Interpreting Signs 2009

               Interpreting Signs

The pluckéd eyebrows still grow back;

A secret symptom only we,

The caged in age, perceive.

We watch and sometimes grieve.

We know our bodies

Singular- collectively;

We see what’s stopped,

What’s slowed, what’s new;

We know what we inhabit but,

We feel what we have always been.

We know how to interpret.

© Interpreting Signs 1.15.2009

Circling Round Wrinkles; Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Nature;Circling Round Woman;

Arlene Corwin


Employable And Still Enjoyable 2008

       Employable And Still Enjoyable

Over seventy and got a gig.

A blessing in this age-ist day

When pensioners are sloughed away

Funneled into categ-


Shoved or gently eased.

I’m pleased.

© Employable and Still Enjoyable 2.21.2008

Circling Round Wrinkles; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

Broken Sleep 2008

       Broken Sleep


It’s noon.

Lying in bed,

A gossip mag

My sister in-law buys.

Here, because

At seventy-

(poetic license)


Is dear

Wakefulness cheap.

So here I sit,

MacDonald’s tray of red,

Milk, honey, bread

Balanced precariously

‘Tween multi-pillowed head

And glossy magazinéd


The daily start retarded.

Fallen angels fall, most likely,

From a lack of discipline.

© Broken Sleep 12.5.2008

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Circling Round Energy; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin



Beauty Gone 2008

        Beauty Gone

It isn’t that I was a beauty,

But the mirrors and the date remind me:

Youth has beauty.


Grounded in the supple,

“You’re the apple of my eye”, says Nature.


Ageing’s mystery,

The muscle mass,

Proportions nose to lips,


The elasticity replaced…

Cheekbone, with its hostile lines

That droops a jaw, chin through to neck.


Oh, heck, maybe the wick

Of beauty really comes

When youthful beauty goes.

© Beauty Gone 10.29.2008


Circling Round Nature; Circling Round Woman;

Circling Round Wrinkles; I Is Always You Is We;

Circling Round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin

And The Wrinkle Deepens 2008

      And The Wrinkle Deepens

And it deepens.

Showing some condition




Time, carefree or uncaring

Knows the secret handshake


My detachment –

Should I say “attachment.”


Skin deep health,

Or weather vane of death,

The wrink-/barometer

Goes its cryptic signpost way.


Never gives a thing away

Except to point one way alone:

Way, way, way, way, way


©And The Wrinkle Deepens 2.18.2008

Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin



Going, Going, Gone 1998


        Going, Going, Gone

You’ll think that I’m a wimp,

This, lamentation.

This is not a whine or ‘wingeing’ –

This is for the women

Just to show we are one breed.

Besides which, I am scientific:

Deep inside I need to measure.


I succeed in looking good with color from the pot,

The dew is definitely gone.

Pose, clothes achieve a lot,

But lines above the lip define

What hairs betray with deadly aim –

That estrogen has passed away:

Estrogen has stayed its time.

Cropping up and popping out on eyebrow, chin

Where corners of the mouth cave in,

Unpredictable as blight.

Fifty-six was nifty-six.

Flaws would go back overnight.

Now muscle, ligaments within

Need more protein:

Wrinkly, crinkly

Thigh king-post twinkly.

Sanity or vanity –one’s more and one’s reduced,

This warp insidious

Yet nothing-ness.

Perhaps we’re really walking minds;

Organisms old as now,

Young as a nineteen thirty-four,

Youth-eating time, the omnivore

Where body’s going, going, gone.

If one is not to give a fig,

But keep on digging

Out of scientific interest,

Dressing up until the interest dies away,

That’s quite okay.

It’s just a game. I’ll play.



Going, Going, Gone 98.10.26Circling Round Woman; Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Circling Round Vanities; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Circling Round Nature;

Arlene Corwin




Changing Forms 1998

      Changing Forms

Over lip hair,

There unwanted creases;

Helpless watcher’s silent whine.

Every noticed day’s new shock

Which doesn’t block the clock

But forces one to love what’s mineThrough love of self.

Changing Forms 98.1.27

I Is Always You Is We; Circling Round Woman;

Circling Round Wrinkles; Circling Round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin

But Now You’re Seventy 1998


      But Now You’re Seventy

But now you’re seventy,

And fifty-six seems young.

At eighty, seven decades will seem juvenile,

And you, the wee marsupial,

A worm in mommy’s pung.

For such are our perceptions:

Relative and without substance.

Now you’re seventy.

Repeat it!

See the troll for what is:

Foolish, impish chimera

Whose scornful aim it is

To move the goalpost back and forth,

East to west, south to north –

Making you a little you:

What rot! What poppycock!

A crock of shit!

With each new decade you are it!

More refined.

It’s all a trade-off:

Seeing time and what it’s made of:

Pain’s long trip from breath to breath

Where something ‘fab’ awaits.



But Now You’re Seventy 98.2.16Circling Round Woman; I Is Always You Is We; Birth, Death & In Between;

Time; Special People, Special Occasions; Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin

Everything Gets Old 1997

      Everything Gets Old

Oh, those lips, they were lovely.

The outline firm, the bottom lip full;

The skin itself crack-free,

The color like roses, or wine that you mull

With cinnamon stick from a kiss someone stole.

The corners went naturally up and a little bit out

So that lipstick could follow the contours

Without any effort or pretence at pout.

Oh, those lips! They were mine,

And I took them for granted:

The moisture, the shine,

The smoothness, the wrinkle-less upper lip line.

Foolish girl that I was!

If I knew what I know –

That all beauty must go –

I’d have gazed at them at them just that little bit longer;

Exercised muscles to make their tone stronger.

Something –

Done something!

But what did I do?

Nothing! The youth and the dew

And the rosy pink hue –

Well, I hadn’t a clue.

I blew away kisses and suitors alike,

Never dreaming that loveliness ends. Now the night

Of maturity, autumn, – the older years call;

And I feel just a little bit sad for neglect

Of the gifts that I scarcely acknowledged at all.



Everything Gets Old 1.19.1997

Sixty 1994

I’m old, obsessed with old.

It’ll pass, but sixty’s almost here upon me,

Brand-new set of clothes to don me.

In my heart, my mind, my soul

I keep expanding, never landing.

Never standing still, rising

Even as the tissues wizen.

Even as each sense descends

Going crying, toward its ending.

Old gets older. Who feels well?

Heart in heaven, form in hell.

No more five before the digit,

Bones more rigid,

Tendons stiff or fidgety.

Hormone, ‘old reliable’

Has ceased to gel.

The spell of age divides the cell.

Sixty years have taken hold,

The smooth begun to fold,

Shine lose its gold:

Skin, shape, the easy movement;

Lust subsiding – one improvement;

Pain free days, nights fully slept

Now kept at bay. Old normal pep

No longer taken (as in granted);

One can waken half past three –

A pain, an ache and forced to pee,

Flee down the stairs like frightened hares

In nightened mares.

Yet, midst the fading flare

I want to see how sixties fare.

It’s possible there’s something there.

©Sixty 94.10.12
Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Woman;

Pure Nakedness; Time; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Circling Round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin




Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: