• 101
    Best Websites
    for Writers

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the 101 Best Websites for Writers download.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 228

Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

For this week’s prompt, write an old poem. Now, I don’t mean take an already existing poem and pass it off as your own. However, I suppose you could re-write an old poem in a modern style or parody an older poem. Or the poem could be about an older individual, or an older way of thinking, or well, I’m sure you have your own interpretation already.

Here’s my attempt at an old poem:

“12”

Was an awkward age for me. Not a kid,
not a teen. Somewhere caught between one age
and the next. But then, when have I not felt
that way? And now, Ben beyond ten and faced

with the uncertainty of future. Twelve
months times twelve years, and I’m feeling older
than ever: comfortably awkward. Still
wondering what to say, when to say it.

*****

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

*****

Get feedback on your poetry!

With the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course, poets have the opportunity to receive unbiased feedback on their poetry over a six-week period. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut or uncertain of your voice, this online course can inspire you to new directions.

Click to continue.

 

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts
  • Print Circulation Form

    Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

163 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 228

  1. De Jackson says:

    Same Old

    Twice told, these tales
    are getting stale. She holds
    and hails them well, casts
    her spell between the lines,
    holds her breath and often
    finds that something new
    can trickle through, if she
    stands, opens her hands
    and offers her fractured
    pieces to the light.

    .

  2. julie e. says:

    Better VERY late than never!!

    WHAT SHE COULD JUST AS WELL HAVE SAID TO US
    .
    my bones are old and getting older
    my heart is ice and getting colder
    my coming death, it makes me bolder
    to say what I want to you.

    I once had hope when you were born
    but from the womb when you were torn
    became your own to not adorn
    me as an accessory

    my dreams I had you did not fit
    you would not mold yourself to it
    and so I call you “disappointment”
    and block your face from view

    I once had thought to touch the sky
    and backs were burdened so that i
    could climb them all to the highest high
    but success eluded me

    my bones are old and getting older
    my heart is ice and getting colder
    and in the weakness of your shoulder
    again you have failed me.

  3. buffalois says:

    Old Dream

    I ‘m feeling old today.
    The feeling just wont go away.
    Maybe it’s the wall of mirrors.
    I try to avoid them these days.

    Maybe it’s the sight
    of my crooked spotted hand
    resting on the graying snout
    of my loyal friend.

    I open my eyes, stretch and yawn
    my dog named Hal does the same.
    It sure is nice to see the dawn.
    We look forward to another day.

    I take a deep breath and smile
    with a grateful glance to heaven.
    Thankful for another chance
    to feel young again.

  4. Glory says:

    Obsession

    Remembered, days so long ago, yet here
    and now within my grasp I see your face,
    your broken smile before you walked away.

    So long ago,and still I feel your arms
    so tight around my waist, your dear sweet kiss
    is all I know, although you walked away.

    Yet here and now love lingers, bitter sweet
    passion, long-lasting, lies deep within my heart,
    never lost to yesterday’s past, the you,
    before you walked a way – my obsession

  5. alplatt says:

    I must be old

    Adults have me told
    I’m a child
    I must be too old

  6. Amy says:

    I page through
    a thousand shades of lipstick
    puckered seductively as if to
    fend off the reaper with a kiss.
    Topical solutions
    to a human epidemic;
    could have sworn I spotted
    new lines upon my face-
    what should be praised as
    a testament of a life lived
    is instead shaded rouge,
    lined and blotted;
    covered by hope in a jar.
    Noticed a silver hair
    upon my head the other day;
    another thousand veneers
    to cover up the truth,
    no telling what lies beneath.
    We all wear our youthful masks
    and wait;
    at least we’ll look good
    in our final slumber.

  7. JRSimmang says:

    When my wife and I got married
    we saw all our presents
    scattered over our living room floor
    when we pulled back in
    from our honeymoon.

    The lights were out,
    but even in the dark,
    silhouetted against the
    fireplace
    stood, stark as night,
    a foxtail fern,
    sprightly and uprightly
    waving in the shadow.

    A fern. I thought.
    Well, it won’t make salsa.
    But, my wife, dropped my hand
    and lowered herself to the side of this fern.

    “Is this?” She muttered, and looked to me.
    “I don’t know.” I said.
    “This fern was raised by my great-grandmother.
    It has lived in her house while the
    hammers fell on the west-bound train tracks.
    It lived with her while the great furnaces
    pumped out the Atlantic.
    It lived with her while the Germans
    forced their iron fist in Poland
    and beyond.
    This lived with my grandmother
    while the bombs fell on Nagasaki,
    while she held the hand of my
    grandfather when his eyes slowly
    slipped to the darkest of nights.
    It found its place beside her
    wedding bands on her nightside
    table, and when the summer breeze
    lifted the curtains
    it shook from the thrill of it.
    This fern was watered by my
    mother’s hands,
    and her hands held mine while
    I cried over my first love and
    last heartbreak,
    and now.

    Now this fern is here, to wish us
    a happy marriage
    as long and full as it’s leaves.”

    I knelt beside her that night,
    and we made love as the stars
    circled our heads.

  8. Paul Hurm says:

    Write an old poem suggested the man.
    I thought to myself, “I’m sure I can”.
    But the bones in my fingers really do hurt
    almost as if they were made out of chert.

    Words came to the brain so that part’s OK
    although I stroked out on that long ago day
    so sixty-two may not be all that old
    if I would just let my own truth be told.

    I hope this attempt doesn’t turn out too bad
    and what I say here doesn’t make people sad
    when they read the old words I have included here
    like grizzled and hoary and “too old my dear”.

    • PressOn says:

      I wish there were more grizzleds and hoaries like thgis. Loved it.

    • Julieann says:

      Wonderful

    • Glory says:

      Obsession

      Remembered, days so long ago, yet here
      and now within my grasp I see your face,
      your broken smile before you walked away.

      So long ago,and still I feel your arms
      so tight around my waist, your dear sweet kiss
      is all I know, although you walked away.

      Yet here and now love lingers, bitter sweet
      passion, long-lasting, lies deep within my heart,
      never lost to yesterday’s past, the you,
      before you walked a way – my obsession

  9. buffalois says:

    The Old Dog
    creak, snap, pop, click
    the old dog stands from his latest
    nap of the day to go out to pee
    and to smell the fresh air wafting
    filled with scents familiar,
    full of information –
    and the new scents – interrresssssting

    All is well he bellows a “WOOF”
    yip-yip-wuf-wuoufff-yip-yap-yip
    the local pooches chime in to agree.
    The old dog belts out one more for good measure “WOOF!!”
    emphasis needed to dissuade the doubters
    WOOF! I still rule! Happy smells to you!
    Till next time buds – my couch is calling!

    He’s a good old boy
    slow up the steps onto the deck
    he pushes and pulls his muscles
    to do what he needs them to do.
    He lifts his head, there’s a glint in his eye.
    He sees me and smiles
    and knows he’s almost home
    where there’s warmth, goodies, laughter, comfort,
    and time for another sweet nap.

    Soon the old dog is running through lush meadows
    jumping hopping twirling bouncing
    carefree painfree simply free.

    I watch over him,
    my heavy heart fills with joy,
    hoping soon he will be home again
    to rule another day.

  10. james.ticknor says:

    El Diablo (Inspired from Edgar Poe’s Eldorardo)

    A gallant knight, comfy and wise
    Sat upon his steed and banner-pride
    Day gave glory-light, and path to prize
    Light beat shadows, golden arrows
    Of light to make them all hide

    The trek was soft, the earthen clay
    Sucked at horses feet warning “Don’t go”
    Consternation wrought itself dismay
    By light of day, the path did lay
    Itself to El Diablo

    When night had fell, a wolf had howled
    Surrounding him with cries of “Don’t go”
    But he couldn’t tell for twasn’t loud
    By cloak of dark, in shadows stark
    Lay way to El Diablo

  11. AHReader says:

    Towering pine tree
    Sturdy with trunk full of rings
    Its watching eyes wise

  12. AHReader says:

    Please don’t get old.
    I need you now, more than ever.
    Childhood was easy,
    compared to this weighty responsibility
    of becoming an adult.

    Please don’t get old.
    You’re my best friend,
    the only one that’s known me
    From birth and inside out
    And rejoiced over me anyways.

    Please don’t get old.
    My future kids need you,
    so they can be spoiled and loved
    by the best Grammy there could be.
    And I’ll need you then, too.

  13. seingraham says:

    AGING? WHO? NOT YET SURELY…

    She really doesn’t feel any different
    than she did last year, or years ago
    actually…
    She tries to remember if she ever felt
    old and has a vague recollection
    of the let-down
    After her kids were born and she realized
    she might never look quite the same again.

    But did she feel older?
    No, she thinks not
    And through the years of mental health
    consumerism — bouncing in an out
    of psych wards
    There were so many “rebirths” of a sort
    Maybe that’s why she never got around
    to feeling she was aging

    Even now, when things have gone missing
    (teeth, hair, eyebrows, nails … not that you’d
    notice; she’s always been good at faking it…)
    The only time she’s taken aback and thinks,
    “Oh my, I must be getting on,”
    is when she accidentally catches herself
    staring at her once fairly pretty hands…

    Now, several of the fingers are bent out of shape,
    so badly as to be unrecognizable –
    Osteoarthritis, her doctor tells her…
    and nothing to be done for them apparently;
    although she has trouble believing this…
    After all, when her knee was bothering
    her — he offered cortisone shots,
    and in extreme circumstances, an operation…
    (Needless to say, her knee’s fine now.)
    But nothing for her crone’s hands?
    She didn’t buy it…
    Maybe by the time she got old,
    they’d have some answers…

  14. Domino says:

    My Old Umbrella

    I open up my old umbrella
    And your note flutter-falls to the floor
    Who knew you were that kind of fella?
    You put a note in my old umbrella
    And reading your mini-novella
    Remembering you here by my door
    When I last opened my umbrella
    And my heart flutter-falls to the floor

    Diana Terrill Clark

    • Never2L8 says:

      Oh, sweet… flutter-falls, I like that.

    • PressOn says:

      I feel ambivalence here, mainly because of that phrase, “mini-novella.” However, the other phrase, “flutter-falls,” is the one that stands out. Inspired.

      • Domino says:

        Funny that you caught that. As I was writing, I was imaging an old love, long gone, who’d left a note in the old umbrella. Her, finding it much later, and realizing there was still something between them, much too late.

        It wasn’t until I posted it that I realized it could be read another way too. ^_^ Must keep practicing saying what I mean, but I’m glad you sensed the ambivalence.

  15. JRSimmang says:

    TOWARD THE SUN
    It’s awfully tall,
    I said as I stared
    at the ladder leaning on the sun.
    There’s no possible way
    I can climb up that high,
    and put my foot on the bottom rung.

    At first it was easy,
    my arms pulling me up.
    I didn’t dare look down through my feet.
    But, the higher I went,
    the thinner the air,
    I was starting to feel pretty beat.

    Though my arms tired,
    and my legs ached,
    I climbed on and on and on.
    Forever upward,
    toward the sun,
    the ground below me was suddenly gone.

    Above me, so close,
    was a platform for rest.
    I sat myself down and leaned on the stars.
    All I could do
    was admire the view,
    and caress the Earth, Venus, and Mars.

    I’d finally arrived,
    and here I can breathe.
    My journey was finally complete.
    But when I chanced
    a final look up,
    I saw the ladder extended above my seat.

    It was time to keep moving,
    always upward,
    toward the brilliantly hot sun.
    When this climb ends,
    I’ll never know,
    but the journey belongs to everyone,
    and my journey has just begun.

    _JR Simmang_

  16. Cin5456 says:

    (Warning, this poem has a political slant. Read at the risk of disagreeing.)

    This Message was Brought to You By…

    Her fingers did not become bent with wide
    arthritic knuckles. Her joints did not ache
    in the morning. She did not lose her teeth,
    or get dentures. She never used a cane.
    Her ankles were not swollen from varicose veins.
    Her hair did not age gracefully gray.
    She did not apply for Medicare. Her license
    was never revoked for bad eyesight, and
    she never used anti-aging cream. One
    might think she was lucky in some ways, but
    they would not agree. She did not watch
    her children grow old, nor did she see them grow up.
    She never held a grandchild on her knee,
    and tickle his toes for a smile. Breast cancer
    took her away from them before she turned
    thirty-three. This young mother missed most
    of life because the clinic where her doctor
    practiced was closed by the governor last year.
    He said it was to protect women’s health,
    and make sure they received the best care.
    She never had the scheduled mammogram ordered
    by her doctor. The doors were closed a few
    days before her appointment. Without insurance
    she could not find a clinic that would take
    a new Medicaid patient.
    This tragic tale was made possible by
    your local elected Tea Party. Vote!
    Make your care for your sisters count!

    • PressOn says:

      I can feel the anguish and anger in this. Well penned indeed.

