Fifty

 Blow me! I’ve reached half a century
And the devil still ain’t sent for me
I wonder if this is how it’s meant to be
Just me and a skip full of memories?        

The Lovers who delighted me
Adored, abused or teased
The drink, the pain, the madness
That brought me to my knees
 
I’d like to say a few words
Something rather clever
But the sad truth seems to be
I know less that ever
 
Yes, All those sweet epiphanies
Those drunken evenings brought
Every one turned out to be
Worth little more than nought
 
Oh problem child, school-refuser
Hackney Council slum
Weirdo loner, on the dole
Friendless single Mum
 
Will they mark my half a century?
Applaud my staying power?
Put a plaque upon a bench for me?
Send expensive flowers?

For this Borderline, this mental case
Pill-popping, manic, boozer
Couldn’t- even- die- young-
Serial- fucking- loser
 
but seriously, I’ve learnt to grab
some joy as I shuffle ‘round
In a flower, a cake, a cuddle,
A  jig, a nice old town…
 
Here a river, there a child
Here a  friendly cat
There a smile, here a coffee
There a trilby hat                 

And I am a poet and a maker of songs
A thinker, a soother, a cook
Singer of lullabies, holder of hands
A driver and reader of books

I am a trudger of pavements and fields
A cleaner and fixer of things
A gardener, a talker, a recovering  stalker
A fiddler and picker of strings
 
And I’ve lived for 50 years,
‘though I hear no shouts or cheers
Not even  jeers and sneers
Never mind, Old Dear.

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