Just a number? or: Late to my party

Sevenling (At twenty)

At twenty, I had no idea what I wanted
to do with my life; at thirty, I was excited
to pursue my dreams; at forty, I felt broken.

At twenty, I was studying engineering
in college; at thirty, I was studying Torah
in Israel; at forty, I studied my belly button.

Fifty? A crapshoot.


  • Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them.
  • Lines four to six should similarly have three elements (statements, details, names, or possibilities) connected directly or indirectly or not at all.
  • The 7th line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or an unusual juxtaposition.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

43 thoughts on “Just a number? or: Late to my party”

  1. At retirement, youโ€™re twenty again, except that you can set goals based on a lifetime of experience. Your major life decisions are behind you. โ€œWhat do I want to be when I grow up?โ€ โ€œWhere do I want to go to college?โ€ โ€œWho will I marry?โ€ โ€œWhere will we live?โ€ โ€œHow can I prepare this child for their own major life decisions?โ€ At retirement, you are free to work on your bucket list and enjoy your grandchildren, if you have any. (I donโ€™t.) โ€œWhat legacy can I leave behind?โ€

    David, I enjoyed this poem immensely. The sevenling seems like a form I would like to try. It was wonderful to learn more about the stages of your life so far. I hope the coming years of your life are joyous and fulfilling! โค

  2. 50 was a golden year โ€“ I shed expectations and found life to be wonderful! And so it goes in a circular course from youth of body to youth of mind recovered!

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