Fifty Years from Now

by Roger Howard

Fifty years from now

I plan to be lost for a while,

grateful for all the lives

I no longer have to live.

My chemistry,

and the salts of my smile

will ripen with the universe

and I will taste, at last,

the raw stuff of the cosmos.

I will see the clarity of darkness

and, like Don Quixote,

I will not spend my time

separating what is real

from what is not,

for there is no difference in our hearts.

Like Santiago, I will row

across the Southern sky.

Orion, bright Sirius

and all the Pleiades

will be my comfort in the night

and Electra my sustenance and my light.

And I will meet Ulysses

on the shore of the Happy Isles

where I will bathe in the warmth of those companions

Circe has undone.

Fifty years from now

I will harden sail against

the solar winds

and dust the planets

with my wake

to gather Queequeg

and Ahab from their

oceanic seclusion.

All will be quiet.

Only the poets

will be given the privilege of voice,

for the essential things

are too invisible for common words to see.

Yet, in an instant,

one half century

will have come and gone,

as an eclipse darkens and blanches

against the light.

I cannot wait.

Roger Howard is a retired general surgeon who has relocated to the Clearwater, FL area. He has taken writing classes at The Gotham Writer’s Workshop in New York City and has been writing poetry for 10 years. He tries to use poetry to capture moments and scenes in life as an artist might use a canvas, recalling that what is essential is often invisible to the eye. His poems have been published in ODET, a Tampa Bay literary journal and in the periodical The Senior Voice. The poem he continually comes back to for reflection and inspiration is “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

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February 2018

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