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Category Archives: Aging

Before

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Before you die

sit here, snug in my eyes

where love circles you

endless and time-capsuled.

Paint me pictures of you

in shades of words

I have never heard.. before.

Write me letters in the wind

when all I hear is the storm,

leave your kisses in the clouds

to fall like feathers with the rain

Please don’t ask me to explain

Before you die

sit here, snug in my eyes

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.

Come join us! Doors open at 3 p.m. EST.

 

 

 

 

 

Fritter

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In wake of birth, we gather

Arms stretched, propitious

Trusting time

Love…. the cosmos

Writing our own scripts

Naming our own stars

In spite of our goods and grit

Our fate is universal

Collective souls we wander

Time-squandering fools

Tossing moments to the wind

 

 

A quadrille for dVerse Poets Pub. Lillian is our host and the prompt is open ALL week!  If you’d like to write a poem of 44 words including the given word “gather”, you are quite welcome to join in.

Image credit: pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

How Dare I Even Try to Cover Shakespeare

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All the world’s a page
And all the men and women merely poets
They have their exits and their entrances,
And in time they write of every stage of this life
The penning of seven ages. At first, the infant,
Rapping and clapping  in mother’s arms
Then the whining schoolboy, with his backpack
And mourning face, snailing his way
To school. And then the lover,
Sighing between couplets, with a woeful ballad
Music to his mistress’ ear. Then a soldier,
Fighting life’s battles on paper and screens
Jealous in honor, spoken word slamming
Seeking the published prize
At the risk of denial. And then the justice,
Fattened and fueled with philosophy,
With eyes widened by profound thoughts
Full of wisdom of past and present
And so he coins his phrase. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and withered wordsmith,
With spectacles on nose and irony alongside;
His youthful imagery, well saved, a world too wide
For his shortened verse, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish times, whines
And whistles of his own elegy. Last stanza of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Blank verse, refrain and mere oblivion,
Sans rhythm, sans rhyme, sans breath, sans everything.

 

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

By William Shakespeare

(from As You Like It, spoken by Jacques)

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

poetryfoundation.org

Photo taken in Stratford, Ontario, home of the Stratford Festival and Shakespearean plays.

 

A wonderful challenge by Bryan Ens for dVerse Poetics, where he asked us to “cover” a poem by a poet whom you admire. I missed the prompt so I’m linking this up to “Open Link Night”.

Feel free to join in with one poem of your choice!

Departure

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pic for Departure

 

I watch the old bones
Of your pianist hands
Bend in new ways
Blue irises fading, not in beauty
Mind sharper than mine

Will you take flight tomorrow
Or am I blessed with more?
My pen is dripping tears
Dare I write these words?

Am I afraid to love so much that
The ground beneath me liquefies
When you go?

Will your skin, soft and weathered
Turn to pixels on a screen
Leaving me floating here
In the silence of white noise?

When you become that
One …star…ablaze
I will not stand in darkness…alone
Waving at you from the gate
I swear
I will be your moon
Gently glowing
By your side

 

 

We are facing our fears today as I tend bar over at dVerse Poets Pub.

Doors open at 3:00 p.m. EST.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#28

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“Jealousy and bitterness will hold you back from truly living your life.

Let it go.”

 

I’m sure the Frozen song is playing in your head right now, whether you like it or not. Sorry for that.

Oh jealousy and bitterness…such powerful emotions that have absolutely no use.

When I think of times that I felt jealous of someone or something that someone had, I have no memories of ambition or accomplishment from those situations. No one came around with a magic wand and gave me what I envied and I certainly didn’t end up being just like them. So…what was the point of all the misery?

I remember bitterness…serious, intense bitterness. I remember it becoming an entity of its own. I lost myself in it so deeply that I didn’t find myself again for 15 years. Was the bitterness justified? Well hell yes! I didn’t deserve this treatment and this bitterness was my weapon. I owned it. Oh yeah. The problem was that this weapon was aimed at me. It took me a long time to see the end of the barrel, but I did.  I hope you don’t take as long.

Let it go! Let it go!

Oh c’mon. Sing it.

Set yourself free.

 

 

 

Video credit: Youtube

 

Writing 201- Day 3

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 love

 

     Her skin spoke in calligraphy, generic quotes of life and strength. She resented only one of them. Her freckles now faded, perhaps jaded by the intrusion of ink. Freckles are for kids, she thought, like tricks and treats and happier times. Her hands were covered in truth, fitting loosely over knuckles. This is where her stories were told of aging and waging wars with the world. Touching her face she felt the wind that whittled fine lines on canvass. She heard the words that chiseled deeper. She remembered the sun warming her soul, leaving golden hues on arms and legs. Slowly she traced the scar on her left wrist, caressing it back and forth as if to heal the pain that still remained. Her skin spoke of all she was.

 

Written for Writing 201 at The Daily Post where we were prompted to write about “skin”in the form of prose as well as adding some internal rhyme.

Image credit: tatooideasdesigns.com

Preservation

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Even clarity is a journey

There are no seconds sweet enough

To freeze for future use

You desperately hold on

To every crystal clear moment

Before watching them free fall

Like droplets reflecting your soul

Destined to the mulch

Of victories and blunders

Enriching your past

To the roots you stand on

This ground you dance on

So decorated

With all that you are

 

Unblemished

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totomai martinez photo

 

Let me swim again
In pools of innocence
I will not surface for air
Until it is safe and pure
I will not speak with forked tongue
But sing only sweetly of stars
And cars and the buzzing of bees

Let me lay down again
In fields of pink moss
Where seeds of treason and trickery
Are not sown
I will feel joy
As eagles, not egos
Soar overhead

Let me be young again
Eyes wide with wonder
Waiting for the next miracle to unfold
I will not know of lies
No alibi, candy coated
Only love given graciously
Untainted and true

 

At dVerse, Mary introduced us to a talented photographer and poet named Totomai Martinez. Among thousands of amazing photos, this one spoke to me immediately.

Image credit: Yoshi by Totomai Martinez

https://www.flickr.com/photos/totomai

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art My Grandmother is an Artist

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My grandmother is an artist.

Over the years, her oil paintings have adorned many walls. They were beautiful landscapes of colour and detail, shadows of mountains, life flowing in streams, and love delicately expressed onto canvass. I remember the smell of the paint, the blended hues she experimented with on her palette, her unfinished piece draped in cloth as it waited for more magic from her hands.

Ten years ago, at the age of 86, she painted what she thought was her last painting. Her eye sight was failing fast. Four years later, 90 years old and almost legally blind, she picked up the paint brush once more attempting a few final creations, including these two paintings for me and my husband.  She said she was not sure if she could paint again, but she hoped that we liked them.  What they may lack in her usual detail, they make up in visualization, strength and determination.

There are no words to explain how much they mean to me, so I won’t even try.

My grandmother is an artist.

She was also a dedicated wife to a Lutheran minister, devoted to her church and helping others, a most creative and resourceful person, and wonderful cook.

Today she is still a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She lies quietly in a nursing home, unable to see or walk, and barely able to hear. In her mind, I believe she is still painting…memories of bright faces in the sunshine, places of long ago and visions of the light that waits patiently for her. I believe that someday she will paint with the angels.

My grandmother is an artist.

 

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/work-of-art/

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#21

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21. “Give me ten crying babies…please….but don’t ask me to do a jigsaw puzzle,  or any  other tedious task requiring patience and hand eye coordination. I will probably throw it at you.”

baby-crying

 

I work with babies.

I work with babies all day.

I work with babies all day, five days a week.

Do I have your attention?

Yes….waaaah, waaaah, waaaah and more waaaah.

Diapers, rocking chairs, plugs from heaven, pacifiers, air-borne food, catnaps, fevers…I’ve only just begun.

BUT…or shall I say BUTT…

I love it.

Babies are the epitome of life. Think about it.

YOUTH.  INNOCENCE.  ENERGY.  OPEN MINDS…little blank slates ready to absorb the world around them.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Despite the necessary acrobatic skills required to care for six infants at the same time (with one co-worker),  I feel I am blessed every day to have the opportunity to nurture, educate and care for these bundles of wonder. Yes, I said educate.

The screaming crying does not bother me.

Do you know what agitates me?

Threading a needle, figuring out the “features” on my car stereo, untangling Christmas lights or…

Trying to text more than two words on my cell phone without back spacing.

 

Sands of Time

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White Sands National Monument, NM

Time is irrelevant

No meaning cast

Daylight dishonored

 By shadows of the past

Seasons slide easily

Through white knuckled fists

Like tiny bright crystals

Too weak to resist

Time is a gift

To be treasured or wasted

Portraits and images

Carefully pasted

Time is mind altered

We stand early or late

Pausing… resuming

But time does not wait

Time is man measured

Designed and driven

Assumed,  forsaken

Granted,  God given

Full Colour

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Before I die

I want to show all my colours

No secrets concealed

Like a leaf in the sun, aglow

An extension of life

Weightless of all regrets

Reflecting hues and memories

Shades of pain and joy

Tints and tones of all I am

Ready to float freely

For one last dance

With the wind

The End

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Every moment we are still together

Mother and daughter, so sacred

I have the unfortunate knowledge

It will not last

Because I have been there

Facing the impossible

Denying the unthinkable

 I have been there

When the bottom falls out

Making you wonder why

You invested your soul, your heart, your mind

If only for a short time

Why do we love so much

Knowing it will cause so much pain?

