Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sydney Lea: How-to for Older Age

  

Take your cup outdoors
and study the snow-cloaked mountain. 
Steam from the coffee drifts up its face,
vapor backlit by a crowning moon.
To explore the hollows and knots  
of granite in the moraine, 
consider contemplation. Breathe.

In. Out. 
Let your eyes simply follow the steam, 
independent of will.
The feel of stone, hard mud, and forest duff–
it will all come back to you.
You’ll divine it with your feet.
There was a time when you’d have scrambled, 

intent on subduing that sheerness. 
Be tranquil, so as to scale it again  
There’s no storm this time. Not the one
you hid from once in that cave full of droppings–
were they porcupine, bobcat, fisher?
Odd glyphs in venerable dust.
Don’t even attempt to read them this time.

More important, you won’t know that squall in the soul 
as when you pondered your place in the world. 
Whatever that was, now is. 
You’ll have none of the heart-searing tempest
of young love, and not its relentless pursuit.
Love of all kinds has blessed you.
Think of your dearest desires as surrendered,

and thus fulfilled. To believe as much, 
abandon your lust for height-of-land. 
Keep breathing as long as you can.
That’s challenge enough.
You must climb to wherever it is you’re going 
as subtly as the steam
that rose from the cup, which has cooled, and from which 

you now may safely sip.

Sydney Lea’s many books include Here (Four Way, 2019). He lives in Vermont.

Copyright 2021 Sydney Lea.

5 comments on “Sydney Lea: How-to for Older Age

  1. Barbara Huntington
    April 30, 2021

    Be tranquil, so as to scale it again” Beautiful. I love poems about aging. Which book should I order?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. allisonfine
    April 29, 2021

    Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2021 by in Health and Nutrition, Opinion Leaders, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , .

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