Ninety Two

(First Draft)

There is one I know (though there are some,
when they are ninety-two, are good as done),
but she is good for another ninety-two,
refusing the acknowledgement of age;
denying understandable excuses;
rejecting even a hint so to eschew
yielding toes to daisies
or the mind to numb.

So much to say, of this special one.
Somehow, she has been almost everywhere;
seen all, done all, but still with much to do
for life’s great jigsaw puzzle’s looking large,
larger and, in fact, more colourful;
with more know-how-do than me or you,
carpe diem! disports
herself to warmer sun;

to paint a picture of a favourite view:
yellow tinted dusty outback hut;
a portal vista bathed in flesh warm light;
the portrait of a pet by photograph.
Then there is that haunt, familiar,
wants to remind us and, thus viewed, it might
imbue us with a vision
that only came from you;

and yet, who can match your swing, the fullest
ever seen at any age, but how
the lightest touch belies a steely strength,
province of the best the world has seen,
to grace the game for more than eighty years,
addressing ball, its flight to joy and length,
moves competing youth
to cry on fallen crest.

And once they realise their pointless task
is folly in the face of such sagacity,
especially when rewarded with a cake
produced with fine ingredients, so
fruitful in the end, to help forget
lost points to Stableford, a big mistake,
will make them think next time,
before they dare to ask

and challenge you to any kind of game,
’cause they will bite off more than they can chew;
more in fact than anyone would bet
more than pride itself would dare release
to chance, without first bargaining the odds.
There’s no-one been this way before, and yet
less chance there’ll be again;
they’d never be the same.

© 2011 John Anstie

(View the author’s commentary for this poem)

About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates. As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle. His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
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2 Responses to Ninety Two

  1. PoetJanstie says:

    Thank you for your honesty, it is nothing less than I would expect and I appreciate that you did so :-).

    As a painter and portrait artist, I know you paint what you see, the impression of the subject is entirely your impression, using the tools and techniques you choose. So it is with poetry… perhaps it is a matter of personal perception, how well informed our senses are?

    You say: “I found it difficult to read owing to the format you have adopted”.
    I think perhaps I should read it to you; it would make more sense, then.

    … I have just added a (fourth) verse and edited two or three others; I think it’s now a little better. You can view it by clicking on this.

    Oh, and I’m sorry, but I can’t promise not to write about you again ;-).


  2. Myrra Anstie says:

    Firstly I do not like and am not interested in poetry, but I admire you for tackling such a subject, which bores me.

    Now to “Ninety Two” :

    I found it difficult to read owing to the format you have adopted—hard to get the gyst of the thing only by re-reading.

    I assume anyone reading it who does not know me, and not being familiar with golfing terms such as swing and stableford, would find it confusing.

    I was surprised you did not mention my portraiture, which is what kept Jim and me above board, as I was earning more than he did at his jobs.

    Please don’t compile any more about me.


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