Ode to Age

by Pablo Neruda




by Gord Downie




All old people
carry in their eyes
a child, 
and children
at times observe us
with the eyes of wise ancients.


Shall we measure life 
in meters or kilometers or months?
How far since you were born?
How long must you wander until 
like all men
instead of walking on its surface
we rest below the earth?


To the man, to the woman
who utilized their 
energies, goodness, strength, 
anger, love, tenderness, 
to those who truly 
and in their sensuality matured, 
let us not apply 
the measure of a time 
that may be something else, 
a mineral mantle, 
a solar bird, 
a flower, 
something, maybe, 
but not a measure.


Time, metal or bird, long petiolate flower, 
stretch through man's life, 
shower him with blossoms 
and with bright water or with hidden sun. 
I proclaim you road, not shroud, 
a pristine ladder with treads of air, 
a suit lovingly renewed
through springtimes around the world.


Now, time, 
I roll you up in my bait box 
and I am off to fish
with your long line
the fishes of the dawn!


Yea, I know, I know, I know
It’s still not enough
Nothing short of everything
Nothing short of everything’s enough
No matter how wide or how tough
Nothing short of everything’s enough


Yea, I know, I know, I know
Now for Plan A
I’ll stay til the wisteria fades
And falls on L.A.


No matter how high or how rough
Nothing short of everything’s enough


In your face
The endless patience
The fleeting nature of life
On display

I’ll stay
Til the wisteria fades
The way it falls all over


No matter how wide or how rough