man of ages

the man, old fellow is he
past the prime of health and zeal
shoulders heavy with memories
pulling himself hand over hand through the day
life has been long, losses many
pains severe
he doesn’t ask much
all he wants is a moment of your attention
and, of course
the last word

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heartless by west

would be a time
when this song inspired sadness
this was once my anthem
for heartbreak
but it all seems so distant
it can’t hurt me now
that past pain
it all lead to my current love
my present joy
so it can’t hurt me
anymore

saturday morning swim class

the smell of the pool
warm chlorine
whirring of underwater jets
feeling of cold, slick tile underfoot
sounds echoing off high, hollow ceilings
screeching of the lifeguards’ whistle

memories come flooding back
in waves of soft pool water
that parking lot outside
cold winter wind turning
to fragrant humidity as you walk in
hearing the slapping of bare feet and laughter
of fellow children from beyond the inner walls
that first dip
water wrapping you like a heavy, soft blanket
stinging your eyes
burning your throat
rawness searing your nose
when you breathe in at the wrong time

afterwards
your hair wet and sticky
freezing in the cold
back to the car
for after-swim treats
McDonald’s cheeseburgers, fries
and root beer
then off to the video store
to rent a cartoon

nothing to look forward to from there
except the whole Saturday
those were the days
the happiest of my life

crew

grim reaper
hands tickle skins
as they tickle girls’ honey
in the splender
in the glory
darkness reigns in dark eyes
hair hanging like the shadow of death
to all those who listen
to the piercing cry
and wicked grinning teeth
frothy broth inhaler
wind surfer
riding the waves of ecstacy
along the brain-pan
of my worst nightmare
the sun smiles for you
but eyes are too blind to see
perhaps the chords of inspiration
halt your vision
little one
thick hands, big
fingers like thumbs
gripping, punching, pulling, pounding
limbs of lumber
a clear-eyed sensory haze
masked by a light, intelligent
Irishman’s hero mug
the girl weeps for her man
she cries for the man she cannot have
while he watches others
clear
and fogged

remembering

I knew it before you told me
I’m happy to be reminded of it
another push to keep me moving
along the path I’m walking
things have never been so clear
my life is already over
my body dead
it’s just a matter of remembering
how I’ve done it
where I’ve gone
bring it out
bring it back
feel it in the now
mind aflutter with excitement
just can’t wait to feel the lifetime
laid before me
to reach the end
and keep going