Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ode to 68

image borrowed from bing

Ode to 68
“Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,
the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,”
--Psalm 68:13
In 1968, when I was 24 and serving in the USN
I saw CVN-68, the USS Nimitz, in San Diego
the same day I went to see 200l: A Space Odyssey
during the Summer of Love that I barely partook of,
while MLK and RK were killed by assassins in America,
Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq, 
Richard Nixon was elected President,
the Beatles formed Apple Records
and released the White Album,
Hair and nudity debuted on Broadway,
Laugh-In & 60 minutes debuted on television
while in Viet Nam we suffered through
both the Tet Offensive and the Mai Lai massacre,
and John Steinbeck, Nick Adams, 
Dan Duryea and Red Foley 
1944 was 68 years ago
and on this 14th day of June
as festive flags fluttered, I saddled
that nontotient double digit, shoved
my birthday bit between its teeth
and rode hellbent into the thinly concealed
days of my next year, wondering
what adventures awaited--perhaps
I would travel merrily along US68 one of those days,
maybe I will find out more about NGC68,
that spiral galaxy in the constellation Hydra,
or research erbium, the chemical element
with the atomic #68, or shed some light
on the fact that biblically #68 means
“the mercy of God”, or look into why most police
call signs list 68 as a “suspicious person”,
or find out why most NASCAR drivers
think that the #68 car is lucky-- 
and did you know
that 6+8=14 which adds up 
to the 5 wounds of Christ?
68, at the moment, is fresh and new,
dripping with dew, covered in wax bubbles,
chrome-brilliant, stanchion sturdy,
brimming with hope,
bursting with promise,
and as the annual ride begins
I am very happy to feel the trot
becoming a canter.
Glenn Buttkus
June 2012

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Paul Bauck said...

I like it. This could become an annual ritual! Sort of like blowing out all the candles.
Thanks for sharing it with me first.

Brian Miller said...

canter on good sir....i hope you had a wonderful birthday...i like all your plays on 68 through out...may that mercy find you this year....some interesting bits of numerology wove in there as well...

Beachanny said...

I'm galloping on ahead Glenn - I've pondered every word here and read every tortuous news story sign posted. I'm wishing you a fabulous year and many more on the hunt for the meaning of things in the meaning of life!

Ginny Brannan said...

I love your whole approach to celebrating another year, and I thank you for reminding me of some of the amazing things I too, have been around for (though only a child of the '50's am I!) As years pass I tend not to think of the numbers, but how old I feel inside, which is like 35 with 21 extra years of experience!! Happy birthday to you, and many more happy returns of the day!! :-)

Charles Miller said...

Good to see you coming to terms with the rest of your life in this, Glenn. The various things that you might do, betoken that never-ending search meaning, often amidst ruin and regret. We live in a workd deeply frail, unreal, and tortured, so your coming to terms with much that might slow your ride into the unknown brought shadows of hope to light.

Old Ollie said...

68 - is good sir. Love you journey through your years.