‘On Lost Youth” . . . A TANKA

black and white man young lonely

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‘On Lost Youth” . . . A TANKA

 

Still lusting for life

It so defeats me to cry

Joy now comes with pain

Bringing thoughts of what has been

Youth will never come again

 

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Tanka is a genre of classical Japanese poetry meaning a short poem, and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. 

A Tanka consist of five units (often treated as separate lines when romanized or translated) usually with the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per unit or line). Wikipedia

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Longing

Lake Distriict-Borrowdale-1986

Borrowdale – Pen Sketch WHB – 1986  © 

LONGING

Yes, my youth brought many vital moments
among my native hills.
Such interludes return now
in flashback and in dreams
in vignettes and in echoes;
instances of acute sensitivity,
memories more precious and persistent
as year passes into year.

I wish I had been more alive then,
more interwoven with my surroundings,
instinctively attached to the skies above
and to the rolling landscape below.

For there, on the vast wide-open moorland
where, above my breathing,
what I heard, was only the sound of the bees
visiting the sun-yellow gorse,
and the sighing rustle of the breeze
playing amongst the curls of bracken,
the blackbirds circling above in the sundown dusk,
calls of the curlew, lapwing and meadow pipit
lost in broom , hidden in heather.

Sometimes, in the bliss of solitude’s memory,
I have known a disregard for time itself,
and I sense I would happily reach eternal slumber
in the rapturous throes of such longing.

 

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Hymn Of Hope

clouds weather sunlight sunrays

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

When Green Hill led to Highcliff Nab
Up from Kemplah Fields, 
Then when all my world was young
And all was meant to be, 
Life was enriched by Nature’s call;
The world was one to me.

Now, when old age has taken youth
And life resolves in retrospection, 
Those childhood days become intense, 
The fount of my reflection. 

I feel, I touch, the close-knit turf
That dressed the hills I trod. 
The waves of bracken still haunt my mind
As if bespoke of God, 
And heather, clothing moor and dale,
Purpling the timeless scene, 
Rekindles every hope I have 
Been granted in the life I’ve seen.

 

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As I Grow Old

Father William

AS  I  GROW  OLD

As I grow old
So I become bold

No more restrictions 
Disallowed contradictions

Youth brought its gaucheness 
Implacable faultless

Taking for granted 
Entitlement implanted

But age, ah the pleasure, 
Getting the measure 

Of life in its dotage
Foregoing all rampage 

Now felt understanding
All pressure withstanding

Now my time has turned
Rights I have earned

Taken life’s bites
Its end in my sights

I’ve come to a time
When the next world is mine

Forgetting, forgiving,
Poetically living

No longer the dread
Of just wishing I’d said

For in verse yet unsung
I know what I’ve done

Brought to fruition
A lifetime’s ambition

And for ever for me
Life’s summation, its key. 

 

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‘On Ageing Gloriously’ – REPRISE

[ Wednesday Replay # 4 ]
 
To counterbalance my poem ‘On Ageing Disgracefully’, re-published last Wednesday, I now re-present my upbeat version of old age, previously posted by me on  
OldAge&Youth

‘Old Age & Youth’ …  Pen and ink – WHB.  2017

ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY

Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away;
But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday.
But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances
Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.

For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine;
I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline.
I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone,
So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.

And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now;
I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow,
‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door.
At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.

My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic;
It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic.
I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease;
Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.

My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly.
My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli;
The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose,
But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.

My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb.
I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become;
So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels;
My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.

My lumbar corset gives me an efficient spinal brace.
My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace.
I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be,
Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.

The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life;
No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife.
I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed,
Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?

They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill;
Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill.
I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again,
No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.

They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv
Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee
Of touring round my city all the splendid sites to see
Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty three.

A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough,
I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough;
Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free,
And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.

My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth;
I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath.
I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well,
That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.

