COMPETITION 8: Gone but not forgotten
In Competition 8 you were asked to lament your own lack of care for a once-prized possession.Body parts predominated, which almost certainly says a great deal about the age of most writers of light verse. While we may appear to be comfortable in our own skins none of us seems to be happy with the state of the skin itself or with many of its individual contents Peter Goulding emerges as, apparently, the only non-self-obsessive-depressive among us. The Editor sympathises with whatever is left of the rest of you. Believe me, he shares your pain.
Thanks to Typhoo Tea and Dad,
When I was eight years old, I had
‘Bout thirty pictures on my wall –
The greatest wizards of the ball.
Ten by ten on printed card,
I saved those tokens long and hard.
Terry Paine and Dennis Law,
The Doog and Ian Storey-Moore,
Big Ron Yeats and Johnny Giles
(Both with unfamiliar smiles)
Bobby Tambling, Ian St.John,
The list went on and on and on . . .
In time, the photographs came down
When Suzi Quatro came to town.
Did I keep them? I wish I did -
They’re now worth several hundred quid.
My knees! Dear God, the agony!
I should have lavished TLC
in earlier years, and offered prayers
to keep them up to climbing stairs
and all the jobs I thought they ought
to do (excluding of course, 'sport'
and such-like boredoms). Now, they creak
at every step, and groan and squeak.
Too squeamish for an op, I dread
even the upwards path to bed.
To totter pub-wards for a drink
now only makes my spirits sink.
Forget cheap seats: the theatre calls
for top-price seating, in the stalls.
And time is nudging me to go
to flatter ground and bungalow.
D A Prince
If I had eschewed
Under the sun,
As I had done,
Had I shunned the craze
Of "catching the rays",
If I had denied
My bod getting fried,
If only I'd learned
That being quite burned
Is really a bummer
(It's torrid in summer!),
Then maybe today
I'd not have to pay.
To put it succinc'ly,
I wouldn't be wrinkly.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after my ... whatsit;
I wish I’d looked after my . . . thing;
it used to be strong and in perfect condition –
a state to delight any passing physician –
I wish I’d looked after my . . . thing.
I used it for Latin, I used it for French;
I used it for stuff which would now make me blench –
quadratic equations and learning to cook,
engaging with Milton and writing a book –
for gathering knowledge (the littlest crumb);
I wish I’d looked after my . . . umm. . . .
Oh, I wish I had bothered, but wishing is vain;
I wish I had cared, and I wish it again;
it used to be powerful and quick and acute,
but now it’s as ’cute as a wine-sodden boot;
I wish I’d looked after my . . .(?)
If I’d taken more care of my waistline
and not eaten pizzas in threes
You’d not now be gagging at how far it’s sagging
over my thighs and my knees.
If I’d taken advice from my doctor
and kept off the doughnuts and booze
my navel would be to the north of each knee
instead of down south by my shoes.
If I’d gone in for walking or jogging
and taken more turns round the block
I’d have hips honed to sigh for and buttocks to die for
and a six-pack as hard as a rock.
If I’d given kebabs the cold shoulder
and sworn off the steamed treacle puds,
should your offer of love mean that push comes to shove
then I might still deliver the goods.
Imran T Parrek
My legs were legs to die for, when I was in my teens,
My Mum told me they would be, if I ate up all my greens.
I did as I was bidden , sport was my love, my all,
So happy when competing, chasing any sort of ball.
‘Go for ‘em!’ was my war cry, in each and every game.
Harder and yet faster I went, thrusting in search of fame.
My legs were used unkindly, I worked them far too hard,
All bashed and bruised and bloodied and so very badly scarred,
Now I ‘m no longer rampant on pitches, fields and courts,
I can no longer dazzle even in the briefest shorts.
My feet are sort of lumpy, my calves need sympathy,
I’ve two bionic hips , you see and an electric knee.
My ankles, though still beautiful , neat and super trim,
have a medical prognosis that’s positively grim.
I never will be beat — from the ashes I will rise
with a two stroke motor fitted, snug between my thighs.
My first ever pome
The best results often come when you are asked to write in the style of someone else. So here is another such Competition, but with a twist.
At a local Jumble Sale you find a dog-eared school exercise book/slate/wax tablet/papyrus or parchment containing the first childhood poem by the famous poet of your choice. Provided that it is no longer than 16 lines and that you identify the poet send a copy of your find.
COMPETITION 8: Gone but not forgotten