As We Grow Older

Death Poem, Spiritual Poetry


As We Grow Older, originally uploaded by © Don Iannone Photography.

This photo is best seen in large size view to see its details. A new poem:

As We Grow Older
By Don Iannone

Summer flowers
Slipping away
Like the sun at dusk
The youthful spring, no more
In the old man’s steps

Dog-eared cone flowers
Droopy pink petals
Spiny orange tops
As best they can
Holding on for dear life

Our lives at times
Weak-kneed, fragile, out of kilter
Like some faint bad dream
Weighing upon us
Lingering well past morning coffee

Sometimes we wonder
Especially when afraid
Is it something we’ve done
That’s driven our lives away
Or maybe just time to say goodbye

Nancy

Don Iannone, Spiritual Poetry

We lost a friend, a wonderful neighbor
She lived for others
To Nancy, Mother Nature was the Mother Queen
Without her, an empty spot will remain on Deepwood
For a long, long time

A teacher, constant learner she was
Life’s mysteries, more than simple puzzles to solve
Each day, much more than the visible conquest
And much more than we can grasp
Until our own end comes, making it all clear

No need to eulogize Nancy
Those far closer will do that
But deserving of a special poem she is
Much as Emily Dickinson or Elizabeth Barrett Browning might give
So to Nancy, the ode of the eternal rose I sing

Life comes and goes
Much as the sun and moon rise and fall
Those seeing beyond themselves know
Heaven forever awaits
For without them, we are all lost

I think for Nancy
Life was a special language you learn
Like Mathematics or French
Even with all the words, something escapes us
But I think Nancy was OK on all this

No Use Hiding in the Darkness

Don Iannone, Poem about Death

At times we dwell
Where darkness falls and lingers
Places into which our hearts tumble
Like a ball bouncing down the cellar steps

We go there more willingly
Than our self-pity allows us to admit
At times, as easily as our breath erases
All signs of yesterday

Death is one thing—moving on, making room
For new things to be born
It’s a mistake for any of us
To think we’re too good to die

And it’s a mistake to believe
We can escape the inevitable
Hiding in the cellar or attic
Or any dark place in our lives

We fill our lives with action, words, other things
Even the best can’t stop the gift inside us
From moving on, transcending us
Returning always to its giver

Tulsa

Don Iannone, Poem about Death, Poem about Tulsa, Spiritual Poetry

Tulsa, a place Mom and Dad lived for a short time
Where Mom died, now twenty-two years ago
Where Oral Roberts preached
And broadcasted his ministry to millions
Including Grandma Secrist
Who faithfully watched his sermons during the 1950s and 1960s
On her old black and white Philco TV
That flickered hope into her life on Moore’s Run—
That sad and forgotten Eastern Ohio holler
Where Mom was born, and
A long way from Tulsa where she died

Tulsa, a place I’ve visited many times
Since Mom’s passing and Dad’s moving
To help the Cherokee Indians
With various plans and studies
Tulsa, a place I left this morning
Troubled about my Dad
Who lay dying in a bed in Tupelo—
Where he has lived out his last sixteen years

All this flashes into my mind
As I sit in seat 16F
Of a Continental flight from Tulsa to Houston
On my way back to Cleveland—
The place I call my home

From my plane window
I watch the sunrise spread across the eastern sky
Searching for answers
To life’s biggest questions—
Those questions each of us faces
In our own way and time

There is no question Dad will die in Tupelo
As Mom died in Tulsa
No real need for an answer to that question
There is no question—
That someday I will die
And so will you
Yet, all this seems so hard to accept
As I look down on Tulsa wondering why

Youth’s Butterfly

Don Iannone, Poem about Death, Spiritual Poetry

Our youth
Like some ineffable butterfly
Flits about in our memories, dreams, reflections
At times, as real as any dream can be
Always, midstream between the familiar and unknown

The older faces about us tell stories
Going past the point butterflies can go
Places no words can reach
Spaces outside the universe we’ve grown to love
Placeless realities no eyes can ever see

Somehow, we start over again before we end
Revisiting, remembering our beginnings
Hoping our memories help us hold on
Somehow anchor us in the shifting sand
Trickling through life’s hourglass

We seem to sense the futility
Of holding onto what only visits
Like the sun in summer
Like the butterfly in the garden
That disappears as quickly as it arrived