Tag Archives: aging

a good place to die – NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 2

a good place to die

it is folk legend, instinct some would say, that animals
when they’re close to death wander off, alone to die

the perfect house in every way, one-level, secluded
on a hill, girded by hickory trees and wild pines, with
back windows facing east, front due west, undressed,
to take advantage of warm sunrises and fiery sunsets,
textured white walls of swirling stucco, a fireplace,
garage attached, front porch and back, the perfect house

it’s only legend though; truth is, animals as they grow
old or sick, faltering, simply become weaker, slower

like my life, getting to the perfect house, the place where
I most certainly will die – in polite conversation we call
it a retirement home, or a forever home, though we all
know forever is not really forever –
getting here is a bit of a
journey, one must leave crowded house-lined King George
Avenue where pertinacious neon blots the stars from sight at
night, then travel along sleek four-lane byways flanked by banks,
churches, restaurants, dentists, service stations, and dollar stores,
curving, rising, dipping, along the rolling Blue Ridge feet, to
two-lane, no-pass roads, street lights replaced by looming
oaks, that lean over the winding bends, leaves dancing
from the rush of air displaced by passing cars, further
still, a turn, and then another, to a single lane, in an
unincorporated town identified by county seat, zip
code from a nearby, more civilized town with a post office,
past wire-fenced fields of grazing horses, cows, goats,
llamas and donkeys, down, down, around and up over
streams and creeks bubbling in the shadow of mountain
peaks, my dented mailbox leaning at the crux of a sharp
turn, there up, up, up, the driveway, there she sits, sunlit
by day, warm green shingles beneath a 50-year metal roof
it is quiet, oh so quiet, but for chattering birdsong, rustling
squirrels and the pensive, gaze of deer-folk greeting me

in fact, there are observed occasions where herds are known to stop, to wait
for lagging members, injured, vulnerable, to catch up to the safety of the group

neighbors at a distance dotting the surrounding knolls, this perfect
place, sans of things that no longer serve, knick-knacks, dust-collectors
and the like; my children will thank me in the end, when left with
little to dispose of my once busy, cluttered life and I am learning traveling
lighter has its benefits, most notable is time for reading, writing, planting
weeping pussy willows, irises, climbing rose bushes, sunflowers and
wild flowers, perhaps a dahlia cluster too amidst hybrid hostas in
the most lovely shade of blue, erecting bird feeders, feeders for the
squirrels too, and a lovely spot for barbecues to share with family
and friends who happen by, I’m in no hurry yet, to die, but this will
be my final home, the roaming of my youth long done, how lovely just
to sit a spell under the stars, and listen to cricket chirp and peepers peeping,
every night, good for sleeping, remembering the road that brought me here

it’s not intentional, their falling behind or wandering off, inevitably,
ultimately, they become too weak to return to the pack, never to be seen again


NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 2: write a poem about a specific place — a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.


etched in silver – a blackout poem

etched in silver

i’m a woman
no longer young
changed by water
and wind, etched
in silver and want
hot flesh, a face
disappearing into
landscape

~kat


A blackout poem based on the poem below by Allison Funk:

Self-Portrait in the Nude

To understand what it would be like
          to remove my clothes
as painters do in portraits of themselves

          I imagine I’m the woman
who knows her body
no longer belongs to the young artist

who painted herself before she had children,
          before her topography was changed
by forces erosive as water and wind,

    and yet she goes on painting it,
the girdle of her earth that is now an etched terrain
crossed with silver rivulets.

And hills, I want to say to her.
          Valleys. Then hummocks,
hot springs, hoodoo. What is art about

          if not depression? Uplift? Depression
again?
 At which she straightens

          the flesh of her shoulders and neck

to face me before I disappear(ing)
into landscape,
my favorite state of undress.

Copyright © 2018 Allison Funk.


Monday with the Muse

the strangeness of aging

after all these decades
maybe the pain that
tightens my body is
peculiarly perfect …

past memories
on yellow bones
getting small, hidden
away deep in my
body would’ve
driven me insane

~kat


A Blackout Poem inspired by the poem below:

Red with a Touch of Sulfur
by Zubair Ahmed

Isn’t it funny
when suddenly after all these decades
you notice a new part of your body.

Maybe the hamstrings—
entirely unused when lifting weights,
back used instead
which then pains for years.

Maybe the slight shoulder raise
that tightens those muscles
maybe for good.

I notice my body
slide through time.
It is odd and peculiar(ly)
genius of no one,
a perfect clock
making clocks
look simple.

Newness comes naturally.
Resisting it causes the past
to present memories on yellow
platters.

My age is a number.
Bones getting ready to play poker.
I will remain a small book
hidden away deep
in the library.

I love my body and this world!
Such a declaration
five years ago
would’ve driven me insane.

But now an appreciation arrives
with a fine taste of sulfur
and anywhere I look is born
a rose.


a rose is…

a rose is…

she’s of a certain
age, you know, a
real beauty in
her prime but
clinging to her
withered gown
makes her look
old with fading
mane once
vibrant, sweet her
fragrance reeks of
musty death, they think
it’s time she gives
this ruse rest, the
reaper waits with
pruning shears, she’s
had her summer
in the sun, to yield
at long last, it’s for
the best, she’s of
a certain age you
know, clinging to
her faded gown but
she’s not finished,
being beautiful, not
yet, she’s not
finished, no, not yet

~kat


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