Tipsy toes

On tipsy toes with lucid breath
my eyes caress anemic flesh.

“We have to leave today”, you say
and as I bend my head to nod
I see a sag of skin, a wrinkled
purse of lips and liver spots.

Was this the summer or my death
when custom killed my shame
of me and nakedness?

We do not need today,
we crave more night than light
and I have ceased the see
the purpose of a shave.

Fermentation stirs inside
in boil, in rot, a knot.
The summer fades, but we are not

“Have you heard how silent birds
can be”, I say; you answer:
“They are waiting just like us”
and yet the rustled leaf
like any leaf is green.

July  2 by Jack Youngerman ©

July 2 by Jack Youngerman ©

Today I post after my hiatus, it’s dVerse Open Link tonight and Gayle is hosting. Hope to see you there, and remember that it’s another chance to be selected for the anthology. Bar opens at 3 PM EST.

40 responses to “Tipsy toes

  1. I hear you, I definitely don’t need the light to show off this body full of wrinkles and liver spots. You’re just trying to make me feel good. Thanks,

  2. I so enjoyed this poem, Bjorn. There is something very freeing in the idea of letting go of self-consciousness.

  3. It gets quieter when you realize that you have to return from a long holiday and go back to your “real” life… I like the idea of letting go of self-consciousness but so far I haven’t quite succeeded entirely. I’m happy to see you’re back, Bjorn.

  4. This is so wonderful. Nostalgic, despairing, honest and hopeful. I love the last stanza:
    “Have you heard how silent birds
    can be”, I say; you answer:
    “They are waiting just like us”
    and yet the rustled leaf
    like any leaf is green.

  5. Such musicality in this piece Bjorn – I can hear you speak it as I read. How I enjoy your style, when you are in your pomp as you are here.. Such an fresh, vibrant and original voice – there are not many poets out there today who own their work as much as you do… With Best Wishes

  6. I think this is meant to be sexy … to express the natural hunger in humans, in animals, in plants — to thrive and to “eat,” whether they’re young or not. I think your poem has a primal feel and makes me think you and your wife had a very good time together on your hike.

  7. Marvelous 🙂 Haven’t been in a while…it’s good to be back! And even better to see you are still creating masterful prose! 🙂

  8. My father stayed with us for a month and I noticed many details of his (my!) aging echoed in your poem…he still shaves but not as frequently 🙂

  9. Interesting how we all see ourselves in poems. This one reminds me of the internal conflict between resignation, resistance, and the silent pause that articulately presents itself in those moments between both.

  10. My guess is that you visited your mother during your holiday. I’m bracing myself for another visit, too. Will drive down on the 21st…she is failing a lot in the last few weeks.
    This was a beautiful and touching poem, Bjorn. I so understand those signs of aging. The final stanza gave me a sense of peace.
    I’m so happy you are back.

  11. Ah the last day/s of holiday. Feeling in the summer of your spirit belying the early autumn of your physical form. Time is a carrion bird every circling a reminder of the inevitable. But the inevitable is not the now – for now you will enjoy what’s left of these carefree lush moments.

  12. Great to see you again Bjorn!

    This is my favorite part:

    We do not need today,
    we crave more night than light
    and I have ceased the see
    the purpose of a shave.

    Now that you are break, I am taking a breather, smiles.

  13. I echo K. McGee. This does reminds me of the internal conflict between resignation, resistance, and the silent pause that presents itself in those moments between both. Well penned, Bjorn.

  14. “Was this the summer or my death?” An interesting question to pose. Those memories of youth sometimes fade a bit when we look in the mirror and see anything but “youth” staring back at us.

  15. So nice to see you back! 🙂 Well….I do believe there is beauty in aging. And wriinkled hearts can still love deeply and passionately!

  16. So many emotive elements in this. It takes a long time to make one’s peace with aging – but when it comes, at long last – it is WONDERFUL and so freeing!

  17. My husband and I are 66 and 64 respectively, and we know whereof this poem speaks. Happily, we are getting more philosophical than when first we saw the “sag of skin and wrinkled purse of lips”… Still, I do tend to avoid facetiming on my iPhone unless I am looking up at the camera…
    😉

  18. Welcome back Bjorn! My husband took me clothes shopping as part of my birthday surprise – I was sixty on Wednesday – and I felt so out of place in trendy shops in Cambridge until I found some lovely sales assistants who understood me and did not hold my age against me – just clothes! I love it when people can see past the wrinkles and liver spots – sometimes you meet someone who sees the ghost of the younger you, I think. The young girl who took photos of me recently did just that.

  19. This made me hyper aware of the wicked process that occurs with a simple look in the mirror. We often do not see only a reflection of the present self; we compare it to past selves, to ideals we hold ourselves against. We mourn perceived losses of time, experience, missed opportunity, failings. We hope. We see what once was and what could be. Embracing the present moment for what it is is so difficult! Finding and practicing compassion for self is a long process for many. But I aspire to that. Lovely poem, Bjorn.💜

I love your feedback

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s