      • Cin5456 says:

        Thank you. The poems I posted today were written last night and this morning. I will probably revise them several times, but this one definitely needs editing because I feel its phrasing, meter, and rhythm need work. Especially the last half; “This young mother” to the end does not feel right yet. It’s not personal experience, but is an activist’s very real concern, so I have room to work with it.

  17. PressOn says:

    VINTAGE RACING

    Old guys
    drive their old cars
    around an old race track,
    abandoning arthritis, years,
    and gears.

  18. PKP says:

    I strained toward “old”

    As a young child
    willed my taut body
    to the time of velvet skin
    folded in creases
    of wisdom
    at the head of the line

    lurched impatiently toward “old”
    when I thought it
    translated to only
    freedom
    and
    universal
    respect

    Witnessed never
    the demeaning snicker
    the rolled eye
    the endless parade
    of denigration
    marginalization
    and contempt
    of the “young-forever”
    wanabees-buzz
    flinging insults
    like sullied confetti
    onto white heads
    in a parade they
    think is marching
    in place
    as they move
    ever closer
    to soon vacated
    places
    in
    the
    line
    ahead
    waiting
    for their
    despair

  19. PKP says:

    The Way They Used to Think
    (in honor of TBM)

    Can you believe my child
    there was a time
    when a boy like you
    could not walk on a misted
    night with his head covered
    from the rain
    Can you believe my child
    there was a time
    when a boy like you
    would be suspicious
    simply because of the
    burnished nutmeg of your skin
    Can you believe?

    I drink the disbelief
    in your velvet eyes
    and sigh
    That you
    can
    not

  20. Cin5456 says:

    Unexpected

    Someone once told me,
    “You will be like your mother someday.
    You will think like her,
    and have the same values,
    But you won’t even notice as it happens.”
    I was confident I would always be unique.

    Today I looked in the mirror, and had
    the strangest feeling I had seen that person
    somewhere else. As I stared, her hand rose
    to brush the hair from her brow. Her eyes
    grew wide, her mouth briefly gaped, then
    politely closed over dentures. Her hand
    touched her collar, then covered her racing heart.
    My long-gone grandmother smiled at me,
    and I felt at peace with myself.

  21. Sara McNulty says:

    What He Saw

    Years called him old.
    Age clouded his eyes,
    that twinkled blue
    behind the haze.
    Arthritis accelerated,
    crooking his fingers,
    hunching his neck.
    In his mind, he walked
    tall, nimble fingers played
    ball, and all the songs
    of all the ages he had known
    played in rhythm inside
    deaf ears. He called
    himself ageless.

  22. Jane Shlensky says:

    Old Souls
    know things beyond
    their years, before their time,
    things conjured before Eden was
    planted.

  23. Heather says:

    age

    ‘no’
    defiance, confidence
    in the simple answer
    she asserts herself for the first time
    though she can barely walk.

    ‘i don’t care’
    the confidence of choice
    she defends her dress
    defies deadlines and curfews
    determined to pick peers
    over family.

    ‘i’ll be back’
    bags packed
    she steps expectantly
    her passage unknown.
    she falters in fear
    but moves forward.

    ‘i do’
    simple words
    of commitment and affirmation,
    confident, calm
    her careful choice.

    ‘i’ll be back’
    she tucks her in
    tenderly, tightly,
    reassuring
    as the girl sleeps.

    ‘i don’t care’
    the confidence of choice
    she defends her dress
    defying her daughter’s
    expectations.

    ‘no’
    defiance, confidence
    the simple answer
    as she struggles
    to hold on to
    herself.

    *****

    also blogged at http://heatherbutton.com/2013/07/17/age-poem/

  24. Julieann says:

    What is Old?

    When I was six I wanted to be old
    Like eight or nine or ten
    Then I could hang out at the swimming hole
    And bait the hook, on my fishing pole

    When I reached the age of 12
    I wanted to be 14, 15 or 16
    Then I could hang out at the skating rink
    Or take out a girl, all dressed in pink

    When I was 18 years of age
    I couldn’t wait to be 21
    To my youth I’d say, “goodbye”
    Then with the eagles I would fly

    On and on I went, past 30 and 40
    And 50, what’s this, I’m 80?
    Going on a hundred
    Is that old? I wondered

  25. Never2L8 says:

    Old age
    Creases supple skin
    Stiffens agile muscles and limbs
    Pains, creaks, groans
    Drains vigor, fades dreams, cools passions
    But sets free the seeking heart
    To be.

