The pen moved slowly now in his old and aching hand
He was writing trifling notes, it was nothing very grand.
Putting down on paper a few of his daily thoughts
Of friends he’d met that very day, and odd things that he’d bought.
His journal was his record of a simple daily life
He’d kept one from his childhood long before he’d met his wife
And when sometimes he’d wonder of his friends from years ago
He’d pull out some old journal and very soon he’d know.
Page and page he’d filled with happenings from back then
But yet without his journal now, he’d not remember when
It was as if his memories had all transferred to the page
He guessed that kind of happened when you got to his old age.
So many books were very full of such a lot of lines
Sublime writing sometimes, as his thoughts were always kind
He always noted down events as they happened though his life
He got through even more books during times of greatest strife.
He’d started his first journal as a lad between the wars
He followed Aston Villa and he jotted down the scores
And soon he added other things such as birthdays and the like
Once he even wrote about the day he caught a pike.
He wrote about the horrors that he saw in World War Two
He’d lost so many friends back then and some he barely knew
The skies were ever thunderous and they lived with cordite smell
And parts of Europe ran with blood as dying soldiers fell.
Then times moved on and many things began to change
As borderlines were argued and then finally rearranged
Another war began so soon, as deadly as the last
And no one trusted anyone, the Cold-ness, it was vast.
He’d been an angry young man in the Fifties, yes indeed
Protesting nuclear weapons and the new generations seed
And his heroes, Osborne and Amis, were as disillusioned as he
Things don’t really change that much, the electorate’s not so free.
The world declared they’d had enough, there would be no more war
Except of course Korea, and Vietnam, and many more
And in his written journals he had noted all this down
He hated violence so much, there was bloodshed all around.
Yet after many, many years, the Berlin Wall came down
He’d noted in his journal when it went up – with a frown
At last he thought, united, perhaps this is a chance
But he was only fooling himself in some dreamt up romance.
And even after all these years since the war to end all wars
Soldiers and civilians are still killed for politics flaws
He closed his books so many times with tears in his sad eyes
Concluding all too often that the governments aren’t too wise.
And now here he was again with his old pen in his hand
He’d tried that new-fangled webbing, but he couldn’t understand
He decided that he’d always stick with his books, his pen and the word
The Web would never catch on, the strange idea was just absurd.
©Joe Wilson – Old age and hand-written journals…2016