Ivory Tower

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You see me sitting in my chair
And think I’ve always been like that,
Weak and wrinkled, thin grey hair,
Deaf, dim-eyed, and run to fat.

When you see me close my eyes
And think I’m falling fast asleep
Or preparing for my demise,
I’m often in my castle’s keep.

We build our days up like a house
With rooms we furnish through our life,
With places where we can carouse,
Or suffer, grieve, know joy and strife.

Oh yes, my life was rich and long:
My days have built a mighty fort
With turrets, towers, tall and strong,
With chambers, halls, a busy court.

Now, in days of enforced leisure
I can roam through rooms at will
Recalling moments that I treasure
Reliving times of good and ill.

Within these rooms I meet old friends
Long dead and gone, but in my mind
The happy hours we used to spend
I conjure up as I feel inclined.

Once again I dance and sing,
Love, live and laugh as in my prime.
Don’t pity me for anything:
I’ve built a palace with my time.

10 thoughts on “Ivory Tower

  1. How lovely. And this reminds me of a reaction I had to a film I saw when I was in my teens. It was about a young ski racer who slid off course. The horrendous crash left her a quadriplegic. The sequence was like being a helmet cam strapped to her head as she navigated the course. The next scene was still like being strapped to her head, but now she awakens to a view of the floor. She hangs there, strapped into the hospital bed, puzzling out what she’s looking at, and suddenly she gets flipped upright to see a nurse bending over her. Her active life was over, but her brain was there. At that moment, I vowed that I needed to live every day as if it might be the last one, to store up memories, loves, experiences so that if I ever ended up strapped to a bed, I would have plenty of memories stored in my head to keep me company.

  2. How this resonated with me. As you know, I am a great one for making, storing and sharing memories. As your lovely poem says, when I can no longer do all the things I can now, I will have my memories to look back on.

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