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Faustian Offers Refuted

Holbein-Mort2

From ‘Le Triomphe de la Mort’ by Iean Holbein

FAUSTIAN OFFERS REFUTED

 

He has brought me here 
Recycled my life 
To revive my youth
Its promise given to me again 
To tempt my taste for change

Had it been different 
choices changed 
Those faustian offers not refuted 
Where would wishes 
Then rejected 
Have taken me

But I know 
I am no more fitted now
Than I was then  
To take the right course 
Choose the salient path

So once again I must reject the offer 
Renew my current course 
Leave longing for reason 
For that unknown and unknowing 
Certitude

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‘Return Me To My Youth

Followers of Roland’s Ragbag will know that, on occasion, I enjoy attempting a, for me, unaccustomed poetic form.  I was again encouraged to do so earlier today by a post on Linda Luna’s blog: ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ .   Please do take a look at her description of the Decastitch and, in particular at her outline of a particular variation of this many-faceted form named the ‘Ravenfly’.  Her blog contains a clear outline of the form, which I quote as follows:

  In summary, the Ravenfly is:

• A decastich (10-line poem) written in 3 stanzas: 2 quatrains and 1 couplet.
• Syllabic count: 8-7-8-7, 8-7-8-7, 10-10
• Rhyme scheme: abab cdcd ee
• Meter is optional

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Prisma-whb01

RETURN ME TO MY YOUTH

Return me to when I was young 

And life had not yet happened; 

The loves I’ve had, the songs I’ve sung,  

 But now I’m truly saddened, 

For life has bitten me so hard, 

Removing joy and pleasure, 

Leaving my swollen heart so scarred

The pain I cannot measure.

My memories of youth are dear,

The future – still obscure, unclear. 

Prisma-whb04

 

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A full account of the Decastich and its many different guises can be read on the Poet’s Garret website   (q.v.).

I have posted my above attempt at ‘The Raven’ to the ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ Challenge.

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Inspiration

Lowman2

Waters of the River Lowman, Devon – Photo:  WHB, 2017   ©

 

INSPIRATION

 

As Lowman meanders
hardly awake
over its pebbled bed
and as clear waters
give back the russet tones
of disturbed sand
of silt-stained rocks
so I muse

Imagination awakes
words flow
with the waters of the stream
transmuting my senses

into visions
of solitude
and silence
of grace in being
delight in life itself

These images
transposed
revisiting me now

with imprinted memories
of awe
of richness

felt in the bones of my youth
replicated now
in the dis-ease of old age

 

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Sharing the Glow

LochEarn2006a

Sunset over Loch Earn, Scotland – Photograph  © . . .  WHB 

 

Sharing the Glow

 

I remember that evening –
The sun sinking low,
When you stood beside me
Sharing the glow.

We bathed in that splendour –
That golden sunset,
Drenched in that promise
I’ll never forget.

I held your hand tightly,
Placed a kiss on your lips
In youth, in the gloaming,
The lie was eclipsed.

For then we were young,
Life had not bitten hard.
Our futures seemed certain
But we let down our guard.

I left with a pledge,
But never returned;
Dissolved into dreams
Your derision I earned.

But now we are older,
Life has taken its toll.
Is it too much to ask,
Can I recapture your soul?

Now that same sun is sinking
Setting fire to the sea;
Can this Phoenix bring hope
To you and to me?

Let me hold your hand now,
Place a kiss on your lips,
For bliss in old age
Does all else eclipse.

 

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On Ageing Gloriously

OldAge&Youth

‘Old Age & Youth’ …  Pen and ink – WHB.  2017

ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY

Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away;
But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday.
But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances
Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.

For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine;
I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline.
I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone,
So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.

And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now;
I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow,
‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door.
At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.

My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic;
It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic.
I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease;
Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.

My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly.
My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli;
The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose,
But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.

My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb.
I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become;
So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels;
My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.

My lumber corset gives me an efficient spinal brace.
My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace.
I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be,
Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.

The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life;
No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife.
I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed,
Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?

They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill;
Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill.
I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again,
No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.

They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv
Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee
Of touring round my city all the splendid sites to see
Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty three.

A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough,
I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough;
Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free,
And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.

My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth;
I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath.
I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well,
That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.

 

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