Archives for posts with tag: old age

by Nina Cassian

…Despite all my inner crumblings,
I’m still able to recognize a perfect day:
sea without shadow,
sky without wrinkles,
air hovering over me like a blessing…

“Summer X-Rays” appears in Nina Cassian‘s collection Contiunum (W.W. Norton, 2009) , available at Read “Summer X-Rays” in its entirety at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nina Cassian (pen name of Renée Annie Cassian, born on November 27, 1924) is a Romanian poet, composer, journalist and film critic. She is noted for translating into Romanian the works of William Shakespeare and Bertolt Brecht and has published more than fifty books of poetry. (Read more at

by Jane Kenyon

I scrub the long floorboards
in the kitchen, repeating
the motions of other women
who have lived in this house.
And when I find a long gray hair
floating in the pail,
I feel my life added to theirs


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on May 23, 1947, Jane Kenyon earned a BA from the University of Michigan in 1970 and an MA in 1972. That same year, Kenyon married the poet Donald Hall, and moved to Eagle Pond Farm in New Hampshire. Kenyon’s published books of poetry include Constance (1993), Let Evening Come (1990), The Boat of Quiet Hours (1986), and From Room to Room (1978). In December 1993, she and Donald Hall were the subject of an Emmy Award-winning Bill Moyers documentary, “A Life Together.” At the time of her death from leukemia, in April 1995, Jane Kenyon was New Hampshire’s poet laureate.

Photo: Jane Kenyon, late 1980s.

Poem by Timothy Steele

I bring Fae flowers. When I cross the street, 
She meets and gives me lemons from her tree. 
As if competitors in a Grand Prix, 
The cars that speed past threaten to defeat 
The sharing of our gardens and our labors. 
Their automotive moral seems to be 
That hell-for-leather traffic makes good neighbors. 

Ten years a widow, standing at her gate, 
She speaks of friends, her cat’s trip to the vet, 
A grandchild’s struggle with the alphabet. 
I conversationally reciprocate 
With talk of work at school, not deep, not meaty. 
Before I leave we study and regret 
Her alley’s newest samples of graffiti.

Then back across with caution: to enjoy 
Fae’s lemons, it’s essential I survive 
Lemons that fellow-Angelenos drive. 
She’s eighty-two; at forty, I’m a boy. 
She waves goodbye to me with her bouquet. 
This place was beanfields back in ’35 
When she moved with her husband to L.A.

Photo: Maine Coon Maniac, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED