Saturday, November 08, 2008


"That dress" by Brian Patten

That dress won’t stop you growing older, no matter how you wear it –
Nor will this baggy shirt I wear disguise any more
A stomach growing fatter by the hour.
Now that we no longer have Time’s currency to squander,
Let’s get used to the raw material we are,
Let’s celebrate this far harder adventure
And stop carrying about the dead weight of Ago.
That dress, this shirt; we place them over chairs in rooms
Beside beds that set sail each night without expectation,
With us the crew, held together by love and by the faith
That we are buoyant enough to see any darkness through.

Had a wonderful time today in the company of the amazing poets, Brian Patten and Roger McGough, both giving readings as part of a Liverpool literary festival. I dedicate both these poems to Phil - the first he has never heard, the second is one of his favourites!

PAY-BACK TIME by Roger McGough

O Lord, let me be a burden on my children
For long they've been a burden upon me.
May they fetch and carry, clean and scrub
And do so cheerfully.

Let them take it in turns at putting me up
Nice sunny rooms at the top of the stairs
With a walk-in bath and lift installed
At great expense.....Theirs.

Insurance against the body-blows of time
Isn't that what having children's all about?
To bring them up knowing that they owe you
And can't contract out?

What is money for but to spend on their schooling?
Designer clothes, mindless hobbies, usual stuff.
Then as soon as they're earning, off they go
Well, enough's enough.

It's been a blessing watching them develop
The parental pride we felt as each one grew.
But Lord, let me be a burden on my children
And on my children's children too.


Akelamalu said...

Love the poems, especially Pay Back Time! :)

photowannabe said...

Hmmm, never thought about payback time that way before.
Both are great poems. Thanks for posting them.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

Hi Cj,
Great portrait of a girl named Pen... this is so amazing I LOVE poems (as you can see on my blog)

Great weekend CJ and keep on going with your aamazing poetry and photography, I enjoy visiting your blog for that matter.