Rhyme Past My Prime
after W. H. Auden’s “Doggerel by a Senior Citizen”
Our earth in 2023
is an odd atmosphere for me,
a dancer at the roped-off door
of Studio (Birthday) 54.
Some politicians—O my Lord!—
cause me to pine for Gerald Ford;
and radio’s loud cacophonies
make me miss Prince, the Cars, and Squeeze.
My friend Deb watches films and such:
I’m desperately out of touch.
She’ll say the name of some bright pup
with a Golden Globe. I can’t keep up.
I’m not a man inclined to grovel
before the NYT’s top novel.
Though it may speak of faded promise,
I’m still fanboy for Dylan Thomas.
Gen Z, in all their pride and finery,
have journeyed far beyond the binary:
I honour them, learn what I can
of cis, trans, genderqueer, and pan.
Religion’s rife with traps and snares,
but still, each day, I say my prayers
to Blessed Grace in heaven’s palace.
I hope She’ll keep me free from malice.
Recurrently, among the tedia,
I find myself on Social Media,
commenting, liking, cracking jokes
with Swedish, French, Australian folks.
Pandora, Bandcamp, Spotify
bewilder me. I don’t know why!
It’s YouTube Premium for me,
the closest thing to MTV.
I make allowances for Kindle,
but when my battery starts to dwindle,
I’ll search for a convenient socket—
then pull a book from shelf or pocket.
My hair these days has gone as grey
as Wystan Auden’s clogged ashtray,
but every twenty-four, I start
with supple soul, accepting heart.
So, from my outpost north of Boston,
I bless this world that I feel lost in.
I’ll fumble till I get things right
and strive to live by peace and light.
Editor’s Note: This poem goes down as easy as a cool drink on a hot day—it’s a brilliant example of how light verse that seems simple is anything but.