come home

come home

as I elder into old,
noticing is called back home—
be gentle here, it says

rest in slanted sunshine
close your eyes, eavesdrop
as birds tuck in for night

reflect on what’s involved
in autumn’s harvest
how to put it all to bed

I ask for yields of kindness
and gleans of gratitude
to fruit my shortening days

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

as forever

as forever

life is spacious
when young—
once sixty,
years become
months, then
rush into pure,
lively moments

each day, I think
about death,
mostly the how
and the when—
will there be pain?
can I sip the awe
of not knowing?

dawn lightens,
for a breath,
all is hushed—
then the squirrel
flicks his tail
as forever
moves closer
than ever

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

the waiting times

the waiting times

every day an illness
or a leaving, so unlike
five decades ago
celebrations, storks,
gifts and births
now death lingers,
leaning against
the street post outside
my friends’ homes,
not even in the shadows—
slouchy and bold
flicking an ash
waiting

no, not that—outdated!
with the snap of a finger
I send him away
it’s the Friend who waits
curious, playful
ready to ramble
happy to walk us home
no hat
certainly no smoke
trailing in the air

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

slip on the world

slip on the world

my watch rumbles
me awake—
technology’s
modern miracle
I lie in the dark
blink
come to slowly
first, gratitude—
send love to those
ill or suffering
and my old body
then it’s time to slip
on my earth suit
swing stiff hips
out of bed
to greet the world

I read the news
of my tribe
death in the family
again—
when did I
start scanning
for losses?
breathe in, allow
the grief to enter
my bones

then lift my eyes
to first light
the outline of firs
bold against dawn’s
soft apricot
and embrace this day

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

dying away

dying away

every moment
I am perishing
one breath
closer to death
the sun, the moon
even our very own
earth, sources
of sustenance
wither, fade
and ebb away

it’s the way of things

and yet
it’s hard to hold
this—the universe
itself grows, ages
and dies—
my mind, a denier,
even with evidence
doesn’t want to accept

this source of suffering
starts with belief
in past and future
instead of resting
in the cradle of now
it holds us, this now
let the puzzles go
let tension go

now breathe

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

impermanence

impermanence
note from self

it’s a sobering truth
trees sway in the wind
leaves turn crimson
then crinkle and fall
winds flutter and
bear them away

she guzzles breath
so glad for her life
it is passing so fast
she sweeps marrow
into marvel
owls hoot her home
back into her bones
for a blink

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

the leaving times

the leaving times

I’m old
not elderly, not yet
though it’s
over the horizon
now visible
marching toward me
precious friends
in trouble—falls
Parkinson’s, frail
bones, cancers
threats of leaving—
embodiment’s way
of clearing space
some days, acceptance
other days, resistance
as though I could
ward off death
this I must
remember—
love is love
inhale a breath
and feel it
everywhere

repeat

she sees the world

she sees the world
note from self

she sees the world
as it is—a
splendid shambles
a miraculous mess
that seems poised to
shed humanity over
a few hundred years

what will it look like
in half a millennium?
can kudzu re-green
the planet? will it turn
into a moonscape
like Mars?
and accepts that
she will not know

so celebrates today
and what is known
chill morning air
crow’s hoarse caw
sun-dappled leaves and
her breath in and out
—for now

the good fortune of old age

the good fortune of old age
note to self

now past three-quarters
of a century, you can
claim old—so many
reasons to grouse
stiff hands, thinning hair
name retrieval fades
common nouns wander off

we’re left with the grace
of verbs—their kindly
flow—they speak of
roaming or ambling or
coasting through air—
they mimic inevitable
change—how pupa
reforms into butterfly

we don’t know what’s
coming except that it is—
float on those verbs
allow them to ferry
you away, teach you
to let go—the good
fortune of old age

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

surrender

surrender
note to self

the colicky infant
yields to the long-braided child
the sulky teen gives way

to the brisk, busy woman
she cedes to a bowed back
and wild egret hair

it’s the way of things
so achingly evident yet
the carnal body squirms

capitulates
yes, to all of it
there is no other concession

of course, be brave
stand and face the bully
care for the injured wren

but most of all
love one another
then, like Beowulf

we must yield
the leasehold
of our days

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.