Poetry: A Friendly Jab

On break, having coffee,
at a walk-to place from work.
Age came up.

Larry could always make me laugh,
a raised brow or expression,
his subtlety with humor,
the ability to play it straight
with a sincerity of stupidity.

We volunteered numbers,
all 40-somethings.
Larry looked serious.
“I just have one question.”

He’d set the bait. I knew better,
but one must play along.
I took the hook,
lest all fun be spoiled.
He looked straight at me,
and patiently awaited my response.

He was from the Buckeye State.
We met as underage roommates.
Both junior Air Force enlisted. Later
each married Texas gals
both opted for university:
Larry to UT, I to A&M.

As roommates, Larry thought me loud,
badly behaved, and unworthy of him.
He was classical. I was rock ‘n roll.
Incompatible, but no harm done.

Twenty years later
while wrapping up military careers
as Air Force officers,
he was a chopper pilot who served in Nam,
I was a B-52 crew dog.

When our paths again crossed,
we were distant friends, no more.

I asked, what’s your question, Colonel?
He asked, “If you are younger than I am, why
do you look so much older?”

I’m older than Larry now.
Rest in peace, my funny friend.

©Bill Reynolds

Look both ways. Mind the gaps.
All the best stories are past, or soon will be.
Remember.

Poetry: Losing It

Losing it – not sure what it is,
specifically, but it has to do
with confidence and independence.
It is a quickness of response in
mind and body, of movement
and of deciding, an awareness.

We all grow into this from the
beginning and those confusing
middle years, even later
when I ran, as an old man –
marathons, and was fit as
ever, but now – that was then.

We don’t lose anything
but things change and fade
as we age, that’s how it works.
Or we die.

Some are old, others older,
some didn’t make it this far.
With each new day we gain
another new way to discover
and to find who we are
and to do or be,
or am I just too old,
and losing it?

©Bill Reynolds, 5/16/2019

Look both ways. Pay attention, listen closely, or they’ll say you’re losing it.
Mind the gaps. Many have lost it in the gaps.

Dark Poetry: Forever Nothing

Part of me does not care. About anything. It hurts and yet, it dulls the pain. It is like a graft of nihilism on a life that screams fuck this to me, fuck you to the world, to the random meaningless of the universe. We are insignificant dots of nothing lasting less than a blink in the time bank of eternity. Dust. Then dust again. Can I love nothingness? Does the insignificance of meaning bring the refreshing quaff of the quiet hum of true love’s peace? What does it mean to not care?

Is that it? Dare I stare?
Is it? Are they correct?
AM I?
In the true end, nothing matters.
Is it all just one wee blip
unnoticed by a chaotic universe of
apparent orchestrated randomness
neither sweet nor bitter?
Are left and right the same?
Are choices and decisions fruitless?

Come to me, hold me, love me,
here now, today; this second is all
we have – no more. When this is done
we are finished. The dust of Cosmic rays
and light passing through hollow lives.
Find a good end. There is none.
Most are miserable psychotic,
drugged (if we’re lucky) endings
to whatever sufferable step through
the veil into the nothingness of forever.

Look both ways but live now. It’s all there is.
Mind the gaps, but don’t let them slow you.

Poetry: Unbleached Face of Death

Universal Death patiently awaits
each, forever it’s permanently there
welcoming every kind of life over eons
it’s always been the same, birth before Death,
if birthed at all, and some sort of demise
for both the stupid and the wise.

The universe knows each speck of dust,
each one of us for thousands of years
and will do the same for thousands hence.
We may count the minutes, hours, and days,
but in the end Death only counts the ways.

© Bill Reynolds, 5/6/2019

Look both ways in life, but we’ll not see beyond the veil.
Mind the gaps, in the end is the last gap.

Poetry: Our Place in Line (NaPoWriMo) Day Eighteen

Today, the NaPo lady challenged me to write an elegy of my own. One in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

As far back into childhood I recall,
they say my day, my time, will come.
One day, perhaps quietly
or in some fitful mental agony
it will be my time to die.
But the bell has not
yet tolled for me—
soon enough—
it will.

Every pet, dog or cat,
lightning bug in a jar, turtle
or Easter chick; every snake, worm, or
ant; butterfly or bird, fish
or tarantula , things that flew,
crawled, walked or ran,
or just a sighting in the wild—
they’re all dead now—
I don’t know
what that is—
but they’re gone.

Every childhood friend is dead,
my mother died long after dad,
sisters both gone,
(estranged brother
I don’t know about,
he may outlive me,
if so, let it be).
I won’t know.

Uncles and aunts, one cousin (sort of) all
gone and others I don’t know about,
but they (ones I knew) are dead.
There may be some still doing,
but people of my memories
are past life. And this,
my friend,
is normal.

Some things don’t die, all people do.
Poets die (some never replaced)
but poems don’t.
The two most important
breaths we take,
the first and the last—
all the others
we call living.
That’s life,
Frank.

My sister would telephone,
“Billy” she’d say, “guess who died?”
she said, and then
she’d tell me.

When everyone and everything
I know of has died,
how do I know
who is next in line?
Is it I?
Or is it you?
Not if,
but when!

© Bill Reynolds, 2/18/2019

Know why you look both ways, otherwise, it is simply a meaningless turn of the head.
There will always be gaps but mind them anyway.