I Don’t Remember

I don’t remember when my joints seized up,

When my hair turned grey and my wrinkles grew.

It must have happened when my back was turned and I was living life.

 

I don’t remember when my steps grew slow,

When my memory failed and my waist spread out.

It must have happened when my back was turned and I was living life.

 

I don’t remember when my breath grew short,

When my kids grew up and my sight grew dim.

It must have happened when my back was turned and I was living life.

 

I don’t remember when police got young,

When my neck packed in and I craved more naps.

It must have happened when my back was turned and I was living life.

 

I don’t remember when the charts got crap,

When my shoes got flat and phones got weird.

It must have happened when my back was turned and I was living life.

 

I don’t remember turning into my mum,

With Radio 4 on all day long.

It must have happened when my back was turned and I was living life.

 

I don’t remember when I got so old,

When the years flew past and the past pulled back.

Not that it matters because I’m still here and I’ll keep on living life.

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Big

Everything’s smaller,

Everything’s duller,

Everything’s closer

Now that I’m big.

 

Nothing’s as bright,

Nothing’s as light,

Nothing’s as right

Now that I’m big.

 

Why are the days so long?

Why am I not as strong?

Why am I always wrong

Now that I’m big?

 

Don’t let despair break through!

Don’t drag me down with you!

Don’t tell me what to do

Now that I’m big.

Middle-aged Lament!

I’m so glad my eyesight is failing;
You should see the wrinkles I’ve got.
They stand out when I’m wearing glasses
But don’t seem too bad when I’m not.
I’m not on good terms with my mirror.
The view can be horribly cruel.
So, I tend not to go very near it;
I stand six feet back as a rule.
That’s why I rarely wear make-up.
It wouldn’t be smart, I suppose,
To apply the stuff without a mirror:
Leave mascara all over my nose.
Yes, I’m glad that my eyesight is failing.
It makes me look younger; it’s true!
But only to me. Unfortunately!
I wish everyone else’s would too!

Tell Me

I see her face, her form, her bright soft hair.
But some of her is just no longer there.
“Tell me …” she says and I know every word to follow.
“Tell me …”
Two words that hide a wealth of sorrow.

A mind that once was strong and sharp as steel
Now struggles to retain much of what’s real.
“Tell me …” she asks, as though some record plays.
“Tell me …”
This is the soundtrack of her days.

So, I recite the litany of life,
That left her now a widow, not a wife.
“Tell me …” she says and so I start to tell.
“Tell me …”
Two words that loose the gates of hell.

Twenty-first Century Prayer

O, Lord, let not my Bluetooth fail

Make all my passwords strong.

Protect my battery from all harm

And make its lifespan long.

O, Lord, may all my tweets be great.

And many find them witty.

May hosts of favourites come my way

And not just out of pity.

O, Lord, when I am in my car

Turn all the lights to green.

If birds should fly above me

Keep their crap from my windscreen.

O, Lord, make sure my TV shows

Don’t meet a sticky end.

Keep spoilers from my eyes and ears

Lest I should lose a friend.

O, Lord, deliver tasty food:

The type that comes with fries.

But keep its stores of harmful fat

From clinging to my thighs.

O, Lord, I do the lottery.

Please help me win a prize,

So I can have these bags removed

From underneath my eyes.

O, Lord, my dryer’s on the blink

Please make it work again.

Or failing that, just stop the rain

Until it’s fixed. Amen!

New Eyes

Suddenly, as if with new eyes I see

This place.

Having passed this way a thousand times or more,

I’m thrown into a panic,

As though lost.

These old bricks, soiled by years of existence

Must have always been this way,

Or similar, for decades.

Today, without real change,

They look so different.

When I first saw this road

They may have been clean

But can’t have been new.

Older than I am,

They’ve watched me pass

And many more before me.

Is it possible that, today,

They have seen me with new eyes?

Do they wonder if I was ever

Untarnished by time?

Stories

Tell me your stories,

I’ve nowhere to be.

Tell me your stories again.

I want to hear about when you were young,

Talk of the “Way back when …”

 

Tell me your stories,

As long as you like.

Tell me of people now gone.

They bring a beautiful smile to your face,

Keep talking; just carry on.

 

Tell me your stories,

Beginning to end,

Whether I’ve heard them before.

Don’t let the present intrude on the past.

Sit down and tell me some more.

 

Tell me your stories

I want them to be

Totally set in my mind.

Then I can hear them all over again

After you’ve left me behind.

The Long Road

The road’s so long

And punctuated with traffic lights.

Just once, I’d love to sail straight through,

Unhindered in my flow.

But no!

Red lights beset me every chance they get.

Still, each stop gives me a chance to think;

Not needing to worry about gears or hazards,

Just watching the lights for my chance to move

And thinking up poems.

Like this.

Lost and Found

These are not my words!

I found them as I walked

Along the rippled sand,

Where other tongues had dropped them.

I press them to my will.

But how they squirm and struggle,

Resisting all my efforts

To get them to lie still.

These are not my thoughts!

I found them as I woke,

Unknowing, from a dream.

I hadn’t called them down here.

They slipped in as I lay.

My mind wants to reject them.

They clamp their jaws upon me

And can’t be dragged away.

This is not my life!

I found this one abandoned.

The life that’s meant for me

Won’t let me track it down.

I know it was replaced;

I’ve no idea who did it.

I’ll use the one I found

So it won’t go to waste.