The Anger of Old Men

Posted: June 11, 2013 in Chat

The anger of old men who have forgotten
or never knew the gap between aspiration
and achievement is not of their making

that the two are different species
with no blood relation
one is an acrobat at the top of his profession
the other an angel superb in indifference.

The angry old man watches garden birds –
a data-base of fortuitous pleasures,
dependable pension of surprises;
speckled, dappled, pied admixtures
of hope, resignation and the half
dozen particulars; the personal takes on life.

To fly is to always return; freedom
the trail of these few crumbs. The unused sup of spirit
in the glass, its tinting smear of light;
an aroma of continuance.

The old man berates the heedless youth
who in his loud and righteous turn
smacks him one. Each looks at each and sees
what they most hate. The chasm of the world speaks, says:
Yah! See? This is you! What you are and what you most fear.
Well… it‘s all you got. So long, sucker!

A bitter taste in each their mouths. One spits it out, the other
writes a letter to the Telegraph.

The angry old man looks out onto a world
cut back to honest durable essentials, the certainties
that age gives him. It is reality at last.

But it’s not, it’s a simplified version;
what was discarded, lost
was the truth in the detail,
the human face.


The old man questions a photograph of his younger self
and finds there only incomprehension.


The angry old man wonders at this busy woman
and where his wife has gone: just one more
example of not being consulted.

Who – not why or when, so much – (so final)-
has gone and come? Unconsulted again.

Where have my glasses gone, my keys, hair…?
The bedroom curtains, most things, familiar
yet different somehow: who –
he had not noticed properly before –
is that old man in the bathroom mirror?

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