Canto CCV

I hope that we will do this when we’re old,
walk through our manor at the Spring day’s end,
lob crusts at waterfowl around the pond,

grumble about the boozing youngsters when
they sway all giggly into our path.
We’ll fend off unleashed pitbulls with our canes

and tut as they defecate on the grass.
Then, as the last sunrays run flat and low,
we’ll bemoan how we’ve lost our golden past

until we hear the final, tremulous throes
of birdsong from the bower cathedrals
that shimmer in the final, hazy glow,

and in turn we’ll be ageless and enthralled.

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Canto CLIII

The man that I was ran five times a week,
weighed three stone less, memorised his poems,
never woke hungover before work,

dug for hours amidst the city’s fumes
and never lost his breath—I look ahead
at time’s narrowing tunnel and assume

that translucent skinned figure, bent and sad,
is probably the man that I’ll become,
singing Nirvana songs to bored grandkids,

on a rare visit to the nursing home
to hear my dodgy takes on history,
though none of them really wanted to come

’cause I spit when I talk and stink of wee.

Canto CXLIX

I sometimes count the grey hairs in my beard,
excited, like a youthful silverback,
though it may turn sour in future years,

searching all day for one slither of black.

Canto CXXXVI

Hello knee pain, my old trusty friend,
singing your best falsetto as I sprint,
I always knew that you’d be back again,

like memories from misspent adolescence,
a little memento of feigned prowess,
that extra lap, I’ve still not learnt the lesson

that all this brain power came at the price
of flimsy joints and narrow, puny hips
to those that rarely lived past thirty five,

the heavy, sharpened handaxes they gripped,
the constant threat of starvation and violence,
no verbose platitudes upon their lips,

no time to heed the luxury of silence.

Canto XLI

One day into one more year on earth.
Some the wiser? Maybe, but not much,
accumulating like my belly’s girth,

and if I had the all slightest chance to switch
an ounce of wisdom for an ounce of youth
I’d probably bite and with that miss the catch

that youth sans knowledge treads the same old path
of excess to the palace of wisdom
which is more of a bungalow in truth.

No, youth plus wisdom only comes to some
and only for a slight moment at that—
like Ali rope a doping George Foreman

before Larry Holmes sent him to the mat.
I’ll only know in hindsight if I hit
the sweet spot before gristle went to fat,

perhaps revealed in something that I wrote
after some run induced shamanic trance,
or maybe, just maybe, I’m not there yet,

and there’s still one round left to weave and dance.

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