Thursday, April 27, 2017

PAD Day 27: Happy Birthday, Grumpy Old Man!

Today's dual prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: (1) write a poem using as many of the following words as possible: pest, hiccup, wince, festoon, crack, ramble; and (2) write a poem that uses the sense of taste.

Doing a poem a day in April provides me with an opportunity - or excuse - to write a birthday poem every year, and it just so happens that today is my birthday. I have definitely crossed into the "golden years", so birthdays have become less "whoopee!" and more "don't remind me".  Today has been a fairly routine day, other than a few gifts and a fair number of birthday wishes (most from Facebook friends). I wrote this earlier today and just now got a chance to post it. It may exaggerate my opinion of birthdays, but not by all that much.

The Curmudgeon's Birthday

Today I officially declare myself
a "grumpy old man". I'm one digit
away from The Beast. Birthdays are pests,
like gnats or Canadian geese.
They're just a hiccup in the breath of life.
I wince when I think of how much time
has passed, how many missed opportunities.
Don't festoon my home with best wishes,
but if you insist on a cake, I'll acquiesce.
Sing me that old song and I'll blow out
the candles, inhale the smell of burnt wick
and wax, taste the chocolate, slightly bitter
on the tip of the tongue,  and slippery-sweet
butter cream icing. Maybe I'll even crack a smile.
What will I wish for? Just the chance
to ramble on this crazy planet a little longer.

And here's a little extra fun: I was inspired to write this one after compiling a list of famous people with whom I share my April 27 birthday. I couldn't find the proper word for this, but I swear at least once I've heard it called a "birth-sake" (like "namesake", only for birthdays). See if you can guess the 22 people who share my birthday from the clues contained in this poem. (Answers in a future blog, or check my Facebook page for a list which includes these people.)

For Birth Sakes

Mother of Frankenstein! I'm all for women's rights,
but I don't often telegraph my opinions.
God grant me the right to speak generally,
and talk of trivial things like my love for three oranges.
Don't let my horns be too loud when I blow them -
I'm not in the Hall of Fame, and I would never go
to the country and slaughter a calf.
I might draw cartoons of woodpeckers though,
and I might be half of an odd couple, but I'm no medical examiner,
and I'm certainly not the wife of a king.
I'm a fan of the love of a man and a woman,
and like my football coach, I'm from the college of Hard Knox.
I listen to the American Top 40 constantly,
but sometimes it distracts me - once I went up the down staircase,
but I'm not afraid of Virginia Woolf.
You can sock it to me, you can show me the money,
you can give me piano lessons or build fences around me,
but if you want it, here it is - come and get it.
I'll roam if I want to, even to the love shack
or Detroit Rock City, where I can rock and roll all nite.
Then I'll take the morning train, and be for your eyes only,
I'll look as distinguished as a senator, or a booker of getaways
even if I'm still in my morning jacket. 

No comments: