I took on wearing the Navy blue
before the end of World War Two.
Not long after I became a seaman
the war ceased
and there was peace.
I was soon released from duty.
But my reaction to it all
was supreme satisfaction in my nation.
I did so little that I tend to belittle
my service to our great country.
But I did what was asked for
so I’ll not ignore being honored —
though I do not deserve the praise.
There it is tucked away behind a chair
with its handle visible –
so visible to me, rising out of a modest tool box
that I fashioned many years ago.
When did I start hammering? I sometimes wonder
Perhaps I was a little kid with a wooden hammer –
banging on my blocks.
At some point beyond my memory’s reach
I found the usefulness of nails
becoming somewhat skilled at driving them –
feeling in my arm a satisfaction
that comes to those whose muscles are properly employed.
Pliers and screwdrivers and drills might do the same
but hammers are most likely the first to gain such pleasure.
Now the need to bang and pound at nails is gone.
But I appreciate reminders that come to me
whenever I walk by what used to be so useful.
She took me aside and told me
that she doesn’t want to get any older –
this in spite of the fact that she still has a good husband.
She’s moving quite close to one hundred.
Maybe she just wanted to let me know how she feels.
I can do nothing but listen and show her caring.
Perhaps I will set you aside and tell you
that I don’t want to get any older –
this in spite of the fact that I still have good wife.
I am close to hundred my self – but not as close as she is.
You can do nothing for me but listen and show me bit of caring.
So what can I do for you? Tell me of you can.
It’s not always easy to tell what’s needed.
What can I do as an old man
tucked away in a high-rise
that offers care to folks with white hair
and to those with none
and to those in various stages in between?
I can complain – but I complain in vain
for the world doesn’t move as I wish it to.
Being one whose DNA bristles with impatience
I’d do better to shut my mouth
and wait calmly for the inevitable.
But maybe I can’t!
I hear the clicking sounds –
sounds of wet clothes drying –
clothes going round and round
It’s a good thing for us
no clothes line is required
to do it like folks used to do –
when wringers partly dried
the mass of things we hoped to wear again
and then again.
Most all the folks I know
are used to sounds that signify
our methodology of spinning things
is the way to go.
Of course, a little heat is added.
I sit in my recliner listening and wondering
about the things that make my world go ‘round.
The clock goes tick-tock – tick tock , all day long –
its power provided by a small battery
inserted some years ago
by a guy who likes to know what time it is.
Oh. he could look at his wrist
and insist that that little device
yield the same information.
But the noise of the clock that TELLS him time
surpasses the joy he receives from the one that SHOWS him.
And I’m surprised that I have failed to tell you, my friends –
those who neither listen or see me most of the time
as they do their thing and I do mine.
I do get in a word to them sometime
when I’m messing around with rhyme
and they are willing to stop whatever they’re up to
and invest, at my request, some modest effort–
caring for a guy just passing by –
a guy who wants them to know he listens
to the tick and the tock of his clock – of his heart.
My breakfast mate has no need to heed
the sun which begins to strike our eyes
as bacon and eggs are set before us.
I, on the other hand, am deeply moved
by the solar intervention into our meal.
He ignores the earth’s awakening
seen through windows that begin to suggest
that the night is gone —
that another day has arrived.
I cannot resist, but must mention
that another miracle is shining into our eyes.
Two men so different in so many ways
yet drawn by fate to share old age
in a place their children thought was right for them.
This accidental rendezvous occurred some time ago
and has grown into a morning habit
that is remarkably sustained.
Though they often wonder why.
I don’t recall when I first learned
that the world wasn’t flat.
I don’t recall if what I learned disturbed me some
for I also leaned that we went around the sun
and to me it sounded fun
to be traveling so fast yet to feel so still.
I learned all that stuff “way back when”.
It was enough to begin my studies in astronomy.
which in first grade, maybe, I learned about such things.
And that’s about as far as I ever got
unless I forget some other things
like about the Saturn rings —
and maybe a bit about the moon
And while I’ve concentrated on surviving
in this whirling world
some folks have come along with amazing “takes’
on the vastness of the sky.
I believe them just as I believed those folks
who told me long ago
about the shape of our planet
though I must confess I
don’t much understand it.
I saw on the TV that today is:
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL.
Don’t know who decided that, but that’s OK.
It sounds impressive.
In my early school days
girls had long hair
and wore dresses and jump-roped.
Their ropes had handles and were long enough
to do what jump-ropers did.
They were likely very cute
but to me they were just girls who had their rope “thing”
while us boys played ball and sometimes watched the girls
jump and count and make up rhymes to fit their paces.
I don’t know why boys didn’t do that
but girls did and were sometimes impressive.
Maybe jump-roping is part of
this twenty-first century’s phenomena.
I’d like to suggest that to those who make DAYS
The other day when I saw some wires strung between polls
my mind, quite suddenly turned the wires into ropes
and continued the turning until before me was a clothesline
which stood at eve level and I was wrestling a large wet sheet over it
trying to secure it with clothespins which I sought in my pants’ pocket.
I suppose things like this happen to you.
At least I hope so. Otherwise life might be boring.
The adventures of the mind could led us to places we don’t wish to travel.
But for the most part, I expect most of us know how to deal with them
and travel back to a world that was and still is very ok and often pleasant.