Stay Gold

28 Sep
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
-Robert Frost

2020 has been one raging asshole of a year. If it were a person, it would be that guy in your office who went vegan and started doing yoga and won’t stop talking about how centered he feels and how amazing his skin is now that he’s off the processed foods. If it were a food, it would be candy corn pizza smothered in Miracle Whip. If it were a song, it would be some unholy mashup of The Devil Went Down to Georgia and We Built This City. And if it were a movie, it would be The Garbage Pail Kids Movie: weird, horrifying, and seemingly without end.

I say all of that to say that 2020 has really had me thinking a lot about life and time, in particular, better times, which would be any year that came before this. Time is a stubborn thing. It marches forward no matter how much we wish it would stop or at least slow down. And no matter how much we look back and wish we could return to an age where shit actually made sense or at least one where we didn’t care, it just keeps going. And we’re all swept up in the current.

The Robert Frost poem that kicks this post off is one of my favorites and one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately…and not just because it was used to great effect in one of my favorite ’80s movies, The Outsiders. Nothing gold can stay — I’m not even 100 percent sure what that means, but it rattles around in my brain like a mantra and makes me feel…something, which is really all you can ask for from art. I don’t think there’s any need to dissect it any further than that.

Aside from dick jokes, I occasionally write poetry, but I rarely share it and I’ve not ever published anything that one might call serious. But today I wrote one. One that I believe condenses my feelings about time and what Nothing Gold Can Stay means to me into a handful of lines. I hope you like it.

Is an ocean
Dip a toe in
Soon up to your ankles
Then your waist
Then pulled fully into its bottomless depths
Gently at first
Then with more ferocity
Until the shore is but a spot on the horizon
Until you can see it no more
Until you can no longer keep your head up
It pulls you under
And you are naught but a memory whispered across its waves.

I’m no Robert Frost, but whether you like my poem or hate it with the white-hot intensity of 1,000 suns, I hope it made you feel something. And maybe I’ll publish some of my others in the future. Until then,

One Response to “Stay Gold”


  1. Time Keeps On Slipping… | Rants & Anecdotes - December 9, 2020

    […] the desire to leave some kind of legacy behind is all part of the human experience. If you read my most recent post, this one is kind of the companion to that. Another poem from someone who rarely writes poetry. I […]

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