The impatience of old men
springs not from too many days
rather from too few
Too few days remain
to watch today’s plantings bear
proud fruit on high limbs
So they cry “Ripen!”
to the seeds of former years
heady hopes of youth
“Rise! Flower! Ripen!
I would eat before I die,
let the sweet juices
run into my beard
I have laboured long enough
Time now to savour.”
But old ways die hard
Wizened hands sow once again
blessings for the future
Have you heard of Fib poems? No, nothing to do with fibbing, it's the Fibonacci sequence that is at play here, with the number of syllables in each line corresponding to the sequence. Needless to say, there are never very many lines...
Here's one of mine for your entertainment.
Let all the broken pieces sing
Let harmonies shattered reform after pain
battered bottles make music of resonant joy
though long since emptied, drowning in dust
Let the wind croon through branches bare in the night
What then shall I say to the night?
You have conquered me, Darkness, and I shall not sing?
Shall my voice fall silent in a throat dry as dust?
Shall I crumple, lie writhing, curled round my pain
silently grieving dead memories of joy?
But I shall speak again of joy
and remember the fountains that play in the night
Stubborn love, holy laughter, well up past the pain
Head lifts from the ground, mouth opens to sing
Though morning may find me still prostrate in dust
I will not embrace the dust
I will not relinquish the defiance of joy
Nor in weakness surrender my birthright to sing
to sing, to praise, to push back the night
to seek something greater than absence of pain
But when I am much smaller than pain
Spirit wind, blow then on my bones buried in dust
Knit sinew to muscle, make me wings in the night
to see at first dawning in the valley of joy
a great army, hands lifted, preparing to sing
Cold eyes stare forward
Icy silence cuts like steel
Slashes down to bone
Guy Gavriel Kay tweeted a picture he had taken of shadows on his wall, which reminded me of a haiku I had written on the same subject. So I combined them and tweeted it back to him.
I find the stink bugs
Their desiccated corpses
Supine on my windowsills
Tiny legs folded on their breasts
In futile prayer to the goddess of spring
Who came too late
Please, please, don't touch me
White arms reach out in hostile
embrace. I can't breathe
Gnarled hands grasp the cane
Lead feet scrape across the floor
Hard trek to nowhere
Tiny eyes open
My heart and arms yearn for you
The one not yet seen