The 7 Ages of Woman

The 7 Ages of Woman

 

 

 

 

 

Noise making

Milk taking

Night waking

 

Friend making

Exam taking

Internet dating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love making

Love faking

Heart breaking

 

Breakfast making

Children waking

School taking

 

Bed making

Cake baking

Leaves raking

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limbs shaking

Bones aching

Will making

 

Heart aching

Leave taking

Forsaking

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

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Another year, another birthday

Think my posting this poem is going to become an annual event!

I can remember in my teens longing to be 21. And now I wish that time could go backwards and I could be 21 again!

Another year, another birthday

Something happens

Between 60 and 70

You become a senior

and all of a sudden

you don’t recognise

that person in the mirror

and on the scales.

You shuffle in your slippers

read the papers

and pop pills.

The receptionist

at the doctor’s

knows your name.

Complete strangers

call you my darling

and my dear.

You want to be offered seats

on trains

And flat shoes seem

a better option

than high heels.

You are now

a silver surfer

so you search for

senior bargains online

There must be some perk

to reaching this age.

Hotels offer you

twin beds

and disabled bathrooms.

11 o’clock at night

seems very late to be out

and you find yourself

wanting to nap

in the middle of the day.

Your children ask how you are

but don’t really want to know

and people say you look well

when they mean

you are looking good for your age.

You have become invisible

to the opposite sex

and to anyone

under forty.

People talk about “special” birthdays

and give you soppy smiles.

You wish you were

growing old disgracefully

but just don’t have the energy.

Come upstairs and make love to me

I read somewhere.

I can do one or the other

was the answer

Don’t expect me to do both.

I’ve started listening to the Archers

and the weather forecasts

Doing crosswords

and reading the obituaries

Seeing the names of

people I once knew

Thank goodness Mick Jagger

can still strut his stuff

and Macca too

still performing

whilst others the same age

languish in care homes

uncared for and forgotten.

It’s odd to think

that in ten years or so

I will look back at this time

And think myself young.

 

Age 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


Remembering

 I wrote this next poem in 1995, about six months before my mother died.

 Role Reversal

Today, I held my mother

sobbing in my arms

Stroking her soft,  fine hair

Her chin nuzzled on my chest

And I could smell

the unforgotten fragrance

of her skin

I held her close

as I have held my children

and felt the frailty of her age

How odd and imperceptibly

the tables turn

And those that you have leaned on

lean on you

Those that you had turned to

turn to you

Now she is the child

And I am the mother

MUM AND DAD BEFORE THEY WERE ENGAGED. LATE 1920S? THEY WERE MARRIED IN 1936.SONY DSCmum

In memory of Freda Hetty Finn.  Born London, December 13 1910. Died 6 March 1996.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


Another birthday

My birthday seems to have come round even quicker this year!  I wrote this poem a while ago. I’m sure it will resonate with some of you. And if it doesn’t – it might give you a glimpse of what you have to look forward to!

Another birthday

Something happens

Between 59 and 60.

You become a senior

and all of a sudden

you don’t recognise

that person in the mirror

and on the scales.

You shuffle in your slippers

read the papers

and pop pills.

The receptionist

at the doctor’s

knows your name.

Complete strangers

call you my darling

and my dear.

You want to be offered seats

on trains

And flat shoes seem

a better option

than high heels.

You are now

a silver surfer

so you search for

senior bargains online

There must be some perk

to reaching this age.

Hotels offer you

twin beds

and disabled bathrooms.

11 o’clock at night

seems very late to be out

and you find yourself

wanting to nap

in the middle of the day.

Your children ask how you are

but don’t really want to know

and people say you look well

when they mean

you are looking good for your age.

You have become invisible

to the opposite sex

and to anyone

under forty.

People talk about “special” birthdays

and give you soppy smiles.

You wish you were

growing old disgracefully

but just don’t have the energy.

Come upstairs and make love to me

I read somewhere.

“I can do one or the other”

was the answer

“Don’t expect me to do both”.

I’ve started listening to the Archers

and the weather forecasts

Doing crosswords

and reading the obituaries

Seeing the names of

people I once knew

Thank goodness Mick Jagger

can still strut his stuff

and Macca too

still performing

whilst others the same age

languish in care homes

uncared for and forgotten.

It’s odd to think

that in ten years or so

I will look back at this time

And think myself young.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


The days of our lives

Two items caught my interest on the news today.

We are told that we are all living for far longer. Apparently, every year another year is added to our life span.

On the other hand,  a report has forecast that the number of people in the UK who will get cancer during their lifetime will increase to nearly half the population by 2020.

So, we are living longer. But because we are living longer we are far more likely to get cancer!

In the same news bulletin, 92 year old Prince Philip was admitted to hospital for surgery. 92! What amazing longevity there is in the Royal family.

