise these days is miniscule.
    You could say I am a walking thick!

  3. Yoli says:

    Titanic

    In deepest dark of night
    Amongst all the fright
    To preserve life we fight.

    And beyond all that die
    And those left who cry
    Left to wonder how and why

    No matter what we do or say
    The night ends-
    Time begins a new day.

  4. Linda Hofke says:

    This is all I could must up today. Time is short and so is this poem!!

    When I was a young,
    size 3, athletic teenager,
    I was often scorned for
    throwing off the test curve.

    Now, must older and larger,
    working endless hours,
    no time for exercise,
    I scold myself
    for the curves I have.

  5. Synchronistic
    The prompt for a poem being aging
    On my 69th birthday
    I anticipate seventy
    for seventy has more credence
    As I pedal across the membrane
    That separates alive from life
    Balancing mind and body
    With a wobbling pole of words

  6. August 14

    Yesterday I was 10
    Today I am 11
    Tomorrow, well 11 and 1 day!

    That’s what will happen on August 14
    My birthday
    I will be 11
    Then 12
    Then the great 13!

    I will be a teen

  7. Carol A Stephen says:

    Another Birthday

    Another layer of touchup
    and lipstick, line cream

    a mask to hide the truth
    of passing years.

    She remembers when
    her well-turned ankles turned heads.

    Now they just crack,
    along with knees
    when she tries to move too fast.

    Another birthday.

  8. The Great River Time

    Time flows by like the swift current
    of an eternal river
    Time ebbs and flows, never warning
    when it will speed up
    Or when
    it

    will

    slow.

    Is this illusion?
    I don’t think so
    We are the masters of reality
    I just think most of us get it wrong
    We cling to the bad times
    While releasing the good

    All the while resenting the
    reality we create

    -Justin M. Howe

  9. Kate says:

    Hard Season

    All winter I carry this heavy freight,
    bolts of silk opalescent as pearls,
    heartbeats echoing at three am, bright
    kimonos like creamy blossoms, the promise
    of years left, and all that might not be.

    Traversing high desert plains, beneath my feet
    the land is barren, dirt and stone where the wind
    has swept away the snow. How I hunger for spring,
    that first glimpse is all that keeps me moving,
    still the scent of sage rises up around me, divine.

  10. M. Schied says:

    One trillion seconds

    I once tried to count to a million

    I never made it past one hundred sixty-three

    So how to count all the seconds of my life
    most people count the firsts, but I want to remember
    the things that were good enough the first time
    to warrant having seconds

    A second dance with the boy I adore
    his arm around my waist as sentimental notes
    create a melodic mist around us

    A second apartment, a second chance to
    strike out on my own, the feeling of freedom
    provided by the knowledge no mother
    is haunting your shoulder

    A second read through the book you wish you could write
    if only God had wanted you to be a writer

    A second chance to teach the youth of tomorrow
    a second time to reach them, and touch their lives
    for the better
    a second face lit up with understanding
    hope
    and gratitude

    And future seconds I also wish for

    A second boy to adore, a man who will
    hold his arm around my waist
    as the sentimental strains of Mendelssohn
    serenade us down the aisle

    A second mother to haunt my shoulder
    caring for me even as I express my freedom

    A second child to show me it is possible
    to impart wonder to the tomorrow of your youth
    and that your own face can light up with
    understanding
    hope
    gratitude
    and love

    A second chance to write the book God wanted
    you to write

    the book of life
    page after page of glorious

    seconds

  11. Laural says:

    Over the hill
    Is a patch of reflection
    A pool of insight
    A tree of new slants
    A river of perspectives
    The grey of black-and-white
    The overview.

    Don’t leave the top
    And keep going
    Until you’re ready.
    When you arrive
    On the other side,
    You’ll have become
    a sage.

  12. Lorien Vidal says:

    I am sooooooo behind on my "homework" – unfortunately there was a death in my family. My mother-in-law passed away on Wednesday morning from cancer so last week was kind of a roller-coaster.

    Life is a Lesson

    Upon the first light in our eyes
    We see a vision overwhelming
    The sights and sounds
    So bright and loud
    It’s hard to make sense of everything at once
    As we branch out
    And our skins toughen like bark
    We manage the all-at-once
    One at a time and single-minded
    For the hard knocks
    We leave our mommies uncried-for
    For we earn and learn
    As pages turn, one at a time
    We can read and weep
    As all the years creep

  13. Jay Sizemore says:

    Aging

    Much like the spine
    of a paper back book
    will crack and crease
    the more it is opened,
    loved by hands and eyes
    in the diffuse light
    of a bed side lamp,

    how the pages’ scent
    will change from crisp
    and clean to the musty
    odor of pipe smoke,
    libraries stacked in the lumbar
    vertebrae of a whale’s skeleton
    picked clean by the gulls
    on some beach
    where the only currency
    is sound,

    much like the dust
    of dead cells sloughed
    will coat the furniture
    with a second skin
    like an afghan
    of microscopic weavings
    so that every shelf
    and every book
    has a piece of its owner,
    a perennial jacket sleeve,

    things will continue
    with or without
    my fingerprints at the scene,
    with or without
    my hair in the drain,
    with or without
    the sound of my footsteps
    or the smell
    of my body wash
    lingering in the shower.

    If the clock stops ticking
    just change the battery.

  14. Sheryl Kay Oder says:

    Amanda, I loved your Goldilocks observation.

  15. Rebecca says:

    Thirty and flirty?

    Sex in the City says now is the time
    To grab what you can get with all
    The gusto you can muster.

    But like a dark storm brewing on the horizon
    My friends cower in cubicles and at desks
    Waiting with foreboding for their 3rd decade.

    I, on the other hand, have come into my
    own at last. No more hiding behind
    shapeless "artistic" clothing

    No more wishing that my intellect would
    Dull to the common mental brilliance
    No more squinting at the fine print

    I dance in red fishnets and black high heels
    Whirling to the rhythm of salsa and swing
    Laughing at partners in wingtips and fedoras

    I stand tall in black wool sweaters and
    striped trousers before students who
    shout "Hey Ms. WB!" down crowded halls.

    Greeting newcomers by name in the atrium
    Of a music school cum sanctuary, welcoming
    Diversity into an urban, ancient worship.

    Like the wise woman of Proverbs this age
    Does not scare me and 30 means I am just
    Beginning… I can laugh at the days to come.

    Welcome home! My soul has found its rest
    In a size 14/16, with Ashley’s best bob swinging,
    Eyes flashing, wit sparkling, and poetry falling from
    My fingertips.

  16. Tad Richards says:

    I’m not sure whether I
    can still maintain an
    erection
    it’s been four days
    since it last got that hard

    don’t know what that means
    maybe I
    just haven’t been
    paying it attention
    thinking impure thoughts

    or maybe
    that’s not enough
    anymore any more
    than my old right hand
    maybe I

    need the real thing
    that girl on the cell phone
    saving it for her
    or maybe
    she wants me to

    wait till our rendezvous
    she’ll send the signal
    maybe I
    should pack condoms
    and head for the border

  17. Judy Roney says:

    Older

    Cells de-plump
    valleys show up
    every thing hangs
    each day there is pain
    I know the advantage
    wisdom
    I have the wisdom to know
    growing old suck.

  18. Hope Greene says:

    Really only thirty and already
    My mates are falling around me
    Like it’s harvest time and we’re ripe
    For it.

    If you can read a book
    Then all of this is spelled out on
    The leaves by all the hands and
    all the eyes
    That thought to write life.

    All of the buds swelling to leaf,
    All the houses smashed by the wars,
    The grief-span of any day under
    Mortal control-and also
    The uncontrollable joy. And

    I have to ask, How may times
    Will I make my song
    On the lip of the grave
    Before my half-written leaf
    Falls?

    But this is what I was created to be
    In the mutable score of eternity,
    A mote that speaks once
    And then is silent.

  19. Darla Smith says:

    STILL YOUNG AT HEART

    I’ll be turning another year older
    this year on Friday the 13th of June.
    My hair is sprinkled with gray,
    soon I’ll dye it black once again.
    My eyesight is worsening each year,
    I must wear glasses to read and write.
    Although I grow older each year,
    deep within I’m still young at heart

  20. LindaTK says:

    On Getting Older

    It’s all relative,
    this getting older thing.
    Conception to cell division
    constitutes getting older.
    Each nanosecond that passes
    means getting older.
    However, all things considered,
    this getting older thing
    is getting personal.
    My physical self is kicking
    and screaming, "Put the brakes on!"
    Elder, Senior, Crone…
    I can sum that one up in two words:
    It Sucks.
    My spiritual self sees it differently.
    Inside I am young.
    Getting older has meant
    learning, growing, appreciating and
    getting closer to a better understanding
    of what we are.
    Spirit, Soul, Connected…
    I can sum that one up in two words as well:
    It’s fascinating.

  21. The Pleasures of the Elderly

    The Prodigal Son and the Second Stepson
    have both done their holiday visits and gone.
    Finally it’s just we two again,
    enjoying indulgences they never saw
    though they could have done.
    "Behind closed doors," accused the Prodigal.
    But no, it’s just that each slept late
    and the guestroom door was the one kept shut.

    At breakfast time we feed the cats
    then bring our own meal back to bed.
    We lean on layers of pillows
    and read to each other from "Conversations With God".
    The bedroom door’s wide open.
    The cats come in and jump on the bed.
    They snuggle up and smooch, they purr and settle.
    When you’re 40, this probably isn’t exciting.

    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

  22. Jolanta Laurinaitis says:

    Thanks Sheryl, it was my intention to get some laughs as I know that my ‘lamenting’ is quite funny being only 23!!!!!

  23. Gayborhood

    When I lived at 12th and Spruce,
    We never left the apartment,
    But if we did it was to find supplies,
    Often we called out for delivery.
    My sweetest visitors would bring bouquets,
    An audio track, a message.

    Monica would buzz up,
    And I’d flick a switch.
    She’d rise in the old cage,
    Use her own key to open us up.
    Then she’d sink with me onto the futon.

    The cat would hurry to turn her to black and white,
    Purring on her work clothes.
    We would squeal when Matthias
    Would bring us blue haired dolls
    From the neighborhood porch sale.
    The mustached man told him it was his mother’s.
    We used it as a prop or a discard.

    Last I heard Matthias was left to suffer
    In a California alley behind some club.
    He’d always complained of a tapeworm
    And had left to seek medical attention.
    No one helped him as he cried out.
    We suspect it was a gay bashing.

  24. Anahbird says:

    Good Old Days

    I remember
    The good old days
    When I didn’t
    Have to worry
    About anything
    Life was simple
    Health was good
    Work was something
    Your parents did
    But now
    I look around
    And see
    A painful body
    Days full of
    Responsibility
    And work
    An miss
    The carefreeness
    Of being a child
    Once more.
    Then
    An older man
    Looks down at me
    And laughs, saying
    “You’re just a kid!”

  25. Lyn says:

    being vital is a state of mind
    though I must accept physical limits
    imposed by well-used flesh and bone
    energy for favorite activities
    can be channeled to modify the strain
    aches and pains I didn’t notice ten years ago
    aren’t meant to stop me from living
    but to teach me respect for my abilities
    and give me joy in my accomplishments

  26. Thirty-something

    Everybody is a comparison now,
    so much older or younger,
    or just the same.

    I scour imdb,
    ferret out clues in conversation,
    peruse wikipedia’s entries.

    This one is five years older,
    this one three younger,
    and this one born my year.

    This one looks better than me
    and this one worse,
    but what does that mean?

    It’s like playing Goldilocks,
    except I once was too young,
    and now am too old —

    Never just right.

  27. AlaskanRC says:

    This was harder then I thought it would be. I’ve been thinking alot about age, getting older, growing up, and moving on in the last couple weeks and thought it would be abit easier for me. It’s not the best I but it’s all I could come up with at the moment.

    ~Another Way to Age~

    Is it so hard to believe,
    that the young can feel old?
    Wise beyond their time?
    That true age comes in experience
    not just years?

    I am one of the young
    and I believe it’s possible and true.
    I grow old from the experiences
    I’ve lived and choices I’ve had to make.

    I watch now as my parents’ relationship
    begins to crumble on its shaky foundation
    Formed 19 years ago
    Upon the discovery that they had
    a baby girl on the way.

    I struggle near the top of my class
    as I juggle studies, work, and family
    responsibility after all I’m the oldest.
    A burden I never wanted to be.

    Graduation is my goal. College my aspiration
    Three young siblings I have and a daughter too.
    She will never know her father and I dread the day
    She asks; for telling her I can’t.

    I pray the life and loved ones she knows are enough
    to see her through her life ahead. I’ve found a young man
    who loves me for who I am, even with my shadowed past.
    Knowing why I can never tell her of her true father, he still says apart of her life he wants to be;
    a better man I do not know.

    I’ve grown old as my experiences expand
    and choices are made.
    There are people-one of them I hope to be- that life to the fullest. By experiencing such a life they grow old
    in wisdom if not age. Yet it is these people that
    when numerically aged are still among the young.

  28. I did celebrate my 30th birthday this month (on the 12th!)and while I didn’t write this poem that day, it pretty much sums up what I’ve been feeling. Not my most poetic, but that’s alright!

    On Turning Thirty

    I have now lived for three decades—
    such a nice, artistic and even
    amount of time to dwell.
    There is the first, a beginning—
    the early years when I was
    still new, still able to believe
    in everyday magic and monsters.
    There is a middle, a time
    when I struggled against myself
    and the world, but quiet and reserved
    so as not to cause waves.
    There is an end that isn’t the finish line
    but just a bookend to one shelf—
    a settling and appreciation
    of the years that came before.
    Today, I turned thirty, but really,
    I’m starting my next triple-decade
    trip through time.
    See you at sixty!

  29. Sandy Green says:

    Trumpet vines have nearly drowned the swing set
    on the edge of the woods,
    They don’t want us to get rid of it—
    these teenagers,
    brother and sister,
    who can’t wait to drive
    and stay out late,
    and bristle when we say: Clean your rooms—
    The swings dangle, lopsided buddies,
    where the grass has grown back
    thick and long,
    Like hair which flowed back and forth
    from a little girl as she used to swing, but
    who will leave high school next year,
    and still wants us to keep the swing set.

  30. TaunaLen says:

    a woman
    in my mirror
    with lines
    upon her face
    someone has been
    sketching while
    she sleeps
    each day’s page
    turns and
    is tossed aside
    like a leaf
    in the wind
    and as I
    stare at her
    she smiles
    back at me
    I think she
    knows a secret
    she explains to me
    a river doesn’t
    travel its bed
    lamenting that
    each inch
    brings it closer
    to the mouth
    of the ocean
    it flows moment
    by moment
    what it was
    meant to do
    this is the secret
    the woman
    in the mirror
    whispers to me
    each morning
    and for today
    I choose to listen

    TLS, April 2008

  31. JL Smither says:

    Grown up

    Unlike them,
    I chose a salary job and my own apartment
    over grad school and bartending.
    I bought a matching set of flatware,
    new. I opened a 401(k). I got another job
    and started thinking about the word “career.”
    I bought a ring and asked him to marry me.
    We bought a matching leather sofa and chair set,
    new. Now we’re talking house, kids, and
    suddenly I’m older than all my old friends.

  32. Weird — the 23rd was my birthday, too! How prescient of you, Robert. Hope yours was happy, Patti! My gift to myself was to let myself skip a poem and make it up later, so that’s why I’m coming to this now. I’ve been thinking a LOT about aging, what with the birthday and all, so I’m primed and ready to go. K Weber: I love "look towards / the silver linings / peeking through / my hair"!

  33. k weber says:

    flexibility

    my lower
    discs are mostly
    gone; degenerating
    down to bone
    on bone

    i can’t cart-
    wheel like fifteen
    or even five
    summer grasses
    ago

    but i am more
    mindful of lost
    love, past missteps,
    mistakes and the need
    for calcium

    today
    i look towards
    the silver linings
    peeking through
    my hair

  34. S. E Ingraham says:

    Day 23

    Memory – as essential to living as breath
    Doily Brain – the state of memory after repeated courses of
    electroshock therapy

    Her mind, sharply shaped now
    Senses gaps existing
    Like missing teeth in a perfect smile
    Their shadowy depths shimmer and shift
    Mock her,taunt,tease,tantalize
    Tell her always
    Search on and on and on
    Don’t give up; retrieval is surely imminent
    That stench…
    The acrid stink of hopelessness and false faith?
    No,no
    Oh no
    Of course – she remembers this odor
    The burnt-toast smell of fried synapses
    Rendering gray matter no matter
    She knows her heart will break
    If she can just recall
    What it is she cannot recollect.

    S.E.Ingraham

  35. Because rock and roll never…uh, what was it I was saying?

    On the verge of overnight sensation
    For more than 40 years.
    Your air guitar histrionics
    Not near as precious now as then.
    Still, you may yet be discovered
    And lead a tour of assisted-living centers.
    Because tramps like you, baby,
    You were born to walk,
    Not run to the early-bird buffet.

  36. Bonnie says:

    Where Did the Time Go?

    He plays on the floor
    Not quite two years old
    his world is one of excitement and exploration.
    He rushes around the room, pulls dishes from the cupboards,
    just to hear them crash.
    He pours his juice out, watching as it cascades to the floor,
    falls to his belly, pats the puddle.
    He looks so much like his father did at that age.
    Where did the time go?
    Am I really old enough to have grandchildren?
    My son rushes for a rag to wipe up the spill.
    Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was wiping up his spills?
    Someday will he be looking as his own grandchildren
    and wonder, "Where did the time go"?
    Did my mom watch me with my kids
    and have the same feelings that I now feel?
    Tears fill my eyes,
    I wish she could have lived to see this little fellow.
    But the hands of time wait for no one.
    They are not gentle,
    they are not sympathetic or patient.
    So we must do all we can
    To enjoy each day we have,
    For all too quickly our lives will be nothing more
    Than a mere memory
    In the mind of another
    As they consider the question
    "Where did the time go?"

  37. Khara House says:

    The tree in our yard

    The tree is older, too. I’ve watched it grow
    From acorn to oak. No one grabs hold
    Of her limbs and branches
    When the winds blow and cause her
    To tremble.

    No one asks her to retire from shading the grass
    And housing the birds,
    Work she has known for years

    And years. No one tears up her roots
    And plants her in new forestry
    With twittering sparrows and roaming cats
    To sturdy and study.

    The tree in our yard
    Stands steady and strong
    Let alone—
    To grow and grow and grow.

  38. Gratia Karmes says:

    Whatever became of—?
    oh heck, my generation
    has memorialized, idolized, and sanctified
    all the crap we ever used.
    I can’t think of a thing to name that
    wouldn’t be instantly recognizable
    to most.

    But before we came along–
    what a stilted universe.

    Pedal pushers? I HATED them!
    Saddle shoes? Way too clunky.
    Circle Pins–Do-o-orky.
    Beehive Hairdoos? Spider-homes, that’s
    what I called ‘em.

    Don’t even get me started
    on Pat Boone.

    So, we invented the 60′s
    and in your heart you must agree
    that we had the coolest hair, we wore
    the greatest clothes ever (especially those
    we found) the music–please. Arcade Fire–The Who. Nuff said.

    and yes
    we did also
    invent sex. So
    don’t be so hard on us
    we are just taking Dylan (the first one) ‘s
    advice. There will be
    Nothing gentle
    about this good-night.

  39. Ang says:

    Gone

    Yesterday we were in the old neighborhood
    My son and I
    We decided to go by the house
    Where we lived when he was born
    Twenty-two years ago
    Looking for the third house on the left

    It was gone
    Totally gone
    The blue house on the left
    And the white house on the right
    Still stood
    But the lot where we once lived
    Was empty

    We’d moved there with one child
    And left with three
    The crepe mrytles, though overgrown, were still there
    But the azaleas were all gone
    Azaleas that my husband had picked to fill our tiny house
    The morning we brought our daughter home

    Part of the fence he built still stood along one side
    But the front yard he had planted with grass seed
    Was only freshly spread sand

    The days in that home
    Were sweet and simple
    We didn’t have much
    We didn’t need much

    A neighbor wallking her dog
    Told us the house burned down nearly six years ago
    I cried, though I’m not sure why
    I brought home of piece of the siding I found in a stack
    Though I don’t know why

  40. Sheryl Kay Oder says:

    Devon, I love the last four lines of your poem. Jolanta, I laughed out loud at your last line.

  41. Devon Brenner says:

    A FORTY YEAR OLD WOMAN HAS A GREATER CHANCE OF BEING KILLED BY A TERRORIST THAN GETTING MARRIED

    . . . . or so they used to say
    and these days I’ve come to see it’s not because
    I’m actually being scouted by snipers,
    or threatened by zealous clerics bent
    on keeping me from yoga class.
    It’s because I can’t tell, any more,
    which of the men is too young to flirt with.
    There they’ll be, going bald or growing five o’clock shadow,
    sweating on the treadmill, choosing melons,
    paying for coffee with crumpled ten-dollar bills,
    and I cannot begin to tell whether it would be appropriate
    to ask when the gym closes,
    or the signs a kiwi is ready to eat,
    or whether the organic Peruvian is better than the house blend.
    They might answer with stories of frat parties and beer pong
    or worse, answer with respect,
    “I believe you should check with the produce clerk, ma’am.”
    Men need to come with a ripeness indicator,
    or a use-by date,
    like bananas moving from green to gold to gone,
    even a can of bad beer tells you its born-on date these days.

  42. Sarah says:

    I’m a little behind on my days because I had ‘a week’ when I went back to babysitting again and I was a bit disorganized..sorry
    This is my second poem abiut time and getting older.

    Time
    A small word for such a big idea
    a short word with great abilities
    Time…flys, stands still, fades,
    tells, reveals, has a purpose
    for everything under heaven.
    And yet…
    there never seems to be enough of it
    it comes and goes
    like the changing of the tide.
    Yesterday I held my child in my arms
    today I’m a grandma
    and I of course have to ask
    Where did all the ‘time’ go?
    I still feel eighteen
    ’till I look in the mirror
    where I find that
    I’m not so bad with the fact
    that time can stand still
    and while eighteen is great
    twenty-nine is fine!

  43. Age is my treasure
    it is the creation of success
    of one more day survived
    one more breath breathed
    one more kiss given
    one more word written
    age is my treasure
    and it is hard for me to understand
    those who lament the past
    and what it has given
    both golden and unearthed
    buried regrets.

    Perhaps its because of the secret:
    all that has happened
    from the first until this
    was perfectly timed
    and divinely kissed
    if things had been different
    if things much less true
    I wouldn’t have come to love
    him, her or you.

    So age is my treasure
    each Grey and silver strand
    celebrated loudly
    with grandeur and pride
    and when I am 103
    I will look back
    with pleasure
    at the thing called my life

  44. Sarah says:

    Time
    If it truly could be
    captured in a bottle
    it would bring untold riches
    to the one who had captured it
    but if time could be bought and sold
    on a whim
    would we cherish the moments
    of time as we know it
    to love, work and play
    throughout every day
    each moment a memory
    that can never be taken away.

  45. jane says:

    Perspective

    "Well I know that it’s only love that
    Yes I know that it’s only time that
    Yes I know that it’s only hope that
    Gets you through" ~The Bodeans~

    American Bandstand
    "The Twist"
    "Dream Baby"
    "The Wanderer"
    bobby sox
    penny loafers

    Corvair convertible
    "Wooly Bully"
    "Help!"
    "You Were On My Mind"
    ponytail
    car keys

    Love Beads
    "Monday Monday"
    "Mr. Tambourine Man"
    "There But For Fortune"
    peace sign
    civil rights

    Wedding bells
    "Let it Be"
    "Cecelia"
    "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
    our song
    new beginnings

    Viet Nam
    "Ain’t No Sunshine"
    "One Toke Over The Line"
    "Lonely Days"
    his job
    U.S. Army mortuary

    Home again
    "Lean On Me"
    "Family Affair"
    "Power of Love"
    first child
    joy

    One more
    "Drift Away"
    "Sunshine of My Life"
    "Love Train"
    second child
    bliss

    Life goes on
    "When I Need You"
    "Fly Like an Eagle"
    "Dreams"
    strollers
    family

    Surprises
    "Magic"
    "Shining Star"
    "Longer"
    third child
    consummate

    Little League
    "Working for the Weekend"
    "Take It Easy On Me"
    "Don’t Stop Believin’"
    drive through
    dinners

    Teenagers
    "Dancing On The Ceiling"
    "Addicted to Love"
    "Holding Back the Years"
    full house
    blessed chaos

    Weddings
    "Believe"
    "Fly Away"
    "Scar Tissue"
    shut up
    wear beige

    Grandchildren
    "I Hope You Dance"
    "There You’ll Be"
    "Fallin"
    precious
    miracle

    Almost Sixty
    "No Control"
    "Don’t Let Then Take You Down"
    "Pretender"
    pain
    lupus

    Perspective
    "Big Girls Don’t Cry"
    "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson"
    "Just Fine"
    laugh lots
    love more

    In the end
    memories
    are all you leave

  46. Shana says:

    Getting older
    What can be said that’s not a cliché?
    It’s true
    That all my friends’ little babies are growing so fast and aren’t even babies anymore
    (And that I can’t refrain from saying this every time I see them)
    It’s true
    That time seems to be going faster and faster each year (achieving blur speed, sometimes)
    It’s true
    That I make noises when I sit and stand and really am not of the age when I should
    It’s true
    I’m “at the age” where most everyone is coupled and homebuying(bought) and reproducing, multiple times, even
    Yes, it’s true

    But …
    It’s also true
    That life is better
    More now than ever
    I’m hitting my stride
    Getting to know
    Sides to myself
    And trusting my
    Self in ways never before
    And it’s ridiculous, but true
    That I often feel wise
    Compared to others around me who simply haven’t been around that proverbial block quite as many times

    Getting older
    It seems to be
    A good thing

  47. Maureen says:

    GETTING OLDER

    Wisps of grey hair frame my face,
    my body bigger that it ought to be
    especially around the middle,
    my legs wrinkled and rough.
    I am an emu?
    No, just a middle-aged woman.

    © Maureen Sexton

  48. Terri says:

    Twilight

    The Dr. says I am entering “Peri-menopause,,”
    His voice sounds a lot like Rod Serling’s
    and I feel a lot like I am entering the “Twilight Zone.”

    But Twilight is a beautiful thing right?
    That soft diffuse light when the
    sun meets the horizon,
    That time of day that can either symbolize
    daybreak or dusk.

    In my body I feel the stirrings of both,
    A new phase– a beginning,
    freedom without fear,
    and yet a gradual but not always gentle
    morphing from youth to old age–
    “The Twilight Years.”

    How quickly I’ve traveled this
    elliptical path called Life
    guided by Aurora, Diane, Juno, Minerva, Venus,
    Now Selene the Moon Goddess takes my hand
    to lead me through the eventide of my existence.

    I smile at the Dr. through misting eyes
    as he talks about hormone replacement
    and lectures me on exercise and proper diet,
    I take the prescription he rips from the pad
    and leave his office with the image of
    Rod Serling, cigarette smoke and stars
    in my head.

  49. So many great poems today. Joe MacKinnon, your poem made me laugh out loud. Those tunes sure are catchy. And Carol (Hampshire.edu) — I can really relate! So many others, but I haven’t had enough coffee to remember them all … Thanks to all for the wonderful poetry.

  50. Lyn Sedwick says:

    There was another poem I was writing,
    And it would have been posted on time

    But my l6 y/o daughter ‘jacked
    My computer (hers couldn’t get
    Internet, she said), just like she
    ‘Jacks my clothes and jewelry
    And shoes, and as much as I
    Hate her taking ways, I can still
    Imagine a time when there will be
    Nothing of mine she wants.

    Lyn Sedwick

  51. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Takne the best part of a day to improve on my first effort. Here goes…

    Prompt: getting older

    Time was…

    Time was when there were things
    around to be afraid of…

    Wishbone Ash

    Time was when there were things
    around to be afraid of
    ‘til one day I had a vision
    Not a dream, a Vision.

    The highlights of the story
    Of my long, long
    Life were laid bare to me
    And I saw far into the past

    And some way into the future
    Showing me both good and bad
    The sufferings of history
    The passing from this world

    Long ago in the land of the Pharaohs
    I am anointed with oils and
    Prepared for death, for internment
    In a temple, a place of honour

    Now through the eye of an eagle
    I witness the slaughter of
    The Buffalo Nation and weep
    As only a kindred spirit can

    A glimpse of a time I cannot place
    Sees me on a boat, relaxing with
    My companion, a black and white dog.
    I am as I know me but grown old

    Now I have returned in the guise
    Of my eagle guide to the Great Plains
    Looking up I see the great herds of buffalo
    Returned as clouds, charging ‘cross the skies

    My eagle form flies upwards, ever higher
    ‘Til I am merged and bird no more
    I am air, I am wind, I am running free
    I am no longer of this world

    Time was I just felt tired, old
    For almost as long as I have known
    But ‘tis not this life that has worn me out
    But those which came before…

    As far as I’m concerned, this is a true story.

  52. Jane Penland Hoover says:

    Happiness Is

    Seated crossed legged on our rug’s center spot
    I peer around a room
    Some say holds far too much.

    After forty years supporting early lives,
    The furniture we kept, selected out to make the move,
    Sits watching us.

    It matters little where I put myself,
    Which way I look,
    All views please my eyes.

    Later we linger,
    He stretched long in the lazy lounger and
    I curled close into the sofa’s corner,
    Passing the small remote,
    My turn, his turn, my turn, his…

    Pushing buttons, scanning tonight’s selections,
    Round and round we go,
    Turning toward a snooze.

    Copyright Jane Penland Hoover
    April 23, 2008
    Our 42nd Anniversary today

  53. Jane Penland Hoover says:

    Bus Coming
    The morning corner stop
    Air settling down again
    Chattering, laughing children roll
    Mom keeping watch, waves
    Yellow tail recedes, ages her

    copyright jane penland hoover
    April 23, 2008

  54. Jane Penland Hoover says:

    Measured

    Time takes
    Turns changing mine
    Early lengthening days
    Later making nights eternal
    With the infernal moves
    Around the face
    Case closed

    ©Jane Penland Hoover
    April 24, 2008

  55. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Elizabeth, thank you, stange, still not sure about it myself. Your sonnet was bliss. Have sworn off eating felines… now that snake of Heathers on the otherhand…

  56. Jolanta Laurinaitis says:

    Tick
    Tock
    Tick
    Tock
    The hours
    Slide by
    My watch
    Reads midnight
    My eyes droop
    As I exit the
    Nightclub
    And hail a cab
    Oh to be one year
    Younger
    No more all nighters
    Oh to be just one more year
    Younger
    Oh to be 22 again.

  57. Shirley T. says:

    Directive

    Grow old.
    Grow as the grass grows old,
    thicker with each cutting,
    greener with each new rain,
    roots holding onto the earth.
    Grow old.
    Grow as the oak grows old,
    straight, strong, sturdy
    green to gold to barren,
    renewed verdant limbs stretched to heaven.
    Grow old,
    old as the brook grows old,
    in spirited perpetual run,
    flowing, molding the terrain,
    smoothing the rugged rocks it crosses.
    Grow old,
    old as the eagle grows old,
    proud wings spread full span,
    deigning to swoop and touch ground,
    majestically soaring into the sun.
    Grow old.
    Grow as a man should grow old,
    straight and true to his roots,
    greening, growing, adapting,
    touching earth, rising free beyond the stars.
    ###

    Time Clock

    Watch
    the clock
    on the wall. (tick)
    Hours,
    minutes,
    marked off. (tock)
    Once,
    Again,
    And again. (tick, tock)
    Don’t
    Go back,
    Move ahead. (tick)
    As
    the clock
    always goes. (tock)
    Time
    and you
    will not stop. (tick, tock)
    ####

    Shirley T.

  58. Sheryl Kay Oder says:

    Whoops. I used the word ‘twist rather than ‘twixt in my poem. Oh, well. It is not the first spelling mistake in my poetry.

  59. Crockery

    The bowl crazed by firing
    or use, cracked and then chipped,
    sent to the garden,
    carried to the trash.

    I miss that blue bowl.
    As I get older, empty or full,
    some days I have grown
    out of my own usefulness,

    and still not enough time.
    It runs like sand through open hands,
    not cupped to hold each moment
    just that much longer.

  60. Very Fortunate

    When I was in my late twenties,
    people thought I was younger.
    “Be happy” older women would say,
    “Some day you’ll wish you were
    young again.”

    I’m sixty-seven, now.
    People think I’m in my
    late forties. I feel thirty-five.
    I’ll admit this has its rewards!

    Today I subbed for a wonderful fifth grade class.
    I do this to supplement my income.
    Admittedly, I don’t worry ‘bout health
    care insurance much anymore. ‘Used to be tons.
    But now I’m on Medicare and have a supplement.
    One student drew a portrait of me
    that was “cool.” A few others mentioned
    when it was time to go home—
    “Please come back again.”

    “Free at last, free at last. Thank Almighty….
    Rev. Martin Luther King’s
    “I Have a Dream Speech.”

  61. In Our House, We Have To Ask A Lot Of Questions In Order To Figure Things Out

    Where are the car keys?
    In your hand, with your purse.
    Where is the dog?
    In the backyard; you put him there about an hour ago.
    Have you seen today’s paper?
    It’s already in the recycling.
    Did I take my pills?
    I don’t know, did you?
    Who left the hose running all night?
    Not me, that was you. I reminded you before I went to bed.
    Oh. Well, the grass can use some water.
    It’s not as green
    as it used to be.

  62. Yoli says:

    REFLECTION

    Looking at my face
    Shades and shapes combined
    Gazing at all the shadows and trails time has left behind.
    Feeling the hollow places
    Inside my heart
    My mind.
    Wounds filled with longing
    Left open and unhealed by time.
    Unveiled and unashamed
    And still unseen
    Unless one stops and reads the lines in-between.
    They don’t
    And won’t
    For what reason should we
    Acknowledge in others
    What we in ourselves see?
    The quiet little secret
    The inner self revealed
    The power of our longing for others holds our lips sealed.
    Watching my face
    Time and change intertwined
    All those impressions yet to come
    And on my face
    Yet to be defined.

  63. Yoli says:

    Happy Birthday Patti. Hope it’s a great one!

  64. Virginia Snowden says:

    4/23/08 –

    Getting Older

    There comes a point in your life, where everything stops and you realize that the years have flew by
    You sit in your seat wondering where did the time go and what have you really done
    Everything stops and you see the past and a lonely void and a miserable path
    Year after year, month after month, day after day, moment after moment and all you can say is why
    As a child life was beautiful and peaceful; everything was in your reach and every goal you could achieve
    Then you wake up and see that there is nothing there, no accomplishments, but there’s wisdom to be shared

    Now you see all the days that were wasted, all the time spent on emptiness and loneness
    Now you see the moments lost and loves you may have lost
    No w you see all the fights, all the days of screaming and all her little tears of fear
    Now you see two girls sitting there looking up at you wondering why you always cried

    There comes a point in your life, where everything stops and you realize you’re really not as young as you once was
    You sit in your room and scream at yourself for letting him take the years from you
    You sit and you pace wondering why you let it all slip away
    Unable to move you cry once again, so scared to walk away you sit with the pain
    Your mind races now with the one thought: IS IT REALLY WORTH IT AND IN THE END WHAT WILL MY LITTLE GIRLS EVENTUALLY SAY?

  65. Sheryl Kay Oder says:

    Sometimes I feel as if I am writing prose broken into lines. Maybe I have said that before. Often my poems feel so formless. My favorite poetic device is simile and metaphor, but most of these topics don’t seem to inspire me to use those methods nor even to use alliteration.

    Robert, have you discussed free verse on any of your blogs? I wouldn’t mind some help in that direction.

    ‘Twist Thirty and Eighty

    At sixty-three I am a tweenager
    stuck between my thirty-two year old daughter
    and my in-her-eighties (but ever so coy about it) mother.

    My daughter mourns the changes in our town
    thinking it should stay as it was
    when she grew up here.

    I laugh, reminding her the changes are good
    for us who live here. After all
    this is not a museum about her growing-up years.

    My mother puzzles
    how a sixteen-year old
    can live in an eighty-something body.

    Cataract surgery did not go as well as expected.
    Her knee and her back hurt off and on
    and she has trouble walking very far at once.

    Here I am
    not as quick and strong as my daughter
    nor as slow as my mother.

    The skin on my arm
    looks a bit creepy.
    When will the rest of it change?

    I often forget names
    more than my mother,
    Oh, where has my little brain gone?

    I can still walk for
    block after block
    but wonder how long that will be.

    Is Mother my future?
    I truly don’t know
    maybe I’ll grow up some day.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  66. Marcus Smith says:

    Robert – getting older, death are always a powerful promp. After writing number six for the day (not all days are like this!) this one wins out – growing old together, then death knocks at your door and only one answers…for now.

    “Our last swim together”

    I know you’re tired
    I’m tired too
    Two creaking boats tied to the dock
    All but forgotten.
    But like our honeymoon 65 years past
    We swim out to the middle of the lake
    But this time I push you away
    With all my might
    And descend down
    Down past the wood, plants, lost pets
    Into a world where motion and thought slow to half-time;
    I can hear people shouting
    Maybe it’s the geese with their riot-like barking
    Or more likely relatives cheering
    My long expected fall.
    I see you again
    Your face
    You smile to show me that it’s alright
    And reach out to squeeze my hand
    But I push you away again
    With all my might
    And breathe in.

  67. ck says:

    Always Old

    Stumbling in her wake,
    a new widower numbly followed
    the casket of his beloved wife
    to the altar rail.
    He had known her all his life,
    she him.
    They were birth, age, death
    together.
    They could not remember
    the young couple
    pictured in the sepia print
    standing in veil and suit
    looking ahead to a future
    and to the children now standing
    in veil and suit
    mourning the passing
    of parents who were always old.
    They never thought
    that they’d someday forget
    they were ever twenty-one
    or fifty
    or eighty-two.
    Somehow he never expected
    that they’d only be old
    as far they could remember,
    that they’d only remember to be old,
    and that he would one day stumble
    behind the body of his beloved spouse
    as her casket progressed to the altar rail,
    his uncertain steps close behind.

  68. Corinne says:

    AT 15, I courted
    overdoses of Tylenol 3s,
    and scraped myself, forsaken,
    eyes heavy-lidded, heart embittered
    through the dead-end maze
    of nights and days,
    Sure it couldn’t get any worse.

    At 30, I combat crawled
    through a nightmare world of
    panic disorder and
    constant flashbacks, fingernails raw
    and bloodied from clawing back the despair,
    Sure it couldn’t get any better.

    At 46, I waltz to
    splendid refrains of joy and blessings
    solid in my own kindness,
    the benevolence of source,
    and the fidelity of my community,
    Sure it can only get better.

    At 60, I imagine I will near to
    levitate by grace,
    fully tenderized,
    resistance surrendered,
    rapt with ease,
    Certain it has always been perfect.
    Every. Second.

    Happy birthday, Patti!

  69. Michelle H. says:

    Patti – I hope you had a very Happy Birthday!!!
    Carol from Amherst – great poem – Thanks for the laugh!!
    Heather – I hope you find that snake!
    Michelle H.

  70. Carol Brian says:

    Twelve

    When I was twelve my father died—
    heart attack—and left my mother
    with half an empty bed.

    My husband is twelve years older.
    Before we married I made him promise
    not to die on me (or I would kill him.)
    He laughingly agreed. (He really wanted me.)

    My daughter just turned twelve.
    I’m praying her way to thirteen.

    Carol Brian

  71. Janice says:

    Seniors Playing Poker

    “The doctor,” croons Bob, “told me to take potassium”

    Bah, his friends push it away,
    “Just eat more bananas. Supplement, shupplement—“

    “I’ll see your five and raise it–

    "He says I have a condition that requires—“

    “Eat more bananas,” says the one, collapsing his cards.
    “I fold.”

    “Back in my day” says Arthur “The doctors prescribed
    FAT PILLS
    Because people were running around so much and
    starving that they died of the Flat Butt.
    Now the doctors claim they cured
    the world of Flat Butt with those pills. Bah.

    “Eat more bananas.” A chorus.

    “You know, I had me the flat butt once,”
    says the one with hangdog jowls
    who just joined the group and with a mind years away
    “You know worked just peachy for me?
    Television. Nothing to cure the Flat Butt like television.
    Course they were much more expensive back then.
    No pills involved, (we didn’t call that
    homeopathic back then.) Doctor said
    tv would be less invasive. Cured the Flat Butt.
    But the less invasive part—
    I can’t be sure.
    Never tried the pills.”

    “Your deal, Bob.”

  72. Great poems as usual…
    Debra

  73. Michelle H. says:

    Ode to Getting Old

    Remember being single digits
    And man was your parents old!
    Remember being a teen
    And thinking you were invincible!

    Finally you reach adulthood
    And you think you’ve got your groove
    Until you ask your co-worker when her
    Baby is due and she’s not pregnant.

    You’re feeling pretty smart
    With your new college degree
    Until you go on the job interview
    And you’re so nervous that you forget
    To speak in complete sentences.

    How many “insert foot into mouth”
    Moments have you had in your life
    And you just think when I’m as old
    As my parents I will be as wise as them.

    Have you reached that magic “wisdom” age yet?
    Neither have I.
    Now that I’m older
    I can honestly say
    That I hope I never reach
    That age.

    We can only be as
    Wise as the mistakes
    We have made
    And learned from.

    All that being said,
    Did I tell you that
    I am 29…
    Forever.

    April 23, 2008
    © Michelle H.

  74. Since this is a pretty sore subject for me it was hard to write about growing older. This is the best I could do and I’m not sure it works.

    Happy Birthday Patti, your best years are yet to come.
    Barbara

    Age

    Looking at me you would never guess my age
    Its number scares me a little so I barely say it
    I hide it with cosmetics and clothing and hope
    it will go away.
    Maybe I can bury it beneath my bed and take
    it out only at night when I scrape off the makeup
    and climb into bed.

    I’ve tried to make friends with it several times
    during my life, but to no avail.
    Others think I’m lucky and say you don’t look
    that old when they wheedle the number from
    me and I say it runs in my family.
    Some have guessed it to be twenty years younger
    than it is, and I have beamed and been
    embarrassed for me and them.
    When I was forty my age overwhelmed me and
    only a lion pendant placed around my neck
    gave me the strength to face each day.

    I touch the lion around my neck and remember
    the young woman with two small children who
    wouldn’t get out of bed.
    How I envy her now that more than twenty years
    have passed and each birthday I worry we’ll need
    the fire department if all my candles are placed
    on the cake.

    Maybe one day I’ll make peace with my age and
    we’ll stroll down the street best budds
    But for now I’ll be the age I want to be each day
    and hide the real one in my top drawer waiting
    for that day.

  75. Essa Bostone says:

    Getting Young Again

    I was old when I was eight
    They called me
    little old lady
    I carried a sweater with me
    Everywhere I went
    And tired easily

    They had the family doc take a peek
    He said nothing there
    Cut off her hair, vitamins and rest
    She’ll be just fine
    Without my hair my own grandmother
    Didn’t recognize me

    Drifted through school
    In love with learning
    But not with school and just
    Barely made it out

    Took up piano, but was told
    Too old to be a concert pianist
    Took up ballet, but was told
    Too old; should have started at five

    While raising Friday night hell
    In a bar,
    Discovered
    Michael Jackson’s album
    “Off the Wall”
    They had lied
    I could dance
    Like a maniac

    Next came the violin
    A portable piano conducive to
    Rooming house habitation
    Still trying to see if
    Making music could finally be
    A reality before this
    Little old lady kicked up her clogs

    Rheumatoid took away not just
    The violin
    But the cello
    And any hopes of even becoming just a
    So-so pianist

    Fate smiled on me
    She created the saxophone
    And voila!
    All dreams came true

    Four years
    Five bands later
    I finally call
    Myself
    A MUSICIAN!!!
    Lifelong dream fullfillment

    Only a few to go till sixty
    Take that concept of old age
    (There’s no such thing)
    AND SHOVE IT!
    Lessee, where did I put my glasses?
    What’s next on that list?

  76. Lorraine Hart says:

    Still

    I cannot be
    young again but
    flying dreams are
    still the same
    still
    a thrill upon
    waking to brush
    clouds from my hair

  77. Mike Padg says:

    The young wish they were old,
    the old wish they were younger,
    Me,
    I’m tired of being in the middle.

  78. Sarah says:

    Precocious

    From a distance, I’m still a child,
    all bony elbows and toothpick wrists.
    I get asked when I will graduate.
    Step closer, and the faultlines
    of crow’s feet appear, deeper
    when I forget to moisturize.
    I have skipped the first gray hair,
    going straight to arthritis,
    those bony elbows, knees, and hands
    that must be soothed with giant pills.
    What the heck? I’m only twenty-eight!

  79. Omavi says:

    Always Tomorrow

    Tomorrow I will love
    Love walking down these roads
    Roads that intertwine with time
    Time as it flows into future
    Future days of never-ending strife
    Strife leading to happiness
    Happiness leading to peace
    Peace leading to age
    Age leading to knowledge
    Knowledge leading to life
    Life leading to tomorrow

  80. Robin Morris says:

    Midlife, crisis or opportunity?
    The noonday devil, one book calls it,
    this malaise of apathy that says, stand back,
    let the young think they can change things,
    make a difference. Let them try.

    "Young people suck" says my husband,
    as another car speeds past our potholed road.

    My father would marvel at the number of plates
    in the mausoleum, stating a birth year, a year
    he could remember well, like it was yesterday.
    "Dad, you are old," I would say,
    don’t you see, "many people never make it to your age."
    Now I too deal with doctors, priests, and other wise folk
    who are younger than I am. How did this happen?

  81. It’s Your Time Now

    Droplets shining in the sun
    Danced with me around the backyard
    I shared my smile with the sky above
    And got waves from the clouds
    That my hands gave back in joy

    I had my tapedeck on the patio
    Casting out my soundtrack of summer
    Knowing I was really too old
    To play in the sprinklers
    But I didn’t care

    Before too long, Dad was outside
    Supper was ready and they were waiting
    For me; my family
    Just one more minute, Dad, please?
    He smiled

    It was that smile that meant
    Some extra morsel was to be put on my plate
    I didn’t give pause, just ran through
    That curtain of water one more time
    And sure enough, he didn’t disappoint

    My eyes watered to roll as he told me
    How big I had gotten and how fast time went by
    Don’t take anything for granted, kiddo
    Because you’ll turn around in twenty years
    And wonder where it went

    The towel had taken all my fun away
    And his eyes took on some, too
    They were misty and not really seeing me
    It’s your time now, Cathy
    Every day is your time now

    Some days I remember that feast he set before me
    Carpe diem and all that
    But time is subtle, ruthless, inexorable, and true
    So I cover that plate and get take-out
    Every now and then

    I know I have to be that girl again
    Running through the sprinklers, no matter
    How old I am, how the years have passed
    My hands need to reach for joy every day
    Because I don’t want

    To have that look in my eye
    Like he did that summer
    Seeing ships sailing in the distance
    While I sink in the harbor
    Because I’ve scuttled my boat

  82. SaraV says:

    Relativity

    Drifting on the time continuum
    Climbing the rough barked Mulberry tree
    Wobbling on a bike and feeling the balance
    Finally the balance comes and with it the rush of "I did it!"
    Rocking to the Beatles, the Pony, the Jerk
    Grammar Schools, Junior High, High School
    Walking in the fragrant breeze of the almond blossomed trees
    Friends cycling through each phase
    Hard to accept that no one stays
    Redwood trees
    College degrees
    Moving, moving, moving
    Until I reached the humid hot state
    Flat and green
    With a warm warm sea
    I came to rest, not for long
    Yet twenty years later
    It’s my home
    And where I’ll celebrate
    My half century
    And at this point on the timeline
    My kids are nearly grown
    And doing fine
    I’m surrounded by amazing friends
    I’m still in love with my husband
    I have time to garden and to write
    And enough pets to keep me happy

  83. Since posting my poetry prompt earlier today, I’ve had two songs running through my head:
    Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce and Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence:
    Here’s my second poem for today;

    Time

    I guess what I’ve heard is true;
    time does march on
    and before you know it…
    your loved ones are
    gone.
    You really can’t save time in
    a bottle;
    no matter how hard you
    try,
    you still
    die.
    Words in a song…
    just simple lyrics to
    tell us how we should spend
    our days and where
    we belong.
    Time marches on…

  84. Sue Bench says:

    Parents

    They didn’t get to grow old together.
    They died much too young.
    If they had lived longer,
    they’d be enjoying their golden years now.
    Dad would be 84 and Mom, 79.

    Dad would still be growing
    plants and flowers,
    And mom would be crocheting
    or baking lots of goodies.

    This June they’d celebrate
    their 60th wedding anniversary.
    There’d be a happy party.
    All of their descendants,
    even infant Fabian, their first
    great great grandchild
    would show up for this event.

    I’m grateful for the years we had.
    But now and then I wonder.
    What would they be like now?

  85. Beth Browne says:

    Oh goodness, I feel *old* today!

    Forty Four

    How did this happen? This
    unthinkable age, my hair
    gone gray, my eyes refusing
    to focus up close. Reading glasses.

    Some hiccup happened
    and my twenty-two year old
    self became forty-four.

    With the slow rhythm of a
    cicada in summer, the days passing
    slumbering towards death.

  86. satia says:

    It’s merely a matter of genetics
    Such shallow compliments made
    About my face, my flesh, my façade
    I remove the flattery like so much
    Clothing, layers, makeup,
    Washing away the waste of words.
    When he looks at me, smiles, and says
    You look the same as ever you did
    I am naked, ageless, beloved.

  87. Sally DiUlus says:

    PAD Challenge Day 23, 2008 Getting Older Prompt
    PAD #23 April 23, 2008

    "Getting Older"
    April 23, 2008

    Get into bed
    One more day gone by
    Lay down my head
    With a lasting sigh.

    It happens every minute
    A little more each day
    I’m getting even older
    As April passes into May.
    Sally DiUlus sdiulus@cefe.org

    Happy Birthday Patti!

  88. Bruce Niedt says:

    P.P.S: Linda – How about that! I like yours too.

  89. Bruce Niedt says:

    P.S.: Lovely sonnet, Elizabeth!

  90. Linda says:

    Bruce, we posted at about the same time – and on the same subject. Nice poem… Peace, Linda

  91. Bruce Niedt says:

    I’ve written a lot of poems lately about coping with middle age, my aging relatives, and so forth. Time to focus on a younger family member for a change:

    Tween

    My son has entered the cusp,
    a passage into double digits,
    the awkward twilight between
    carefree and responsible,
    obeisance and rebellion,
    fractions and algebra,
    Silverstein and Salinger,
    boy soprano and baritone,
    “no girls!” and “girls!” –
    a schizoid time, confusing us both.
    But when I said, “twilight”,
    I didn’t mean to forebode darkness,
    but rather, that turning hour
    before his second dawn.

  92. Linda says:

    Two score and change

    Used to be I marked time
    with birthday cairns
    but now, I measure years
    by how your man-child limbs
    fill the twin bed.

  93. Susan M. Bell says:

    Max Getting Old

    When he first moved into the house next
    door, my neighbor’s dog Max barely paid
    me any attention. He ran through the yard
    every once in a while, his buddy Rastas in
    tow. Years have gone by, arthritis has set
    in, and his time on Earth is slowly coming
    to an end. I watch him limp through the
    grass, his back legs barely able to move. I
    I picture what he must have been like when
    he was young, a bold energetic Australian
    Shepherd, clear eyes of brown and blue. I
    see him running through tall grass, chasing
    rabbits into thickets. I see him rolling in the
    dirt, basking in the warm sun. When the time
    comes, and we must say goodbye, I will

    remember Max as a gentle soul. I will remember
    him as a sweet beautiful dog, trying to stay
    young even as he lay on my front porch and
    watched the world go by. I will miss my friend.

  94. lisbeth west says:

    quest of disciple

    a small tree falls across a river
    too delicate
    to traverse

    mandala sand paintings
    flicker wu-wei

    navajos use glue and frame
    sign and sell

    each
    saturate senses

    wind, a draft of cold
    at first, then gust
    ah, chinook
    beauty can remain

    I, draped in flowing sari,
    once covered shoulder
    now naked
    delicate

    toss yellow gauze
    back on shoulder
    and watch the sky

    no buddha state

    writing
    flows
    each word uttered
    speak with secrets, many
    speak with rage
    speak with beauty

    rare

    that which can be illusion
    words deleted
    spoken over windy paths
    in drunken zen master tales

    sand master

    I am no buddha
    no wandering hermit
    no child of vast red dust
    and canyon rock

    two sides of the river
    and no one will cross the stream

    lw

  95. Alfred J Bruey says:

    THERE’S NO TOMORROW

    Today is the tomorrow
    you worried about yesterday
    and also tomorrow is
    the day-after-tomorrow
    you worried about yesterday
    and there’s even a song
    named "There’s No Tomorrow"
    and if none of this helped
    you today I’m not surprised
    because it’s never helped
    me on any "today" whether
    it was yesterday or tomorrow.

  96. Happy Birthday, Patti :)

    All in good time

    Already starting to find signs
    of inevitable declines
    in all the lines now etched upon my skin.
    In hair that’s thinned and turning gray
    and fears of cognitive decay
    and doubt about the state my life is in.

    But all of this is not for naught,
    I’ve also found what I have sought
    that until now has slipped away from me.
    The wisdom and the insight to
    understand that which I’ve been through
    and become someone I would like to be.

  97. Matthew says:

    It was Yesterday
    when it all seemed
    to work.
    The plan was
    right in front
    of me.
    To be that one
    they all looked
    up to and
    wished they could be.
    It was so simple
    It was so easy
    to have happen.
    Then Life happened.
    It happened without warning
    without my thought
    it just came and
    carried me with it
    to now.

