As I Grow Old

Father William

AS  I  GROW  OLD

As I grow old
So I become bold

No more restrictions 
Disallowed contradictions

Youth brought its gaucheness 
Implacable faultless

Taking for granted 
Entitlement implanted

But age, ah the pleasure, 
Getting the measure 

Of life in its dotage
Foregoing all rampage 

Now felt understanding
All pressure withstanding

Now my time has turned
Rights I have earned

Taken life’s bites
Its end in my sights

I’ve come to a time
When the next world is mine

Forgetting, forgiving,
Poetically living

No longer the dread
Of just wishing I’d said

For in verse yet unsung
I know what I’ve done

Brought to fruition
A lifetime’s ambition

And for ever for me
Life’s summation, its key. 

 

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‘A Silly Poem’ . . . Spike Milligan

[  # 94 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

 

‘A Silly Poem’ . . . Spike Milligan

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Spike Milligan … 1918 – 2002

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,

I’ll draw a sketch of thee,

What kind of pencil shall I use?

2B or not 2B? 

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. . .   GENIUS POET – TRULY SILLY POEM !!!bar-yellow N.B.  2B is an indicator used in the primary UK graphite grading scale to measure the hardness of a pencil’s graphite core.bar-yellow

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Time Out

In hope of re-charging my old batteries I shall be taking a short break  from blogging for the remainder of this week.
‘Roland’s Ragbag’ will renew its regular weekday postings from next Monday – 3rd September.

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Beach Huts at Wells-next-the Sea, Norfolk – Wax Crayon – WHB … 2003

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The Dawn

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‘An English Dawn’ … WHB – 1991  ©

 

THE  DAWN

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THE HAIKU

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Nature’s steady hand
Its season’s sure permanence
Gives respite from doubt

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THE POEM

As the dawn broke
In the pregnant East
And beams of burgeoning day
Stretched across the yellowed sky
The songbirds’ treetop threnody
Broke into my dream

Sleep giving way
And all too soon replaced
In that initial gentle awareness
Of life renewed once more
Its promise and its worries
Suddenly looming large
Within my newly unlocked consciousness
Potently recalling life’s commitments
Compelling acknowledgement
Of my obligations
And accompanied by the knowledge
Of decisions to be made
Promises to be met
Expectations to be fulfilled

Only the guarantee of Nature’s steady hand
Of each day’s new dawn,
Of the cycle of each recurring season
Promising a prospect of its permanence
Thus bestowing respite from our doubts

 

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Bed-side Blues

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“Life is like a half-sucked sweet –
Not what it used to be.”

 

What A Sucker

She brought me gifts to soothe my hurt;
She meant well I suppose,
As in this clinic bed I lay
Attempting just to doze.

She tiptoed gently to my side, 
Pretending not to wake me;
Whispering then into my ear
She raised my spirits greatly.

“Just a few nuts, you’re bound to like,
They’ll help to make you well. 
A peanut a day is good they say,
I don’t know how they tell.

The sickly coating’s not so good, 
So to help you with that cough
I’ve licked them till there’s just the nut
And sucked the chocolate off.” 

 

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‘On Ageing Gloriously’ – REPRISE

[ Wednesday Replay # 4 ]
 
To counterbalance my poem ‘On Ageing Disgracefully’, re-published last Wednesday, I now re-present my upbeat version of old age, previously posted by me on  
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‘Old Age & Youth’ …  Pen and ink – WHB.  2017

ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY

Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away;
But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday.
But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances
Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.

For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine;
I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline.
I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone,
So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.

And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now;
I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow,
‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door.
At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.

My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic;
It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic.
I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease;
Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.

My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly.
My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli;
The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose,
But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.

My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb.
I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become;
So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels;
My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.

My lumbar corset gives me an efficient spinal brace.
My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace.
I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be,
Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.

The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life;
No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife.
I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed,
Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?

They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill;
Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill.
I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again,
No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.

They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv
Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee
Of touring round my city all the splendid sites to see
Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty three.

A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough,
I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough;
Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free,
And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.

My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth;
I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath.
I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well,
That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.

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The  FOLLY

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THE  FOLLY

 

It might well be a fancy flight
a seemly sight
to pierce the night

The ruin stands by planned design 
stately in its verdant dell
beside the lake
a tableau there 
no history to tell

Reflections guaranteed to please 
float beside its stones
imaging false contrast
in the water’s mirror
a mirage of a potent past

To build a ruin seems absurd
why would you do it
the thought occurred

Perhaps to glory in the past
show time has passed
and nought can last

But as I wander within its wall
dark and damp
and weather worn
stained in moss
and ivy clad
I feel that here
real history lies
a tale so sad
a mystery

I do recall how
in its recent age
it yet was young
was burnished bright
both stone and tiles
a comely sight

To see an abbey in its prime
no sort of crime
merely a jest with time

Fanciful, a fantasy, 
undoubtedly a fallacy
yet
reflection of a legacy
portrayal of a history

 

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Rigmarole

RIGMAROLE . . .

