Mid-Life Crisis – Nelson Mongiovi

The Poetry Jar

 
 
Half a century old, I feel like
a starfish stranded on the shore
reaching for water
in five different directions.
 
A new shade of night
has descended upon me;
the weight of my choices
drips from my eyes.
 
Ruin has become a habit
impossible to break.
Only my shadow welcomes me
in the dim light.
 
My lucid moments
are no longer frequent
or as good
as the psychotic.
 
I hate this life
so deeply,
almost as deeply
as I love it.
 
 
©2013 All rights belong with the Author.

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Stanley Kunitz – The Layers

The Layers
By Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

 

Stanley Kunitz, “The Layers” from The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz. Copyright © 1978 by Stanley Kunitz.  Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.