Poetry Thursday-ish #7

I haven’t blogged in forever. Nor have I written a poem in forever. Life happens and sometimes – ok, a lot of times – I forget to slow down and think and write about it. Two days ago I had a feeling I couldn’t shake, a sort of nostalgia mixed with déjà vu. And as I slowed down and thought about how I was feeling and why, this poem came out.
img_20160922_210935
Something about the oldness

 

Something about the oldness
of the days the feeling
of years of winters and
storms and lives lived
and the realness the
grit in the ground under
my fingernails cold breath
pulled away by the wind
down dark
alleyways away
from where I am now
thoughts of you and
yesterdays
the oldness
now creeping in my bones
the clouds
always closer
the gray in my hair
and feet that no longer
fly
fingers that
no longer stretch
for every unseen thing
wrapped instead
around seconds trying
to get away
like smoke
from the stacks of ancient
abandoned factories
and the mountains
my old friends
look down with kind
sad eyes and I know
they know
this feeling

I Don’t Want to Grow Up…

…if growing up means being like you.

The year was 2001. I was 22 and driving tour buses for the summer in Seattle. On an off day some friends and I went to Freeway Park, which is a cool park that happens to sit right above the Downtown freeway. We were running around, enjoying the splendid summer air, when we happened upon a place to play hopscotch. We decided hopscotch was a grand idea and commenced playing. We’d been up to it for a while when a young guy who couldn’t have been much older than us walked by and said, “Aren’t you a little old to be doing that?” We laughed it off, but from that day on, obviously to today since I’m still thinking about, I’ve felt sorry for that guy.

Call me crazy, but growing up has some major pitfalls. Sure, I can eat ice cream for dinner if I want to, (as long as the kids don’t see me) but there are a whole lot of negatives that come with the territory. Too many to list, in fact.

Last week at work someone put out a huge stack of MG and YA ARCs, free for the taking. A bunch of us wandered over to see what there was to be had. As we were perusing the titles, a guy came walking up and asked his friend what was going on. The guy made some disparaging remark about only checking them out if you liked reading “kid’s books.”

You know what, Hopscotch Guy and YA Book Guy? There’s a reason a lot of growing up sucks, and it’s you. What part of growing up says you should stop having fun, stop doing silly things, stop reading about fantastical places and people and things?

Why is it not cool to have childish wonder?

I submit that it IS cool.

If you think you’re too much of an adult to play a kid’s game or read a book aimed at teenagers, don’t do those things.

But don’t blame it on growing up. Growing up doesn’t have to be staid and stiff and boring.

It shouldn’t be.

Blame it on your own lame self, because you’re the one who’s more concerned with looking cool than having fun.

The rest of us are going to be enjoying both adult and kids books and activities. And eating ice cream for dinner.