AGE by Barrie Purnell


                       AGE by Barrie Purnell

 When I was young I was immortal and invincible

                                       The whole world was mine

The future a blank canvas on which all my

                             Dreams could be defined

I ran laughing through the storms the raindrops

                     Sparkled like diamonds on my jeans

The sun was hot, the winds were warm and snow was fun

                                                         When I was in my teens

New paths were there to walk along when I was young

 

Life was carefree and school just an annoying interlude

                                                         Between long holidays

I was forming lifelong friendships before we all went

                                                         Our separate ways

It was the fifties, teddy boys and rock and roll with the

                                                     Emergence of the teens

I wore a jay blue drape coat and crepe soled shoes, my hair

                                                               Coiffed with brilliantine

Beat poets were on my tongue when I was young

 

Riding my Triumph Thunderbird down country lanes

                                                         Risking life and limb

A leather jacketed Gene Vincent look alike just

                                                  Wishing I was him

My first real love affair was with Patsy I carved her

                                                         Name into a tree

She was the village beauty and I felt so good when she

                                        Walked hand in hand with me

There were love songs to be sung when I was young

 

In my youth I listened to those protest songs about

                                             Race and power and war

I was full of idealistic notions of how they had

                                             Got it wrong before

In my naivety I thought that maybe we could

                                 Change the world at large

Not realizing we could not reach the faceless

                                                      Men in charge

Tears were shed and hands were wrung when I was young

 

Student life was a great time for me just parties

                                             Interrupted by exams

And trying to understand thermodynamics and its

                                                         Baffling diagrams

This was a time for love a time for dreams it was

                                                     Youth’s curtain call

Ambition had yet to show its ugly face inside our

                                               Cloistered college halls

Life was just so much fun when I as young

 

Now I am old the future is uncertain and my time

                                           Remaining has decreased

My dreams are now of past adventures my personal

                                                       Inertia has increased

Now the sun’s too hot the wind’s too strong snows just

                                           Another cross that’s to be born

And storms just get me wet and means a raincoat

                                     And gumboots must be worn

I am always too hot or much too cold now I am old

 

Now I am old time is passing much more quickly than

                                                    It did when I was young

Those lifelong friendships are now sadly ending with

                                                       Requiems being sung

I look back on all those youthful dreams I had that

                                                        Remain unfulfilled

And look around my empty house into which my whole

                                                           Life has been distilled

I remember all those principles I sold now I am old

 

I return to the village of my youth to see Patsy’s’

                                               Name still on the tree

But try as I might I can’t recall her face and that

                                             Somehow saddens me

That canvas on which my dreams were painted is now

                                                         Just in shades of grey

When young I never thought I would ever be as old

                                                                   As I am today

That is how it is I’m told when you are old

 

With age has come perspective on the idealism

                                                               Of my youth

Replaced with scepticism of those beliefs peddled

                                                             To me as truth

I realise power and money come out the winner

                                                 In life’s murky game

And looking back in history we see it has

                               Always been the same

I see world problems just get retold now I am old

 

Now I have time to think about all the things that

                                                   I have said and done

All the battles that I have lost and all the races

                                                     That I have won

All those greasy career ladders I tried so very

                                                       Hard to climb

I see were of no consequence at all viewed through

                                                 The telescope of time

I have so few of life’s pages to unfold now I am old

                       

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