Coming of Aging

I’m not questioning Mother Nature deciding
That the zipper of my favorite jeans parting
Is the result to my refusal of publicly farting

Father Time’s clock’s jingling, its hand landing
On where my body temp starts its constant revising
Between suddenly dropping and suddenly rising

Miss Clairol’s been looking more and more inviting
‘Cause not a word you say will be convincing
When the grays come in packs, I’ll be rinsing

Elastic is my friend while I’m weighting
And I carry a fan or a cloth for wiping
I’m content for now to cease my griping

I’m in no way catering to the act of aging
I’m simply deciding that the act of coping
Is more preferable than the act of moping

National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 9

I’m taking a trip down the lighter side of life even as I acknowledge that my trip is more like a prat fall – enjoy!

And today’s poetic form I tackle a Tritina

The tritina is a reduced version of the sestina written in iambic pentameter, which uses 3 repeated end-words (i.e. the final word of each line is repeated as the final word of each line in subsequent stanzas, just in a different order) and 3 three-line stanzas with a concluding one-line coda that must contain all three repeated words in order of their original appearance. The pattern/order of the repeated end-words is:





The Quilt

Each square is story

Sentences in stiches

Pillow tucked paragraphs

Chapters of meandering memories

Lockstitch a life

My life

Started by one old hand

At my beginning

Passed through other hands

While I was busy

Finished with my old hand

To blanket my end


Tonight at dVerse Merrill has the feel of autumn and wants to be blankest in a quadrille, a poem of 44 words, excluding the title. It can be in any form, rhymed or unrhymed, metered, or unmetered and must include some form of the prompt word – blanket.

dVerse Poets Pub | Quadrille #113: Blanket Us

dVerse Poets Pub graphic

I Decline

I am not going to lie, I have been relatively blessed health wise. Much to my doctor’s semi-joking chagrin I am proof that not every fat person has diabetes, hypertension or cholesterol.  I am not running any marathons, but I can haul ass to catch a bus from a half block off, if so inclined, and not feel like I’m going to keel over for it.  I’ve been to a hospital five times for my own health: the births of my two sons, the first time I had a migraine, when I fell down a flight of stairs and sprained my ankle and when a pharmacy misread pain medication for said sprain that had me feeling so off forty-eight hours later I went back.  So yes, I’ve been blessed up until now. And that is the caveat – up until now.

I am fifty-six and I am beginning to feel the first signs of my body’s seemingly inevitable decline. I know it well. My right knee goes in and out of aches of its own accord.  I can go months without a symptom, then bam! it’s back for a few weeks or so. 

I went to see National Theatre’s “Cyrano de Bergerac”  with James McAvoy a couple of weeks ago. It was a cold, cold, blustery a work day, which meant a long day as the event was after work. Worse it was a training day, so I was on my feet for a good portion of it. I had on my comfortable boots, and thought I was ready!!! At least I was ready until about 4pm when I felt that first twinge that told me there was going to be a problem. 

Now add to that when nearly twenty ago I fell down a flight of stairs and sprained my right ankle badly. I was fine, or thought I was, until about 2012 or so when it manifested itself as arthritis  in that ankle that seems to flare up only on damp days under 30 degrees. It took nearly three winters and springs for me lock down the pattern. When both aches are in active session it is a trial to simply stand some days, let alone walk or run anywhere.

At something to midnight when the event was over, my sassy strut had devolved to a sorry stumble. I took it in (painful) stride and had a great time regardless.Two days later, the pain had abated as if it never existed,  but yeah it happens just like that sometimes.

I am a long way off from it, but there are days where I have taken the possibility of lack of easy mobility into consideration. Naturally, I hope, wish, and pray it does not comes to that, but I’m telling you now, I will crutch, walker and scooter, should it become necessary, and sally forth. There’s still far too much I want to do and the more things I do, the more things I find to do, so I’m going to do as many of them as I can.

And any words to the contrary will get this response:

Characters from “LOST” exclaiming “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”

Because as painful as it can be sometimes to decline physically – I decline to let it stop me until it, well, stops me.

10 days down – twenty-one to go!
It is Day 10 of the March Slice of Life Writing Challenge for 2020. Don’t decline – stop in and see how others are slicing it up today!

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Rocking Numbers

Let’s see who among you have been paying attention: Who is my favorite band?

Metallica stage at MetLife Stadium

Happy Mother’s Day to me! Metallica stage at MetLife Stadium 05/14/17 


And who is in the tri-state area this week? Yup, Metallica! Being the hard rocking mama I am, of course I saw them this weekend as the played Mother’s Day; VIP section naturally.  Oh, how I love those guys! So worth the temporary tinnitus!

At some point in the concert James (Hetfield co-founder, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band — for those who don’t know), asks the audience who wants to here some old school Metallica from the early 80’s. A friend seated next to me promptly announced that she had not been born yet.

A woman sitting on the other side of my friend appalled by her relative youth visibly cringed “God I feel old.”

I laughed, rolled my eyes at my friend and told her to shush, reminding her that she was younger than my children. Granted, it is only by a couple of years, but technically years younger.

“You can’t be that old stop it. I know, because I’m pretty up there.” She shrugged clearly thinking herself the matron among the three of us.

I took a good look at her, figuring she was in her very late 30s and grinned “I guarantee you, I am older than you.”

