Sunday Poem 104

Gervase Phinn was born in Rotherham in 1946.  He taught for many years before becoming an education advisor and schools inspector.  He is now a writer, broadcaster, speaker and freelance lecturer but is probably best known for his autobiographical novels and anthologies of poetry.

It proved impossible to find out anything about his actual life and every website used exactly the same phrases; this is presumably to encourage people to read his books!

The following poem is from his most recent novel, ‘Out of the Woods but not Over the Hill’ and was written for the speech at his son’s wedding.

When I am Old! – by Gervase Phinn (1946- )

When I’m old and I’m wrinkly, I shall not live alone
In a pensioner’s flat or an old people’s home,
Or take an apartment on some distant shore.
I’ll move in with my son and my daughter-in-law.

I’ll return all the joy that my son gave to me
When he sat as a child on his dear father’s knee.
He will welcome me willingly into his home
When I’m old and I’m wrinkly and all on my own.

I’ll spill coffee on the carpet, leave marks on the wall,
I’ll stagger home drunk and be sick in the hall.
I’ll sing really loudly and slam every door,
When I live with my son and my daughter-in-law.

I’ll rise from my bed in the late afternoon
Throw the sheets on the floor and mess up my room.
I’ll play ear-splitting music well into the night,
Go down for a snack and leave on every light.

I’ll rest my old feet on the new leather chairs,
I’ll drape dirty underwear all down the stairs,
I’ll talk to my friends for hours on the ‘phone
When I live with my son in his lovely new home.

I’ll come in from the garden with mud on my shoes,
Flop on the settee for my afternoon snooze,
Expect that my tea will be ready by four
When I live with my son and my daughter-in-law.

I’ll leave all the dishes piled up in the sink
And invite all my noisy friends round for a drink,
I’ll grumble and mumble, I’ll complain and I’ll moan
When I’m old and I’m wrinkly and all on my own.

I’ll watch television hour after hour,
I’ll not flush the toilet or wash out the shower.
Oh, bliss, what a future for me is in store
When I move in with my son and my daughter-in-law.



Filed under Poetry, Literature, Music and Art

12 responses to “Sunday Poem 104

  1. Sue

    I have already told my daughter that this will be her future if she doesn’t buck up her ideas.

  2. sara

    Haha ..he is a mind reader..keep telling my daughters when i’m old(thats a long way off by the way)..i’ll keep them on their toes…and as i have 6 children when i have worn out my welcome with one , i have 5 more waiting in the
    have a great day

  3. Bunty

    I love this poem! I have read a few of his books, which were very amusing, but being a complete Philistine I didn’t know he wrote poetry.

  4. Toffeeapple

    He’s marvellous isn’t he? I discovered his books some years ago and enjoy them over and over. I must get his latest one, thanks for the nudge.

    Do you like Ian McMillan? I can listen to his voice for hours.

    • wartimehousewife

      I love Ian McMillan, Toffeeapple, and I agree that he could make a programme about anything and I’d listen. He’s one of the few poets who really does justice to reading his own poems out loud. I thought I’d featured at least one of his poems in the Sunday Poem but I find I have not. This oversight shall be corrected forthwith. Thank YOU for the nudge!

  5. wartimehousewife

    Sue: Ditto Boy the Elder

    Sara: that is the best excuse for having lots of children I’ve ever heard. Have you found out what’s causing them yet?

  6. Jo Halford

    Delightful! and when I move in with my son when I’m old, I’ll be prodding him in the middle of the night for the first four years so that he can enjoy some sleep deprivation!!!

  7. Marie McWilliams

    Too funny! The thoughts of every aging parent!

  8. pat from canada

    Love it, am sending on to my daughter.

  9. Excellent poem and opinion for old age! I’ll be forwarding that to a few friends who will appreciate it. 🙂

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