From Pinnacle to Cynical
When we were young
We had our dreams
But, in our future we would find
That many times along the way
There were mountains, we must climb
But with the strength
That comes with youth
We foiled every peril
And hiked the broadways to the top
Until the path got narrow
Yes, in our way, we reached the top
And then became quite cynical
For our decline, we could not stop
In descending from that pinnacle
It matters not, how far we reached
Upon life's twisted routes and bends
It's knowing that we've seen the summit
And that our journey, must slow, then end
At long last - blissful retirement to do as I please!
Take a cruise, go fishing, live a life of ease!
If I opt to snooze-in, I'll continue to snore,
A slave to that infernal alarm clock never more!
Ah, but hold on, what is that I hear?
My spouse says, "Come here, I need you my dear.
The lawn needs mowing, the fence to mend,
Shelves to build and the garden to tend!"
Word that I'm happily loafing has got around.
Pleas to volunteer for community projects abound.
"Will you serve on this committee for this and that?"
'Tis useless to hide 'cause they know where I'm at!
I try to avoid all phone calls asking for me.
'Tis usually someone with another plaintive plea!
I must even skulk about for my afternoon nap,
That I highly prize with dear old Simba on my lap!
Although I have tried with all my might,
I cannot escape from my hapless plight!
Lots of folks say that retirement is a bore;
Seems to me there's more to do than ever before!
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
© All Rights Reserved
The retirement age for SSB
Is fast approaching seventy
And age past which - we should retire
Leaving little time - 'til we expire
We'll take pills to medicate
Which will keep us somewhat healthy
And are over priced - as merchandise
But make others - very wealthy
Our fixed incomes won't keep up
With run away inflation
So we'll sit at home - we'll eat like birds
And live in caged - anticipation
Dr. James E. Martin
Now that I’ve reached a ripe old age,
I sit on the porch and sip sweet tea.
Some may question the wisdom in this,
My response is simply, “It works for me!”
Jealousy is undoubtedly fostered in some,
For that matter anger may surely arise.
I simply continue in my well designed plan
And know that many my life they despise.
I was the one who was sat on the wall
I was so little the others were tall
The school was next door so I didn’t go far
Never needed to go to school by car
I played in the playground with some of my fiends
Long summer days that never seemed to end
That’s a long time ago, can you recall?
The bumps and bruises when taking a fall
Long summer nights turned to autumn browns
As I grew older I had life’s up’s and down’s
Working for a living to make ends meet
Bringing up children that was a treat
Do you remember me? I was young and daft
I couldn’t remember when I last laughed
I had wild ideas but they didn’t last long
I knew back then that I didn’t belong
Now I am older, I’ve survived life’s trials
I’ve cried many tears and travelled miles
Nearing retirement I look back at things
Wondering now what retirement brings
When you’re born into this world of ours.
You have no idea if you’ll reach its ivory towers.
If you’re lucky to be born into a house of wealth.
Chances are, you’ll go far, have money for yourself.
And even if you aren’t a stiff, who got a lucky draw.
You can still makes millions, as we certainly have saw.
So what exactly is the definition of a successful life?
Money, fame, success, children and a loving wife?
My point of view is one that’s true, what my father told me.
Son, peace of mind, if you can find, you’ll never end up lonely.
I heard the words, not one absurd, but somehow didn’t listen.
For I’m 61, my life’s not fun, not an enviable position.
How I got here, perhaps that’s the question on your mind.
It would take a book to explain, how I came into this bind.
I’ll give you the short of it, I made some bad decisions.
And now it seems that I’m living in the Spanish Inquistion.
But you’re not dead you say, there’s more life has to give.
I agree and want to be out of this insane prison and to live.
Want to enjoy, to employ, the gifts and all the wonder.
And not be attacked, from the back and live a life asunder.
At 61, your life’s not done, you could have died at twenty.
You’ve had many years upon this earth, enjoyed it aplenty.
But if you’re broke, your fire’s unstoke, not a life of envy.
You ask yourself day and night, what will be my end be?
If I had fifty thousand dollars at this point in my life.
I’d create a machine, that would put away all my strife.
So if I can sell this house I own for more than what I bought her
I’ll take the profit, if I can, if I’m not underwater.
And with that money, this ain’t funny, I’ll make a whole lot more.
For I have ideas in my head that will even up the score.
It’s sad, it’s true what I must do, and list this property.
And chances are, I’ll go far, live life properly.
Another day without a dollar.
Another day, I’m not a scholar.
Makes me yell, scream and holler.
Another day without a dollar.
Another day, not one red cent.
Another day, must I repent?
What the hell, can’t pay the rent.
Another day, not one red cent.
Another day, and there’s no money.
Another day, and it’s not funny.
I can sell, as sweet as honey.
Another day, and there’s no money.
Another day, and I’m still broke.
Another day, no fire to stoke.
As I can tell, I’m not a bloke.
Another day, and I’m still broke.
Another day without a job.
Another day, I’m no slob.
I don’t smell, and I won’t rob.
Another day without a job.
Another day, when I’m on top.
Another day, this has to stop.
Things will gel, they’ll be a pop.
And on that day, I’’ll be on top.
When I think of all I've done
Plans that kept me on the run
I kind of wonder every day
How I pissed my time away
In my thirties there was cash
Not one buck saved
Not one buck stashed
Sure I thought I could reach fame
From art or science
What a shame
For these goals I truly went
And never saved a single cent
So now it's rough
Though I'm not broke
Just don't live like other folk
My neighbors run out nights for eats
Can't afford such costly treats
When Winter comes they go away
I freeze my rear
I'm forced to stay
Yet I feel the need to try
To make some mark before I die
For in truth these other folk
Live a life that's just a joke
The men dried up some years ago
Their wives plan daily where to go
Their brains are focused on the past
No way to know how long they'll last
So my future's not to dread
Even now I'll move ahead
God answers prayer
indeed that is certain
many can indeed testify
blessing to God is their refrain
I can indeed testify so
as I am retired now
something which I had prayed for
and now it's happened wow!
My works future was uncertain
then redundancy came to me
being not 60 years yet
but God said you're free
Age doesn't come into His plan
for our future is eternally true
God works us in His purpose
his servants we are to do
Our father owns all the cattle
on a thousand hills
what's our life in that comparison?
within my heart He stills
Resistant to all
No love in my heart
No care for anything
I'm ripping apart
No feelings for anyone
No passion inside
No sympathy still
No remorse to hide
An Advantage of Old Age
By Elton Camp
When you’re in the prime of life
Working to support child and wife
Others’ opinions are a valid concern
So, your faults don’t let them learn
Because you’ve got years to work
You mustn’t be known as a jerk
When you become fiscally secure
Caring what others think it’ll cure
It becomes an enormous relief
When people can’t cause grief
Your view you can freely express
And nobody else can suppress
If anyone says, “How do you dare!”
The response is, “What do I care!”
And even angrily you can shout it
There’s naught they can do about it
I'm dying and I'm angry because it isn't fair,
and with my family, friends and loved ones this news I will not share.
It's hell for me to be going through all of this alone, but that is the cross I must bare.
It's my last gesture to show all of them how much I loved them and truly cared.
The last thing that I want is to be the cause of any of their despair.
If I told any of them that I was dying,
it would only serve to depress all of them,
and so my limited time left with them, for all of them, never to them will be known.
When I do feel that my time is drawing near I'll announce a trip I'll be going on.
I'm a wilderness survivor enthusiasts.
I've been known to venture deep into and live in very remote wilderness.
so one day I'm going to announce to them that I'm going on another little trip.
I'll leave unknown to they what will be my following final statement.
"If I do not return, please do not notify any authorities.
Please do not send out any search and rescue parties.
If I do not return it does not mean that I've suffered any life threatening injuries.
Most likely it means that I've made a choice to continue living there and never leave,
living my life naturally and in solitary with all of nature surrounding me.
That's the way I've always pictured my retirement to be.
Inevitably I will one day die in the wilderness, but likely in my sleep peacefully,
but for all of you I will never die, at least never officially,
and you'll assume that I'm still living my life the way I always wanted it to be,
in solitude far away from any so called civilized society.
I'll miss everyone of you very dearly,
but I'll be living my life in a manner that will truly make me happy,
and isn't that the way retirement is supposed to be?"
I'll embrace them all and share with them how much I hold all of them so dear,
and then I'll venture off into the wilderness, never again to reappear,
and should it ever look as if I won't die after all peacefully in my sleep
I've brought along a little extra insurance with me.
If the pain gets over bearing or if I get too weak
to successfully forage and gather enough to eat.
If malnutrition is getting the best of me,
I'll swallow a half dozen tranquilizers which will render me unconscious shortly,
so it's very important after taking them to stay active on my feet
until I begin to feel the effects of the meds affecting me.
Only then will I lie down comfortably
and slip a plastic bag over my head snugly
secured with a rubber band around my neck for extra security.
Within seconds I'll be deeply unconscious and asleep
and I won't even be aware of any discomfort as my carbon dioxide I breath.
and then slowly, humanly and most peacefully
my final exit will arrive and death will take me.
Animals will scavenge upon the remains of my body,
providing them with much needed nutrition for them to eat.
The rest will decompose and bring nutrition to the soil
which will provide seeds with nourishment enabling new life to unfold.
I will then be for all eternity where I most would ever want to be,
among nature's wildlife and forests of fresh streams and lush trees.
A Mix-Up on Payday
By Elton Camp
Get acquainted with Senator Rich
To control spending he does itch
Changing Social Security is his way
“It’s far too expensive,” he does say
Especially the cost of living increase
The senator would like to have cease
The elderly folks he’s willing to frighten
“Your belts you’re going to have to tighten.”
He doesn’t hesitate at all them to tell
They make enough to live right well
One day he was found at his desk dead
Before him lay the thing he had just read
A social security check replaced his pay
Though an error, he died of shock that day
For his heart stopped & he hit the deck
Seeing what he thought was his paycheck
You are a very precious treasure more than a golden gem
Working so hard for many years serving your fellowmen
You shared your knowledge, strengths and whole self lovingly
For the benefits of all…making life so worthy for everybody
Your life with this job can be in diversions of path
At times you swerve, you just go ahead and never stop
Being dogged and determined in everything you do
All graces in life from God, through others kept pouring on you
As you are finally retiring on your noble job
You can look back and see your great achievements in life
Not merely on material things but on your career and infinite love
So enormous in the eyes of recipients and your friends around
Your retirement doesn’t mean, it is already the end
It is a new beginning to enjoy your rich rewards and blessings
It’s the most wonderful time to spend your whole life with your family
The alpha and omega of your love and generosity in your community
by Leonora Galinta
All Rights Reserved
Is a Million Dollars Enough to Retire on?
By Elton Camp
We once thought that one who is a millionaire
Is a person who will never have financial care
But let’s say that you are getting ready to retire
Will this be enough to live on until you expire?
Assume that you draw out four percent per year
That’s a responsible figure is what we now hear
That would provide $40,000 to meet your need
A reasonable sum if house is free and no greed
No need to worry about retirement any more?
Doesn’t sound as bad as what I’ve heard before
But one really major problem does still remain
Just exactly how will that million you obtain?
Suppose that you work from twenty to sixty-five
To gain $22,000 average a year you must strive
Not all of this would you be compelled to save
You can include what return on investment gave
I have to wonder just where safe investment went
Certificates of deposit now pay about half a percent
On more risky type investments do you dare depend?
Loss of your funds will bring retirement to an end
Compare what your saving and investments are now
Is that likely to come to greatly increase somehow?
Could you right now save $22,000 by a year’s end
Even if, on doing so, your very life did depend?
So whether a million saved is enough, you see
Actually has very little relevance to most like me
So without a pension, can you now see just why
Some say they must continue to work till they die?
During most of life's years
time has a grip upon mankind
in our working years clock bound
looking for freedom in our mind
Then when one comes to retire
from one's working years on earth
you feel like a bird set free
making you think returning to birth
So now not having any clock control
freed from it's alarming hold
so today living free from time
where yesterday set in its mould
Enjoy now today being free
for its whats meant to be
No need to brag
Jeter #2 was born to play and win; now that’s swag
For twenty years he has been the face of the MLB
Games played in 2123
Scored runs 1569
He won his 5th and final championship in 2009
One of the greatest shortstops that would ever be
He was 1 of 37 players with 1000 RBI
Jeter had five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, a Roberto Clemente Award, and had 118 runs
On his face for 20 seasons is a permanent grin that shows he’s having fun
Jeter had 248 more hits than any other player
He may have been known as a singles hitter
A playoff game (158) over the course of his career and owns a .308 BA with 20 HR and 61 RBI, scoring 111 runs and racking up 200 hits
No steroids just natural God given athletics that’s legit
The winner of five Gold Gloves and 358 career stolen bases
So many opponents and haters he leaves them with tear filled eyes and permanent grinned faces
The idea in baseball is to score more runs than the other guy, which is how Jeter earned his living
Respect is definitely earned not given
“Derek has been the benchmark for character and class in a baseball uniform. He has inspired a generation to play baseball the way it was meant to be played. It has been an honor to play against him. On a lighter note this means two things: no more clutch hits against the Rays AND, another pooling of funds to buy a Yankee a farewell gift! Cheers to him”
— Rays third baseman Evan Longoria
The engine: Long and black
And sleek as she could be
She shook the earth in her approach
As her heraldry.
An atmosphere of steam and smoke
Expanding in her wake
The Queen-of-the-Rails speeds on
An arrival soon to make.
Massive is her presence
Enormity her design
Power is her excess
This Queen is so refined
Once she ruled with majesty
When o’er the rails she flew
But … now, this one last time,
The railway bids: “Adieu”.
Slowly when she comes to stop
We see she’s thoroughbred
When water, steel and hard, black coal
Within her there are wed.
Her regal-ness resplendent
In fittings’ shining bright
Commanding our respect
O’er the rails of her last flight.
Now sitting at the siding
She’s puffing rhythmic breath
The museum’s destination
Of her life commits its’ theft.
Photographs will mimic
Her image of today
But missing from those photos:
Glories of Yesterday
When o’er the steel she thundered
Demanding from all who saw
Respect for Her grand power
Which held them all in awe.
But Glory, she found, was fleeting
When “progress” came to call
Her future then was set in stone
In the writing on the wall.
Now we hear the brake release …
Her throttle then is moved …
She inches down the shiny track
Where the land with steel is grooved
Then as she gains her speed
And whistles out her “yell”
An announcement for all to hear:
“I know I’ve served you well!”
She’s journeyed through the ages
And a boy – an old man now -
Watches as she fades away -
He waves, then shouts out: “Ciao!”
But in his mind is yesteryear
With his dog there by his side
Watching near the railroad tracks
Where the Queen-of-the-Rails did ride.
And long from now whenever
He says: “Remember when …”
In those times of reverie,
She’ll come alive … again.
When I look into the mirror
What on earth do my eyes see
I can see an old man staring
At a young man that is me
How I wish that this reflection
Was not so truthful and so bold
In my mind I still play marbles
But my reflection says I’m old
Where have those busy years gone
That consisted of my life
Seems like only yesterday dear
When you first became my wife
Quickly now the evening shadow
Has fallen over youthful face
I surrender to my plight now
And grow older with some grace
Here’s a thought I had today
(And really, it’s inspired):
It’s possible to be exhausted
When you are retired.
For if, in your retirement,
Some interests you’ve acquired,
You may be far too busy
For the sleep that you’ve required.
So if a work cessation is
A goal that you’ve desired,
Accept the fact that you will be
Both “re” and “re”-less tired.
