1)  From one crisis to another
he recalls his cry of the drought-stricken tears
of his early livelihood, his widowed mother
out the window in her rose garden
growing her prizes in an oval bed
bordered by rocks painted white
or his own early attempts with the hoe
where the spent life of perfectly
marvelous melons existed as witnesses
to how the flame of life leaps
to the tongue

2). In time
life is anti-climatic
the old blooms merely specimens
in a botanical book
a worsening situation
where stick-tight seeds
fly off his sweater like
orchard orioles in a different season,
his needs dissipate
dictated by two broken wrists with their scars
above the metal plates that hold it all together

3)  Now his old tractor off limits 

he hopes his funnybone stays functional
but feels it slipping;
he doesn’t want to be called a defrocked priest,
a hippie poet, a back-to-the-lander,
father or grandfather
or be put in any category of the here and now.
But unlike his unlucky father and grandfather
whose bad tickers stopped
in full swing of their pendulum
he holds tight to the swaying pole.
At least he can fix his own breakfast (walnut
pancakes or loaded omelettes) goes often
to Paris and lives among
men making hay