Choose Your Poison

A fifty-odd-year-old child in pyjamas
listening to the doctor at his bedside
advise him not to drink too much wine
remembers his father’s abstemious
wisdom, the careful ways he applied it
to his life.  No sense overdoing it.
Moderation in all things.  Prevention’s
better than cure.  A bird in the hand’s
worth two in the bush.  Early to bed,
early to rise, makes a man ... Don’t gild
the lily or kill the goose that lays
golden eggs.  Nothing too much.
You can’t burn a candle at both ends
and get away with it.  Don’t over-egg
the pudding.  The same cautionary words,
the same warning look.  Be intelligent,
learn to live a bit less, keep plenty
in reserve for when you really need it.
Don’t get any sort of taste for life
if you want to enjoy old age.  Waste not,
want not.  Enough’s as good as a feast.
Sound advice, almost as relentless as death.

Ken Head

If you have any comments on this poem, Ken Head would be pleased to hear from you.