Welcome to the Prime of Life

Music: Sanctus - Osanna I - Benedictus - Osanna II - Missa Sicut Lilium Inter Spinas
By Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Performed by The Tudor Consort at the Free Music Archive
under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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Poems for

Copyright by
Nicholas Gordon


Welcome to the prime of life!
The sun-drenched peak! The mountaintop!
You are the best you'll ever be.
It's all downhill from here.

Welcome to the prime of life!
In the maelstrom, on the clock!
Heavily invested
In family and career.

You wonder, whether man or wife,
If there could be more. The lock
Yields to your uncertain key.
What you feel is fear.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.


I've had affairs. Oh, yes, I've had affairs!
And I'll have many more. My wife, I'm sure,
Has had some of her own. Who cares?
We are no longer starry-eyed and pure.

Midlife is a time to change,
A time to test and rearrange.
The prisoner rebels:
New partners for new selves!
For every stage of life,
A different man or wife.

I've had affairs. Oh, yes, I've had affairs!
I know my husband's had some of his own.
We loved each other once, but now who cares?
Midlife is a time to be reborn.

Midlife crisis,
Youth entices.
While still active,
Still attractive,
One last chance
For romance.

We let our marriage drift until one day
One dalliance too many turned to love.
The wreckage of our lives around us lay.
We wept and raged, at long last deeply moved.

Midlife's time to recognize
The inner damage done by lies.
It's time to face the ugly truth
Long hidden by the dreams of youth,
And to change, for only so
Can one transplant oneself and grow.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.


How beautiful to make it through these years,
Shooting through the rapids of our rage,
The doubts, desires, disappointments, tears,
The turmoil that defines this restless age.

How beautiful to look back on our love
And know that it is stronger for these trials!
For passion long imagined puerile proved,
And light-filled lust no longer love beguiles.

Thank God we're through it, sailing into fall,
The long, hot summer of our lives now over!
The wind is steady at our backs, and all
The widening waters calm, though growing colder.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.


The long, hot, fruitful days of life's brief summer,
The prime of life passing all too quickly,
With thunderstorms that gather in the heat
And burst across the thirsty, dried-out plains,
Uprooting ancient trees, with swollen rivers
Raging, swirling, flooding, fast receding,
With fierce fires that open up the canopy,
Giving light to seedlings and to change,
With rippling, ripening fields, the winter's store,
Exploding into heavy-headed grain,
With gardens lush and bountiful, with woods
Alive with life unleashed by lust and love,
Full, fat, feisty, feasting on the sun!

How long the labor lit by lengthened days!
How sweet the nights concealed in fleeting darkness!
The taste of life full, fruity, well-fermented.
The sunsets lingering, shot-through with yearning.
The dawns a bird's full-throated cry of joy!

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.

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