.

Wisdom

When young I dreamed of someday being wise,
And pictured brilliant input holding sway.
But via jolts of life now realize,
There’s wisdom also in what you don’t say.

.

.

No One Fully Measures Up

No one lives life precisely by my standards.
No one does just what I believe should be.
No one performs exactly as I’m wanting.
No one includes, unfortunately, me.

.

.

Memory

I only needed four things at the store,
But came home to discover what I’d missed.
And I forget stuff at the grocer’s too,
Despite the fact I have a written list.

A friend says at this age that’s how it is,
So he’s decided he no longer cares.
But it still drives me nuts when I must guess,
Exactly why it was I came downstairs.

.

.

Russel Winick recently started writing poetry at nearly age 65, after ending a long legal career. He resides in Naperville, Illinois.


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24 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    Russel, my personal statement of a theory on poetry begins with the sentence, “Poetry is wisdom.” In it I draw a distinction between “wise guys” and “lovers of wisdom.” You seem to be one of the second group, a true philosopher, not a sophist.

    About memory, I make a written grocery list when I need more than two items–and you are right about still not bringing home everything needed. My husband says the solution to the upstairs/downstairs problem is to live in a single-story home. But as I tried to type that in, the computer suggested a single room!

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks for your feedback, Margaret. Probably the closest I get to being a sophist is unsophisticated.

      Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Norma. Relatability is just a guess until you get feedback. Much appreciated!

      Reply
  2. Cynthia Erlandson

    Wise, and light-hearted and humorous at the same time! They made me smile!

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      That’s nice to hear, Cynthia. Your kind comments are greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  3. Paul Freeman

    Anything more than five items from the grocery store and I write them down.

    Even then…

    Thanks for the short gems, Russel.

    Reply
  4. Conor Kelly

    I first came across Russel’s poems on the Asses of Parnassus site and have been an admirer ever since. His mastery of language, metrics and concision is amazing.
    We may have different political views but I am in awe of his skill. I think of him as the best poet on this site. Martial would be smiling in his grave.

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thank you for the compliments, Conor. I personally don’t feel I even come close to the many extraordinary poets on this site – all of whom know infinitely more about poetry than I ever will.

      Reply
  5. Jeff Kemper

    Thanks, Russel, for these very nice poems. I especially like “Wisdom.” I am faintingly trying to assimilate that principle of wisdom, but often something pops out of my mouth that I despise. It would be wonderful to be able to retract untoward utterances.

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks Jeff, and yes it would, though I’d be spending an awful lot of time retracting!

      Reply
  6. Roy Eugene Peterson

    All three poems match my thinking about each of those subjects. Certainly, there often is wisdom in silence, recognition that one has difficulty in meeting one’s own standards and retention of lists–at any age. I gave up on lists and just decide in the store what to buy. This frees my mind to buy things I previously had not considered, but it does run up my bill!

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thanks for the feedback, Roy. It must take a lot of confidence to ditch the list at the grocery store!

      Reply
  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Russel, I am a fan of your bite-size pieces of poetic wit and wisdom. You bring a smile to this insane world and I thank you for it.

    Reply

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