Monday, 6 January 2014


He is wise, wise and wizened;
hair thinning, salt and pepper seasoned;
brow lined and furrowed, quizzical? 
Brows: bushy, grey and wiry;
eyes blue and vision fading;
nose: large and Roman
(now too long and thin (he thinks) -
My, I can almost see where bone blanches skin). 
Cheeks: skin thick and craggy;
mouth small, pursed and wrinkled;
chin cleft, stubble sprinkled.

Ah, and below the chin –
the bugger that will be the death of him. 
Untreated – he too old (he thinks)
for wrath of radiation beam
or cruel brunt of surgeons knife.

So this is he, this is who he is
above the faltering heart in heaving chest –
his face an echo - a diary of a life well-lived. 
His mouth clenching pipe, pipe-puffing,
puffing pipe (vanilla flavour and aroma)
he reminisces on the joys of yesteryears. 
He is alone – yet not lonely,
his memories’ - companions of his past and present. 

(He sips Jack Daniels – no, swigs it back,
his body welcoming each soothing warming mouthful.)

He thinks: if death comes tonight I hope it comes easy –
no crushing pain of heart arrest…  

But should he be blessed to live another day,
to see tomorrow – he will live it for the love of it. 
But should he not he knows    (yes he knows)
that those that gather grimly at his graveside
to pay homage to his passing spirit,
will sigh,    smile and softly say: 

Ah Alex,
he lived life for the love of it.

Anna :o]

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Artist: Alexander Beridze. (1858-1917)

I do realise that the image bares no resemblance to the description of Alex – but those I found depicting his physical appearance bore no resemblance to the essence of his good self.  This smiling man – with the sun shining out of him – is Alex!

(That ‘Alex’ and the artist share the same first name is purely coincidental)

Shared with the good folk at Poets United – thanks Mary and the good folks at Real Toads – thanks Marian!


J Cosmo Newbery said...

A great philosophy to have.

Björn said...

Anna, first of all a happy new year to you.. secondly I think a philosophy of taking the day as it comes.. realization that you might not wake up to see tomorrow is a good one..

Brian Miller said...

what a great description...and he seems like a pretty good guy to hang on the picture not while you can....

LaTonya Baldwin said...

I was thinking the same as Brian. Enjoyed.

my heart's love songs said...

we really didn't need a picture ~ your description is so vivid and adds the personality as well. beautiful tribute.

Happy New Year, Anna!


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I agree with Bjorn! What a great philosophy to have :) have a wonderful day!!

Sumana Roy said...

i like this attitude to life..alex
....woderfully portrayed..

Kenia Cris said...

I like the stories you tell and what is there to say about taking the day? :)

We've seen great takes from great men like Kafka and Joyce.

Have you been to the movies recently? Go and see 'About time', it's all about what you are saying BEAUTIFULLY here.

Thanks for a lovely comment over m blog, I'll make sure to come back and check what you're up to.


Mary said...

I like the idea of living life for the love of it. I think we all should live that way, thinking of each day as if it may be our last day and living it to the fullest. It sounds like Alex is facing mortality head on....yet continuing to live his philosophy!

^.^ said...

He is old, alright,but I like old skin ... lucky him ...oops, beside the point, I guess ... many stories to listen to by evening's fire ... meouw ... purr ... smiles ...

Mama Zen said...

This is truly exceptional writing. I love this.

Stormcat Poetry said...

I hope I can live like Alex (and my lazy cat)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

One can do no better than that, to live life for the love of it. A wonderful tribute!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute and I must echo Sherry, one can do no better at living life,


Susie Clevenger said...

What a wonderful gift to leave those who watch your simply live it for the love of it.

kaykuala said...

Beautiful description Anna! Crisp and detailed and did not matter if the pic is not him! Nicely!


Vandana Sharma said...

some people are real gems!

Anonymous said...

This wording is extra-fantastic:

"for wrath of radiation beam
or cruel brunt of surgeons knife"

It makes the unnatural sound brutal.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

he sounds like a wise old man

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is such a loving portrait, which shows the true character, as well as the physical troubles of old age.

I found the font very difficult to read but the poem was so engaging that I persevered.

TALON said...

He sounds so incredible. You brought his essence to life through words which is an amazing gift.

Margaret said...

a swig of whiskey, a smile, and a zest for life. Some youth don't' even have this… Nice.

Loredana Donovan said...

Not sure if this is a real person or imagined ... but it's a very vivid portrait, so well described ... you made him come to life. Happy New Year :)

Kim Nelson said...

And we should each live this way. I will turn 55 this year and have learned/decided that this is a turning point for me. Your poem is illustrative of my determination.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thank you for your very welcome comments folks.
Now on days off and back to the land of the living - I have entered the marathon read of others wonderful posts.
Will get to yours eventually!
Anna :o]

Brother Ollie said...

Feel like I know this guy...and that is good.

Kathryn said...

Such a descriptive piece, I love the line

He is alone – yet not lonely

Sounds like someone who is at peace with whatever life may bring.

dsnake1 said...

he is indeed wise, to live life for the love of it.
i loved the little details you painted of the person. it's like looking at a portrait on a canvas, but poetry will bring a bit more life to it. :)

Grace said...

A lovely and moving write Anna ~ I should take a page from his attitude about death and life ~ A life well lived, is my aspiration ~ Thank you for sharing his story with us ~