Posts Tagged ‘youth’

March 26

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2014 at 3:02 am

The age of flesh has ended.

Youth was a swift flight of birds,

soaring and then gone.

Oh, my glorious, self-surpassing, and

spendthrift youth!

It took me years just to become

myself– can you imagine?

How profligate I was…of pleasure,

of love, of journeys, of troubles,

sighs and summer afternoons.

Now, when only dribs and drabs are

left, one hears me shrill:

“But then I was merely on the surface

of things, scrabbling about in a haze

of selfishness and lust!”

Yes, now I am buried deep but

it’s become quite clear and

I can see–

a slow, quiet decline, a falling-off

gentle as spring rain,

inexorable as gravity.

Every day I see bits of me

becoming unmoored and

drifting off on ebbing waves

of time.

“Rust never sleeps,” and

neither does age, my friends.

A barnacle that recalls its carefree tumbling

days, I peer across a palimpsest of a landscape

that is at once past and present, memories of my

springtime gleaming like a golden mirage through

the grey, defeated street.

An elderly man lives just behind us.

Today he was creeping down the street,

frail as a newborn colt and blinking in

the wan winter light. This time

next year he will not be here.

Lean teenagers in the park effortlessly

sprint past my laboring figure;

astride swift stallions of unconsummated

testosterone, they are pulled rather than

run straight up a steep hill.

Lungs heaving, I can only look on enviously.

Fair creatures of an hour, when

I think of how much time and light

you have before you!

Well, the dark lord of evolution will come for

them too, when it has calculated in its dumb

reptilian brain that they have shot

their bolt and thus outlived their usefulness.

Then their proud muscles will begin to wither;

their skin will start to sag here and draw

tight as a drum there; their joins will lock up like

a branch on a petrified tree; and their eyes grow dim.

And when the gods of Telomere, Apoptosis, and Prion

finally deign to lift their million poisoned talons,

then these splendid leaping youths shall drink to the last dregs

their own mortality, and descend into Persephone’s garden.

“How thou art fallen from heaven!” a Greek poet once wrote to

his old and failing friend.

But another Ancient opined, “Death is part of life.”

To hell with that:

I want to live forever.


Fair creature of an hour” is a line from a Keats sonnet.

Telomere, Apoptosis and Prion are scientific terms well worth looking up.

November 1

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2011 at 1:16 am

Little man, little man,
what will you see?
Your splendid face
shines as a talisman
against the day.

Little man, little man,
what will you know?
Your Lancelot youth
shields you like armour.

Little man, little man,
what will you do?
In your gentle eyes
floats a single speck
of fear.