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U3A Writing: Disorderly Conduct

...As long as I draw breath
I'll chatter, natter, shout and scream..

Vera Sanderson's poem is a perfect expression of a determination to live life to the full.

I will not silently lie awake and wait
For death's deft scythe to reap me in
Like others of my kith and kin
Who rise at eight retire at ten,
Repeat the same routine again - again
Not I! As long as I draw breath
I'll chatter, natter, shout and scream
Defiance at that dreadful living death.

These weary hands will cling to life
My rheumy eyes shall see.
I'll struggle out of bed at dawn
My wildfowl wait for me.
Along the margins of the stream
They glide and gather like a dream
In sleet and snow, in sun and rain
To eat my daily bread and grain.

They chuckle shyly at my feet,
Such bliss! My world becomes complete.
I laugh with glee and stand and stare
For all my life is gathered there.
They splash and stretch, flap and fly,
A noisy choir across the sky,
A cacophony of morning sound
Made to make the world go round.

My soul will soar forever
With those dots along the line
The songs, the scents, the shades of life
For one brief hour are mine.
And to the east I strain my eyes
To see my sister sun arise.

I stumble up the river bank
And creep back into bed,
The music of their roundelay
Still humming in my head.

My poor old feet are frozen,
And I might doze on 'til noon.
Oh, but it is worth it -
Like walking on the moon -
Just to see their glittering eyes
To hear their wild, primeval cries.

Let others lie in abed at dawn
And lead conventional lives.
Long before their world awakes
My secret world
And when my neighbours rise at eight
And I snore on 'til noon,
They gossip at their garden gates
And call me 'Mad Buffoon'.

But who is mad and who is sane
And who survives life's stress and strain,
The ones who sit and silently grow old
Or the fool, who kicks and breaks the boring mould?
Foolish, wise, sad or sane -
Whatever I might be,
This is my 'raison d'etre'.


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