Another Three Old People

1. Timothy

Old Timothy’s humming a jocular tune
As he walks down the paths of extravagant June

When that wonderful cocktail of sunshine and raining
Has livened the world and set every plant straining

To cover the earth with its bright green excesses,
When trees wear their blossom like carnival dresses.

That bush that seemed withered’s abundantly fruiting
And everywhere kecksies  and thistles are shooting

To block all the paths, and each thin poppy pushes
Up up to the sun, while on blackberry bushes

The bees work intently, and zigzag and hum,
And old Timothy thinks of the pleasure to come

With Maureen, who’s eighty, so bright-eyed, so funny,
Who’ll serve buttered crumpets, spread thickly with honey.

2. Kathleen

Old Kathleen has been sitting with poised pen
For half an hour. A birthday note to Jen
Scrawled in the card - four sentences at most,
Quickly updating, then popped in the post -
Seems easy, but this year it’s hard to do,
To find the statements that are not untrue
That she can bear to write. She cannot say:
‘I haven’t slept at all since Saturday;
Ron’s pills aren’t working; Janice will not speak
To me or Ron; her Jeremy this week
Was fired again, from yet another job;
Her daughter’s far too thin; her son’s a yob.’
These are the thoughts that course around her brain
As firmly she sets pen to card again.
She writes, although she’s not too far from weeping:
‘Another Year! How time flies! You are keeping
Well, I hope – still young at heart, I bet,
Proving there’s still life in the old dog yet!
P.S. Let’s meet up when this lockdown ends.’
These days such
clichés are her only friends.

3. Rupert

Old Rupert gets a bit confused by modern life and ways,
And often talks nostalgically about far distant days.

He won’t talk to Alexa, he finds Amazon a pain,
And trying to use the sat-nav plunged his car into a drain.

Life can be problematic, but he has a sanctuary
Where life’s uncomplicated by perverse reality.

Some men have a garden shed, some a train-set in the attic,
But Rupert’s comfort comes from being righteously dogmatic.

When he’s expounding politics, a glow comes on his face;
And anyone who sees him knows he’s in his Happy Place.

It’s somewhere left of Corbyn, where the air is clean and pure,
And a total lack of knowledge doesn’t mean you can’t be sure.

It’s a place where his self-righteousness can flow ad libitum,
Where all millionaires are wicked, and all Tory voters scum.

There, Rupert’s loud and confident, and Rupert knows it all
Because he’s read a book by someone who once read Das Kapital.

His life would have no meaning without Tories to deplore;
He hates them with a passion, though he hates Keir Starmer more.

He reads the Guardian each day, although he’ll gruffly huff
That too  many of their writers are not left-wing  enough.

And sometimes of an afternoon, he may attend a rally
Where the slogans are ferocious, but the atmosphere is pally.

And speakers take their turns to foam and froth and fulminate,
And explain with angry loathing that what they hate is hate.

They loudly speak in clichés about injustice, hate and war;
They tell us they’re Against these (like the rest of us are For?).

There Rupert waves a banner saying Boris Johnson’s vile,
Then toddles home quite confident his work has been worthwhile.

The election was a disaster, which caused some discontent
But he soon perked up by pointing out ‘We won the argument.’

For never mind reality, old Rupert’s great delight
(And who cares what the facts may say?) is knowing that he’s right.

George Simmers

If you have any thoughts on these poems, George Simmers would be pleased to hear them.

These three are additions to the Oldies series included in George Simmers's recent collection Old and Bookish