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Poetic License: Sailing to Sanibel

By Staff | Apr 8, 2015

(With grave apologies to W.B. Yeats)


This is an island for old men: the young

In one another’s way, snowbirds on the tees,

X and Y generations— each with its song,

The CROW sanctuaries, the cruiser crowded seas,

Compete for winter sunshine all day long,

While whatever was is worn, forgotten or just lies —

Enjoying the last of ageing intellect,

Awaiting final monuments and neglect.


An aged man is just a paltry swing,

Pressed khaki shorts on stockinged sticks, unless

Grandkids come to clap and cling, then loudly sing

For every gift and game in Toys-R-Us.

Now there is sailing school, and studying

Monuments of charts and Doppler effects

Through Caloosahatchee we have come

To Southwest Florida’s New Byzantium.


O geezer gurus yearning to unretire

As baby boomers crowd us in the fall,

Come and relight your fires before you tire

Of golf and tennis swinging at a ball.

Consume your hearts away; let old desire

Be rescued like a wounded animal;

Now that Viagra is, ingather ye

The artifice of new virility.


Once back with Nature we will gladly take

Our body parts from any artificial thing,

Wear Rolexes such as Swiss goldsmiths make

Of stainless steel and gold enameling,

Press close to remotes to keep ourselves awake,

Re-read the Golden Bough and start to sing

To Sanibel, the New Byzantium,

That what we thought was past — again will come.