Lamentations of a Quinqagenarian - Poetry from Bachelorhood in My 50's - Part II
To see my intro to this series (Parts I and II), it is found in the first one:
The World of My Mind
I am loved by the woman in my mind.
Tho’ much older than she, ‘tis not dimmed;
She loves my heart, she loves my smile,
She loves the product of dreams
Fulfilled in the world of my mind.
For no goal is missed, no venture lost,
My wisdom is loved by the woman in my mind.
I am rich in the silent mansions of my mind.
I have at my call the jet and the limo.
And the boat, and even the rail car
As it smoothly rolls me to the dark mine
While She is seated by my side,
For thus I’m more attractive
In the mansions in my mind.
I am praised in the drama of my mind,
Where dangers lurk but are foiled away.
There is no guilt, for I turn not my head.
There is certainly no shame,
For I stand for the right.
So loves me more, the woman,
In the drama in my mind.
I do not cry in the fairy tale of my mind.
For She is there, and never leaves me.
No, never leaves me, to cry, to fall,
To bury lost dreams.
Oh, no!—Not in the fairy tale of my mind!
No pain of farewell—there’s no place for that!
No such injustice to a heart so sincere—
So dedicated to love,
So firm in its faith of enduring, fervent love.
Oh no!—Not in the fairy tale of my mind!
She Never Got Old
She never got old—the girl I knew
From that small town in Mexico.
Although it’s nine and twenty years,
She’s just as young as Spring, I know.
Her dark eyes dance, her laughter haunts—
She walks t’ward me with flirting air.
She winks to the Mariachi’s tune
And then I feel like I am there.
I wake from the dream an aged man,
Having been young a moment ago.
But age never comes to that memory sweet;
She’s just as young as Spring, you know.
You Have Known Me
I am not a stranger to you.
Though your eyes have not met mine—
Though words were never exchanged,
And hands have never clasped,
You’ve seen my essence; you know my soul.
Remember the moonless night,
And how you felt in the gloom?
If now you saw me,
You’d surely feel as you did then.
And if you ask if I have always lived this darkness,
I say I’ve not.
Then think back to the sunrise;
For bright has been my view
When life was strong and bristling youth
Carried hope abundant
On waves of daring dreams.
But seasons change, and the world turns,
And comes at last the moon!
That lonely face which ever watches,
Never turning to or fro,
But watching, ever watching,
The abundance of earth.
You’ve been there, as it watches you,
And sees the life.
The breezes that move the cotton clouds,
The swirling clouds.
And he has seen the glittering oceans. . . .
The warm and cold of the earth
As it turns to flaunt its life
And ever-changing adventures!
And yet, that lonely, barren orb
Has never touched—
Has never partaken of—
Can never enjoy—
The eternal youth of earth!
Next time, watch closely that pale sphere;
See the remnants of lapsed dreams,
Of nearly forgotten hope,
The hollow stare of silent resolve.
You, who cares for the dalmatian, or the collie:
Watch their eyes,
When you leave them behind,
And surely, you’ll well know mine.
Yes, like them I have the heart of a child.
And I’ve romped and played,
And tried my best to please.
I know their capacity to love,
And well I know their fragile hearts—
Their ever faithful hearts of undying loyalty—
Even when warmth has lapsed,
And friendship is at an end.
My voice, you’ve heard in the pan pipe.
Oh, the pan pipe!
That tries to play a merry tune,
But always leaves a subdued
Echo of plaintive waves,
That quickly become a memory,
And in short time is dimmed to a leisure pace
Of mostly rushing air,
Whistling, wailing, sorrowing air
Carried to the catacombs of the heart,
Where its hollow chambers
Turn the diminishing notes
Into a dirge for what might have been.
Yes, and you know me well
In the vacant house
Of broken windows,
That once was full and now
Is only a store of memories.
Notice, abandoned there,
The drinking glass on the floor,
On its side,
Unusually dry and made opaque
By the unchecked dusts of different worlds,
Dark and light, as if
The alchemy of Time
Had rendered it a chalky stone of vitrified wax.
When next you see these images,
Think of me; look closely upon me,
And give me a nod
Or a smile.
My answering thrill
Will come to your heart,
Wherein you’ll feel—
No longer seeing
My essence, my love—
The being of Me
That Time has not diminished—
Despite its work of destruction—
But which in fact, has grown.
Dream of Youth
(I’ve indeed had, not one, but many dreams in the setting described below. It is the place where my cousins, the Twins lived. Their back yard, which spanned many normal-sized lots, represents, I feel, the happiest times of my childhood, for the Twins were my best friends—almost my only friends—and I always looked forward to my visits with them.)
I dreamed of my youth:
I was in the back yard of my vast boyhood playground
(Where once grazed the cows and goats in their corrals,
And where squealed the pigs when we approached,
And straggly cats watched with interest,
Hoping we were out to milk, again;
Where the plum tree gave of its fruit
While we attempted to build a hut in its branches).
Crossing the easterly path was a static brooklet
(Where water skeeters slid on its clear surface,
Indenting bowls under their feet,
Pushing aside the scum at the edges,
Ever sliding and never splashing).
(Beyond, the hot, pale-yellow weeds crunched under our feet,
And we’d smell the dust we made of them as we passed.)
(The long tar-covered shacks, filled past their dusty windows
Of boxes and things ne’er to be seen by kids
Watched us play, and some let us enter
And fantasize in the little spaces left over,
Or hide between the mysteries of old things.)
But now, in this setting of my dream, I was alone.
I crossed the brooklet by bridge of dirt and pipe,
And never again stepped back o’er the water.
I followed it North-East.
The lot expanded to four times its size,
As old, weedy, wire fences disappeared.
The north border was replaced by a bank,
To hold the growing waters of the widening river.
Now in the far, North-east corner,
I tried working my way back.
I was in territory strange to my feet.
I delicately balanced along wooden fences,
Trying to outsmart the bulls or oxen who sought me.
It was now a lake, and new currents were spawned
Of strange islands and turning, grassy banks.
I imagined it a victory to find my way back,
Though I never arrived.
And I know, indeed, that I shall never return,
For who can travel from their youth,
And come back again another day?