An Alternate Reality

Newly Retired

Slowly now, I feel myself unwinding
There are busy days
And nothing days
But obligations seem a bit less binding.

Leave me in 1966

Before cell phones took off
Before social media controlled our lives
Before people just said whatever popped into their heads

Before compromise was forgotten
Before “all” became “us and them”
Before manners and self-control were abandoned

Before we knew constant fear of the unfamiliar
Before we killed each other during petty arguments
Before athletes and politicians made more money than god

I want to go back to simpler times.
I want to go back to youthful ignorance.
I want to go back to when I still believed.

Just leave me in 1966 with Star Trek and Andy Griffith,
When the world was probably not that different,
but I was.

A Poem without a Poet

What is a poet without a poem?
What are stanzas without the words?
What are the words without the music of the soul?

The cosmic dust of my mind quavers
seemingly ready to burst into song…

What holds me back?

There is Joy in Darkness

The concern of a dear friend reminded me
that even in my darkest moments
I am not alone.

There is always joy, if I open
my mind and my heart
to the possibility…

Dancing rainbows on the walls
Diamond droplets on the window screen
Thunder and rain that leaves the grass green

Birds on the squirrel feeder
Mushrooms in the mulch
Towering trees, even if they topple

Silence and Breath
Memories and Hopes
Friends to share the journey

Untitled Thought

Rain is necessary for growth.
I have had lots of rain.
Where is my green sprout?

Be Now

It’s so hard to Be Now
when the past
is tugging on my shirt sleeve

and the future is taunting me
with endlessly frightening

To be Now is to pay attention,
to notice the little things,
to bask in the awe of being.

I struggle to loosen the grasp of the past.
I refuse to agonize over the unactualized future.
I want to, no, I need to, just

Be Now.


The pain throbs
in my knees
in my hands
in my being

Pain that cries out
Pain that tries to
tell me what it needs

But all I hear
is its pain
and I cry with it

A thoughtful moment…

In cosmic terms

the sun is always shining.

It’s just me that periodically faces away.

To Carry On

If “each man’s death diminishes me”
I must be a spec.

I have been “witness” to too many deaths
this past year.

Is it my aging,
or the inevitable progression of time?

There have been renewals as well,
Great grandbabies born,

Childrens’ children with the energy and ability
to struggle onward where mine have failed.

But, this circle of life seems more and more
like a spiral of death…

A peaceful river with swirling rapids
suddenly tumbling into a waterfall.

I have never been here before
and it scares me.

I have no guide, having never seen
fear in my parents or grandparents.

Maybe they hid it well, or else
I never understood,

But, here I am, frantically paddling in the river,
grasping for the grace and dignity

that will carry me on.

When Did This Happen

I look at this body,
the stiffness,
the aches and pains,
and I wonder
when did this happen?

I look at this brain,
the forgotten words,
the dark and dreary thoughts,
and I wonder
when did this happen?

I am not who I used to be.
I am not who I will eventually be.

I long to be a new person
to somehow fit me into this changed body
and appreciate the texture of this evolving mind
and I wonder
when will this happen?