old man & shore

This is the first of four ‘old man’ poems

———-

in this place of repair
he’s a net-mender of sorts
patching where chances slipped through
sealing over a catch almost in the hand

a knuckled stick turns shells
he might be lucky with one worth listening to
a story of cunning theft a lover taken
or fugue from an occupied past

rocks sign how they weather
the slaps and fists tides dole out
dumb and bald they wear no blush or pity
they have loose teeth

air scrapes like an old razor
and water combat ready is the perpetual soldier
drumming in his head
blue boy of paintings blue eye of the winner

birds don’t heed his here
chat’s rarely gossip it’s pirate talk what’s for the taking
but young enough a second time to know
he is for a phrase or two their conversation piece

25 thoughts on “old man & shore

  1. I’ve read this three times now, John, and each time I read it slightly differently and glean a little more from it. A great perspective on age – I look forward to reading the next three.

  2. Hi, Mr. Flanagan!

    This is Kitiya—you probably don’t remember me, but I took writing with you at Ruamrudee (7th grade), 1993-4. I’m so glad I found you! I’ve often wondered where you ended up, and wanted to look you up to say thank you for teaching me so much about writing. I’m an English teacher now!

    Just wanted to say hi and thanks. Hope you’re well.

    Warm regards, Kitiya Le Huu On Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 7:56 PM johnpoetflanagan wrote:

    > john flanagan posted: “This is the first of four ‘old man’ poems > ———- in this place of repair he’s a net-mender of sorts patching > where chances slipped through sealing over a catch almost in the hand a > knuckled stick turns shells he might be lucky with one w” >

    • Dear Kitiya,
      What a surprise! A wonderful wonderful surprise, delighted to hear from you, and yes, I remember you well, I never forget any of my students as you all meant. So much to me.
      My email is johnwriterflanagan@yahoo.com
      Write to me and tell me where you are and where you are teaching. I remember you with great fondness and affection.

      Always and Ever

      john

  3. Brother John – Intriguing first poem to your “old man” series. So many wonderful lines to quote:

    “patching where chances slipped through”
    “he might be lucky with one worth listening to”
    “dumb and bald they wear no blush or pity
    they have loose teeth”
    “air scrapes like an old razor”
    “he is for a phrase or two their conversation piece”

    I found myself wanting to quote the whole poem. Look forward to reading the series!

  4. Love this poem John I watch many fishermen here in Crete repairing their nets and I am always delighted that they mostly look happy. I think they enjoy their outdoor life.
    Best wishes to you.

  5. Beautiful poem to begin this wonderful series, John. One phrase that stood out for me is, “patching where chances slipped through.” Looking forward to the next poignant take on aging…
    Happy Friday, and sending hugs,
    Lauren

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s