Aging

I am aging

But I don’t feel like it

I’m as full of life as I was at 20

But young people remind me of my age

When they have no interest in what I have to say

My body reminds me of my age

When it gets stiff, strains, twists, sprains

Days get better

I am happier, more content

Bothered by less

More pleasant

With age

Aging is a good thing

True, death is nearer

I don’t fear it

I’ve had a good run

Given life my best shot

I expect to be here a while yet

Aging is a good thing

Life is a good thing

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Critical Theory

Critical Theory

Poetry is about the imagination

Language is about itself

Words about words

Art is about form, hue, and value

There is something in that

But not the whole

Words come from other words in a sequence

But why the sequence?

And why the form, hue, and value?

Meaning clothes itself in words, form, hue, and value

We read, we view

We bring meaning to the meaning

Which is clothed in word, form, hue, and value

–Neither meaning unviewed wholly

Nor the reader’s meaning wholly

Neither exclusively words about language

Nor exclusively the readers’ meaning

But an encounter, dialogue, relationship

There’s something of the artist in art

And we come away more that we were

After reading, after viewing

With You With Me

She is everything that life can give me

Does she know how much she makes me happy?

I don’t always show her I adore her

Let her know I’ll always be there for he

 

When I’m with her I feel calm and blissful

She restores my soul and makes me peaceful

She inspires my feelings with desire

Lights my creativity with fire

 

Caught up in an artistic creation

I can wander from heartfelt connection

Still my heart is true and always loves her

And she stays true to me in my endeavor

 

Loving her I’m growing ever gladder

I’m for her for happier or sadder

Joyful in the two of us together

Learning how to love each other better

 

May this song, these words, begin to show you

How complete my life is now I know you

How ecstatic life is with you with me

I will always love you and you only

 

Happiness

Happiness is a labor

Crawling out of dour

Funk isn’t fun

Smiling is an effort

 

But happiness can be achieved

Given the right circumstances

And substantial effort

Letting go and letting the groove come

 

There are other movements of the soul that are good, too

The blues is sublime

Creative passion

Ecstasy–not happiness

 

Sometimes I wonder why go on

If nothing matters

If nothing matters,

Why not keep going?

 

I can be happy

If the groove is right

If the right circumstances arise

I can smile

Freedom, Peace, and Love

“Stone free to do what I please,” sings Hendrix

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” sings Joplin

“You’re about as free as they come,” the maintenance man told me

You get into trouble if you’re too free

 

Young and free, I hated the word, “conformity.”

Now I call it cooperation

“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down,” the Japanese say

Cooperation, coordination make harmony, peace

 

We used to talk a lot about peace

While prizing individuality, freedom

But it turns out you’re rarely alone–completely individual

The other is always with us, in conflict, competition, or peace

 

With the other comes the possibility of love

We used to talk a lot about love

I live love now; no longer a philosophy only

And I am thankful that there is the other

Angels

I know the way angels work

You can, too, if you don’t yet

I’ve seen the way angels work

They work for you, too, if you haven’t noticed yet

 

It’s hard to tell in the moment

They don’t compel, but their ways always work

You see this in retrospect

You see this with relief, with astonishment, with thanks, with gratitude, with worship

 

With astonishment that it worked out

With relief that you were saved

With thanks, with gratitude that good prevailed

With worship, that God oversees our doings.

Youth and Age and Aging

You’re given an inflexible format at birth

Strong flexible sinews of youth

Weaken, stiffen, strain

Youth’s enthusiasm yields to age’s patience

Headstrong demands yield to forbearance

Irritation to tolerance

Discontent to contentment

Willful drive to peace

Gratitude to happiness

Youth yields to maturity

Maturity to aging

 

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