You are old, Father William.
Bits of poems surface.
Because I am mad about women,
I am mad about the hills,
Said the wild old wicked man,
who travels where God wills
There lives not three good men unhanged in England,
And one of them is fat, and grows old.
What shall I do with this absurdity,
Heart, O troubled heart
This old age that has been tied to me
As to a dog's tail?
That time of year thou mayest in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs that shake against the cold:
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang
But I don't feel old. I feel in my prime, full of piss and vinegar, spoiling for a fight, hungry for flesh, full of love and discontent. Last night I got off the bus and walked slowly home through a shifting hall of subtle colors, sunset blushing the turning trees into magenta clouds, gold phantoms in their chains, glints of green. White flowers glowed in surprisingly wet, deep, dark corners. I had to stop at the flowers, stupefied, and just watch a while. Like Geoffrey Chaucer lying on the grass to watch the daisies open in a May dawn six hundred years ago. He really did that, you know. One man, one place, one time. No doubt his leggings were stained with grass and wet with dew, but he didn't give a damn, and neither do I, standing like a halfwit, gaping at the flowers, beads of late sunset condensing on my beard. A woman came by, walking a Great Dane so tall that his head came to my ribs. An affable and good-natured creature. She smiled at me, askance, pulling the Dane's head away lest he lick the sundrops off my face.
At the corner, the unruly sage bush, well past its prime, but you can still grasp the remains of the flowers and come away with your hand smelling like a dream of the Mohave. Beyond the massive trees there were lavender pools in the sky, eddies of pink and violet, sprays of silver. And behind it all, behind it all, night gathering, a vast catlike creature huddled on its four legs, crouching low, intent and alive and utterly silent.