drainpipe gargoyle

I turned 50 on February 24. The fact that I haven’t gotten around to mentioning it until now shows, I think, that I am completely fine with reaching this arbitrary milestone.

Poor cod

As with Mr. Trump, everything is in perfect working order.

Padua anatomical tables 5

We grow older every moment. It’s nothing to get excited about.

gravestone with oroborous

Life is like a circle, my friends.

graves 3

You have to grasp opportunity with both jaws, and not worry if it has a bit of a funny taste.


The older you get, the more survival strategies you master.


I like to think I’m getting mellower with age,

not all skeletons are dinosaurs

and I’ve learned one or two things along the way.

Grant Museum bell-jar bird

My dreams have become more realistic and achievable,

Crystal skull

and I fancy that something resembling enlightenment may still be within reach.

children's corner

The trick is to remain young at heart,

V&A Rodins

ignoring that little whisper that says that life has passed me by.

infant wallaby

To be a poet, I continually remind myself, is to be a valuable member of society—nay, an “unacknowledged legislator of the world”!

exploded human skull

Poetry is essential to our individual and collective mental health.

Jaw bone

I mustn’t measure myself by others’ standards,

The morning after the night before

much less by what I consume


or the company I keep.

Parting. Meadowsweet. Sorrow. #beer #homebrew #gruit

I need to keep a good head on my shoulders, however white it may turn,

The bottle capper is called Emily. The beer is probably the best chocolate vanilla stout.  Ever. #homebrew #stout #chocolatestout

and keep making things that people value.

Mobility master

With that kind of attitude, how can getting old be anything but an adventure?

Last six photos by Rachel Rawlins on Flickr.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Happy 50th Birthday, Dave! Loved this post. Something about well aged like wine and cheese… it just keeps getting better.


  2. I have loved every minute of getting older. If I rely on my experience so far, the hardest part about being 50 must be containing the beauty of it all, and if this is the case there are singular advantages to being a poet.

    Happy birthday. I look forward to your notes on the next decade.


  3. Thank you, Dave and Rachel. This has made my day! I love the interplay between text and image. Oh, and happy birthday! It gets better. Life is still an adventure at 70.


  4. Thanks, you guys. the hardest part about being 50 must be containing the beauty of it all If only because we mostly have yet to deal with life-threatening illnesses, yes. On the way home on Megabus, all along I-80 in northern PA I couldn’t shake the impression that the scarred and tragedy-filled landscape was the text of a vast poem.


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