Why are we given these precious moments

Leaving us vulnerable and needing more?

I have been there

Devastated by the loss

Frozen in my tracks

Wondering where my next breath will come from

Kicking at pieces of my heart

Laying on the floor

Because life was over as I knew it

So today I look at you,  aging with grace

I hang on to your every word,

Every beloved gesture

Until the end.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#9

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#9.  “Happiness and contentment in your life only happens because you are happy and content with yourself.”

Throughout my twenties and thirties, I had a vision of what would make me happy. It was a perfect world and time.   It was just outside the box of reality I lived in, but completely achievable….or so I thought. It was more than just career goals or personal milestones. It was this imaginary idea of what my life should be like. I constantly pined for it . I was always waiting for it.  I like to think that I had some kind of epiphany about this but maybe it was just a few hard knocks that forced me to finally free myself of these ridiculous and unnecessary expectations.

As I approached 4O,  I found myself again…under the rubble of wishes and good intenti0ns. Wow, I was M.I.A. and didn’t even know it!

Why is it that different things make different people happy? Maybe it’s because it is our own particular state of mind that reacts. Happy things make happy people happy. They don’t work as well with unhappy people. People in my life have suffered similar challenges and losses. Although they all found themselves drowning in  despair and self pity, some have not come back up for air. They are still swimming around in the aftermath, hanging on to what happened to them, their only strength is their pain. It’s really easy to be unhappy. It requires no work on our part. Acceptance requires action but believe me, it is worth it in the end. Our own contentment welcomes the laughter, the warmth, and the beautiful stillness.

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California breathin’

Feeling inspired to write a poem today…….

SEARCH FOR SERENITY

Taking, needing, wanting

All the while believing it is the goal

To find, to get, to hold

A dream deserved

Only to realize

The illusion of plans

And the truth of fate.

Giving, accepting, feeling

As each moment ignites only briefly

Feeding the soul for only now

Is there anything

Not conjured up

Or wished upon

Only within is there light

To find, to get, to hold.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#7

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#7. “Don’t be afraid to take a stand. The people that matter will not hold it against you.”

I used to care….REALLY care about what others would think if I was more aggressive with my opinion. I still care. The only difference is that these self conscious feelings will not stop me. I don’t let them. I can only hope that those who are important in my life will accept me no matter what I stand up for or what I believe.

“ Why not go out on a limb? That’s where all the fruit is.”

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

~Mark Twain~

Now that’s a good quote, truly better than mine. Love the imagery.

I spent at least the first half of my life sticking like glue to the trunk of the tree, afraid to move. It took me a long time to ……change? That is really what it boils down to.  There was no divine  intervention that took place to transform me. I just got tired of the  “me” that I had become. Somehow I was enlightened that change happens by changing your mind. It is purely psychological. You can remain the way you are, if you’re happy with that, or you can move on.  Find new ways to interpret and live your life.  Some significant losses and events in my life also gave me more reasons to venture out of my safe haven. When people you love die young……I think you know the rest.

Recently I took a stand by supporting a movement for environmental issues. The group made headlines around the world. Like many other movements, it has a strong message although not always delivered in a consistent, united or organized fashion. The cause reflected my beliefs, my morals and certainly my love for a clean world or “Mother Earth”, as this group refers to it.

I am a non-native working in a native community surrounded by chemical plants. I “get it”. I breathe it.

Taking a stand for this group took me on a couple walks of peaceful protest. I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it.  The prospect of change taking place because people speak up, people reach out, people  stand firm, is at the very least, inspiring.

Taking a stand can be easy, if you don’t think about the risks. You just get out there, balancing with whatever you have to stop you from falling. Pride, determination, strength or even disregard for what can happen because you believe it can’t be worse than playing it safe. There are times in your life when you gamble more. First day on the job….not so much. Veteran in the field…..let it rip. Just my opinion.

Limbs can break.  Sometimes what we’re standing on is not as solid as we thought.  We may or may not have been aware of that, but we got out there anyway. That’s the beauty of it.  Hopefully, when we hit the ground, we are unscathed. There are many more trees to climb.

NM October 2011 385

Great place to stand alone
Aguirre Springs, New Mexico

 

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#6

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#6. “I could easily get into a fist fight with people who talk during a concert. If you’re not singing, shut up!”

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Tragically Hip
(and the brilliant mind of Gord)

Have you been there?