1.  A set of confused and meaningless statements
2. A long, complicated and confusing procedure

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Rigmarole

 

Rigmarole came

Messed with my head

I lost my thread 

Couldn’t understand

How such a knotted twisted man

A lifelong fan

A mixed up aimless being

Given to mirage seeing

Could laugh and mess my every thought 

Confuse the path ahead

And leave me thinking here and now

Why, where, who, how?

With what creature was I dealing

whose uncertainties was I feeling

Intent on healing

For when I tried to sort him out

He turned my thinking right about

And so, unable to untangle

his knotted meaning

My mind still reeling

So convoluted were his words 

So matted and blurred his feelings

So tortuous his explanations

So disjointed his suggestions

so twisted his knickers

That I gave up on his

Mumbo-jumbo

His gobbledygook 

What a malarkey 

What a farce

Claptrap twaddle

Fuss and faff

Guff and drivel

 

Well . . . Rig – My – Role . . .

If it isn’t all just nonsense.

 

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The GREEN MAN

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‘Green Man’ . . . Pen&Wash – WHB ©

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The GREEN MAN

He is my history
Lusting after the hills of my youth
He strides the moorland paths
Amidst the bracken and the gorse
Drinking the sun’s warm ale
Savouring the wind’s heather-toned tang
Turning time to his advantage
Tuning in to its connecting wavelength

He is great Nature’s spirit
Rising and falling with its moods
Sad yet serene in Spring
Holding the hope of the future

Bright and bubbly in the summer rains
Rich and expansive in the sun’s bright gaze

Brought to magnificent autumn richness
Coloured by russet tints
Fruitful in his beneficence

He is the winter too
Drifting with the whiteness of its moods
His flocks penned for winter warmth neath the mountain crag
Shielding the gentle crocus
And the blanched snowdrop

He is the spirit of the trees
Lord of copse and wood
Guardian of Grove and greenwood
Verdant Monarch of the forest

Of the landscape’s lakes
Running with the cool waters of streams and rivers
The stillness of Its ponds and pools

Both past and future
Gone yet still to come again
his cyclic journey unfolds
From birth to death
From death to resurrection
To new life and resurgent hope
Maintaining existence
Midst promises and threats
To bring renewal in the name of life

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Early 20th Century Autograph Books

[ Wednesday Replay # 1 ] 

Previously published on Roland’s Ragbag on August 6th 2016 at:
‘Early 20th Century Autograph Books’


 

Autograph books, where they exist, are now used mainly for collecting the signatures ( or at least the scribbled ciphers) of the latest popular music or sports star.

Compare this scribble below by Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray, in 2013, with, from my own autograph collection (of 2), this perfectly legible  autograph of England and Yorkshire batsman, Len Hutton, obtained in the 1940s . . .

100 years ago Autographs Books were primarily more for the collecting and usually exchanging, of aphorisms, homilies, comments,  pithy verses, simple drawings, personal messages, with friends and relatives.

These autograph books of the first half of the 20th Century, give a clear picture of the social mores and conventions of the time.  Their contents can be clearly seen as a means of passing popular wisdom on to subsequent generations. Nowadays they may be thought of by some as schmaltzy, even maudlin, but they do present a picture of the tastes and sentiments of that time and help to remind us of a much simpler and less cynical age.

 REPRODUCE BELOW, In Slide show format) SOME OF THE SKETCHES FROM MY OWN FAMILY’S AUTOGRAPH BOOKS – THE MAJORITY OF THE ENTRIES ARE DATED 1929.

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. . . AND HERE ARE THE TEXTS OF SOME OF THE MORE DISCERNING ENTRIES . . .


Beware sweet maid when men come to thee
And say they seek their soul’s affinity
When all they want, the base espousers,
Is someone to sew buttons on their trousers.


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‘Just a few lines from a would-be poet’


It’s very hard to find a friend
When your heart is full of hope.
It’s harder still to find a towel
When your eyes are full of soap.


In ascending the hill of prosperity
May you never meet a Friend


It’s not the one that knows the most
That has the most to say.
Nor yet the one that has the most
That gives the most away.


Love is like a mutton chop
Sometimes cold – Sometimes hot

Whether cold or whether hot
It’s not a thing to be forgot.


‘Taint what we have,
But what we give,
‘Taint what we are,
But how we live,
‘Taint what we do,
But how we do it,
That makes life worth
Going through it.


Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver, the other gold;
Cheeks may wrinkle, hair grow grey,
But friendship never knows decay.


When the golden sun is sinking,
When your time from care is free,
When of others you are thinking,
Will you sometimes think of me?


Written in faltering, scratchy handwriting …

This is a damned bad pen you’ve given me!

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