They say you can tell a lot from the eyes. Well, I don't know if it's the case here, but I can see a few wrinkles setting in, thanks also to the fact I was smiling for this photo.
I wonder if you could guess my age from the photo above. 47. So there you go. And quite happy with it. Better than never making it to that number like so many artistic and poetic types from the past.
My paintings haven't progressed from yesterday yet, but another couple of poems have fallen out of my brain since the last time I wrote. Oh, three actually. At this rate I could publish a collect of weak verse in about... a week!
Now There's A Job
Christmas rubber stamps another year The leaves have all been roused and rounded up With those funky new-fangled leaf blowers Now there's a job The relatives will come, they always do Like ants to sugar, we will live it up Whatever 'it' is, then we'll tidy up Now there's a job In time to see the old year truly out Like a drunken uncle on his ear The resolutions rain like fireworks Now there's a job The spring will out and summer come again The leaves will rust and readen on the bough Civil servants will start to wrap things up Now there's a job
This one's about the turning of the seasons, going around, coming full circle, and I think it was inspired by my last self-portrait with me looking decidedly grey. It's one of these poems I've been writing in recent years where the idea is there but it hasn't quite come together as I would have liked but I haven't got the patience to take it any further.
I liked the image I stared with, about Christmas rubber-stamping another year, and the rest flowed from there, for better or for worse. I didn't mean it to be criticising relatives, of which I have very few and we certainly don't have Christmases like I picture above, although I believe some do. There's a bit of irony in yet another year with yet another set of resolutions we'll hurry to break. And the leaves are always there, as symbols of passing time and lives. As for the civil servants, well, they're just there, wrapping up presents of one sort or another.
Then came the dog poem. I think I needed to get it out of my system. Hallmark honey but kind of funny. He's a funny old dog.
My dog's got a mind of his own My dog calls a bone a bone My dog jumps from windows gaping My dog flies through curtains draping My dog poos in precious places My dog enjoys licking faces My dog slumbers at my feet My dog always loves to eat My dog breaks out once a week My dog gives my toes a tweak My dog loves his daily walk My dog ignores me when I talk My dog follows me around My dog keeps his nose to the ground My dog's a sheep in wolf's clothing My dog's absence is my loathing My dog's a food finding sleuth My dog's cool and that's the truth My dog adopted me one day My dog is here and here to stay
Then came Going Grey, which is much less about actually going grey than I thought it was going to be, but I'm quite relieved really. I think I've done enough stuff about getting old in the traditional sense for now so something a bit less obvious was called for and welcome.
Going Grey Like a comfy chair Like a favourite sweater I'll wear you Take this skin These bones
And put them on And call them me Like a cozy café Like a favourite walk I'll bear you Take this weight These stones And cast them off And call them he Like a precious song Like a favourite book I'll share you Take this hand These thoughts And wrap them up And call them thee
This one's moved away from the anal retentive rhyming I normally do and has got a bit freer, both in imagery and in structure. I think the poem's a bit opaque but I decided to leave it that way, that is, open to interpretation, as opposed to a simple story with a clear beginning, middle and end. As to who the various characters or images are, not even I'm sure. The me, the he, the thee, these are all there to be absorbed and spat out in any way the reader sees fit.
Going Grey did start out in my mind about just that, but then moved on to something rather different, which I'm pleased about. A bit like when a painting takes a new direction despite your best intentions, and almost seems to speak to you and say 'No, not that way, this...' I'd like that to happen more often, it's an interesting thing.