The Singer’s Tale – A little of what you fancy? A poem.
On being 75 years old.
How do you deal with your creativity, still flowing and the need to search and do, is as strong as ever it was? The world has you pegged as old and in the way? Is being old a sign? Ok, stop, you are past it – already irrelevant? Not necessary…. too old to be allowed to dig deep and proclaim? Tell me, I don’t know. I know that when you are still alive and upright and have a tick-tock mind which will not stop. On with the slippers and lie prone on the sofa… sucking screen images into my brain? 24/7 Not for me…
Photos Sheila Burnette
I’ve been invited to a party-
but I feel.. as if I am in two minds, or is it three? Four? Five?
Or even seven?
I want to stay at home – alone. To potter and procrastinate –
I can’t make up my mind, to stay alone or go out into the world.
What to say, what to wear? A Party dress and upswept hair?
My old blue jeans and Breton T. Blue velvet beret, loose long hair?
Who am I? Who will I be? Who am I kidding? Me, that’s who I’ll be.
It appears to me, I’m nothing more than a deck of cards –
Queens down, all cards in chaos.
A Game of chance– impossible to play.
Oh well, that’s that, too bad so sad.
I’ve changed my mind.
Too late, I’m in two minds, or is it three or four or more?
Aha? So what? So When? She used to be so hot to trot.
Who am I talking to? You may ask. It is those others in my head.
Some big and bold some – so timid –
I cannot hear them- unless the Tinnitus-
the roaring river inside my head-sounds that will not cease.
No relief from the noise and piercing whistles-no peace.
Here is the dress, there’s the bed, both look inviting do they not?
Where is the woman dressed in flaming red?
A drink in her hand, a laugh on her lips-
a ridiculous hat on the side of her head, a balancing act-
a black leather hat with a red bow, vertiginous shoes on her feet.
Careful now, watch where you walk, watch what you say.
You are out too late, but you know what they say?
Cruel- mutton and lamb – and she should give up now.
So what do you do when the thoughts flood through?
Your mind pours thoughts – ideas – plans – into your arteries-
fragments of verse – a melody-a poem-
a drawer full of trinkets caught in my net during the many years
of Magpie behaviour-a bauble that glitters-
a jug for the dresser- already full.
I wanted that red spotty dress in Blustons on Kentish Town Road-
but the dress would expose too much flesh-
am I overweight?
I could hear the sniggers in my wake..