That led me to thinking of some of the elderly people I have met over the years. One memorable time was when I was reading my poems to an audience at The Poetry Society. I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting  in the front row, leaning forward, with his hand around his ear. Afterwards he came up to me  and said, “I couldn’t hear a word but I loved the vibrations!”

Or the old gentleman I once befriended at a London tube station.

Old Man

It’s no fun to be old

said the old old man

on the Metropolitan line

Eighty two I am

and still working

We took the train together

Hiss into the station

Off along the platform

Up up the weary stairs

A grey haired stranger

took his arm

An old man helping an old man

It’s no fun  to be old

We paused on the platform

for him to take breath

You going, he said

I won’t see you again

He grasped my hand

I kissed his cheek

It felt like death.

Now, here am I, steadily getting older. Not feeling it of course. But getting older nevertheless. As of course we all are.  I find myself looking back to a past when the days were longer, sunnier and all of life was in front of me.  And I am reminded of  the lyrics of one of my favourite Queen songs, “These are the days of our lives.”**

Sometimes I get the feelin’
I was back in the old days – long ago
When we were kids when we were young
Things seemed so perfect – you know
The days were endless we were crazy we were young
The sun was always shinin’ – we just lived for fun
Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know
The rest of my life’s been just a show

Those were the days of our lives
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing is true
When I look and I find I still love you

You can’t turn back the clock you can’t turn back the tide
Ain’t that a shame
I’d like to go back one time on a roller coaster ride
When life was just a game
No use in sitting and thinkin’ on what you did
When you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids
Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know
Better sit back and go with the flow

Cos these are the days of our lives
They’ve flown in the swiftness of time
These days are all gone now but some things remain
When I look and I find no change

Those were the days of our lives – yeah
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing’s still true
When I look and I find
I still love you

I still love you

**Words and music by Queen

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


Leonard Cohen

I have been a fan of Leonard Cohen for as long as I can remember.

I read his novels, I bought his poetry. I remember buying a hardback copy of the first edition of his poems and then going to the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) to hear him reading them.

At the end when he was walking off the stage,  something propelled me to get up and run down the aisle. I caught up with him at the exit door and asked him to sign my (his) book. He did so.   I still have it. The poems, I have to admit,  are not his best  – the lyrics of his songs are so much better. But I treasure that moment – and his autograph.

His songs accompanied me throughout the years of growing up. At parties, we didn’t dance – we sat on the floor listening to his voice.  It was his music the boys played if they wanted you to fancy them.  His songs were the background to our lives. And, to a large extent, they still are.

Tower of Song

He stands stiff and stooped

Legs buckling beneath him

Back bent

Head bowed

When he takes his hat off

We see an old man

And then he takes the mike

And we hear that familiar voice

Deeper, more rasping

But still with the power

To melt my heart

And from the noise in the arena

Thousands feel the same.

He stands quite still

Almost in reverence

While his musicians perform

And his singers sing

He speaks for a whole generation

He lifts us

With his words

His music

His compassion

When our time is up

No one wants to leave

We stand and stamp

And clap and shout

A huge roar

As he returns

To sing again

And again.

At the end

He speaks to every one of us

As if we are alone with him

It is like receiving a priestly blessing.

His words move me to tears.

Hey Leonard

That’s no way to say goodbye.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

.


Happy birthday

Another birthday

Something happens

Between 59 and 60.

You become a senior

and all of a sudden

you don’t recognise

that person in the mirror

and on the scales.

You shuffle in your slippers

read the papers

and pop pills.

The receptionist

at the doctor’s

knows your name.

Complete strangers

call you my darling

and my dear.

You want to be offered seats

on trains

And flat shoes seem

a better option

than high heels.

You are now

a silver surfer

so you search for

senior bargains online

There must be some perk

to reaching this age.

Hotels offer you

twin beds

and disabled bathrooms.

11 o’clock at night

seems very late to be out

and you find yourself

wanting to nap

in the middle of the day.

Your children ask how you are

but don’t really want to know

and people say you look well

when they mean

you are looking good for your age.

You have become invisible

to the opposite sex

and to anyone

under forty.

People talk about “special” birthdays

and give you soppy smiles.

You wish you were

growing old disgracefully

but just don’t have the energy.

Come upstairs and make love to me

I read somewhere.

I can do one or the other

was the answer

Don’t expect me to do both.

I’ve started listening to the Archers

and the weather forecasts

Doing crosswords

and reading the obituaries

Seeing the names of

people I once knew

Thank goodness Mick Jagger

can still strut his stuff

and Macca too

still performing

whilst others the same age

languish in care homes

uncared for and forgotten.

It’s odd to think

that in ten years or so

I will look back at this time

And think myself young.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems