Beginning to end…

Some of us start the day with worries,

others with a routine and coffee but

no thoughts – never waking excitedly

anticipating a glorious end at the start,

love found and waiting to be savored

as if waiting for us – no, not all of us,

just some; and the rest of us fear day’s end

and push back against the momentum of

every undone worry and unsolvable pain

not needing a reminder but praying for

ignorance and sleep – just sleep please.


So for Christmas I received one of those

Word of the Day calendars and, until today,

I must say I’ve been generally unimpressed,

but then ‘hellacious’ appeared, out of nowhere

and I must say I’m astonished by its formidable

difficulty but sad to discover there has been

nothing – absolutely nothing – in my life

worthy of such an adjective except those infrequent

moments of exaggeration a younger generation

seems damnably committed to enjoy every other moment

of their lives questioning whether their collective

amygdala can sustain such outrage in a perpetual

fit of outrage while I sip my coffee, wonder at the

weather, plan a walk with the dog, and change the

world with words they’ll never read let alone see,

which is, apparently, damn hellacious.

It all depends…

Call it predestination, inevitable or just plain the way it is

but we’re told to take what we’re given because the giving

and granting is beyond our control; it starts in recovery,

it’s the way to pray and accept what’s possible, how and

where we’re born, or just the way things are; it forces us

to retell all life’s lesser episodes, misery and mediocrity

by means of melancholy muses that show wisdom and

maturity and measure everything by the one thing that

just is or else you’re a complainer, dissatisfied and

without the faith that makes resignation into a virtue

and truly nothing at all depends on what happens next.

Speaking freely…

From the grave, few speak freely if at all,

and wish as one might to write an autobiographical eulogy

there’s really no way to see it through is there;

and that’s the sweet release from trying to control

what refuses to be controlled and those who refuse to bend;

but if you suspect I did not like you – and you know

who you are – you’re probably correct in your suspicion

and it makes me smile to write it today long before (I hope)

these words come to pass; and for those who I should

have shown greater deference – and you also know

who you are and so does everyone else around you

as they suffer your insufferable ways – you were also

correct and I really regret having to admit that because

it will only encourage you; and finally to those whom

I have loved well without always showing said wellness,

I offer the only consolation available to me – I did.

Waiting for the storm…

It’s been coming for so long now, and we’ve been

alerted, warned, marketed to purchase another

shovel, some salt, a snow blower, maybe a generator

in case every bit of the infrastructure crumbles, and

cautioned about shoveling snow if we’re not young

anymore but the young don’t see the need to do

such things, in part because there’s no app for that

and in part because they don’t see the same things

that frighten those of us who shouldn’t shovel

heavy snow, light snow, too much snow, or just plain snow.


When he wakes, he sits,

taller and taller

on the edge of the bed,

slowly opening up

to the altered state,

assessing whether rest

has visited or eluded

him; a glass of

water sits next to a

alarm clock radio

but it hasn’t yet

reached its time to

ring; he tries to

concentrate by

squinting to gain first

sight almost to

confirm where he is,

why he is maybe;

having accomplished

so much already

there remains only

the challenge of rising,

standing erect,

balancing without

returning to the bed

which calls to him

it seems with its

gravitational pull; the

day is younger

yet he is not, the sun

is about to rise unhurried

as a cue for his pace,

the sky brightens

and draws him

to the East again,

draws him with its

dependable testament

to a faithfulness he

once prized

above all else.

New memories…

Try as we may, new memories just aren’t as good as

the other ones – those small and ordinary things that

appear without reason but are casual, expected things

like my cheap coffee maker that outlasted every

fancy brewer, the feel of that red-handled snow brush

that made its home in three different cars when

we lived without a garage (and I missed not having

a garage, but that’s another memory), and those

unexpected and uninvited throw blanket that’s

been ‘mine’ for longer than you’ve been mine, and

try as I do, I can’t make something a better memory

by thinking happy thoughts or wishing it were so.

It’s that time of year…

It was cute in December – every single window of many

blinking and shining with holiday lights, colorful and not,

large and small, inside and out, and draped over

overgrown bushes on all sides – the kind every older

person’s house enjoys; but then it becomes January

and all that seasonal effort must be unplugged,

undonned and undone, and that energy is harder

to come by so the lights remain and shine alone

on the block and then in the neighborhood and

you wonder when complaints will start, which

they do and it makes you wonder if some over

zealous board or commission has some rule and fines

for such instances (or soon will thanks to this

one house), and then, just as gracelessly, the lights

disappear – all but a Santa with a 60 watt bulb and

a small tree awkwardly lighted in the corner of

the back yard that’s only visible from the house

or taller passers-by like me who just have to know

what the fuss is about.

Envelop of dreams…

The bright lights are softened, wound into garlands

decorating a fine home;

a child’s laughter cuts through the cold air

of winter’s pain;

a widower sits for another hour not watching

the television that’s always on;

and there’s a young child clipping photos from

a magazine of other people’s lives,

keeping them in an envelop of dreams where

everything that’s not real is possible.