Old age a gutter
of dead metaphors, colored
images fading

fast. The sun comes and
goes. Radiance, darkness a
flow of mystery.

I keep my routine.
Sometimes a woman’s smile makes
a nest of my heart.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

2 thoughts on “Nest”

  1. This poem hangs around, I think my own age being receptive. The phrases “dead metaphor” and “faded images” conjure the inescapable negatives of old age. But “dead metaphor” as metaphor also conjures birds picking up the dead twigs and leaves and carrying (phorein) them beyond (meta) to build the nest in the heart. The irony of the “dead metaphor” is exquisite as it is the vehicle of its own transformation into the life and love expressed in the tiny exchange of a smile nesting and nested in someone’s heart. It speaks to the creative life force in its expressive flow. An exquisite poem!


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