On aging

The writer must create from one, or both, of two places: intention, the rhythmic pounding of chain gang-style word production, regardless of circumstance or existential readiness and/or secondly, inspiration, generally obtained through the navigations of a life-lived and sopping up the genius of creators much greater than oneself. The clear lack of words posted to this site in recent months is evidence that I fail miserably in the former. This one, however, comes from having read some of the collected poems in the posthumous collection: “100 Poems” of Seamus Heaney.

The best writers write much using little. They say fundamental things with brevity, economy, exactitude, and a settled, but discerned, relationship with their environment. Seamus Heaney is such a one.

This is brief, but I hope, settled in its own way. I pray it pokes at something in you that, like for me, has lain dormant. Maybe, together, we can reawaken to all the beauty still out there, waiting to be discovered and toyed with.

On aging

Candles, late and long of light,

ligamented now with downward

pour, its waxen tears

the reminders of tender’d space.

Still, there sticks a certainty

of return, innocence untethered,

released from her superlatives

of age; a perambulation of

secondary narratives, like barb’d

wire sunk deep into the

many-ring’d trunk.

Hands, purpled-shanks,

quiver through their tasks,

once the domain of domestic

industry; now but memories,

forgotten, a casual anxiety.

How can the same bird

recall the song, left on the

sill so ready of purpose?

She can but smile at its reticent timbre –

and start again.

Picture found here

3 thoughts on “On aging

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