  26. danceswithhorses says:

    Thank you!

  27. Jane Shlensky says:

    Of Use

    Her hands,
    wrinkled, spotted
    skin over twisted bones,
    could wring a chicken’s neck or hold
    a child.

  28. dford says:

    Old Sheffield Drive

    Countless times I’ve returned to you in my mind. Living there, as a child, I lacked nothing. There was not an ounce of my being that felt misplaced, in need, or let down. Unfortunately, this life would not last long. What followed were times, of uncertainty, and most abundantly, loss.

    I watched helplessly as my family experienced ill health and devastating financial blows. We survived the hits and got right back up. My parents grew bitter, tired and apart. I held, tightly, onto the short-lived, comfortable, days gone by.

    I frequently, felt as if we’d never been forced out, our lives would be filled with smiles accompanying memories, laughter in abundance and love without end. I placed all of my hopes and childhood dreams neatly in my mind, appropriately addressed: Old Sheffield Drive.

  29. PKP says:

    Old Head

    they said
    she had
    an old head
    under the
    bouncing
    black curls
    and the flashing
    eyes that
    looked back
    and forward
    intently present

  30. Life after Ninety

    “I had to rob the cradle,”
    said my ninety-four year old
    father-in-law
    of his eighty-year-old
    fourth wife.
    “I have no peers.”
    If you live long enough
    you enter undiscovered territory
    alone.

  31. Pronkstilleven

    Pretentious displays intended

    to accost and arouse.

    Lustrously coiled spiral specimens

    zig-zagging in rare color variants

    of beaded patterns and chevrons.

    Sweet fodder for neoteric eyes!

    Exotic rarities, newly discovered

    prizes of colonial sea trade

    set amidst butterflies, peaches,

    curling grape tendrils, tiny insects,

    fragile buttercups, and a lizard.

    Alluring contrasts with aesthetic appeal.

    Middle class prosperity, flamboyance, and

    fleeting pleasures of life, remembered

    by old masters delicate precision.

    © ~ Randy Bell ~ 2013
    There’s a special image that goes with this poem! if I’ve captured your interest
    http://cloudfactor5.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/wednesday-poetry-prompts-228/

  32. Michelle Hed says:

    Beyond Time

    I remember being young,
    looking at old people
    and being a bit scared
    by the lines and wrinkles,
    the spotted hands
    and the pale and watery eyes.

    Now after seeing death
    in those too young –
    I know I will wear
    each wrinkle as a badge
    of a life LIVED
    and each wisp of wisdom
    will give me comfort
    in knowing I have learned
    and continue to learn
    even as my body
    slowly
    withers
    away.

  33. elishevasmom says:

    Relative

    When I was growing up
    (back in the day…)
    the mantra was,
    “You can’t trust anyone over 30.”

    By the time I turned 30,
    (a decade or so later),
    I saw the naivety of that belief.
    Back then, “anyone over 30”

    meant our parents
    (and their generation).
    But now, a 30-year-old
    peered at me from the mirror,

    and I trusted her
    (for the most part).
    Yet over my shoulder,
    I saw 60-year-old parents!

    I had 60-year-old grand-parents!
    (didn’t I?)
    That was when I made The Discovery:
    Time Is Relative.

    When my sister was 20-ish
    (she has 6 years on me)
    she declared, “ Middle-aged is
    how old my mother is”.

    Therefore, my sister
    (and myself, by extension)
    will never become middle-aged.
    Now, as my mother approaches 90,

    and I am dancing with 60
    (not ‘The Twist”, it hurts too much)
    the whole idea of relativity
    looks better every day.

    Ellen Knight 7.17.13
    write an ‘old’ poem

  34. PressOn says:

    REVERIE

    The old man walks the midnight street alone,
    humming soft tunes recalled from long ago,
    when life was bright. Now sore of soul and bone,
    the old man walks the midnight street. Alone,
    he dreams of Friday nights, a corded telephone,
    and lovely lasses. All is right, although
    the old man walks the midnight street alone,
    humming soft tunes recalled from long ago.