Wizened skin like burnished leather
Thin, grey and long, disheveled hair
Clear, sharp blue eyes that seem to stare
Through sun scorched face, alert, aware
A ‘lived-In’ face that’s so expressive
Tales he tells read like a missive
His arms and hands he flails about
To all he jests, he seems to shout
Belying age with youthful vigour
He starts his day with seeming rigour
But, easy going, he always jokes
With folk at whom, light fun, he pokes
He’s up each morning before the dawn
Striding, planning, never forlorn
Before sunrise you’ll hear with luck
His famous catch-phrase, “Get Tae F***!”
He’s worked on rigs for oh, so long
With everyone he gets along
On the “fine old lady” Stena Clyde
No deference – ALL he does deride
From owner, manager and high paid “suits”
To lowly boys who clean the boots
The tone the same, The grin, the look,
The cheeky laugh, the “Get Tae F***!”
Sub zero frost or tropical heat
His ardour you will find hard to beat
Old habits die hard they say
Not his – he does them anyway!
Does a place exist he’s never been?
That has a port that’s never seen
This tall slim figure filled with pluck
Or heard his raucous, “Get Tae F***!”
They say he’s always been a sailor
From Antarctic wastes upon an ancient whaler
15 years old in the South Atlantic
A hardy life, forget romantic!
Steam driven ships before motor’s advent
He sailed near and far. Came and went.
A story true with each port of call
His audience he holds in thrall
But all through this, both feet aground
Though invitations still abound
To high profile golf tournaments
The best hospitality at these events
He mixes with the best of them
The rich and famous golfing men
Yet on the course when he mis-hits his ball
Not “fore” but G.T.F. to all
And so it seems his time has come
To rest upon his laurels some
He’ll sure be missed – God Speed, Good Luck
It’s been a pleasure Jimmy, “Get Tae F***!”
No dismissive snort from any here
From us, a greeting, a hearty cheer
Received with grace, a smile - a look.
You grin then tell us, “Get Tae F***!”
Speak to me my muted heart
where went your rhyming ways
The voice of a hearts deepest hour
in mysteries a soul explained
Is your rhythm lost or simply hiding
in the noise of life as it whines
expression tied by hopes revising
sweet serenity and peace of mind
You run and ride with speed in your stride
ignoring all fear of the fall
you dig your heals and hold on tight
then question how momentum has stalled
An erie silence rests within
like unwritten lyrics implore
when inspiration is crushed to dust
supposing your song should be more
Poetry to you is a mountain
raised and balanced in a hand
yet your fountain of speech has ceased its flowing
like the trek across untraveled sands
If inspiration is swinging from a chandelier
opposing the status quo
and insight a vehicle to merely be steered
why now is there no marrow in your bones
Words keeping time with the beat of a life
linguistic expression out of step
lancing the poetess with a wordless knife
a beat-less palpitation in her chest
Return to me dear creativity
like frankincense anointed and blessed
convey the miracle of a heart unlaced
my poetic world at rest
Could it be I feel too much
farther reaching than any sea or the sky
or is this a symptom of insecurity
for all the where the when's or the why's
I am disassembled, rearranged
the safety net beneath me removed
everything familiar suddenly changed
with the muse of my rhythm unmoved
Perhaps when the seismic quake has passed
and my world is as it should be at last
I'll write of how transporting through worlds
was like a dance with a tornado as it twirls
Until then I'll retire my pen
and pray a new melody plays
some new, never known before tune
in the awe of poetic display
These two mature lovers together
been married for many a day
now both retired from employment
can enjoy time together come what may
So they look forward to days away
using the free bus pass to get about
after checking the weather and the route
they plan their day then get out
They love to enjoy the countryside
seeing it's beauty spread so wide
walking in the grass so green
marching out in equal stride
Lovers they are in fullest measure
it's grown so much in years gone by
looking at each other marks a smile
that could only be this gal and guy
They travel all across the land
north, south, east and west
hoping to do this forever more
hand in hand so much blessed
I did with sinking heart, notice
Ask me what, and I will deliver sans prejudice.
Minus three from a decade being on precipice,
Yet hammered for erecting defensive rise,
His self-belief pervaded poll's vice.
Thus ploughed he, relentless and determined
towards staggering recordings of happy lies.
Finally he did recede, failing entry's justice.