FOR MARJORIE AT SEVENTY-NINE

(Inspired by Janis Ian)

No truth to learn at seventy-nine
Except that living on is fine.
So many friends now turned to dust,
Their camaraderie once robust.
A few, surviving faint and frail,
Now faraway as memories fail.
No unlived dream for which to yearn —
At seventy-nine not much to learn,

Except sometimes the past unwinds
And leaves a word or thought behind,
A song or phrase recalls a scene —
The world was old at seventeen
But still too young for “might have been”
Before the births and deaths begin —
Now living on is fine
At seventy-nine.

You’ve got your true love at your side
To share the times we’ve laughed and cried,
Our magic moments still alive
For love has helped them to survive.
“Together” is now a precious word,
The sweetest song we’ve ever heard
And each new day a Valentine
To share together — at seventy-nine.

No need for old age solitaire
Sheltered in places with despair,
No time to waste remembering when
“Remember was” will come again:
The present’s a wide and shining place
For past and future to embrace
And living on is just divine
At seventy-nine.

(FROM SANIBEL JOE AT NINETY)

Winter Solstice 2003
(Year of my Quintuple Bypass)

I thought at first
The cataracts had come back —
the sun glinting cold and yellow
over the tennis courts
brought out the Bollé glasses.

Nor was noon better —
the sun still low and stuck in time
as I drove on the causeway
to and from
the mainland mall madness,
gray gulf and sky,
whatever shred was left of day
shrouded in jaundiced twilight.

For once I was relieved
to see night begin
with Venus burning bright
and low like a jetliner
and even lower on the horizon —
the thin crescent of moon
slivering into renewal.

From darkest day had come
most shining night
and on this longest night
of my longest year —
the promise
of ever-brightening days
waiting to rise
above my horizons.

Joe Pacheco

IN THIS HOUSE

Prone on the sagging divan
I see the breeze flirt with the curtains
Through the open window

Bolts of sun shoot into the room
Archways caress them
Into shadows of themselves

Landscapes warm wheat-hued walls
Taormina, Taranto, Rockport Harbor
Dream tips

Just when sleep soothes my aching back
Wind gusts the French doors wide
Waking my wandering mind

I could die in this house

Gary McLouth

 “Eclipse” is a villanelle which appears in my weekly poetry column, “Poetry Place” at SantivaChronicle.com

Eclipse

Beyond my window blooms the moon
Hangs ripe and full before sunrise
Moonbeams scatter round the room

Awakened from night’s cocoon
Circle of light before me lies
Beyond my window blooms the moon

Over the moon a shadow looms
Watching it grow I’m mesmerized
Moonbeams scatter round the room

Lunar light will darken soon
Earth masks moon as it arrives
Beyond my window blooms the moon

Penumbra passes light resumes
Emerging from its dark disguise
Moonbeams scatter round the room

Serenely shining ancient rune
With the power to hypnotize
Moonbeams scatter round the room
Beyond my window blooms the moon

Lorraine Walker Williams