It’s hard enough watching a struggling artist pour out his heart and soul in a quiet bar as people obnoxiously talk over him.  At a concert, it especially baffles me when people actually pay for a ticket but don’t have any interest in the band. There’s the fifteen year old textaholics that didn’t know the name of the group until they got there because they never heard of them. Why? Because they were not BORN YET!! Then there’s the couple who had a few too many “pre-drinks” and are now arguing about how many they’ve had and how they’re getting home. Don’t forget the ones that continually talk into each other’s  ears about the group you’re trying to listen to as if no one can hear them.

Besides the evil glares that I cast upon them, I can envision myself (maybe after one more beer), winding up a good one.

Pop!!

Of course, that never happens. I am there to see a band that I love and somehow through my gritting teeth, I manage to bite my tongue and behave myself.

The evil glares continue, however.

Music is extremely meaningful and sentimental to me and I appreciate that not everyone shares this passion to the extent that I do but…pahleeaase!! Would they like it if someone was interfering with their livelihood? Hmmm….imagine if you’re a public speaker and a few oblivious people in your audience suddenly burst out into song.

There is a time and place for everything.

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The Eagles
(a major check off the bucket list)

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years……#4.

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#4. If you’re not thinking outside of the box, you’re living in a very small place.

As a child, the world seemed so big and never ending. My dreams were more like goals. Anything seemed possible. I didn’t hope to achieve them. It was only a matter of how and when. I  had nothing to compare them to, no similar situations to remind me of what could go wrong.  There were so many options, so much to see and do, so many places to go.

I listened.

I observed.

I believed in many things.

Then something happened.  It’s interesting that as I grew older, my mind began to filter out ideas that didn’t seem as logical or achievable….as least not to me, anymore.  Reality shoved it’s way into my tranquil, sunshiney space, ready to rain downpour on my parade, with  a few too many “in your face” experiences of loss, disappointments and heartache.  I was angry, resentful and mostly, just sad.

Later on, I think reality had overstayed it’s welcome. I was tired of what I had to do, what I had to face, how I had to live my life.  It wasn’t until I was 40, that I found my youth again. The doors flung open and I emerged like a giant clumsy child.

I’m baaa…aaack!!!!

Who says I can’t have fun? Who says I have to do things a certain way?  Who says I have to get old?  Who says people are everything they seem. They are not. I was ready to explore again, but this time a little bit of knowledge came along with me.  That can be useful.   I was ready to let go of everything holding me back and  move forward  “into the great wide open” as Tom Petty puts it.  The biggest surprise to me was how happy it made me.

The more open I became……

the more I listened,

the more I observed,

the more I believed.

How familiar that feeling was!

We were born with open minds. It is not our experiences that close our minds. It is our reactions to our experiences that close our minds. There is no right way of doing things. There are just many ways of doing things. That’s what makes people interesting. That’s what makes LIFE interesting.

Take a look at the Grand Canyon. You cannot see it’s boundaries…..the never ending space that beckons you to think past what is in front of you.

Think past what you know or where you have been.

Stay open. It’s fun.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#3

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#3. When tobogganing down a steep ravine, a wine skin filled with cherry whiskey, will soften the blow of every tree you hit.

Looking back at it now, I can’t believe we really owned one of these.  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language describes it as “a bag made from the skin of a goat for example, and used for holding and dispensing wine”.

I am fairly certain that I was unaware of the goat skin as I sipped chugged my cherry whiskey, hoping my socks would stay dry. We were trudging through a foot of good packing snow with our plastic Magic Carpets, waxed up wooden toboggans and super flying saucers. Woooo Hoooo!!!

Life was good……in the 70’s.

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#1

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A little over  a year ago,  I  found myself undeniably approaching  the big five oh (no!).  I was determined to make it significant, at least to me, so I decided to share  some things I’ve learned over the years…… the good times, the bad times, the crazy times and all those enlightening moments in between.

Some lessons take a moment, others a life time.  Maybe you can relate to a few.

Hope you find a moment to join me on a regular basis as I reflect on this roller coaster ride we call “LIFE”, starting with…..

#1 If you’re holding a grudge, you’re letting someone continue to hurt you.


Think about it.

Someone causes you pain.  They ruin your day….or maybe your life?

Wait a minute! Are you going to let them ruin your life? Do they deserve that?  Do YOU deserve that?

Carrying a grudge is heavy work  but only you can lighten the load.

Are you waiting for an apology or someone to have a life changing enlightenment?  You could be waiting a long time.

You may be the only one capable of moving forward.   Harboring the anger, resentment and pain is your choice.

Simple as that.

      Stay tuned for #2 !