Today I want to be extravagant
To do, to be, to experience something extra
something outside my usual dull round
Of daily dreary activities
Meaningless actions, getting nowhere, achieving nothing.
Today I will break free
And for once be extravagant.
Wandering outside my comfort zone
Trying new things, exploring new possibilities.
But what shall I do?
I know, I’ll buy a cream meringue and eat it with a double cappuccino!
John Milton wrote this sonnet “On His Blindness”. He had daughters to whom he dictated his poems – I sometimes wonder how they felt about spending their time acting as unpaid amanuensis to their father.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
After I had a cataract removal operation I couldn’t resist wrting, not exactly a parody, but a sonnet in the style of Milton about my own experience. I had was plenty of friends telling me what an easy and painless operation it was . (I need larger print!)
On Her Cataract Op
When I consider how much time I’ve spent
Of my allotted three score years and ten
Waiting in hospitals and wondering when
They’ll tell me the prognosis what it meant
In words I understand, so I’m not sent
Adrift in vagueness, neither screen nor pen
Of use. When will I see things clear again?
I ask in terror, life is brief and time but lent.
“Fret not, they tell me, you’ll be find indeed.
Relax, this surgeon is among the best.
The op takes only minutes, there’s no wait
Admittedly, at first it’s hard to read
But soon your eyes will pass the hardest test
Trust me, this new perspective’s really great!”
I am clumsy. I’ve only recently come to admit it, but I am clumsy. It’s partly age – after 65 you are bound to be less agile, less dexterous, less flexible – plain clumsy in other words.
Add to age-related clumsiness, arthritis and subsequent joint replacement operations, plus incipient cataract – my optician says I need it removed – “a mere twenty-minute procedure, a routine op. The eye surgeon does dozens of them every day.” Maybe he does but I don’t!
Once I could sew and knit – not brilliantly but adequately, now I struggle to thread a needle. Once I could write if not beautiful copperplate at least a legible hand. Now I am profoundly grateful for word processing and spellchecks. How would I have coped if I’d been born fifty years earlier?
I like to think I’ve reached the stage of “knowing my limitations” as our gym teacher used to say. I admire delicate things like Faberge eggs – but from a distance: I don’t pick them up lest I drop them. I’ve been called “ambi-sinister” the reverse of ambidexterous- and it’s probably correct.
I wish I were stylish
I wish I had style
Perfect taste, perfect dress sense
I’d stand out a mile.
Every head would turn
When I entered a room
Poised and composed
A true fashion icon
Moving with grace
A delight when I speak.
I suppose I should face it
I’ll never be stylish
Except in my writing
Style’s clearly not my dish.
Open your eyes
Open your ears
Open your mind
To new ideas.
Open your eyes
To the sounds of speech
Open your ears
To the colour of words.
Open the door
Open the box
Take out the key
Undo the locks.
Open your arms
Open your hands
Open your heart
Open your mouth
Let the words come
Find your own voice
Loosen your tongue.
tight shut against the light
against the dawn
fear of new sights keeping them closed
brave the brave new world,
take off the bandages,
tear down the shutters
Open the window
pull down the pull-down menu
I’d hoped to write a novel
To move a reader’s tears.
I’d hoped to write a thriller
Exploring darkest fears.
I’d hoped to pen a drama
And see it on Broadway
One that explores and captures
The essence of today.
All the works I hoped to write
Are simply froth and cream
Maybe they’ll never come to pass
But still, it’s fun to dream.