Rest Peacefully Now

All day I face
the barren waste
without the taste
of water.
Cool Water.

Dan and I,
with throats burned dry
and souls that cry
for water.
Cool, clear water.

The nights are cool,
and I’m a fool.
Each stars a pool
of water.
Cool, clear water.

And with the dawn
I’ll wake and yawn
and carry on
to water.
Cool, clear water.

The Shadows sway
and seem to say,
“Tonight we pray
for water.”
Cool, clear water.

And way up there
He’ll hear our prayer
and show us where
there’s water.
Cool, clear water.

Keep moving Dan.
Don’t you listen to him Dan.
He’s the devil not a man.
He spreads the burning sands
With Water.

Say, Dan can’t you see
that big green tree
Where the water’s running free?
It’s waiting there for you and me.

And water
Cool, clear water.

Dan’s feet are sore.
He’s yearning for
just one thing more
than water.
Cool, clear water.

Like me I guess
he’d like to rest
where there’s no quest
for water.
Cool, clear water

Cool Water by Hank Williams Jr.

I said goodbye to my mom on Wednesday evening.  She was surrounded by her children as her breath became soft and then left her completely.   I stayed with her a while in the stillness.  She came to me in my dreams last night, reassuring me that she’s alright.  She is Loved.



“Phoren, I’ve got a funny story to tell you.  I saw my ex-wife the other day.  She still looks good, but she’s, you know… a middle-age woman now…”

I’m having dinner with my best friend from the 90’s.  We haven’t seen each other in four or five years and that’s probably the third time he’s used the term “middle-age woman” in the last 45-minutes.  It’s as if he’s describing someone who hasn’t bathed in six months or gained 700 pounds – as if middle age is something to be avoided like crack addiction or an incurable venereal disease. 

I wanted to see him.  I’ve grown weary of my current friends who, as we grow older, pretend like they’re living out their twilight years – “Oh, you don’t understand what goes on with the high-school kids these days.  It’s not like when we were young”, “Yawn….I can’t eat dinner after 8 pm!  I’m in bed by 9!”

I’ve been looking forward to spending time with someone who seems to have straddled the line – staying “current” even as we move into what I would call “serious adulthood”.  This, however, is not what I was expecting.  To him, any woman over 35 is like potato salad that been sitting in the sun too long – ready for the trashcan.

“Of course, not you, Phoren.  You look great (said with less than 100% conviction).”

I stare at him across the table, focusing on his Botoxed brow and hair implants, playing mental connect the dots with the brown spots  on his face from too much tanning bed.  I catch a glimpse of his diamond-studded Rolex (I’ll give him the benefit that’s it’s real) and I realize – no, this isn’t what I’m looking for either. 

Is this where I’ve been relegated – an equal with room temperature mayonnaise, day old bread and yesterday’s news – the only other option to fake it with “cosmeceuticals” and plastic surgery?  Can’t we just “be” as we are now, instead of hurling ourselves toward old age or clawing our way back to years past?    I have no desire to live like I’m still in my 20’s, but I’m also far away from beginning the descent. 

Where are my contemporaries?

Why I love Nouvelle Vague

The other night, I was strolling through Bed, Bath and Beyond, picking out some new curtains for the home office.  I was walking through the aisles when…

 “How do we dance when our earth is turning, how do we sleep when our beds are burning”…

 I caught myself singing Midnight Oil from the store’s Muzak. Elevator music?  I’m singing elevator music?  Chagrined, I clamped my lips closed and shuffled into the Bedding section, furtively looking to see if anyone had heard.  Who am I – some middle-aged frumpy housewife singing stodgy canned music?  Nope, not me.  It was a momentary slip up. 

A few minutes later…

 “Pulling mussels from a shell…”

Again?  This time it’s Squeeze.  Sheesh, what’s with me?

In Decorative Pillows, I’m bellowing out lines from David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes”.  My foray into the store extends longer than expected as I be-bop from one department to the next singing to 80’s flashbacks and buying more items than the drapes I came in for.

The next evening, I find myself pushing my cart past the frozen foods in my neighborhood grocery when…

“Tempted by the fruit of another…”

It’s Squeeze and I’m singing – again.  Then it dawns on me…

I’m not hip – and 80’s flashback is not hip.  This is no accident.   I have become “THE TARGET CUSTOMER”.  I am the consumer these stores are pandering to.  “Stay in our store and relive your youth”, they whisper.  I’m the reason Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” sells ocean cruising and the Cure’s “Pictures of You” is used on camera commercials.  Have you heard Sia’s version of The Church’s “Under the Milky Way” on the Lincoln car commercial?

I have turned into my parents.  My generation is buying the houses and Lincolns and taking cruises to the Bahamas.  Gen X is dead – Gen Y and the Millennials have usurped us.  My days are past – and now, I should be happy to push my cart through Target and sing to the Muzak’s “Pretty in Pink”.

Youth’s Twilight

“In his face, age descends on youth, exaggeration on the truth. He caught me looking then, but soon his eyes forgot.”

Ode to Boy, Yaz

Your photo peers at me and I cannot help staring back.  I recognize this person, and yet this is not the face that I’ve known.  The skin upon your cheek is unchanged – I know its texture.  I recall its scent.  The lines around your eyes are surreal to me.  I cannot believe they exist.  Not faint, but strong and deep.  I want to steal an hour, unhindered, to stroke my fingertips across your temples, to intimately examine these signs of age for myself.  Perhaps while you are sleeping. I want to bury my fingers in the grey that grows just past these furrows and convince myself it’s real. Yes, time has passed and we have aged, but before this moment, it has been abstraction and not reality.  You are still beautiful, but you are no longer the boy I knew.