28 June 2016

Would a Birthday at Another Age Be as Sweet?

In a nation of laws, age matters.  Ask voters and drinkers 
and drivers and candidates for public office just how much
age matters.  Set arbitrarily, each limit gained its own
permanence, importance and demands.  I obeyed.  But since I
found a way to retire, I don't mind.   Here’s the time that wasn’t lost
in hassles and hustles and rushing through meetings.  Time again
to turn rocks over and see what they hold precious—or to stop,
sit atop the stockpile it took years to acquire and now look
at each piece to see if it's worth its weight in gold or beauty
and shadows of smiles or peals of bells and laughter. 

Here the rush to milestones of eligibility no longer makes sense—
Finally.  And it feels like docking a huge ship, a slow and
clumsy barge, surviving stormy seas, arriving home after
long exile.  Forgive me, those of you who know exile firsthand—
Only now have I time to look back and see who I ignored
on my way through the maze that held me.  I can’t say I enjoy
the hindsight, but if age ripened me for a new journey,  I'll
welcome it along with new partners who join in the next ride.
Why mind aging when we feel new passion to be alive?
When we see, finally, what waswhat isworth its weight in gold?

For my prompt at Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Birthday(s)

My blog poems are rough drafts.  
Please respect my experiment and my copyright.

© 2016 Susan L. Chast


Sumana Roy said...

"But since I / found a way to retire, I don't mind."...i can breathe the freedom and a fresh lease of life here...it's wonderful when the chain bound exile is cast away and one reaches home and a new light shines on...a perfect poem for the Day :)

rallentanda said...

My inspecteur Clouseau mind is twigging that it is your birthday today. Many Happy Returns on reaching a milestone:) I love the image of a clumsy battered barge surviving the storms arriving home.(chuckles)
That home being wisdom and an understanding as you eloquently state... of the things that really matter ... How you no longer are concerned with superficial and artificial societal expectations and have a renewed vigour for life seen with new eyes. Could relate very well to this excellent poem.

Birthday Poem For Susan

she's reached an important milestone
our Dr Susan Chast
the brainy birthday girl
giving words panache and dash

she writes reflective poetry
shows concern about the planet
her keen sense of justice
quick silvers through her work
her mid week motif
brightens weeks that can be bleak
for so many of us
so thank you my dear Susan
for your time and your interesting prompts

we're chalk and cheese
on many things
live culturally poles apart
but when it comes to good strong veins
we're both pumping at
the heart
the heart
the heart
the heart

Enjoy your special day !
Kind regards

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Susan...and may you enjoy your "new passion to be alive" with all that is worth its weight in gold!

Jae Rose said...

The right time is now - such a relief when we can discover that - and most of all learn to enjoy it - a very peaceful birthday to you

Mary said...

This is really an excellent poem, Susan. Enjoyed your reflections on the age of milestones & in retrospect how much does it matter, the joy of retirement and the time to turn those rocks that one missed along the way, and to really reflect on what life IS as one sits on one's stockpile & reflect. Your second stanza is really inspired...brilliant really. The idea of docking a huge ship, reflecting back, but feeling a new passion to be alive...knowing that there is a new journey on the horizon. A poem very dense with meaning that can be found in every line. My comment has not done it justice. Happy happy birthday, Susan!!

Old Egg said...

What fun birthdays were as children, or coming of age but how we dread them now as the bells toll for others our age. Once we had so much time but now we have so little to do what we want. If Rall is correct many birthday wishes from me too Susan.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Happy birthday! Yes, it is time to look back, but also important to look forward too.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Such a wonderful coming of age poem Susan! I think you said it all too! Life isn't over and there's still rocks to look under. I wish you all the happiness that retirement can offer and may all your good memories be worth their weight in gold!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a great birthday poem from Rall! How wonderful! Happy Birthday, dear friend. I most love the image of docking a large ship, as we sail into the port of our retirement years. The gift of time, the slowing down with its opportunity to rest, reflect and truly see.........I love the truth in "why mind aging when we feel new passion to be alive?" A wonderful poem!!!!!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

It's the passion that makes all the difference!

Gillena Cox said...

To arrive at a place of birthday worth its weight in gold. That's a splendid thing indeed and such a good place to be.

Have a happy day

Thanks for a nice prompt and for dropping by my blog today

Much love...

Maude Lynn said...

This is absolutely a favorite of mine. Wow, Susan.

Panchali said...

"if age ripened me for a new journey, I'll
welcome it along with new partners who join in the next ride". Spot on! I see it as a part of life. And if that happens, I'm going to take full advantage of it. :)

Susan said...

Thank you, Sumana. You always read me right!

Susan said...

I will treasure this poem, dear Rall. Thank you so much! And thank you, too, for writing and appreciating Poems of Purpose and Passion.

Susan said...

Amen. You, too.

Susan said...

You're part of the team, JR. Thank you.

Susan said...

Wow, Mary, I think you liked it! Than you for reading deeply, for navigating your barge and leading us here.

Susan said...

She is, and thank you. I think the balance of the dread is how much we enjoy living. If your poems are the trace evidence, you've been turning over the rocks and feeling free.

Susan said...

Amen. Happy BD to you too.

Susan said...

Thank you, Bekkie, I love that "coming of age" idea.

Susan said...

Thank you, Sherry. I could have written this for you. SO glad our barges are close to each other.

Susan said...

Quite right! Thank you.

Susan said...

Thank you so much!

Susan said...

Yes! Those new babies are part of it, aren't they? Thank you for being here.

Unknown said...

timeless hourglass
beauty held between two hands
sand still tumbles

Somehow the hourglass seemed the classic for a classy lady. Hope it was a grand day

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I love this – both the sentiments and the suitably leisurely, conversational tone.

Anonymous said...

So many worry about retirement and what they'll do with all that time. Then are surprised at everything they can do with all that time, not pressured or ruled. I like the casual tone you take here, and like the varied imagery,


humbird said...

Oh, wonderful poem, Susan! 'Time again
to turn rocks over' ~ I wish you to have those new inspirational moments as often as new moon coming to us... to start a new project with love and now not so innocent mind... Happy belated birthday too!