  98. Mario Jaime says:

    Running Out of Time

    This is gonna be a strange transition
    I’ll be going from longing for long days
    To wishing the days to just go away
    For three long months, that’s my occupation

    This, the first summer I’ll want to have end
    For the longest time, I won’t once see you
    And admitting that really makes me blue
    I’ll find it hard for my heart to defend

    I’ve got to appreciate you here, now
    And hope to hell that these weeks go by slow
    For the whole damn summer, my heart won’t glow
    Can’t wait to see you again and go "Wow"

    Haiku (prompt#3)

    The rain! It sounds so pretty
    A noisy pitter-patter against the metal drainpipe
    I love that odd little sound

  99. Tiffany B says:

    (Sorry to steal your title, Robert, but it is what inspired me)

    Today
    "A million tomorrows shall all pass away
    ere I forget, all the joys that are mine, today"
    -John Denver (But for me, always a camp song)

    The harmony of fifty female voices floating
    out over the lake, softly echoing back.
    I never thought I would miss being homesick,
    coughing up campfire ash, out of tune girls,
    waking up early, or a silly muck-filled lake
    we sang sappy songs from the sixties to.
    Camp is eternal. It has been there before me
    and will be there after me, just ask Patty ’66
    or Gena ’79. They lived on Nejee Hill
    and left me a reminder that they’re still there
    in the lake, around the campfire, singing, sharing.
    Summers come back, without camp now, and I
    think about the 11 year old girl staring up at
    Tiffany ’98 from a creeky bunk during rest hour,
    who thinks about how she will never get old,
    be without camp or just another name on the cabin wall.

  100. Cakes

    The first had to have been something pretty generic
    because a year isn’t enough time to get to know anyone,
    let alone an entirely new human being.

    The fifth, I’m sure, must’ve been much more specific -
    some complex endeavor involving purple flowers and felines,
    cut up and devoured at a now-condemned Chuck E. Cheese.

    The tenth was probably just a clone of the fifth,
    but I have no idea. Those innocent, carefree child-years
    have all congealed into one barely-remembered blob.

    The fifteenth, I know, was downright funereal -
    black-iced, replete with roses and blood. I did it myself -
    and refused to eat my art. O, silly anorexia.

    The twentieth came and went just three months ago,
    and it may well have been as nondescript as the first,
    but who really cares? It just got digested anyway.

  101. Lin Neiswender says:

    That Age Thing

    Aching knees, cellulite, high cholesterol
    Bypasses, bifocals, Metamucil
    Ugly white stockings, canes, shower chairs

    But also saying "No", "Leave me alone", "Buzz off",
    "I don’t need another shirt", "No I won’t lend you money"

    Or "I love you", "Scratch my back, Honey", "Give me a hug"
    "Thank you for everything", "You’ve been a good ________"

    Bodies falling apart, emotions coming together
    You know, that age thing

  102. Joe says:

    Sign of the Times

    You know age
    is catching up
    with you
    when you strut
    through the mall,
    smiling and snapping
    your fingers,
    humming a tune
    out loud – and
    you suddenly realize,
    it’s the latest
    jingle from the
    local furniture store.

    Silence ensues.

  103. LBC says:

    Bad to be Old

    I’m way too bad
    to be a good
    that dies young,
    so I’ll drink in the pleasures
    of getting old.

  104. Kateri Woody says:

    "Self-actualization"

    You see, we never get older
    never will go gray, because
    between you and me
    the books won’t sell if we’re
    old and falling to bits
    with every punch and quip.

    Batsy and myself are in our prime,
    primed to stay this way
    until our untimely demise
    finally catches up with us -
    though Bird Boy the first clearly
    grew up and up out of those hot pants,
    quickly replaced by a charming chickadee
    and then a plucky ducky
    and even a busty budgee so swift to bite the dust…
    all the birds eventually evolved,
    to dust or men or greater things,
    though I have stayed the same since
    my own literary conception.

    My hair stays green as grass,
    doesn’t fade to pastel
    puke green with time;
    these lips won’t turn down
    naturally, of course
    because of the paralysis, but that
    point goes beyond moot -
    crows feet and laugh lines
    are just figments of an author’s
    imagination stuck on empty with no
    other grandiose idea but to
    fuck with our reality; thank God for editors,
    is all I really have to say.

    The reality is that the Bat and I
    will never truly by changed,
    no metamorphoses for men born to
    entertain for generations yet to be;
    the more time that passes the more we stay the same.

  105. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    sorry about the double post, for some reason, it came back as if it did not post.

    Rod.

  106. Justin Evans says:

    Standing in front of the Mirror

    It starts with the music you listen to,
    stopping the influx of anything new
    after you have passed your 23rd year—
    everything sounding too loud, disingenuous,
    or just plain stupid. After, you start
    tuning into watch the 6 o’clock news
    once in a while, catching up
    on the latest primary or rising gas prices.

    Soon you are shopping for clothes
    that will impress the boss, let it be known
    your star is on the rise. You’ve got
    places to go, no time to stop for idle talk.
    Double knotting your shoes comes later,
    when you are teaching your child
    how o be safe, look both ways, and be wary
    of strangers in public and private places.

    The car which fueled your youth is no longer
    out of reach, but young girls would giggle
    to see you in mid-life crisis. Instead
    you settle for the domestic minivan
    with 30mpg/hwy, power doors and mp3
    you will take the life of your loan to learn.
    At least you can still get away with the lie
    about a naturally receded hair line one more year.

    40 is the new 30. No, it’s true, you hope.
    A few gray hairs look good on you. Honest.
    Retirement planning in this market is a type of risk.
    Student loans are almost a thing of the past.
    If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.
    You’re not as old as your parents, thank god.
    Youth is a fine trade off for the wisdom of age.
    At least you’ve always got the good old days.

  107. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    The Honor

    She asked, Hey dad are you going to barbecue
    he replied, if the weather stays nice
    Hey can I help you
    To what do I owe this honor, and at what price
    I don’t know, thought we could play twenty-four
    Do you think you can beat the old man
    Set up the table,
    I’ll have you beat before you walk through that door
    that’s if you can
    What makes you think this time, you’ll be able
    I’m not too old
    Your way to young
    Dad, your just being bold
    remember last time, I won
    Mr. Your going down
    would you believe,
    last time I let you win
    yes, you were deceived
    ok, lets begin. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/23/08 Prompt #23 This conversation really took place about two and half
    hours ago.

  108. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    The Honor

    She asked, Hey dad are you going to barbecue
    he replied, if the weather stays nice
    Hey can I help you
    To what do I owe this honor, and at what price
    I don’t know, thought we could play twenty-four
    Do you think you can beat the old man
    Set up the table,
    I’ll have you beat before you walk through that door
    that’s if you can
    What makes you think this time, you’ll be able
    I’m not too old
    Your way to young
    Dad, your just being bold
    remember last time, I won
    Mr. Your going down
    would you believe,
    last time I let you win
    yes, you were deceived
    ok, lets begin. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/23/08 Prompt #23 This conversation really took place about two and half
    hours ago.

  109. Elizabeth Keggi says:

    Hey there, Iain – Beautiful poem.

    Elizabeth

  110. Tonya Root says:

    Lori – I am only two and a half years into this parenting thing and I can only imagine by putting together what I hear from others how incredibly exciting and heartbreaking that last year at home can be! Sounds like you have several more at home to keep you occupied, but as my mother, a first born said to me, her first born, the other day, the first born is the first one that you knew, the one you have known the longest, unique. Many, many well wishes and have fun at the convention!

  111. Elizabeth Keggi says:

    To Margaret Fieland – I keep finding great poems from everybody. I just want to tell you, Margaret, that your poem made me think as well as smile. Very subtle.

  112. Elizabeth Keggi says:

    Sonnet

    As sunlight streams from the tumbling sky
    And casts its shapes around the shadows, I cast
    My own outline upon the bed. Why,
    I wonder, can’t the body stretch to last?
    My body wraps my soul with thinning, lined
    Skin. I contemplate its form and see
    The tall trees hold the shadows behind
    The small trees, a sight which pleases me.
    Which sky will contain our end?
    The black, the blue, or the simmering gray?
    In dreams I see the sky sway and bend
    And scoop me up like a child to play.
    If skies can cast their arms around us here,
    I know that there is nothing—ever—to fear.

    Elizabeth K. Keggi

  113. A.C. Leming says:

    Speech! Speech!

    At the end of the dry mouth,
    sweaty palms and heart
    palpatations of speech class,
    Randall Xalyon gave me

    feedback for which I wanted
    to slug him: “Loosen up! Have
    fun with it. Stop white-knuckling
    the podium.” 20 plus years later,

    I can do that. Now 24 years from
    the Arctic and its native peoples,
    who made me self-conscious of
    my snow-white, easily reddening

    skin. I couldn’t tell him, at age
    fifteen, that I’d been spit upon,
    cursed in a language I barely
    understood, made to feel that

    my survuval meant stillness,
    keeping under the radar of
    the pack mentality, which had
    eviserated me so many times.

    So now I can speak to a group
    of strangers without a falter in
    my voice, without the tell-tale
    flush of embarrassment, with

    some sense of self-confidence.
    And Randall will never know.

  114. Joe says:

    Champions

    I liked the way
    the PGA
    handled the issue
    of age.
    Players weren’t too keen
    to play on a tour
    saddled with the
    Seniors title.

    As the glare dimmed
    on their fame,
    not to mention
    their game,
    Greg Norman
    emphatically stated
    "Champions – that’s
    what we are
    and always will be".
    Starting at the age of fifty.

    Imagine as you enter
    that stage of life
    where respect,
    for what you’ve learned
    and dealt with
    through the years,
    is greeted with
    the word "Champion".

    No more homes for
    the elderly;
    they’ll reside at the
    "Champions" Villa.
    And that Old Age
    Security you get
    in the mail will
    have "Champion"
    stamped on the cheque.

  115. Joe says:

    Kudos to Margaret Fieland, I like your poem!

  116. Heather says:

    Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssss sstill keeping an eye out for "Sammy" the snake. I think he’s waiting for nightfall :(

  117. Jeanette J. McAdoo says:

    GROWING OLDER

    Growing old can be good or bad,
    It’s all in your attitude.
    You could be happy or could be sad,
    The aging process we cannot elude.

    When your life is happy with the perfect mate,
    The golden years can be bliss.
    Together hand in hand these years can be great,
    Happiness in your life you will not miss.

  118. Kimberly K says:

    put this on the list of REALLY needs revision….

    Getting Old

    "Not for Sissies" Bette Davis taught us. Some just lie.
    No one seemed to know how old Aunt Jessie was when she took her last breath.
    Somewhere between 92 and 96. Does it matter? It did to her.

    Ever walked down the halls of a nursing home?
    Wheelchairs all in a row down the right side.
    Or was it the left. Does it matter? It might.

    Personal research shows that there are two choices:
    Keep walking, spryly, not remembering your daughters face or
    Remembering everything, lifted from bed to wheelchair, Hoyer style.

    Charlie was 104 when he died. His daughter was having a hard time letting go.
    "She doesn’t understand. It’s time. I’m ready."
    He spent his last nights in the ICU. He knew that he would fight to leave this world.

    "No one gets out of this alive." Jim Morrison this time.
    And he was only 27. Do the details matter?
    Some stretch it out, some pack it in. Who knows?

    Dad read "Final Exit" and decided. He needed an assistant.
    No. Not me. Choose someone other than your daughter, Dad.
    Years later, time passes and maybe it would be OK afterall

    With luck, relationships reconcile. Age allows gratitude, acceptance.
    Grandchildren and great grandchildren bring flowers and curiosity.
    Memories, reflection and just a bit of anticipation about this new day.

  119. Lori says:

    I was barely out of childhood myself
    when I brought you home, small and fragile.
    You trusted me for everything, your very life
    and I did my best to give you the world and
    keep the world away at the same time.
    I remember your first step and how excited we were.
    We called everyone we knew to share the news,
    and clapped for you, and you clapped for you.
    You grew quickly and soon became a big brother
    again, and again, and again, and again, and again,
    and again. And you loved every new little one.
    You started school, but never left home, you learned
    to read, and write, and love, and laugh, and someday
    you’ll learn to spell "then" correctly. I hope.
    One day you grew tall, taller than me, and your voice
    began sounding so much like your father’s and we
    couldn’t tell who was speaking in the next room.
    And you decided you only liked to wear red and black,
    and listen to strange music. And I like strange music.
    But this was strange even for me. And you grew your hair
    over your face and we couldn’t see your eyes and we hoped
    we hadn’t lost you within your hair and black clothing.
    But after a few months you emerged, a grown up you,
    and a new relationship began, one of parenting and yet
    friendship. It was even stranger than the music,
    but yet good. And now you stand on the verge of adulthood.
    One more year at home with me as your teacher and then
    you are off to fly on your own and hopefully to soar.
    I pray that you soar. And that I will somehow be able
    to let you go and let you fly. And that you’ll be ready.

    Tonya- Next year is my son’s senior year at home. We have homeschooled him from the beginning. Tomorrow we leave for our homeschool convetion and I am just realizing that this is the last year he is part of the homeschool equation for us and it’s making me a little blue. It’s just kind of bittersweet, but I’m very proud of who he is.

  120. ann malaspina says:

    This Old House

    Ants come up through the crack in the basement,
    Rain seeps in through the skylight.
    The kitchen ceiling is sagging, peeling paint.
    By the porch, the forsythia bush is out of control.