  35. hazelmay64 says:

    Old Age

    She was born old
    bones creaking
    mom shrieking
    eyes leaking
    whiskey streaming live
    from New York
    it’s Saturday night
    and the flickering light
    from the bulb
    outside the window
    sends a call of S.O.S.
    in morse code
    angels fly to
    this haunted abode
    find a worn old
    woman of four
    take her
    lift her
    help her
    Up!
    Her cracked cup
    full of bitter whine
    Thrown and battered
    one last time
    her spirit marked
    return to sender
    back to the loving arms
    who will mend her
    the morning commuters
    stare, then gasp,
    then turn the page
    while Heaven welcomes
    the wise little sage
    another child
    dies of old age

    © hazelmay64

  36. RJ Clarken says:

    Backwards Glance

    Middle
    aged nostalgia:
    nomenclature re
    time spent remembering the good
    ol’ days.

    ###

    Faded

    Is it
    only that youth
    is truly relevant?
    When did I stop being hip and
    très cool?

    ###

    The Reason for the Twinkle in Her Eye

    Photos
    in an album
    are a moment in time
    but oh what a moment some of
    them were.

    ###

    Two Roads Diverged

    …and once
    upon a time,
    fairy tales might come true.
    Now, the stories have different
    endings…

    ###

  37. priyajane says:

    The Old Banyan Tree

    Its been here, even before our time
    A green umbrella, holy, sublime
    Straggly tails of continuos lyrics
    That rustle in, invisible spirits

    A tiny seed that trusted time
    Grew a kingdom, with a magic chime
    Its rooted strong with hands and feet
    Spreading joy to all in need

    Dying, living, rooting, and growing
    Churnings, that are smoothly flowing
    Soaking in and oozing out
    Contemplating on some doubts

    A wise old bearded man is spread
    Handing out his daily bread
    A centered presence amidst some storms
    However you come, you leave reformed

    Some childhood sways are tangled here
    In gracious hands, our dreams seemed near
    They say that nothing grows under it
    How terribly wrong is this audit?

    Love that’s lost is found again
    With flutes and bells of leafy zens

  38. dextrousdigits says:

    COUNTING YEARS

    …65, 66, 67
    When I was a young girl,
    I learned if you wanted truly beautiful hair,
    each day you would brush it 100 strokes
    68, 69, 70

    In movies, glamorous stars
    or their maids brushed their hair
    with ivory or abalone handled brushes 100 strokes.
    71, 72, 73

    My mom would pull the brush
    through my hair 100 strokes,
    sometimes counting in French so
    I would feel exotic,
    soixante-quatre, soixante-cinq, soixante-six ….

    It was a special time when my father
    would sit me in front of him
    and tell me about his trips
    while brushing my hair 100 strokes.
    Sometimes he brushed a few extra strokes for luck.
    77, 78, 79, 80

    By 10 years old, the routine was well ingrained.
    At home, camp, relatives or on vacation
    before bed the tortise handle brush with
    bore hair bristles sold to us by
    a door-to-door Fuller Brush salesman,
    would glide through my hair.
    81, 82, 83

    Slumber parties provided a time for beauty sessions.
    Clay-mask facials, painting each others toe nails,
    and brushing those 100 strokes gave us time to discuss
    current fashion, who was cute and who was cool.
    84, 85, 86

    Sixty years of family and friends gatherings,
    dinner parties, birthdays, holidays, BBQ’s,
    showers, and celebrations.
    I have watched babies unfold into brokers,
    graphic artists, teachers, programmers and more.
    Certainly each girl and many of the boys
    have sat in front of me to hear perhaps a story
    get their necks and backs rubbed, and have
    their hair brushed 100 times.
    Many have practiced counting in various languages
    quatre-vingts-sept, quatre-vingts-huit, ochenta-ocho, noventa
    while their hair was brushed.
    91, 92, 93

    My husband and I had a deal
    I would massage his back and feet.
    He would help me make the salad and vegetables
    and while watching a movie he would brush my hair.
    Focused on the movie or telling me about his day,
    he wouldn’t count,
    but I automatically counted to myself.
    In 50 years, he never brushed less than 150 strokes.
    94, 95, 96

    Now I’m 83 years-old.
    I don’t know if the Fuller-Brush company still exists,
    yet, I still have their tortoise handled brush.
    I have had no children to pass on this antique brush
    or the tradition it carries.
    I have three cats. Tonight is “Shadows” turn.
    She purrs as I brush and nudges my hand for more.
    I think she can count and never lets me stop
    before I reach a hundred.
    97, 98

    As I brush her, I remember my mom’s accent,
    my dad’s big hands,
    the Fuller-brush man,
    teen friends and fun,
    family gatherings
    My husband…
    99, 100, 101

  39. Blessed be the tie…

    For our wedding day
    I bought a brand-new blue suit.
    Twenty three years on,
    I still wear the tie sometimes.
    Everything else has grown up.

