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 lumber 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 in a bus as if in state Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty eight.
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.
No blue plaque here but in that house in that room I was conceived. In the same house in the same room then I was born.
First child Only child Undistinguished house undistinguished room undistinguished birth.
But blessed with the Conquering Blood and Fire General’s name. It had to be that way. Aren’t all births distinguished only by their unglamorous spectacle?
Not something I asked for nor desired. No regrets but there were Consequences. Oh, yes. Eighty years of consequences. My history My responsibility My river’s ride through childhood rapids to maturity’s turmoil and turbulence. Becalmed now in dispiriting dotage its stillnesses its infirmity and nostalgia.
What follows eventually as I merge with the looming ocean waiting to receive me?
Memories fade for me Yet I know some continuity remains where these same images have been handed on to those loved ones who will remember.
But now in moments of tranquility my responsibility for my past presses hard until those times when my love surges to outweigh my guilt and again for good or ill my scarred soul returns to its past and wonders.
… and time treads on as I stare at the window the nets shielding its secrets. Now just as they did then So long ago.
Photographs … WHB – Yorkshire (2016) and Sussex (2009), UK
There ought to be a better way of living To find catharsis in these twilight years, But I am no misanthrope, My dreams can give me hope And help to wipe away my tensions and my tears.
So let me lead you now into my dreamworld, A land where vanished wishes can come true. Where life and love and pleasure, And all those things we treasure, Will follow from our final rendezvous.
A land where angels sing glad songs of romance, Where the bells remember chimes they’d long forgot; Where they now forever ring, And with those angels sing, And we at last are happy with our lot.
For my frequent dream is one of youth recurring; A new start in life to live it once again. To eliminate the stress, To start again afresh, And live my life devoid of stifling pain.
But the place where dreams are stored is fast receding, A library of books once felt and read. Now they will never come to life Before they meet the pruning knife, And all those thoughts they bred remain unsaid.