What Have I Lost?

Today, 16 October 2012, I treated myself to three books, a Peterson Field guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America [I had just been on a bird walk], Billy Collins’ “The Art of Drowning” and Naomi Shihab Nye’s selection of poems called “What have you lost?” Before reading any of them, inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye’s title, I felt like writing.

What have I lost?

What have I lost?
My youth
young untried self
dipping into an unknown world.
Eyes half-shut, mouth open
bewilderment and folly mixed
I followed rules unspoken.

What have I lost
I mind losing?
I lithe waist,
a body quick to jump,
run, turn cartwheels
on the sand of each
and every beach I ran on.
Passions, lust and longing
springing unbidden,
greener than the grass
my feet passed in carelessness.

What have I lost
that I do not know
has passed by?
Somewhere a whisper
of apprehension.
What if some opportunity
is yet to offer
and I forget such chance
will also pass?
Choice is not for tomorrow.

Now, on the fulcrum
of this moment,
remember to dance
to seize with seeing eyes
whatever loss and sorrow gives.
How else is a life built?
Each present passes by forever
into loss, no longer now.
Age is the sand and stone and rock
on which I stand.

Joints ache
weary eyes need specs
a phoenix from the ash
of sorrowed time
looks to the future.
Considers, maybe,
Can I be wise?
Life’s adventure, next,
might yet surprise.

I would like to hear what you think of this. Please tell me

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