We started The Brass Rag a year ago this week. But somehow, I’m not thinking about that tonight. Instead I’m thinking about my fiftieth birthday, coming up on Sunday. What do you think about when annual events roll around? Which ones take precedence? Let us know. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this, and wish you happy writing.
What is there about this year that startles me?
As if it were unexpected or sneaky
But, thankfully, not a threat.
You can’t threaten what has already happened.
You just have to live with it and hope
It doesn’t go away.
Is it odd to feel that I am
Different but not
I have spent my time here in search
Of truth and love,
Of the vital essences of a life well lived,
I have feasted at the banquet of all life had to teach
And danced to music both rare and familiar,
My gifts have been easy and pain bought, blood purchased and free,
And sometimes I paid without knowing the cost,
Or the worth of the lesson until a heartbeat too late.
Until it was already mine and I could not give it,
Would not give it back at any price.
All the years feel equal.
Twenty-one sounds bigger than thirty-five,
But it isn’t.
Even the important days run in a rhythm tied to
A heartbeat. The sun rises and sets in the marrow of the bone
Without effort or attention from
My opinions may change, and my tune,
But my soul stares unblinking on the years
And wonders what all the fuss is about.
Am I not myself?
Don’t I still love chocolate and
Hate brussel sprouts?
Don’t I still love to dance,
even though I can’t?
And to sing, flinging notes onto
the early morning air for my own pleasure
and Gods, and no one else?
True, my voice is louder but it is still my own,
Bolder now that I care less,
My heart is fiercer, maybe, but it is my heart still,
With its beat measured by the same love’s drum.
Like a coal banked to spark as evening falls and
Stars give light to life.
Circling ‘round the same fire,
Winding to a lower, deeper flame, but
Not yet mellowed.