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December's Poems..

Erik Jonsson, San Diego

On growing old: two poems


Seventy eight years,
another birthday
sneaking up on me,
not eagerly expected
as in youth,
but calmly accepted
in my old age
as reminder
of getting older.

They come often,
towards the end.
Each time I wonder:
is this the last one;

until I remember that
this is not my concern;
my task is living,
living as much as I can,
as long as I can-
that is all.


I meet an old friend,
not seen for a long time,
and I have a shock-
the years have made their mark;
his face is all wrinkles,
his eyes have lost their sparkle,
his smile no longer charms.

I feel sorry for the old man;
and then I have another shock
when I realize-
he must feel just as sorry for me.

copyright©2000 Erik Jonsson

Lizzie Wann, San Diego

Fire and Fiddles

when I am old
I want long grey tornadoes
rooted in my head
to twist & take up surrounding landscapes
strip them to simple fragrance
swirl them into music
a blue eastern sea
becomes salt &
flamenco guitar
city sidewalks change to
exhaust fumes & drums
this long road stretching before us
is suddenly diesel &

I am an old woman
with long grey tornadoes
that whip & grab at your hands
bring them in close
that whistle softly over your skin
sometimes touch down
but always somewhere within
moments of calm
in the eyes
deep down in the roots

I can’t keep you from destruction
have always had trouble predicting the weather
but still you stand
fill my footprints with yellow pollen
for my safe journey
you follow behind at a distance
like the hunter
never losing track of me
no matter which direction
these tornadoes toss me
push me day by day
to the landscapes that will become
simply approaching rain & thunder,
summer grass, fire and fiddles.

copyright©2000 Lizzie Wann

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