He looked in the mirror at the map of his life Covered in scars from the surgeons’ knife A line down the centre from a life-time ago Faded, but hideous, from a time of his woe. The scar on his leg was from ankle to knee Not something he’d ever expected to see There’s cuts on his wrists and backs of his hands Where the cannulae went in attached to drip stands But all that remains are the bits of scar tissue Nothing at all, not really an issue.
We all have these scars, they mark who we are Some can’t be seen, there’s more hidden by far But they serve to remind us that we aren’t alone We all need help sometimes, we’re not on our own.
There’s another impressive scar on his head But if it wasn’t there, he’d surely be dead The same with the others, they’re ugly old things But they mark off the years, in the way of tree rings.
Marching forwards in love and in life As snowdrop and crocus cover Spring earth Raw though the wind, as Winter still lingers Chapping the faces exposed to its wrath. Hope springs eternal as I sit by the hearth Indoors the warmth of a nice open fire Nicely chopped logs all stacked by a scuttle Glorious flames up the chimney rise higher.
Flames soporific and soon I am sleeping Out like a light from the heat of the fire Running in dreams and thinking of roses Wrapped in a beautiful paper display. All for the lady who loves me forever Roses the flowers from my heart every day Dreams full of happy, and our lovely children Slight sadness now as they make their own way.
It’s many years now and our love we have found No more needs the blankets we laid on the ground.
Living a life with one who inspires you Overly blessed like the Spring that now hails Verdant the grass round the bench in the garden Each night during Summers we tell lover’s tales.
And as we enter our twilight of living Not for a second our passion shall wane Drawn to each other, a one made from twain.
Isn’t it wondrous when love makes hearts bind Never a doubt in your passion-filled mind.
Letters we’ve written of love for each other Ink that was written, but not by a sage Finally we slip into hot-chocolate evenings Enjoying the warmth as we turn the next page.
I bet that as a child I climbed up many trees Sometimes in tears running home with cut knees I’d have played with Dinky toys and Hornby trains And jumped into puddles after pouring rains.
I bet that as a youth I was petulant and daft And sailed down a river on a home-made raft I’d have ridden on my bike for miles and miles Watching all the steam trains at railway styles.
And on a rugby pitch I’d have felt right in place Charging down the wing or lying on my face To clubs I’d have gone for the rhythm and the blues We’d dance through the night like we’d nothing to lose.
I bet I met a lady who would love me forever Who’d nurture our children and make us seem clever She’d always keep me warm on the coldest nights And be by my side when I get these frights.
I bet these things I’ve written may have all taken place But the end-game approaches at an ever-quicker pace I see it is the sort of life someone like me would need But the memories have faded like an old dried up seed.
A breath is being taken that’s so shallow No sound the breathing now makes The fear of death lurking in the shadows Immerses the souls in fearful quakes. For the breathing of man is a precious gift Yet one taken as a right by this sinner But the spectre in the shadows is yet waiting As the rasping sound of death grows ever thinner.
A tear now slowly falls from the dying man’s eye It lands with a mighty clap upon his pillow For the man is in such pain while he is living Yet he knows there’s more to come at where he’ll go. For not a word of simple kindness did he ever utter A cruelty to fellow-men was all he’d show And he never gave but a thought to how we got here But down there, it’s safe to say, he’ll surely know.
This reckless place that is my mind That shows me much, though oft I’m blind Has nonetheless led me to you A glorious, amazing thing to do. And that alone brings other pain That I might not see you again For as we age our body’s tire I say ‘who cares’, I call me liar. But side by side we love and chat Laughing, remembering this and that And in your tender arms in bliss O Lord please let us go like this.
For all eternity we will stay As lovers, as we are today.
Within his head there are thoughts, so many
most are irrelevant and thus ten a penny
though rare amongst his brain’s detritus
a thought whirls round just like St. Vitus
yet as he struggles this thought’s recall
he knows not if it be grand, or small.
And then it’s gone and is no more
remembers not he, nor is he sure
thus he returns to comfort’s while
wanders round his country pile
his life of wealth is all for naught
soundness of mind cannot be bought.
Wizened by the hardships of his life he moved his tired old body to the edge, it took him longer to get out of his bed these days, but get up he would for if there was one thing he had learnt it was that time spent in bed was time lost in the fields and the crops didn’t pick themselves, of that he thought he was sure, though he couldn’t quite remember why.
He sometimes wished that he had not been so adamant about farming in the old way – a bit of that confounded modern machinery would sure help sometimes as digging potatoes across all those acres was hard work and he’d been doing it for so long he was beginning to hate the blasted things – he certainly never ate them, preferring instead to eat all his food from cans as a way of getting his own back on some other poor so and so who probably hadn’t broken his back at harvest time for sixty years.
Dad – Dad – it’s Tom , Dad, your son, never mind Dad, perhaps you’ll remember me later. It’s alright. What potatoes? – It’s alright Dad, let’s sit here and you can tell me – no please – please Dad, don’t cry – please don’t cry. I know Dad I miss Mum too. I wish I could explain Dad I really do.
Why does this horrible man always keep me from my work, I’ve got tomatoes – – potatoes to pick, tomatoes, potatoes, well I’ve got to pick them anyway. Why should I sit down? Tell you about what? I’m not going to tell a stranger where my potatoes are, or is it tomatoes? I’m not sure now. I must sleep – I’ve got lots to do, I must be fresh when I start.
Dad – Dad – you sleep now then. I’ll just be in the next room. Perhaps – perhaps we’ll talk a bit later. I miss you Dad………….
[This is a repost that is a direct response to the continuing cuts in services within the NHS. The front line are doing the work with one hand tied behind their back. This is one of those services. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia and there is currently no cure. There is also inadequate funding in both care and research.]