Old Faces

In the morning
After taking cold shower
—-what a mistake—-
I look at the mirror.
There, a funny guy,
Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin,
—-what a pity—-
Poor, dirty, old man,
He is not me, absolutely not.
Land and life
Fishing in the ocean
Sleeping in the desert with stars
Building a shelter in the mountains
Farming the ancient way
Singing with coyotes
Singing against nuclear war—
I’ll never be tired of life.
Now I’m seventeen years old,
Very charming young man.
I sit quietly in lotus position,
Meditating, meditating for nothing.
Suddenly a voice comes to me:
“To stay young,
To save the world,
Break the mirror.”
—Nanao Sakaki

Posted by Poetic Outlaws

Someone once said “Old age is a terrible thing to happen to a 12-year-old child.” That’s one of those things you wish you’d said and think perhaps you did.

The old man said “Yeah, that’s the truth all right. Doesn’t matter. You brush your teeth and go to bed. Soon enough you die anyway. Then you don’t have to think about it.” Sounds like a poem to me, I said.

He said, “I never wrote poetry. Maybe the guys who do don’t die. They’ll still get old though. So I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. Still, I guess I’d rather just grow old.”

Birthdays

As my birthday is now gone, I can say it was. I’m not fond of saying that it is. I’ve not been interested in birthdays since the milestone days: 18, 21, and 30. After that it has seemed mostly inconsequential, especially to celebrate. Not avoidance, more like a no matter. A shrug of the shoulders.

But today I did see this poem posted, a lovely toast to the days as we mark them gone.

Poem and photo posted by Mauri Fox & Kathy Gallo

I Am Not Old
I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.
~ Samantha Reynolds

And this coat has special significance for me as it’s a coat that reoccurs in my life. It is the coat that was first found on Billy the priest as we were kid-adults together in Michigan. He was quite heavyset then, and the coat looked fabulous on him. (He was not a priest at the time.) One of the first novels I wrote, “Last House” has a character in it who has such a coat. He is a character of some merit and all of the people who read the MS loved him. He is also heavyset and a very proud and kind man. When I think of the coat I can feel it, so warm and wonderful, and furry.