Thinking About Life and Death…


How strange it is that truth be told
that when we grow so very old
our concepts and our outlooks change
just like we are playing out a game
there are no sides no choice to make
there are no winners for anyone’s sake
it matters not how you were born
man or woman rich or poor
or how you lived the life you had
whether good or sometimes bad
or if you had a God on high
somewhere up there in the sky
or if you ate the proper food
and exercised when in the mood
or took long walks to try to stay fit
even when you would rather sit
making the effort to prolong your life
staying clear of trouble and strife
and yet one day you will wake up dead
with nothing more that can be said
that you tried to beat impossible odds
that no one before even your God
has been able to do though many have tried
and history has proved and has not lied
that Man’s time on this earth is limited to
a few score years we know is true
and no one likes the bottom line
even over the course of time
our lives are over in the blink of an eye
we hardly have time to say goodbye
before a new life takes our place
joining as part of the human race
to lead the life that we once just lived
and in our hearts we must forgive
as the human life is a fragile thing
before our spirits start to sing
to live out our time within the wind
blown gently by Nature as she takes us in
the bottom line the truth be told
we are no different as we behold
we are a part of what Nature provides
no different than others who preside
here on this Earth that we call home
for a short while until we are done.


The Past…


I do not weep for times gone by
instead I view my life with joy
the many years spent on this earth
the good, the bad, sadness and mirth
for all of the moments I have lived
knowing that my life I give
to caring for me and my pets
for no one else except maybe my vet
can give them the love that they deserve
as answer back, never a word.

I lead a very selfish life
no wife to cause me untold strife
I come and go just as I please
and spend my money in varying degrees
on whatever I fancy at the time
nothing for me is out of line
I do not justify the cost
because for me, I am the boss
I write the checks and pay the bills
and no one else in my life to fulfill.

Do I like the way I live
I really do have lots to give
but to share my life in that way
and another person having a say
in what I do and whatever the time
and someone else spending my dime
it’s been too long to change the score
over twenty years and more
and just like my pet, the one in a fix
you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

My Slow Brain…


As my brain slowly goes bad
it makes me feel so very sad
that things I can no longer recall
even though they are very small
things like names and dates and times
involving dollars and nickels and dimes
are gone and even though I try
my very thoughts seem to deny
that the subject in hand I ever knew
as recalling my thoughts are very few.

I try to compensate for my brain
by writing things down to keep me sane
so I can use it to recall
whenever my brain is feeling small
or retracing my steps from whence I came
in order to jog my stupid brain
for when I get to where I am going
my brain has forgotten the reason for showing
appointments like doctors and dentists and such
are carefully logged as my fingers touch
the keys to my laptop being sure to record
the whose, why’s and when’s in the proper accord.

Actually things are not really that bad
its true I get a little sad
when my brain is slow and seems in decline
but give it some time and the gears start to wind
and slowly but surely the thoughts reappear
which makes me feel full of good cheer
as the brain is not dead but just being slow
the thoughts and words take longer to show
there is still life in this old brain
true its never quite the same
as when I was a younger fellow
now I am much more mellow
and everything I do takes time
walking, talking and thinking these lines.

Thoughts on a Cloudy Day…

dsc_4626I sat staring out of the window
but not really seeing
my mind was a thousand miles away
in some far off distant universe
a thousand thoughts going through my mind
but not concentrating on any of them
it was a though my mind was in re-wind
with countless times and places
and people, many people with faces
all staring back at me.

Were they ghosts of my past
come back to haunt me
or fond memories of times long gone
in younger years
or are they memories of pleasant times
when youth was taken for granted
and we would never grow old.

My dog jumped onto my lap
shaking me out of this reverie
bringing me back to the present
and as I look out the window
I can no longer see the myriad of faces
of people from long ago.

Instead I see lush green foliage
sadly in need of trimming
waiting for Mother Nature
to inflict her frozen sword
and I see rain, not heavy but still rain
under the cloudy skies of a December day.

Thinking about everything and nothing…

Wildflowers in Spring

Wildflowers in Spring

The sun is shining at last
as the ice melts from my roof
and the temperature slowly climbs
above the freezing where it has been
with weather we have not seen
or experienced as we have this year.

We are not used to cold this late
as normally our spring would start
but Nature has gone a little askew
and we suffer the residue
of the poor folks up North
who have to dig out each time it snows
and when the winter wind blows
their weather down through the land
until it settles in our great state
spoiling our expectations of late.

I notice I feel the cold
much more as I grow old
and wish for much warmer climes
and know that I only have to wait
a short while as the temperature will climb
very quickly to where it will soon be
as high as one hundred and three
and maybe even higher yet
here in Texas.

Today is one of those days
where I am marking time
my visit to the doctors tomorrow
requires preparation on my part
which I am waiting to start
later this afternoon
the end result for me will be
a little incapacity
which will not allow me to stray
very far anywhere today.

So I sit and write of the thoughts in my head
the weather for one which is high on my list
nothing I can do to change it so
to plan around it is the way to go
and know that in a couple of days
I will be as right as rain
and the weather will cooperate
and let me get back out in the yard
the work to complete
as we get ready for the Spring.

I Can Remember When…

Red Rose Bud

Red Rose Bud

I can remember when
as a young man
I could run and jump
and play hard without fear
and make love

I can remember when
the world was a place
full of wonder and promise
and everything was new
and a challenge

I can remember when
time stretched out ahead
as though for eternity
and growing old
was for others

I can remember when
the beauty of a woman
was a thing to be revered
and raised passion and feelings
and urges desperate to fulfill

I can remember when
every pet I have lost
and the grief I felt
only to be replaced
by other pets

I can remember when
a life full of promise
waiting to be lived
there for the taking
with both hands

I can remember when
all of the love I have shared
with women who loved me back
only for it to fade
and die

Now I am grateful that
I can still remember when.

Friendship-What does it mean to you

Austin panoramaI have been retired for eleven years from the University of Texas at Austin. I will always remember the date, January 31, 2001. My friends and acquaintances gave me a wonderful farewell party with gifts and cake and as usually happens at those type of things at least for me, when it came time to read this great speech I had written, I choked up and had to turn away leaving all of my parting words of wisdom unspoken.

It matters not as with most retiring people, they are only missed for as long as their usefulness to the company is exhausted and then they become a mere memory. Oh, close friends may miss them but with the absence of the physical body, the spirit is not much of a presence and as time passes, so do the memories.

This is how it should be as none of us should live in the past. Just as I am a forgotten person at the place that I worked for 21 years, so too are my thoughts and feelings about that place. I am grateful that I get a very rewarding pension and the hospitalization plan is excellent but I have not thought too much as to my former workmates and only on the not very infrequent occasion when I run into someone  from the past at the supermarket or such, are memories and acquaintances renewed however temporarily.

I may be an exception to the buddy thing preferring to act out my life with current friends rather than memories of older ones. When I think back over the years to my friends and the people I grew up with at Huggletts Lane, Dennis Baker, Radford and Ivy Upfield, John Holman to name a few  that I grew up with through age 11 all of those years ago, and then on through the years to all of my soccer playing buddies and there have been hundreds of them, my workmates in my early jobs, all of the people who have touched my life one way or the other, it is a seemingly impossible task to remember them all. At some point or another, many of them were special but they applied to one particular moment in time even if that time lasted years.

Even now in my life, things are still changing. I have just ended the part of my life helping to run the Austin Mens Soccer here in Austin after more than twenty years and all of the wonderful people who I have worked with, I have quit playing so will not get to make any more on the field acquaintances or renew existing ones, I am getting to the end of my coaching career with the River City Rangers after many years and will no longer be running into other coaches and kids that I have worked with. These are all activities that have consumed a major portion of my life and have involved hundreds of people many of whom, I am glad to say, I consider to be a friend, but, as time passes and I move on to the next chapter whatever that may be, I wonder how much friendship will be left? I would guess that in truth, not very much and what there is will be restricted to an occasional coffee or maybe a meal… for old times sake.

That doesn’t mean that life is over. Every time I meet a new person, then I have just made a new friend. They may only be temporary but as we go through life, we are constantly making new friends and leaving old ones behind and very few are lasting. Those that do last are to be cherished as they are special, very special. But in truth, in this modern world of hustle and bustle and constant activity including moving from one place to another, friends are mostly of the moment. Very few will not be forgotten and most will fade as time goes marching on.

Do you want to be my friend? All I can offer you is the here and now, no tomorrow…