I suppose I should be grateful to be still alive and kicking, as indeed I am, but getting old’s a grim process with few consolations.
I wrote this poem on my birthday a couple of years ago and perhaps it was because I completed it during one of the most gloomy months of the year that it turned out to be a melancholy one.
On the other hand, it may have little to do with the weather and much to do with the pessimism of a melancholic poet*.
(* Is there any other kind?)
Growing old is far from easy:
a steady accumulation
of aches, regrets, fears. The queasy
harbingers of life’s cessation,
appear like hungry beasts,
or over-zealous priests.
Being young was quite a test:
all those certainties intermixed
with uncertainty. Who’d have guessed,
way back then, that the game was fixed.
Before we embarked,
dice were loaded, cards marked.
We all thought old was thirty-five:
death, the horizon, far away.
Too full of life to feel alive,
our gold transmuted into clay,
we sleepwalked through our years.
Now it must end in tears.