I BUILT A BOAT

If you call getting a boat kit in the mail
and spending about fifty hours assembling it
before you felt confident that it would float
then I can say “I built a boat!”

And then I sailed it!
I sailed it around the Long Island Sound
while getting in touch with ecstacy.
 
It asisted me in dealing with
the coming of middle age.

And even now when I’ve more than doubled
the years I had back then
I can still  re create my joy.

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IF I WRITE ABOUT IT

Not much goes on around here
that is of great interest
so I thought I’d submit some news
that reflects our curremt rendezvous
with excitement.

Bob said that he was about
to have his toenails cut.

And then he did  —
but when I saw him
he looked the same.

Only a few of us knew.

For the most part
little things happen
and we are kept in the dark — mostly.

When I heard about the cutting
I began to envy Bob
because I still stretch to reach my toes
and it is a painful stretch.

Hardly anyone knows about my envy
because it is hard to see
as are Bob’s toes.

If something more significant happens
I’ll get over it.

In fact, if  write about it
it is likely to vanish.

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AWAKE SMILING

The dream portion of my head
allowed me to rise up out of bed
and go walking through some woods —
through some Yankee woods.

My sleepmate was beside me
and together we crunched some leaves
’til we came to a levee.

There we stopped
and watched the sun go down
but not before a little black bear
came to be with us —
one who wanted a pat on the back
and a tickle on his tommy —
both of which I provided.

Woke up with a smile
and no need to return
through the trees.

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MEMORIES AND IMAGINATION

I’m tempted to deal with old age
 when considering the Muse — 
either with my problems
or those of my peers.
But the elderly are tired of
listening to too much sadness
and those younger
can’t even grasp how it really is.
So what’s left?
 Actually plenty!:
MEMORIES AND IMAGINATION
can do it! —
can keep us from withering too much
  in our final years.

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LOST DREAMS

The dream was so vivid.

I remember being moved.

But when I went to retrieve it
it was not there.

Tried as I might
I could not  bring it back.

Its absence was something I mourned.

So real to me 
in the middle of the night
and then just a memory
of something I cannot remember.

Strange it is to be alive
and to lose such matters.

I would not wish such
on people I care about
nor on anyone else
who loves to dream
and then looks back to ponder.

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LEAVING A LEGACY

The first “band” I played in
was in the second grade.
I played “the sticks”.
Others played triangles
and things that you shake.

A few years later
I played the drums in junior high —
then in the high school band and orchestra —
then in a Navy drum corps — 
and finally in the Gettysburg College marching band.

The above is not fascinating information
but it is more data than I ever received
from either of my parents’ childhoods.
They told me hardly anything about their pasts.

Now you know something about me
and if my children should happen to read this
they will know more about my early life
than I ever gathered 
 from my mother’s or my  father’s childhoods. 

As I face my twilight years
I want to know more about my forebears —
and that is not likely to happen.
Those who might have known something
have all left the planet.
Obviously, leaving a legacy has been of little concern
to those who have gone before me
and share my DNA.    

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THE PLEASURE OF OTHERS

Sometimes the only pleasure here
is hearing of the pleasure of others.

Thanks to our laptop and our telephone
often we’re  made aware of distant pleasure.

Of course, we have each other —
a quiet plesasure denied so many folks
we know.

There are books, of course
and television offers.

But usually
 we through our simple dailyness
sharing little in what you’d call “excitement”.

The sun goes down
 and we’re surprised
that yet another day has passed. 

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I STILL DON’T KNOW

The other day, at dinner time
I was chewing some asparagus
and, after a time, my mouth felt a bit strange.
     I moved my tongue around and bit down
      and encountered what felt to be a little stone.
I chewed again, as gently as I could
and encountered a tooth:
my tooth — a molar that had come loose.
     I carefully removed it.
That molar had been servicing me for most of my life
and I should have been thankful for its years of grinding.
     But, instead, for a moment, I felt I was falling apart.
I caressed the space where the molar had been
with my curious tongue, and I was not pleased.
     I wrapped up that little piece of my life in a handkerchief
      and put it in my pocket and waited until dinner was over
     and I was back in our apartment.
What was I going to do with my poor lost tooth?
     I still don’t know.
I don’t think my dentist wants it.
      My wife doesn’t want it. 
 Neither do my children.
     But I cannot throw it away.
I suppose  that’s being silly.
     Well, I’m being silly!

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AS LONG AS PROVIDENCE ALLOWS

Most every day
I am exposed to man’s evil
and to his greatness
thanks to television’s eyes.

Most every day
I think of how I fit
into the scheme
of life’s unfolding.

Otherwise
there isn’t much for me to do
except to deal with the days’s minutia:
food and medication — 
sleeping and awaking to 
thinking about things that matter
only to me and to my loved ones.

The days move on
and I am set to wondering
how it will all turn out —
for me  and for the world.

That I can still scrape some words together
to make a sentence
still pleases me
and I will share a thought or two with you
as long as providence allows.

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AN OPPORTUNIY

They say that soon men will be going to Mars
and I can’t even see the stars from where I sit.

The moon we’ve landed on but I can’t see it well
from where I dwell. 

But what the hell, who am I to complain? —
a man who can’t grasp how folks can figure out
the speed of light.

 I’m dazzled by the little I know of earth
and of how much has happened since my birth.

I’m not a twenty-first century man —
even the stuff of the twentith I scarcely  understand.

Yet even in the midst of my great ignorance 
I’ve had a chance to be. Life amazes me 
and at the same time baffles me.

And what an opportunity I’ve had to wonder!

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