The passage of time
Leads me to a second life
Wherein I flourish.
As I grow old
So I become bold
No more restrictions
Youth brought its gaucheness
Taking for granted
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
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.
She came to me
A dream enriched
When I was most in need.
Long summers passed
And she was there
She held my hand
Until with time
My troubles did recede
When age had bitten back
She gave her love to me
Without a qualm
She took my arm
For she was Spring
As Autumn came
And I was home at last.
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.
Whilst the following rhyming couplets in no way describe my own experience of encroaching dotage, the verses are my attempt to express a view of the feelings and needs of a ‘grumpy old man’ contemplating his future, isolated by senility from his nearest and dearest.
These thoughts were generated by a re-reading of the madrigal verses, ‘Crabbed age and Youth’, attributed to Shakespeare, coupled with watching again an episode of Victor Meldrew’s character in the TV comedy, ‘One foot in the Grave’.
(On Ageing Disgracefully)
So who can we say will look after us
When we get old and cantankerous?
Can we rely on those near and dear?
Or are we forsaken, alone in our fear?
We who were once so unstinting and kind
Do we not earn at last true peace of mind?
BUT . . .
All is not clear . . . To be truly sincere,
The man I was then is no longer here.
FOR . . .
I’ve changed, and not for the better
I’ve lost it now – down to the letter.
No one can know the way I now feel.
I’ve got the worst of Faust’s done deal.
Bad-tempered with age; rancorous, unkind,
Left, with my youth, all my humour behind.
My bilious mien, my irascible stance
Will never win friends or my nature enhance.
I’m old now and weary and decidedly bent
My spirit and mind to perdition I’ve sent.
Choleric, petty, liverish, sickly,
A curmudgeon, malcontent, surly and prickly.
I’m grumpy, I know, and I’m sad.
I’m thoughtless and tetchy and bad.
I’m full of regret and I hurt,
Bombastic and bitter and curt.
I know when I’m right, but not when I’m wrong,
I know where I live, not where I belong.
Selfish, caustic, hurtful, snide,
This present-day world I cannot abide.
My life is defiled, and I’m full of bile;
A fossilised drone, sterile and vile.
NEVERTHELESS . . .
I need you beside me all the day long.
Don’t tell me you’re tired – I know that you’re wrong.
I remember those vows that we once affirmed
When the future was all that you and I yearned.
But I’m near to the end, so I’m taking a bow,
Who once was your soul-mate Is only a shell now.
The love that once held you so closely to me
Has gone since I’ve grown to be bitchy and gloomy
I know that you don’t want to stay any longer
I’m just in your way now, it’s you who is stronger.
I’d hoped I could ask you to restore my dreams
But time has dealt us its last blow it seems.
SO . . .
I relinquish my hold, and consign all my sorrows
To a life that defeats me – and all our tomorrows.
NEXT WEEK . . . ‘On Ageing Gloriously’ !!!
He has brought me here
Recycled my life
To revive my youth
Its promise given to me again
To tempt my taste for change
Had it been different
Those faustian offers not refuted
Where would wishes
Have taken me
But I know
I am no more fitted now
Than I was then
To take the right course
Choose the salient path
So once again I must reject the offer
Renew my current course
Leave longing for reason
For that unknown and unknowing
When lust has stepped aside for love
And zeal has lost its bite;
When age denies a wholesome life,
How else to snare delight?
When warmth becomes placidity
I’m apt to end the fight,
But memories of a life of love
Turn darkness into light.
For when our oneness has expired
And you are out of sight,
You still are here in memory
And I still hold you tight.
To my followers and to casual visitors to Roland’s Ragbag:
I shall not be publishing further poems or photographs this week.
Hopefully I will be back on-line with regular postings shortly afterwards.
Sketch & Verse by WHB . . . aka ROLAND ©
Age is a problem, I’ve no doubt,
And one that can’t be solved.
Since time began
We know that Man
Has gradually evolved.
So, given that the speed of change
Is constantly advancing,
Why cannot we
Subject to life enhancing?
It’s certainly an age-old problem,
Not just one of old age.
A new life plan,
Waiting to be assuaged.
I’m at a problem age right now
At the age of eighty two.
And no one tells me what to do.
And when I get to One-O-Two
Who knows what I’ll be like?
I might begin
To live in sin,
Or start a hunger strike.
Time will tell, the saying goes,
But I may prove that wrong,
For when, at last,
My die is cast,
I still might jog along.
I might look weird, I will be odd,
I no doubt will be bald.
My old age pension
Won’t get a mention,
My workings might have stalled.
But I could prove you all quite wrong,
While still an ageing codger.
Surprise you all,
A new wife install,
Or introduce a lodger.
If I continue the way I’m going
The problem will be, you see,
Those other folk
Who I’ll provoke
To become old like me.
Day dawns and life now reasserts its sway;
Sleep ends and dreams now slowly fade away,
Leaving behind the gains which I thought real.
Reality and the sun the truth reveal,
That time has shattered youth and brought old age.
Shall I depart midst over-arching rage,
Those aspirations which I held most dear,
Abandoned now as hope gives way to fear?
Now that I’m hurt, unheard and unfulfilled,
Can I refute those truths my life distilled,
And face what unmapped seas fate holds in store,
Without a faith to bear me to the shore?
As Lowman meanders
over its pebbled bed
and as clear waters
give back the russet tones
of disturbed sand
of silt-stained rocks
so I muse
with the waters of the stream
transmuting my senses
of grace in being
delight in life itself
revisiting me now
with imprinted memories
felt in the bones of my youth
in the dis-ease of old age
Words from the Heart
Writing as a Help to Thought
Writing poetry on the nature of humanity ...and vise versa.
A writer inspired by nature and human nature
short prose, fiction, poetry
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the side of me most people never see
Great poets live on the edge of sanity; mediocre ones reside in the suburbs.