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Old Age:

Fall day. I pass
on the level path an old man
climbing.

The old man and I are on the same path. For me it is level, but he seems to be climbing a steep slope.


Tired old legs.
Leaves still go
crunch.


Lately, caught in the morning mirror,
I look like someone
I've met before.


My thirty-ninth birthday--
old enough to be
my father.

Now I'm old enough to be my Grandfather.


We notice the ancient barn.
Old buildings
grow new.

They get noticed, as if never seen before.


Bent old man
facing concrete, yes,
but also flowers.


Just a minute ago -
so easy to sit down...
My back!

My bad back
teaches me to use it.
Impatient teacher.

Turning Over In Bed,
Step 4...I used to think it
simple.

My spine, bone on bone -
I can almost count them
like a Rosary.

Aliens among us
pretending to be us -
our bodies!

Crooked, creeping, rude -
Ah, body, I can't take you
anywhere!

Goddamned back!...Ah, no!
Issa pitied fleas; I forgive
my back.

Lose weight, more minerals,
exercise - and face
what a bad back solves.

The above eight poems are part of a single sequence.


Old log spills
its meally guts --
pure gold.


Last leaves--too brittle
to chew on anything as
solid as sunlight.


Eyes closed, but awake,
looking at...gray spots? How will I
see without eyes?


Remember last lifetime,
when you thought you'd had
the last word?


Older and older,
childhood more remote
and closer.


Next lifetime
remember...but don't forget
to be a child.


"Wonderful" they say
of the too-bright child,
frightened.


Noticing one day
that I don't much like
my favorite dish.


My book-cover picture
has a lower hairline
than I do.


Bright spring day.
I have to go to work now.
I must be you, Dad.


The people I see
all remind me of people
I've known. I grow old.


Old dog sniffs...WHAT?
Leaps downhill like a puppy...
I carry him back up.


Moldy magazines,
as thrilled with themselves
as new ones.


Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Rain

Wind

Night

Morning

Dusk

Walking

Places

Children

Lovers

Loss and Loneliness and aloneness

Characters

Old Age

Music

A Poet's Life

Cats

Dogs

Beasts

Birds

Insects

Plants

Trees

Telephones and TVs

Things

Mankind