It’s not so much the time I think I’ve wasted
or even those things I have left undone
(those grand majestic dreams you hold onto,
beyond their useful life, as could have beens),
the words said I would rather had been left unsaid
and their resulting acts, not wild nor brave,
but thoughtless, more or less, and without purpose
except to further demonstrate a fool.
It’s just another year, why all the bother?
They come and come relentless end to end
without even a moment’s space between them
to catch your breath or lean a day or two.
The moon still wanes and waxes as it pleases
as we each shuffle onward to old age;
each sunset in itself is not nostalgic –
it’s only our perspective makes it so.
Another year: yet more sad days to squander,
convinced of the fatality of life,
to trade in desperation at some pawn shop
for just a fraction of what they are worth,
or worse, to hoard away in some dark cupboard,
imagining you’ll use them later on,
but on that fateful day you really need them
discovering they’re turned to dust and gone?
It’s time again to come to resolutions:
an implication we have figured out
exactly who we are and where we’re going,
the old ways neatly finished, packed in closets
like winter blankets when the weather warms,
or old acquaintances we never bother
to send a note extending our regards,
expecting them to likewise leave us be.
31 DEC 2014
In two weeks I’ll be fifty.
Where has that half century gone?
It feels the world is speeding by
this jockey on the lawn,
who used to hold the reins
and feel some semblance of control
but now just stands there deaf and dumb
while time, relentless, rolls.
I sometimes sit and wonder:
have I really done so much,
or are my past misdeeds and triumphs
really just a crutch?
Illusions of effectiveness and use
appear and fade,
while I and my small banner
watch an infinite parade.
In two weeks I’ll be fifty,
an age I never thought
or bargained I would ever see;
It’s taken quite a lot
of road and oil and rust and dirt
to get here in one piece.
One thing I know for certain:
that the traveling’s not cheap.
When I am most reflective, though,
it seems more finding out
along the way, which song to sing
and welcoming the doubt:
that we are more important
than even we want to believe,
and it’s a wasted life
if you’re just hanging ’round to leave.
19 DEC 2014
When all else fails (and at some point it will),
so all that’s left to us is simply talk,
the victors will be those with basic skills
for making idle words seem like a walk
through all the rhetoric and empty lies
that promise surplus but deliver less,
and when we take offense and act surprised
remind us of our own unmindfulness.
I wonder, when that fateful day arrives,
the morning we awaken at long last,
if our frail egos will in fact survive
with sense enough to learn some from the past.
I doubt it. It’s much easier to sleep.
Besides, that keeps the cannon fodder cheap.
02 DEC 2014
“So much to do, so little time”, or so the saying goes;
as we waste both the hours and doing, pacing to and fro.
Refusing any call to act without sufficient thought,
we fine-tune the social contract – every strophe, caesurae and jot –
while life slips by in seconds grown to decades, year by year,
and what we feel needs done becomes our hobby or career,
a never-ending sidetrack from the job always at hand,
and then the moments are no more, and we can’t understand
why we have not evolved or grown in all that span of time;
and have not learned the reason of it, nor can sing its rhyme.
The meat of life, untasted; its sweet fruits left out to spoil
awaiting us at table while we spin in pointless toil,
imagining importance in such little, vapid things,
we wake up late in winter, having missed so many springs
that we can scarce remember when the world and we were green,
nor count the wasted chances and short hours in between
our hungry, mewling day of birth and stiff and meatless end
where none of what we finish matters, not to foe or friend,
but lingers uncompleted, our great lists of “yet to dos”
reduced to tattered palimpsest and left for rats to chew.
“So much to do, so little time”: the two are never swapped;
The time ends all too quickly, and the doing never stops.
The world’s pace never pauses, slows or even skips a beat,
to celebrate a victory nor acknowledge a defeat.
1 DEC 2014