I’ve begun a whole book in loose verse about ageing, and I debated whether to post it on this blog (which, after all, is dedicated to my poems) or on my regular blog, Write Into Life. The other contender won, for two reasons:
because I want this book to be read like easy prose, and it may appeal to people who don’t usually read poetry
because Write Into Life uses a plan that permits audio files, and I want to read the poems aloud to you.
If you follow Write Into Life you’ll catch every piece of this read-aloud poem as I post it. I’ll keep posting poems here, but most of my energy goes into the book at present. I’ll be back, but for today’s poem, visit Write Into Life!
Poets love patterns and surprise
and every morning I get both
a rigid routine and a shock
I wake at 6 and think some thoughts
excitement rising all the while
(I woke up! I get to live another day!)
then pee and poo and clean my teeth
and meditate and sort the cat
I celebrate rules and rituals
and habits and patterns and clocks
On to the deck in pyjamas and bare feet
to a sky bursting with mystery
like a child with a secret
that won’t be a secret for long
then I do tai chi in the same old place
a world that is new every day
is it frosty is it misty is it rainy is it fine
does the air cling and kiss today
or push my hands and slip away
does it whip me from the south
is it black, is it white, is it thick, is it thin
does it spin, does it spit icy teeth
does the air breathe Antarctica Geneva or Fiji
Surprise! Surprise! It’s a brand new day.
Right, so I do tai chi, now there’s a word
today will I do it fast or slow, high or low
will I dance it or chop it or ooze it today?
when I’m done
I open my arms I swallow the sky
and I enunciate
in purest selfishness
Good morning world! I am still with you!
or once in a while
Good morning world.
What can I do for you today?
poem and photo by Rachel McAlpine cc by 2.0
This poem is part of an out-of-control all-encompassing book of read-aloud poems about my boot camp for the bonus years and the terrible task of being old.Don’t expect anything fancy: I do like fancy poems but with this monster I’m in a hurry, I’m 78, and this is the bit I wrote this morning.