Numbers were shared and as I figured, not only was I older than she, but by nearly a decade (I am a month younger than James Hetfield – for comparison).  She was gobsmacked to say the least.

I grinned whipping my purple curls around as the opening notes of “Whiplash” sounded.

“Hey, this just means we have plenty of years left to rock out and we’ll look damn good doing it!”
Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 Challenge – Week 20


A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

It’s Slice of Life Tuesday – let’s see how other’s are cutting it up:

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Slice of Life Writing Challenge | Two Writing Teachers

Within The Folds

Within the folds of her mind
For every seam there is assigned
A memory that is now canned
That which became her life’s brand
It girds the maze that is confined
Within the folds of her mind

Within the folds of her mind
Dislike of coffee now enshrined
Each water fountain where she was banned
Indignities suffered firsthand
Nightmares you hope never to find
Within the folds of her mind

Within the folds of the mind
Is reciprocity outlined
She loves all things small or grand
Friends and family with equal demand
Even her cruel words were still kind
Within the folds of her mind

Within the folds of her mind
Are holiday dinners all refined
Homegrown ale that she manned
To be anything thing but bland
Secret recipes for which we pined
Within the folds of her mind

Within the folds of her mind
Where her faith was divined
Her heart the first to understand
The touch that is the Master’s hand
God’s grace was her soul defined
Within the folds of her mind

Within the folds of her mind
Thoughts not working as designed
She sometimes simply does not understand
I’m the adult whose hide she occasionally tanned
She’s slowly losing the ties that bind
Within the folds of her mind

Within the folds of her mind
An unfair fate, to one who shined
Now a fading cerebral quicksand
All that it held and could withstand
Just enough there to remind
Within the folds of her mind



dVerse ~Poets Pub | Open Link Night – 159

Perfect Stranger

I do love her still, for she’s still mother
Though oft she calls me by names of others
Her soft eyes remain, shining warm with care
The curves of her body, her graying hair
But her mind now slides from what’s really there

Her concave lips form that familiar smile
Like when she showed off her latest hairstyle
Even with loose curls each strand was in place
Particular to the point of basket case
Never walked out the door without her face

Made a clean home look easy to attain
My haphazard ways were always her bane
It gave her license for years to nitpick
My style she joked was an urban beatnik
But she loves my roast chicken with garlic

Her home now’s not what I thought would occur
But she’d gone beyond my means to help her
After jumping with haste to a rescue
When she tried to melt wax for a fondue
Insists utensils could be eaten too

She’s no longer the mother that I knew
Some days it takes all just to muddle through
I look at her and it’s my face I see
So it’s twice as hard when she looks straight at me,
And then asks ‘And who are you sweetie?’

That I remind her of her little girl
Who fidgets wearing pinafore and curls
She’s the woman that once knew me so well
But if she knows me at all now I can’t tell
Yet I know her deeply, and that’s my hell

Roles reversed, she’s the one whose hair I comb
When I visit her at the nursing home
“See this pin my girl gave me yesterday?”
I was a child, it’s so old in years even I cannot say
But for her, the years time has washed away

Seeing the pin makes me break down in tears
She coos “Oh miss, it can’t be that bad dear”
I fall in the familiar arms of hers
As everything becomes just one big blur
And I cry upon a perfect stranger


I was parsing out some advice to a friend a couple of days ago who then commented “Why do you always have just the right answer, Raivenne?”. Of course me, being me gave her a sarcastic and completely narcissistic, but humorous reply at the time, but it set me to thinking. It was not the first time I unintentionally found myself in the role of wizened advisor as of late and had a similar comment made regarding it.  It made me wonder were my advisors, when I have questions?

I lost one set of grandparents before I was born. I lost the other set by my mid-twenties. I have no siblings. Other than my sons, I am estranged from everyone I am related to by blood by mutual apathy. My family is the one  created from marriage and from those whose lives have intertwined with mine over the decades. Even so, my personal family is small and at this stage of my life, pretty much without elders.

Some things are irreplaceable. Recipes I never had a chance to learn, childhood pictures and family stories forever lost. Apologies that never had to chance to be given or perhaps received.

It started hitting home one day when a group of us peers were sitting around the dining room and realized we were now the ages of our parents, aunts, uncles et cetera when many of us met and become the tight-knit group we were. We are now the elders.  Back then, none of us in our early thirties to early forties lives, were ready to embrace that title. Now at fifty and one of the youngest of that core group, and having already lost a few of them -including my husband- there’s no denying it.

When my husband died, the few elders I had loved, trusted, would turn to for advice were no longer among us. Luckily among my peers in real life and one or two from the Internet a wellspring of information and inspiration was found and I happily get by and for the most part thrive on it.

Mine is an interesting sort of elder-hood at this moment. I have no grandchildren, no nieces or nephews. No immediate young family to look up me with their expectant eyes while I bake pies and look oh so wise over my bi-focal glasses. My late-husband and I somehow raised two very self-contained men who at this point in their lives are even less ready to see me as crone than I am. Most of my motherly advice, worldly wisdom -such as it’s not- goes to my younger peers. The twenties and thirties among my friends who are where I once stood 20 -30 years ago. And you know what?-that works for me.

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Slice of Life – Two Writing Teachers – Write, share, give: SOLS time