  40. GypsySue says:

    THESE YEARS

    Many years have passed
    Loved one gone to the sky
    Left alone in this game
    They call life , wishing to say “Bye”

    Not many that I knew are
    Still around to make a call
    Each morning the sun rises
    My body cries, “Stand tall.

    If a stranger was to look
    Into my battered and worn mind
    Shock would paralyze, only one question
    How are you still so kind?

  41. PressOn says:

    OLD-TIMERS’ GAME

    Around the horn they throw the ball again,
    remembering how they used to play the game
    when they were young. They take the field and then,
    around the horn they throw the ball again
    as though no time had passed, recalling when
    the field belonged to them. And cheers. And fame.
    Around the horn they throw the ball again,
    remembering how they used to play the game.

  42. laurie kolp says:

    I really like your poem, Robert.

  43. BEFORE THE STORM

    How strangely still
    the water is today.
    Calm and tranquil, strangely still.

    Clouds upon the horizon,
    harbingers of things to come;
    clouds obliterate the sun.

    The air is cold; it chills,
    winds stirring through the clearing.
    Winds of change do not thrill.

    How strangely still
    the water is today.
    Peaceful thoughts; I get my fill.

    And then the clouds converge,
    driven by gusts of icy breath;
    a nasty dose of a late season surge.

    Before the storm, it seemed quite warm.
    How strangely still
    the water was today. Such a rapid decay!

    ** Inspired by “Sea Calm”, by Langston Hughes

  44. JWLaviguer says:

    Old Bones

    If these old bones could talk
    they’d tell a tale of a foolish youth
    a life spent taking chances
    no fear no consequences
    living life to the fullest
    oh to be young again.

    JW Laviguer

  45. SUMMER STEALS AWAY

    A hiker has lost two buttons.
    Trampled into creekside mud, they
    sink ever deeper, at last become
    part of the mineral kingdom, ancient
    network of sediment and metamorphic
    fire, everlasting hunger of wind and water
    gnawing away at cliffs, making crevices
    for lizard and for bat in the realm of
    light and shadow, as today’s long
    after-solstice sun disappears,
    the old chill returns, and
    the hiker hugs his
    jacket tighter.

    • PressOn says:

      I’ve returned to this several times, not knowing what to say but loving the timeless feeling it evokes, albeit with some unease for the lost buttons and the need to hug the jacket tighter. I guess the heart of it for me is the “old chill” returning. This is a fascinating mixture of ambivalent and arresting, for me anyway.

  46. RobHalpin says:

    Serendipity

    A brief,
    chanced encounter.
    An airport bar. Two men.
    A raucous hug. An easy chat.
    Old friends.

  47. Nancy Posey says:

    Memento
    after “Recuerdo” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

    We felt—how could it be?—both tired
    and merry that moon-drenched night,
    rocked to near sleep by the water lapping
    beneath the ferry we rode back and forth,
    pretending we could postpone dawn’s arrival,
    clocking in after the moon’s nightshift

    Marking the smell– like a stable, you said,
    then dismissing my allusion to the Christ child’s
    birth, then I chose the apples from our sack
    and asked if you saw in me some wizened Eve.
    We watched the sunrise like cinema, accustomed
    to the final sunset scene than this sky painting,
    the sun’s gold dripping against the pale sky.

    Giddy from lack of sleep, we disembarked,
    giving away our last fruits, best fruits
    to the little woman bobbing down the street,
    handing her our coins as well, considering
    at last the widow’s mite returned.

  48. danceswithhorses says:

    Today I remembered.
    Standing in the hall, staring
    At the empty places
    Where pictures once hung
    Your pictures.
    If I close my eyes
    I can still hear little feet.
    And your arms slip around my waist,
    I can feel your smile.
    But that’s the old way of life.
    I have to get used to this new one,
    This empty one,
    This alone one.
    I’ve packed away your favorite coffee mug,
    I can’t bear to see it.
    I used to drink coffee with you,
    While the children slept on
    Undisturbed.
    But that’s an old way of life.

Leave a Reply