An Old Man


The skin and hair have thinned,

the muscles have shrunk and weakened,

the carriage is bent.

The energy that once animated the body

and shined out through the eyes is dimmed.

The attention to balance has moved

from casual observation to critical consciousness.


The slow, pitiful and persistent deterioration

into helpless frailty

seems to rush on

seeking release on the other side.


What is unperceived by an observer

is a new life at times developing

in the old creaking carcass,

if one is blessed/lucky,

take your pick.


The new life developing

of which a glimpse is given

on unpredictable occasions

is so rich and calm

so superior to the old

“pursuit of happiness” game

which is moving the ball down the field

against many and varied obstacles


but wait, there is no goal line!

But having been conditioned,

we don’t know what else to do.

The clamor is too great.


What is growing in the ancient rubble

of which one gets a peek once in a while

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is a new and fresh interior life of

calm, peaceful, unhurried observation

of the facts that tell of a weakening

of physical and mental ability.


Developing in this near compost

is a new sense of time and occasionally,

even space slowly overlapping

the old system,building bit by bit,

but not in a straight line, a mystical

alter world.


A world beautifully colored with people and places,

a place vivid with smells and sometimes sounds

a kaleidoscope-like visual of the world I have known and know.

Or perhaps, better described as wondrous, beautiful fabric

of intricate colorful threads woven together

in a continuous  changing development

but at the same time complete.


It is a sort of prayer rug which invites me to kneel

in joy and to try to express my gratitude for all the loves

I know and have known, the people, places and sentient beings,

past and present which make up the cloth and dyes

of this exquisite carpet which is somehow me or my life.


A wondrous, mysterious gift from the God of my understanding.