Poem: “Young” with two quotes and some philosophy

It’s one of those days when I find myself reflecting on what my life is and what it has been and what I still hope it will be. You know those days. We all have one of those days. Sometimes we eat cake on them.

Plato said, “Old age: A great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold, you may have escaped, not from one master, but from many.”

Lol. Plato can keep that particular sense of calm. I will take the freedom, though. The freedom to experience the passions that I’ve denied myself in order to fit in a bit more.

I’m experimenting with spoken word poetry (I’d love to write a rap, but I’m not musical enough), renga/linked haiku, and I’m returning to rhyming poetry (mostly, though my haiku doesn’t usually) because I like writing it even if it isn’t the current fashion. (Screw the fashion. I love the challenge of writing real, solid poetry with rhymes.)

These are all things that probably would not have happened if my life was what it was a year ago. So, yeah.

And still I can’t seem to forget the way it felt to be young, to know I could change the world, to feel the earth shake beneath my feet, tremble before the force of my youth!

That’s a lot of pressure.

Jonathan Swift said something that feels even more appropriate to my particular stage of life than Plato’s praise of old age. “No wise man ever wished to be younger.”

I’m getting older. I own my years and all that came with them. I do not wish to go back. I would not redo anything that has occurred.

But I’m not finished yet. Let the young have their go at changing the world, but I’m still here.

Poem and illustration copyright 2022 Michelle Garren-Flye