    The house was old when we moved in,
    And now it’s tottering, complaining out loud;
    A 100-year-flood rotted the basement beams last spring.
    A wasps nest grew inside an attic window.

    This spring, we sharpen the garden shears,
    patch the window screens, and sand the ceiling.
    (A thumb in a dike saved Holland from drowning, after all)
    Maybe we enough paint, cement, nails to last one more year.

  121. Elizabeth Keggi says:

    Carol (of Hampshire.edu) – Your poem made my day! LOL At my next-most-recent job, most of the staff were women "going through the change." Gallows humor was the name of the game, and everybody who works there had a good laugh. And we all got along great. Humor builds bridges. May I share your poem with them? Elizabeth

  122. Within sight of the age
    when my grandmother died,
    I consider each new ache
    carefully
    wondering:
    is it temporary
    or will I soon be using it
    as a sign that winter is imminent.

  123. KP says:

    Ahh!!

    I’m in a constant state of wishin’
    Some would call that transition
    What do you call it when you transition
    from one transition to another transition?
    I feel I’m always on a mission
    Which never, ever comes to fruition
    That’s definitely a transition

  124. Tridentata says:

    Hope

    This fear
    Past the room where the man lies naked
    Eyes wide open
    They say he held a live wire without knowing
    He simply stopped
    When the current hit
    Further
    Mad venereal emperor of his own apartment
    All vigor gone to his head
    This fear
    All bodily bile stopped
    Boils blisters breath bags gout
    The great saphenous vein spent
    Further
    The inability to give in to confession
    Even at the end
    This fear
    Forgetting
    Mouth open
    Brain smooth aluminum water
    Being now simply bodily
    Even unaware of its own I can’t remember
    Further
    The burned the ghosts the tubes red with healing poison
    The understanding of genomes stem cells regrowth
    Harness the sprout the ovum eternity
    This fear
    A bright white room
    Light blinding light
    Nothing more

  125. Laurie Kolp says:

    How Old Are You?

    Aging is irrelevant
    in the process of life.
    For no matter
    how old you are,
    you haven’t gotten
    all that far,
    until you learn this fact:
    It matters not
    what age you are,
    what counts
    is how you act.

  126. Tonya Root says:

    Though not exactly new to poetry writing, I am rediscovering it lately, through a class I am taking and through this PAD challenge (thank you, Robert.) I think I’ve learned more in here in some ways than in the class (thanks to all of you!)

    I’ve always loved free verse, but lately I’ve been wanting to experiment more with form. This is my first attempt at a Villanelle:

    Slow

    I prayed last night for time to slow
    To watch my children in their prime
    I need more time to see them grow

    I know that one day they will go
    And we have not much more time
    I prayed last night for time to slow

    Just a few more days God could bestow
    A few more hours would be sublime
    I need more time to see them grow

    That maddening rushing onward flow
    That steadily chanting chime
    I prayed last night for time to slow

    For just one minute it could whoa
    I do not think it be a crime
    I need more time to see them grow

    Look at them cheeks all aglow
    Dancing to their nursery rhyme
    I prayed last night for time to slow
    I need more time to see them grow

  127. Bill Toad says:

    Two Poems on Aging (from the ‘Toad Pizza’ collection):

    Chinese food, it’s been foretold
    tastes even better when it’s cold.
    But if you take it home, once sold,
    refrigerate it from the mold,
    I’ve asked, but ne’er been told:
    Is it Egg Foo Young…once old?”

    —————
    “I do remember when you moaned,”
    the cold corpse told his wife.
    “My cartilage and muscle toned.
    You scared me half to life!”

    ————-

  128. Bill Kirk says:

    Are We There Yet?
    By Bill Kirk

    Looking back, it seems
    I’ve been looking forward
    To getting old for a long time now.
    But with each passing year,
    “Oldness” has continued
    To allude me.
    Somehow, I have never
    Quite seemed to get there.

    By the time I was six,
    I had lived in Germany, Arizona,
    Florida, Washington DC and Bolivia.
    A lot of people would have been quite old
    After living so many places.
    But not me. I was just six.
    So, where would I be, I wondered,
    When I would finally get old?

    After Bolivia, it was on to Georgia,
    With a brief soujourn in Florida (again).
    Suddenly, I turned 16 and
    I got my license.
    That happened in Savannah
    And at first, learning to drive
    Made me feel old—
    Well, at least until I learned
    To parallel park.
    That’s when I figured
    I could do anything.
    So I decided it wasn’t quite time
    To be old yet.

    Before I knew it,
    I had graduated from High School
    In Germany
    And left for college—in France
    Which, by the way,
    Is a great place to get old!
    But after a year,
    I still hadn’t quite made it
    And I began to wonder
    What was taking so long.

    The next eight years blurred by.
    I had lived in North Dakota,
    Florida (again), Texas, Florida (again),
    Thailand and Florida (again).
    After all that moving,
    I had finished college,
    Joined the Air Force,
    Got married,
    Had two children and
    Finished graduate school.
    Surely, I should have been old by then.
    After all, they say kids will make you old.
    But somehow, the getting old part—
    And growing up–escaped me (again).
    Just ask my wife.

    So, off to Italy we went.
    For some personal research on
    The anti-aging effects of
    Wine and calamari.
    Alas, before the results were in,
    We moved on to Texas (again),
    Washington, DC (again) and,
    Finally, California,

    Will this be where are
    When we finally get old?
    But then again, perhaps the key
    To not getting old is
    Simply moving around.

    So, if old is where you are bound,
    Just keep on moving and
    You’ll never quite get there!

  129. Tonya Root says:

    We Were Young

    We were young and unaware of that fact
    The clock crawled slowly, cautiously on
    We basked in the glow of all of that time
    And never suspected that it would soon be gone

    We woke up one day in the middle age
    And suddenly realized our time was racing by
    We swore we would be more careful now
    To cherish the time no matter how it did fly

    We look back now at the time that has passed
    It’s simply amazing how swiftly it has rushed
    We spend our days now in sweet reflection
    All that hectic hurriedness gone, our souls are hushed.

  130. Connie says:

    Advice

    My mom, after delivering a
    long list of her ailments
    would advise me,
    “Do not get old!”
    I’d say, “Gee, Mom,
    What do you want me to do?
    Die young?”
    So this time, I will try not
    to follow my mother’s advice.
    Instead, I’ll follow my own that
    I gave my children when we’d
    take 2,000 mile road trips.
    “Kids, I’d say, this could be a
    really bad trip or a good one.
    It’s up to you. If you want it
    to be enjoyable, do not fight
    with your brothers and sisters.
    Keep yourself busy and entertained.
    Don’t complain about being bored
    and don’t make faces out the car window.
    Color pictures and make messes but
    don’t leave them for someone else to clean up.
    Take care of your physical needs when
    the opportunities arise so you won’t
    become an emergency on down the road.
    Help your younger brother with his
    difficult buttons and snaps.
    Let’s have fun along the way by
    playing games, having picnics, making friends,
    seeing new sights and learning new things.
    Sing and make noise as long
    as it doesn’t disturb the driver.
    When someone’s hungry,
    pass out sandwiches.
    Do not ask over and over,
    ‘Are we there yet?’”
    Because as a wise poet once said,
    “If we’re here, we’re not there.”
    So, Mom, I aim to grow old,
    but have a nice trip along the way.

  131. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    Growing Up, Fathers Point Of View

    Mine was the first face she would see
    born after twenty-nine hours of labor
    I was there for every step of the delivery
    my single most cherished memory
    I never, knew, how raising her would be
    In the hospital, she impressed her neighbor
    that little boy, clearly had a crush on her
    though, only two days old
    I asked what his intentions would be
    his mother just laughed,
    while grabbing a tighter hold

    Two years from that time
    she was learning to walk
    getting harder to control
    driving us out of our minds
    then she started to talk
    we had to focus on more then one goal

    We survived that time
    as most parents do
    we got by just fine
    learning things we never knew

    Soon she was starting school
    hard to believe she was that old
    we bought cloths that looked cool
    she no longer wanted that kiss
    or for us to hold
    saying, mommy or daddy,
    I’m too old for this
    my friends will laugh at me
    but, you can hug and kiss me privately

    And, so it went
    our little girl grew
    she’s now in 7th grade
    hell bent
    on teaching us more that we never knew
    everything we forbade
    well, she’s found a way to do
    now a preteen
    she’s smarter then us
    we’re too mean
    as parents, we no longer have her trust
    unless she needs money
    then she comes running to us
    all hugs, kisses, and honey

    We are hoping she’ll outgrow this stage
    just coping with what we hopes a phase
    starting to look at high schools
    we don’t like any we’ve seen
    feeling like fools
    as she wants to go where her friends will be
    once again, were so mean
    were just not cool, we just can’t see
    the battle goes on
    soon, she’ll be in college
    then she’ll be gone
    we can only give her the knowledge
    life’s choices are hers and hers alone
    one thing she knows
    she’s always welcome here at home. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/23/08 This one’s about my daughter’s aging. It’s all true by the way.

  132. Dee IKJ says:

    Agless 04-23-08

    Feeling young and vital, ignoring the stiff hips when rising from a chair, avoiding mirrors that would tell one the truth, one can remain as young as they think they are.

  133. When I Kick the Bucket

    The family will assemble
    at Frank’s Funeral Home
    on Lexington Avenue,

    except for Michele
    whoo will be home
    smoking a cigarette.

    Bill will give the eulogy
    extolling my virtues,
    though admitting

    I was apt to
    burn the pot roast,
    leave the roll

    of toilet paper with
    one sheet remaining,
    and forget

    to water the flowers.
    Everyone will shuffle
    past my casket, saying

    "She doesn’t look
    a day over seventy-five."
    Back at the house,

    they will eat chocolate cake
    and argue over
    who will adopt the dog.

  134. Thanks, Robert! I really enjoyed Today and can identify with the question and the self-given answer.

    Eeek, Heather ~ I got gooseflesh thinking of you in your house with Sammy wriggling around. Hope you find the little guy soon!

    Kevin, love the shadow boxing self.

    And Patti, thanks for yours. Definitely do a lovely thing all for you today (Happy Birthday!) and maybe one little thumb on the nose in his direction!

  135. Rodney C. Walmer says:

     Facing Retirement

    Each day he aged a bit more
    limbs easily tired
    sometimes even sore
    certainly, not what he desired
    not part of the plan
    he thought to age perfectly
    Alas, He was just an ordinary man
    the aches and pains, he just did not foresee

    He had yet to get to the stage
    we all get to in our old age
    where he looked at old photo’s
    remembering when
    about things, he know’s
    he’ll never be able to do again

    He was close to retirement
    planing to just enjoy life
    he would be free to do,
    what others resent
    all alone with his wife
    camping, fishing, sleeping late
    whatever, his intent
    he no longer would have to worry
    over a job, that would just aggravate

    Was he sorry,
    what would be gained by lament
    though he might have lived life differently
    he always lived by his intent
    caring little for what others see
    let them believe what they want to believe
    he had nothing to hide
    would never try to deceive
    He would let need and desire be his guide

    He had tomorrow to look forward to
    a new life would await
    a freedom he never knew
    perhaps, he could learn things
    he could never do
    he thinks, he’ll start by learning to meditate
    after that, well

    maybe go into real estate
    only time will tell. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/23/08 Prompt #23, and the fact that I retire in 8 years. Already got my
    paperwork in. Wonder what I will do with all that time. Maybe go into Real Estate.

  136. Linda Hofke says:

    I am just getting this prompt and since it is 8:30 in the evening my time and I haven’t even got to yesterdays prompt yet, who knows when I will get to it. Been trying to be superwoman lately and I am very tired. Maybe I can write about that.

    Anyway, I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday, Patti and let you know that yours are some of my favorite poems. There are lots of talented people posting work here, and you are one of them. Enjoy your day. I think you deserve to.

  137. Maria Jacketti says:

    Jolie, the Ancient Tabby

    Almost a year now in the amphora
    my ancient kitten, Jolie
    is gone out of body,
    still alive striped ghost still
    loping through kitchen, wanting her favorite dish:
    chicken braised in fresh thyme with good wine;
    later, snow leopard
    snoozing still next to my weary pillow.
    She needs
    a new body to continue her work on Earth.

    How can I grieve a miniature tiger
    who lived almost twenty-two years,
    long enough to teach me,
    that old age can be beautiful,
    and another life will come?
    But I still grieve, yes, that my hand can pass
    through you, tuna-seeking angel, that you now only ensoul,
    but I cannot hold you anymore,
    perpetual baby in my arms, ancient, ageless,
    eternal and immortal, Jolie.

    Maria Jacketti

  138. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    To Be Remembered By Time

    As time goes by
    we all wonder why
    why didn’t we take this path
    or that road
    This direction or that one
    When asked,
    I usually say,
    I’ll be well known
    for my poetry
    after I’m dead and gone
    that’s enough for me
    I desire no fame
    no fortune
    I would just like
    someone to remember my name
    Nothing grandiose
    as, nothing I do
    so grand, will never be
    just a little contribution
    to this world and society
    so that, I too
    can have a place in history. . .

    © Rodney C. Walmer 4/23/08 Prompt #23

  139. I have been blessed
    by the curse of time
    I have known joy and sorrow
    pleasure and pain
    I have had great friends and great loves
    come and go
    I have see the wonders of God’s earth
    And I have seen man’s efforts
    at besting the chronological beast
    And though I have lived already
    I have many more years in me to come
    Time may one day stop my body
    But it will never stop my soul

  140. Monica Martin says:

    I think I’m having
    a quater-life crisis.
    I’m not exactly where
    I always pictured myself
    to be at age twenty-five.
    I thought I’d be married,
    with kids, a house, and
    a full-time job.

