A BOOK

READING A BOOK
THAT’S MAKING ME THINK ALOT
ABOUT HEAVEN.

I USUALLY DON’T THINK MUCH
ABOUT HEAVEN
BUT OLD AGE MAY BE DRIVING ME
TO THINK ABOUT IT MORE OFTEN.

I AM BRINGING TO THAT BOOK
MY DOUBTS AND MY BELIEFS.

THEY HAVEN’T CHANGED MUCH
BUT THEY HAVE BEEN STIRRED UP.

ENOUGH SO THAT I PLAY WITH THEM
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT.

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JUNE

It may be the middle of June
yet it’s too soon to tell
how summer will unfold. 

A hurricane may bring us
 heavy wind and rain.

I’m told it may be very hot
but that’s  not any more
than one’s prediction.

It may be cool and wet 
and we will get weary 
of the dreary days.

It may almost cook us
and we’ll fuss.

We may get a touch of fine weather
and we’ll weather that with much  pleasure.

The time will go so fast
and soon we’ll be guessing about the autumn
and many will be be raking leaves.

If one is too old  to rake, then try remembering.

And then remember winter, too —
about when it’s November.

Some time ago I sold my snow blower
and moved south —
with few regrets — but some!

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OLD AGE TRAVELING

I do my traveling these days
either through the dreams I dream
or watching my television screen.

i control the television screen
and can change the channels
any time I wish.

When I want some quiet
I command my clicker with a touch.

The dreams are harder to control
snd offer me a panolpy of sights
I never dreamed of
but often try to figure out
before they vanish.

Life isn’t over yet
and I still travel some.

I appreciate the possibilities I have
to wander and to wonder —
though this happens in my shrinking world.

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HE WHO PARCELS OUT MY DREAMS

The old man in my head who parcels out my dreams
came up with a good one the other night.

I was with my highschool basketball team
and we were losing — losing big.

The coach sometimes let us poor players
come into a game that we were sure to win
or sure to lose.

“Get in there, Russ — center forward.
See what you can do”.

Unexpectedly, I turned into a star —
droppimg baskets in so fast we won the game.

I, who talents on the court were few
amazed my coach — amazed the crowd.
Amazed myself as well.

I woke up being cheered and feeling great.

The bedside clock read: “12:13”.

The dream seemed more appropiate for a teen —
yet I held that distinction
three quarters of a century past.

And who am I to judge the mystery of the one
who parcels out my dreams?

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I AM NOT WHO I COULD HAVE BEEN

There was no grandfather there to watch me in the cradle —
no grandfather to pick me up and hug me and whisper in my ear.
Nor was he there when I became a toddler
when he could have bounced me on his knee.
Later on he might have told me stories about when he was a boy
and reveal his life to me because grandfathers can be good at such things.
But he was not there as I began to be a boy
and so when I started to be one his presence could not impact me.
Thus as the years called on me to grow
I did it unaware that there were other ways to become what we become.
What kind of man would I have turned out to be had he been there for me?
In fact, there could have been two of them
had the contingencies of life come out in a different way.
But I know that I am not who I would have become because of this
and I sometimes wonder how I might have been different.
Would I have fallen in love with words sooner than I have.
Perhaps I would have written a book or two
or maybe I’d have been satisfied to only read —
or maybe not even that.
At any rate I think I could have been another me
but I’m not complaining.
My deprivations may seem strange to you.
They seem that way to me.

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HOLES REMEMBERED

It took two hundred astronomers
with telescopes scattered over the world
to photograph the now famous BLACK HOLE.
Their fete will be long remembered
in the annals of astronomical history.
I who read about it on a newspaper’s front page
may think about it every once in awhile.
My recollections are likely to grow dim.

But there are holes I will never forget until my dying day:
MY GRANDMA’S DONUT HOLES
crafted by her for me in the 1930’s.
She’d create a mass of dough
from flour and other things sprinkled in.
She’d pound it flat on an enamel top
and then with a donut cutter
she pushed and twisted ’til she had what she wanted.
Meanwhile, a black pot filled with grease
bubbled at her side.
Picking up the centers made by the cutter
she’d drop them into the pot.
THERE THEY BECAME DONUT HOLES.
We’d watch those holes get rounder and brown.
The moment came for her to ladle them out
and place them side by side on what I don’t recall.
She warned me to wait for the cooling
but it didn’t take long for me to test the tasty creations.
Though I didn’t know it at the time
indelible memories were being created —
ones that I taste every now and then.

 Russ Peery    April 2019
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LOSING SOUND

We who hear poorly
often pretend that we grasp a word
or comprehend a sentence
when we don’t.

Hearing words
and knowing what they mean
requires not oppnly linguistic knowlege
but an ability to discern —
an ability that some of us are losing.

We often feel excluded
by our unseen impairment
even though those surrounding us
are unaware of our discomfort.

Electronics has enabled us
to increase our ability to hear
but sound’s clarity
often remains a blurr.

Sometimes I feel
that this particular impairment
impedes the making of new friends.

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TENDING THIS MAN

Sometimes I push myself
when I should
and pUSH myself
when I shouldn’t.

But I don’t always know
when I should
and when I shouldn’t.

I try to obey my body’s instructions
but sometimes they seem so vague
I cannot hear its messages.

When there is clarity
and I’ve diminished all confusion
I do the best I can to tend this man.

When there’s nothing I can do
but yield to the ravishes of time
I yield.

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In Dreams

In dreams sometimes I replay my past edited in ways that change it so that it may be only only close to my actual history.

There are also dreams of matters that must have happened to me when I was someone elseand the replay baffles meand sometimes amazes me.

I pay more attention to my dreams than I use tofor they connect me to a  familiar past and also to a past that may not be mine and yet I own it somehow in the revelations that I explore at night and play back when I awaken with wondering and and with awe.
I feel that I am more than I am and that I will continue to be that even when I am gone.

There are also dreams of matters that must have happened to mewhen I was someone elseand the replay baffles me and sometimes amazes me.

I pay more attention to my dreams than I use tofor they connect me to a  familiar pastand also to a past that may not be mine and yet I own it somehow in the revelations that I explore at nightand play back when I awakenwith wondering and and with awe.

I feel that I am more than I am and that I will continue to be thateven when I am gone.

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Buck-Slide

When we go into the Brookdale dining roomI usually get behind the chair my wife has chosenand I push while she lifts her chair slightlyand jerks it forward to the tableuntil she is positioned as she wishes to be.

I call this effort “buck-slide”.

Then I sit in my chosen chairand I make similar motions to place myselfin an ready-to-eat position.

I often look about the dining halland see others “buck-sliding” into their comfort zone.
Most folks wince a bit as they do it.

Since I must wait for serviceand there is little else to doI find a certain pleasure in seeinghow the old folks pull themselvesor get pushed into the placeswhere they are expecting good food.
And occasionally it is.

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