An unwanted prompt greeted me when I awoke this morning. Minutes later, I read a question in a comment from Viv, asking if I start my poems as a freewrite. These two occurrences coming together offer an opportunity to explain my goofy writing process.

The only time I don’t begin with a string-of-consciousness freewrite is when an idea or a line of verse pops into my head when I’m away from my computer. On those occasions, I will wrestle with it mentally until I reach the keyboard. If enough time has elapsed, a poem will be complete and all I have to do is type it out.

All other times begin with a freewrite. I look at a prompt (words or image) if available, use a particular abstract thought if I have some inkling of a subject, focus on whatever is preying on my mind at the moment, or simply start typing with no focus at all.

This one, from beginning to end, was a freewrite of what was preying on my mind. It was not something I wanted to dwell on, and was of no importance, so I had to cut it off before it ran to fifty pages and spoiled my whole day.

by Mike Patrick

This photo of Alfred Lenz is the best I could find of someone who could be contemplating the bleakness of aging. The photo is about as old as I feel.

Don’t speak to me of age.
It comes within the night
on ugly, silent wings
of withered, wrinkled skin.

There comes a time in life
when ticking off of years
no longer comes with joy.
We are the worse for it.

Oh how I long for days
of youth when time stood still.
May lazy days someday return
without the taint of age.

This entry was posted in Aging, Iambic, Mixed Meter, Organic, Poetry, Un-rhyming and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Oh, I feel for you! Is it your birthday? If it is, many happies. Men do seem grumpier than the women I know about getting older! BTW, the poem is excellent.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Mike. I love you with all my heart and hope we have the opportunity to spend many many more birthdays together!!!


  3. Very good poem. And I definitely can relate!

  4. earlybird says:

    Happy birthday for yesterday Mike. I particularly like the first verse. Really good.

  5. margo roby says:

    Feeling your age? My mother [82] says just wait! It gets both worse and better. Happy Birthday.


  6. trisha says:

    hmm. right now i am nonchalant to aging. 🙂

  7. I know how this feels. We reach our middle fourties and think, ok, this is far enough. Time can stop now, no more birthdays, please. My mother used to have me in fits of the giggles. Whatever age she was, even in her 50’s she would say, “I’m 36” LOLOL
    A lovely read, thank you for sharing.

  8. Jo Bryant says:

    Beautiful poem – yet it saddens me because so many see aging that way – instead of celebrating the wonderful things it brings with it. 🙂

  9. Renee Espriu says:

    I’m right there with you, Mike! I sometimes wish there weren’t so many mirrors in life. Nicely written.

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