    So where am I? I have
    a part-time job, and I
    live with my family.
    But I do have the love
    that I have always wanted,
    the love that others dream of.
    So I guess I haven’t completely failed.

  141. Iris Deurmyer says:

    Ageless

    PhD from Harvard
    Noted lecturer and philantropist
    Cannot tie his shoes now
    And knows not his kin

    He wrestles with reality
    What year or date today
    And yet advice still flows
    From his gifted tongue

    Look behind the eyes
    The twinkle sometimes returns
    Listen with the heart
    He is still teaching us

  142. Teri Coyne says:

    Body Talk

    No one ever tells you
    about the hair that suddenly
    springs up in the middle of your temple
    or the way your knees creak
    when you’ve been sitting too long

    “Every day I feel like my body
    is betraying me,” a good friend says
    as we shop for clothes another size larger

    Truth be told
    my body and I have let each other down
    the promise to put down the bag of chips
    and pick up the barbells must feel like rejection
    “I’m trying to help you,” it seems to say
    when last night’s Mexican food repeats
    or when I take a fall
    from moving too quickly on the ice
    slow down
    savor
    stay away from peppers

    my body is talking to me
    most days I refuse to listen

    but I have moments now
    when my body gives me what I want
    it wakes me at first light
    urging me to join the day
    and it gives me my feelings more freely
    so when I want to cry I cry

    some people say I’ve become
    less likable
    “well done,” my body tells me
    “this isn’t a popularity contest this is your life”

    Last night I found an age spot
    that wasn’t there before
    another marker on the journey
    my body and I are taking
    sometimes we stop for fuel
    sometimes we don’t speak
    but we enjoy the scenery
    as we learn to love each other

  143. M J Dills says:

    Mom arrived yesterday
    In a wheelchair.
    I was so glad she agreed
    To the assistance.
    I waited in the line
    People waving placards
    Calling out names.
    And I watched
    The shiny metal
    The rolling wheels
    That would alert me
    To her approaching chariot.
    Mom,
    You’ve come to celebrate your eighty seventh birthday with me.
    I am so proud of you to make this journey,
    All alone.
    I walk to you on sturdy legs,
    Well aware of how fickle they can be
    My own appendages
    Having failed me in the past.
    And taught me many lessons of the fact of life
    How quickly it goes.
    And how I’ve learned
    Patience,
    Fortitude,
    Serenity.
    I see that someday
    I will begin to experience frailty.
    I hope I am able to do this
    With as much grace.

  144. Deb Hill says:

    April 23 day 23
    The Painting

    The lovely older women sits in her rocker, and cradles her baby; “I will be as you soon” I tell her.
    The years pass
    The lovely women sits in her rocker, “I have become you we are equals” I tell her.
    The years pass
    The lovely younger women sits in her rocker, “I have aged and you have not“ I tell her.
    The year pass
    The lovely girl sits in her rocker,“I am not what they see, it is you that is inside of me“. I tell her.

  145. Marin Christensen says:

    Thirty Years

    The first time I spent Christmas
    with my boyfriend’s family, I
    was given the gift of his 4th grade
    school portrait; missing a tooth
    right up front, a rumpled
    shirt in 70’s style, and the
    look of mischief
    in his eyes.

    I imagine him at that age,
    pinning one of his sisters
    to the ground while dangling
    a loogey over her face as she
    struggles to get free. I imagine
    him climbing a large oak in his
    front yard and standing on the
    highest branch he could reach
    in triumph; I imagine him cruising
    down a tree-lined street on a old
    Schwinn two-wheeler,
    new at the time.

    And I see him now, almost thirty
    years later, and can you believe he’s
    doing those things still; thirty
    years later, I am the loogey victim;
    thirty years later, the old oak still
    beckons him; he resists the urge in
    his suit and tie – but on weekends,
    hold on tight! Thirty years later
    the Schwinn is now a mountain bike
    skirting through traffic every
    morning on his way
    to the subway.

    And I see him now, almost thirty
    years later; that same
    mischievous look
    in his eyes.

  146. To Have It All

    With each year
    reach a little deeper
    into the Earth
    With each day
    smile a little freer
    into the sky
    One more heart beat
    for eternity
    embrace the universe
    Because nothing scares you
    anymore

  147. lynn rose says:

    Mid-life
    Time does go by so quickly, I see may boys their adults.
    One is married and one lives with a girl.It makes you wonder where did the time go when they were running around getting into everything and you wondered if they would ever grow up. Now, the time is here and I want to go back to the simple times, tucking them in bed at night and kissing a boo, boo,and sitting
    there just holding them. I miss that. They have a whole future
    a head of them and mine, I am not sure where its going. I am in
    my mid fourties, divorced and trying to figure out what lays ahead and when will I figure things out. The way time is flying
    by I will be in the grave before I figure out who I am and what
    to do with this life that God granted me.I can wish for time to
    slow but I know that will never happen, so all we can do is try
    to appreciate every second of every day and make the most of our
    time.

  148. Carla Cherry says:

    On Aging

    At 36
    my flesh,
    firm
    mind, right
    perspective
    on hindsight
    Goals
    in pursuit,
    critics
    on mute.

    Gray hairs
    sprout
    here and there.
    I stare,
    wonder why
    they gotta feel
    like wire.

    When they’re plucked
    each time,
    their laughter
    rings
    like chimes.

    Still the best thing,
    I know,
    is each chance
    and
    to live
    and grow.

  149. Liza says:

    Aging Slowly

    I feel so old
    and flabby too in places,
    but it’s a good thing
    clothes can mask it pretty well.

    I avoid looking in the mirror,
    especially in my all together.
    I can’t avoid it when I’m sitting,
    seeing the slight bulge.

    Thankfully, I haven’t heard
    any well-wishing pregnant comments
    that could send smoke out my ears
    that someone would think that.

    I also notice sagging
    that makes me miss the good old days
    when they weren’t falling down
    on my life irreversible.

    I still have my fiery soul
    and get much praise,
    so I’m very grateful
    for the clothes that hide my age.

    (A note here: I’m only 31 so I’m sure this is just the beginning. I still get told I look like a teenager still. I’ll appreciate this more when I’m older I’m sure. LOL

  150. Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes

    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    As Every New Precious Day Unfolds
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    As This One Life We Continue Living
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    While Living This Life We Keep On Giving
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    Me Giving To You And You Giving To Me
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    Knowing There’ll Be A New Breathe Of
    Fresh Air Taken From Each New Day
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    Knowing That There’ll Be New Experiences To
    Share From Each New Day In A Different New Way
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    We Must Exceed Every Expectation That
    Will Come With Every Challenge
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    What I Am Saying Here Is
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    It Is Only God Whom I Fear
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    Keep Right On Living You’ll See
    Don’t Nothing Get-et Old But Clothes
    Every New Day God Himself Created
    Just For You As Well As For Me

    H.Michelle Cooper

  151. Christa R. Shelton says:

    LETTER TO AGING

    Dear Aging,

    I welcome you each year with open arms
    My heart still races with gladness and excitement
    as I prepare to add another year on to my life
    I parade you around with no shame
    and proudly tell anyone that asks about you freely
    I remind those around me that you are a gentle and kind blessing
    I tell them that you are nothing more than a number
    and that youth is a state of mind
    I do all this and more for you without a second thought
    I kindly remind you of this so that you will return the favor to me
    by not delivering wrinkles, achy joints and saggy skin in my old age
    It’s the least you can do for all of the campaigning I do on your behalf
    I’m glad we have this understanding aging
    I’ll continue to do my part
    and you promise to do yours
    Thank you Aging,
    I can’t wait until next year!

  152. I will be 48 this year which I have came to terms with, when I turned 45 is when I was the most depressed.
    Here is today’s prompt poem:

    The Older I Get

    The older I get,
    the more I forget…
    My mind is not sharp as a tack,
    control I lack…

    The older I get,
    the more I regret…
    Days have gone by,
    love ones die…

    The older I get,
    the more my life is like a
    vegnette…
    Time has marched on,
    memories gone.

  153. Nancy says:

    Carpe Diem, 2008

    My carpe diem poetry would never
    Pass for Herrick or Marvell–
    No cunning seductions that sounds
    Like Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”
    I seized that day long ago;
    I’ve held on tight and you’re still mine.

    It’s not my life that passes before me
    Or even yours, but that baby boy,
    His life measured now in weeks, not days.
    Who needs mind-altering drugs?
    Time’s passage works as well.

    That baby I bore, that little girl
    You held and rocked to sleep,
    Now has babies of her own.
    And we here, miles and miles away,
    Pray to slow time’s march, so we
    can hold them ere they’re grown.

  154. Earl Parsons says:

    Had to get in 2 today. Age is one of my favorite subjects.

    Drop in the bucket

    53.66 years old
    Over half a century
    470,061 hours
    28,203,696 minutes
    1,692,221,760 seconds
    And counting……

    Just a drop in the bucket
    Of eternity

    *************************

    Aging Well

    Expanding waistline
    Drooping tummy
    Just a little overweight
    Slightly balding
    Salt and pepper what’s left
    Smile lines
    Some would call wrinkles
    Age spots
    Like rings in a tree
    Medications
    In daily dose plastic
    To keep them straight
    So I don’t overdose
    The mind is sharp
    Except for the unimportant
    The eyes are good
    With bifocal assistance
    I hear so much better
    Or is the world louder
    My lounge chair awaits
    To lull me to sleep
    During my favorite show
    Glad I recorded it for later
    Have to rest my tired bones
    That creak and crack when I move
    Tylenol for the muscle aches
    From bending to get the paper
    Or playing with the grandchildren
    Or shopping with the wife
    Or, perhaps, when she’s frisky
    Not too old just yet
    Thank God
    And thank Him for the years
    Of aging He’s allowed
    Of life He’s let me experience
    Of the blessings He’s given
    What stories I can tell
    And will
    To my grandchildren
    And, hopefully
    To their children, too
    If God allows me to
    Age well a few years more

  155. Tonya Root says:

    Happy Birthday Patti – and fantastic poem. Thanks for sharing.

    Lori – Is this your son’s senior year or is he going to go to a different school next year? I was homeschooled grades 1-12 and loved every minute of it. Now that my daughter is two I can’t imagine schooling her any other way.

    Robert – This is a great prompt and I can imagine it’s going to bring out some great creativity in this group! I can’t wait!

  156. Heather says:

    Oh my gosh!!!!! I just had to put my makeup on where "Sammy" was last seen. My toes were curled, poised, and waiting for the strike. Thanks for the comments and well-wishes.

  157. Happy Birthday Patti!
    Be back later with today’s poem
    Debra

  158. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Very likely turned a desert into a pudding!! OOPS!! Sorry!

  159. Sara McNulty says:

    Happy Birthday Patti-Loved your poem.

    Out of Step

    I have become my house of
    23 years, my face
    Reflected in hardwood floors,
    Imperfect planks marred by
    Lackluster patches of worn
    Finish revealing their age
    Like the ringed notches on trees

    I have become my house, my
    Body burnished in faded
    Leather couches and chairs, sturdy
    And stained, clawed by rescued pets-
    Paw prints of hounds, parallel
    Paths clawed by agile felines

    I have become my house, as
    Obsolete as small TVs and
    Computers, five years old, on deaths
    Doorstep. In opposition are
    Cell phones, shrinking in size and width
    I’m Alice—too small or too tall.

  160. Diane says:

    Heather, I hope you find the snake! Do you have thoughts of moving? a hotel? Carol, your poem is too funny, and too true! I started to list all my favorites, Heather, Carol, Cheryl, there are too many…thank you everyone. Don, I’m glad your muse is back. ;-) Do you write detective novels?

  161. Cheryl Wray says:

    good God.
    I woke up this morning and put on
    a shirt with a
    ladybug on it.

    someone, please,
    go find that little mini skirt I used to wear
    and felt so young
    and free
    in.

    I really do think that’s the real me,
    not this girl here with
    the grey hair and
    the hips that really could never fit back into
    that mini skirt
    again
    anyway.

  162. Joseh McLaughlin says:

    the flowering tree we planted
    yesterday, already is scattering
    white blossoms on the grass

  163. Iain D. Kemp says:

    I wondered if I would get to write this poem. I’ve written it many times before, always with the same title but always different, new.

    The Sands of Time

    …and the sands of time are
    just made of sand…
    Jefferson Airplane.

    The Sands of time run ever on
    Each day blurs to the next
    Each week as the previous
    Each weekend tired and empty
    Of all those things I wish to do
    And never get around to

    The boy Douglas is a man
    (Little Douglas to the family
    Douglito to my Spanish friends)
    Will be nineteen next week
    I remember so clearly the day
    He was born, with the huge feet
    That he has finally grown into

    And just three days later another
    Year will have passed for me
    And I am old now and tired
    Yet not even fifty, young!
    And with so much more to do
    So much more to say…

    Grains of sand slip through
    My fingers just as surely as
    The best of my years slipped by
    Without enough effort, care
    Success or happiness
    And far too many tears
    Far too much heartache.
    Regrets

    But the Sands of time
    Are just made of sand
    And there remains a whole beach
    A dessert of untried experience
    A world beyond mere dreaming
    A life of action, valour, heroics
    And maybe just a little
    Peace and quiet

    Perhaps the brightest sun
    Will blend and merge and melt
    Those elusive grains and
    Forge a crystal, gleaming
    Tempting, reflecting
    An old age full of promise

    Happy Burpday, Patti (hic!)

  164. At Fifty Nine

    Young at heart, though already fifty nine.
    I am proud of every day of my life;
    of every shared moment with my five kids,
    of every photo from my nine grandkids
    and for all the happy days from six wives.
    Though it is autumn, I still have some time
    to move around searching for love and peace,
    the heat of the woman’s body to breathe
    before the dark days of the winter’s ice.

    I have no regrets and nothing to blame
    if I live again, I will do the same.

    In days of war I was willing to thrive
    and with all my heart I fought for this land
    all things are in my mind, nothing has past
    in my head the thoughts are building a hive.
    All my organs are having a fun ride
    among the adversities of today,
    my emotions prepared for a foray
    whenever there’s a feeling for high tide.
    Though I already counted fifty nine.

  165. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    Cheryl, your poem echo’s my feelings about my daughter, she is an only child, already 12. Soon, there will be no more child, she will be an adult. Every day, she wants to be with us less and less, and with her friends more and more. Funnily, as an educator, I also mark my years by the end of the school year as well. For me, the new year starts Sept. 1, and ends around June 26th. Summer, is just time in between.

    Rod.

  166. Rodney C. Walmer says:

     Old Man
    (how I wish to live out my last years, in solitude, with just my wife, and pets)

    He sits alone
    remembering days long gone
    hasn’t left his home
    in what seems like an eon

    He used to be somebody
    that was way back when
    now, he can barely see
    and goes into town
    every now and then

    He moved to this emptiness
    what seems like a lifetime ago
    too much city,
    he sought the wilderness
    Not the pity,
    of those who could not know

    He had his loving wife
    whom had shared his life
    his dogs and his cats
    too old to raise hogs
    just way too tired for that

    So, on the porch he sits
    a jug by his side,
    from which he often sips
    by him, a dog sits with pride
    his wife, somewhere in the house
    easily aroused
    by grand kids on the phone
    after a long life of searching
    he knows he’s finally home. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/23/08 Prompt #23 a poem about aging. This poem is about where I would
    like to be by the time I turn 80, I am 50 now. Just 30 more years. :-)

  167. Cheryl Wray says:

    And Robert, I loved your poem. I have a 4 and a 16 year old (with an 11 in between) and, believe me, you will get from 4 to 16 in NO time.

    Happy Birthday Patti!

  168. M J Dills says:

    Heather, your snake poem got to me. Mine of yesterday (my Earth Day poem) was so benign in comparison. A WATER MOCCASIN! Wow. I hope you find him and feel safe again.
    Happy Bday to Patti and The Bard.

  169. Diane says:

    I don’t have anything profound
    to say about getting old.
    Sometimes it terrifies me
    because I’m afraid
    we won’t be ready financially,
    and the list of "what about"s
    is endless.
    But I shut off the nagging worries
    that I can’t change anyway.
    I refuse to let tomorrow’s trouble
    steal today–
    As for tomorrow–
    somehow we’ll get through it.
    We always have.
    And each new today
    has always held it’s own blessings
    when it arrived.

  170. halfmoon_mollie says:

    The Last Paper

    Today the One-L kids
    must hand in their
    appellate briefs
    papers they should
    have been writing for
    the last month
    but far too many
    of them took
    advantage of the weather
    and Passover and
    their professors

    Today it is my job
    to make sure those
    papers get to
    the proper professors
    my job even before that
    to make sure they
    are all handed in
    my job to listen to
    all the excuses
    why they are not done

    Today I am
    wearing my
    thick skin
    and have already
    been called a
    hard ass

  171. M J Dills says:

    Heather, your snake poem got to me. Mine of yesterday (my Earth Day poem) was so benign in comparison. A WATER MOCCASIN! Wow. I hope you find him and feel safe again.
    Happy Bday to Patti and The Bard.

  172. Cheryl Wray says:

    This topic is SO close to home for me right now. Just this morning, on the way to school, my daughter was talking excitedly about the end of the school year. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up–school’s out now means my girls are just getting older. I want to write a poem based on the conversation we had, so I may try and do that one later. But for now…

    “a Truth”

    This feeling must be something that
    everyone,
    since the dawn of time,
    has found to be absolute
    Truth.

    That it really was just yesterday
    that I skipped through the backyard barefoot,
    that I threw that cap up into the air,
    that I held my firstborn.

    That time moves
    at the speed of light,
    at the speed of sound,
    at the speed that I’m totally
    uncomfortable with.

    That life goes on
    from morning to night,
    from January to December,
    from yesterday to today
    from this second to, now,
    this second.

    Too quickly.

  173. Carol -Amherst, Mass says:

    Sponge in my bra

    I need a sponge in my bra
    To sop up all the sweat
    Even though it’s two below
    My forehead’s dripping wet

    Wait! I feel quite chilly
    Did someone shut the heat?
    I think I’d like to have a snack
    I feel the need to overeat

    I’m standing in the kitchen
    I forget why I am there
    I’m standing at the fridge
    With a far off vacant stare

    My legs hang off the mattress
    The cats think I am weird
    My chin is sporting odd new growth
    It looks to be a beard

    I’m no longer a spring chicken
    When I sneeze, I often piddle
    I mostly wear elastic
    Around my growing middle

    At times I wear low-waisted pants
    To give my stomach air
    When I pass an open window
    The light’s no longer there

    When I’ve dared bend over
    There’s been rumor of eclipse
    They say the sky was darkened by
    the shadow of my hips

    Yes , it’s safe to say
    I’m going through ‘the change’
    If you say that I am ‘old’
    Your face I’ll re-arrange

    Oops. That was her not me. sorry

  174. Emily Blakely says:

    “Endless.” So it seemed
    as summer vacation unfolded
    at six or seven. Endless.
    School years stretched on
    for ever so long. Like marks
    on my growth chart, long,
    long gone. From that side,
    Forever was vast, until
    waving the last good-bye
    to home. Future came
    more in focus, and the
    second syllable from Endless
    dropped, echoing as it left.
    Eternity stepped in and End
    took a different meaning.
    Suddenly it wasn’t me that
    was leaving but The Ones
    who gave me Life, and
    left with Hope.

  175. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    Happy Birthday Patti!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have written way too many poems over the years about age and aging, I have to write a new one that is not redundant. This is a true challenge not in the sense of writing the poem, but in the sense of avoiding the redundancy.

    Rod.

    PS My daughter Mari Beth also wants to wish you (Patti) a very happy birthday.

  176. Heather says:

    Too Old

    “I’m getting too old for this!!!!!!!”
    12:30a.m. hit hard
    Exhausted but satisfied from a day of prolific action
    My neck and back are screaming for rest

    Wash my face
    Brush my teeth
    Disrobe
    Turn on the heating pad
    Get into bed

    Wait!
    I need eye cream for the lines etching into my flesh at breakneck speed
    Get out of bed
    Flip on the light
    Dot under eyes
    Light off
    Get back in bed

    (Two seconds later)

    My lips are so dry!
    Flip on the light
    Retrieve lip balm
    Apply
    Light off
    Get back in bed

    (Two seconds later)

    I really should have put on some deodorant!
    Get out of bed
    Flip on the light
    Jump out of my skin
    Shriek and curse like a sailor
    “SNAKE!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Streak to the garage
    Flip on the light
    Look for hoe
    No hoe
    Look for shovel
    No shovel
    Turn off the light

    Race to the kitchen
    Flip on the light
    Look for cleaver
    No cleaver
    Look for butcher’s knife
    Got it!!!!
    Flip off the light

    Sprint back to the bathroom
    Butcher knife in hand
    Praying for forgives for what I’m about to do

    No snake

    Sit down on the edge of the bathtub
    Cry a little
    Think about going to a hotel
    Name the snake
    Leave on the light
    Get back in bed
    Do not close eyes

    Sammy the snake waits for me now
    I’m getting too old for this!!!!

    (This actually happened to me last night. “Sammy” the snake, a water moccasin . . . not a pet, is waiting for me somewhere in the house. I’m totally creeped out and EXHAUSTED. Cheers everyone. Thanks for indulging me.)

  177. Don Swearingen says:

    A Glimmer In The Clue

    I heard The Muse in my ear!
    She said, "Happy birthday, Sweet William Shakespeare!"
    I distinctly heard her sweet voice speak!
    Oh! The world is no longer so bleak!

    This is Dan Blather reporting
    The news that a young writer girl sporting
    A lump on her head
    And clutching a blue shred
    Of silk has raved
    The Muse has been saved!
    This development has tangled
    The plot. When everyone knows she was strangled.
    We don’t know her name yet, Anchor Jen.
    Details at ten.

    Happy birthday Patti! You have good company. May The Muse bless you.

  178. Karen says:

    4-23-08

    Older

    I guess somehow while I was busy living
    I grew older.
    Not often do I pause long enough to really look
    In the mirror to see whether there are new laughlines
    Or any added creases in my neck.
    Someone told me once,
    “I don’t want cosmetic surgery.
    All these wrinkles—I earned every one
    By living.”
    What a joyous youth I experienced,
    What an idyllic childhood.
    But would I go back?
    Not in a skinny minute (even to be that skinny again).
    Would I skip the losses and the pain that
    Naturally cropped up in grown-up and maturing life?
    Not in a heartbeat.
    This wisdom I’m still gleaning from every bless´ed day,
    I earned it.
    And even with the challenges of
    trying to think with a twenty-year-old mind
    And feel like a seventeen-year-old heart
    Trapped in this fifty-something body,
    I wouldn’t give up the view from this side of my life.

  179. Kevin says:

    Aging My Way

    And when he was my age
    he counted days,
    felt himself a man
    of wisdom, age, regret.
    And now I’m here,
    it’s not much different
    than ten or twelve or thirty.
    I’m still the boy
    inside the man,
    still the shadow boxing
    self, insane.
    I’m looking, but not that hard,
    for the wisdom that he carried.
    For me, it seems,
    it’ll never come.
    But joy, to live
    in wonder, when instead
    I could be muddling
    through somehow,
    bitter and beset.

  180. Lori says:

    Robert, I love the poem you wrote today. It captures life perfectly.

    This is a tough one for me today, am already emotional about kids growing up too fast as I’m planning my oldest son’s last year of homeschooling! (We have a convention this weekend, so I may have to play catch-up when I get back.) I will do today’s prompt later!

    Happy Birthday Patti! I do hope you have a suprisingly good day. Do something special for yourself!

  181. Lisa McMahan says:

    The Age of Time

    Do you get older every day?
    Or do you just wake up and you’re there?
    Sometimes I feel older but most of the time I don’t;
    I guess I haven’t gotten there all the way yet.
    The kid of yester year became the woman of today
    I was young and foolish, also meek and wild.
    As you get older you slow down
    but your inner child never goes away;
    in each one of us there lies a kid, a toy
    but as I grow older I learn to enjoy.
    Remember what you see and learn
    for what life has to offer I do not know.
    With each new day the sun will set
    the mornings and afternoons play a tune of regret
    sometimes I wonder about this bet.
    Yes life is a gamble and its way to fast
    but I know someday is here and it will always last.
    Look to the future not the past;
    start each day as a new beginning
    from one day to the other we can’t control
    all we have is our loving way and our nurturing soul.

  182. Rox says:

    Time Travel

    I notice changing little things
    Every day on my
    Travels through time
    Second by second –
    The crinkles around my mouth,
    Concert-loud music from SUVs,
    Creek water never rising quite as high,
    Bluetooth users not
    In double digits yet.
    But this sudden jump through time
    To attend a funeral;
    Literally hundreds of people
    From a past, disconnected
    Eight years ago…

    Every smile, every handshake,
    Every tear, every heartbeat
    Fusing past and present.

    Today, we all got old.

  183. Diane says:

    Patti, happy birthday. I hope you have a better day today! Those dark moods are great for poetic creativity though…your poem has powerful imagery.

  184. Heather says:

    Patti, Happy Birthday!!!!! It’s going to be the best ever . . . I just know it. Great poem.
    Much love and blessings- Heather

  185. Karen says:

    Patti, your birthday poem made me sad for you. I want you to do something nice for yourself today. It’s your birthday, you are special, so find some way to celebrate, no matter how small. Because no one should miss her own birthday, whatever the reason. We need these little rituals, to keep our sanity. If I were there, at the very least I’d pick you a bunch of daisies and give you a card!

  186. Diane says:

    Great poem, Robert. So often we miss the joy that surrounds us today because we are looking at the horizon for something else. I’m a firm believer in making the most of TODAY, and I like the way you expressed it in your poem.

  187. patti williams says:

    (I wrote this last night with a heavy heart – and yes, today is my birthday! Perfect prompt!)

    My Birthday

    I need to go to sleep
    But my heart’s wide awake with pain.
    It’s been a long week, and it’s only Tuesday.
    My birthday’s just a blip on the radar screen
    And I’ve got so many fires to put out.
    He sets them off, lets them burn,
    I scream and run.
    I blame the damn fool who
    Threw his cigarette out the window
    The asshole with the firecracker
    The crazy arson who is just stirring up trouble.
    But I never blame him
    The one who started the blaze
    The one who wanted me to watch it burn
    With him
    The one who wanted to blame me
    For the fire in the first place
    And that’s crazy.
    It is my birthday tomorrow.
    I just want to blow out the candles
    And say thank you.
    And be done with it.
    Peace would be the best gift in my world but it’s
    Probably not going to happen
    Because odds are,
    There will be another fire.
    And somehow, I will be called in.
    But I am a 38 year old veteran
    And damn him,
    I’m smarter than I’ve ever been.

    So ring the bell, ring the bell louder
    Wake me up to the call!
    But it will be so embarrassing
    When there’s no real fire at all.

    And everyone that came out to watch
    Will know and see and go home to believe
    That the smoke you started
    Is nothing but your own pack of lies.

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