The joys of being an older runner

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2017 Sydney Harbour 10K 3

Why do we? Why do we go back for more?

Perspiration pouring out like an artesian bore,

Groans in our bones, aches for goodness sakes,

The finish out of sight, this is what it takes.

 

Are we all masochists or are we just silly?

(I wish this darned course wasn’t that hilly!)

‘Fun run’: an oxymoron if ever there was one!

I’m sure this race has well and truly been won.

 

But I remember the day, the day of my PB,

It was so, so easy, I got a running stress freebie,

I felt virile, vibrant, young, I ran without fear,

The only thing, I can’t even remember the year.

 

Will I now walk? My legs they feel like rubber,

I’m a whale beached, heavy weight and all blubber,

No, no, I can’t give in to this easy walk option

That seduces me like some sensuous siren.

 

And now one last strain as I cross the finish line,

I’ll sit down, catch my breath, then I’ll feel fine,

Then talk to the others, make up all the excuses,

And ask, ‘Do you know any good masseuses?’

 

Then home to start on the long road to recover,

Apply some ice, pop a pill, maybe then another,

But whatever the weather, if it’s hot, wet or cold,

We will all be back, as good as gold, or just old.

 

 

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Bookmark

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Unfinished books

Pages unturned

Lying idly

On a bookcase

 

Unsaid words

Emotions restrained

Lying idly

On a deathbed.

Traveller

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Traveller

Where are you going?

Where have you been?

Life for you flowing

Through scene after scene.

 

Are you any wiser

For life on the go?

To be a worldly advisor

There’s much more to know.

 

 

The Bachelor: a sonnet

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I really want to be The Bachelor,

Inviting morsels for me to trawl,

Flicking them off, so spectacular,

I wish I could taste them all!

 

And I find The One, The Only One,

“My love is like a red, red, rose”,

The final, millions watch, she’s won,

A moment in time that froze.

 

But is it real this game of love?

Is it only a scripted illusion?

Parts are acted, the producers shove,

All in all, a romantic delusion.

 

To be The Bach my looks will hinder,

I’ll go back to finding real love on Tinder.

 

Phubbing

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When you’re in a crowd

And someone comes towards you

And ignores you

On their phone…

Phubbing

Phone Snubbing

 

When you’re on a night out

At a restaurant

And your date

Constantly goes

On their phone…

Phubbing

Phone Snubbing

 

When you want to have a conversation

With your teenager

And they just have to go

On their phone…

Phubbing

Phone Snubbing

 

When there are laws about not

Phoning and driving

But people

Still drive

On their phone…

Phubbing

Phone Snubbing

 

When you’re reading this poem

On your phone…

 

The Lone Star Motel

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One Star Motel

The sun was setting in the west,

I could not drive much further,

My eyes were bleary, to stop was best,

“Safety first,” my mum I’d heard her.

 

I then drove through a tin-pot town,

You know the type with tumbleweed,

But lack of habitation made me frown,

All I wanted was a sleep and a feed.

 

There was nowhere to rest my weary head,

No Bed and Breakfast, not a hotel,

The next town I thought I would head,

But then I spied the ‘Lone Star Motel’.

 

Excited I knocked on the reception door,

Looking down I noted the ‘Welcome’ mat,

Finally a lady ambled across the floor,

Rollers in her hair, ciggy and a tatt.

 

“Are you on your own?” the lady said,

“I have to check if there’re vacancies,”

I pleaded, “Please only a feed and bed,

Your sign did not say ‘No Vacancies’.”

 

She checked whilst sucking on her smoke,

“Our tourist trade is running pretty hot,”

This comment almost made me choke,

As there were no cars in the parking lot!

 

“You are lucky, Luv,” the lady conceded,

“Number 5, you’re certainly in the hunt,

It has more than you would have needed,

But I need the money paid up front.”

 

“A restaurant?” my gut was starting to ache,

“Only room service,” the lady pursed her lips,

“For dinner, we have got chips and steak

And for breakfast it is steak and chips.”

 

It would have to do, I proceeded to pay,

And as I went out to await the tucker,

Plain as day I heard the lady say,

“Hey Harry, it is another city sucker.”

 

The first thing I noticed as I opened the door,

Was the smell, not that of lavender,

And was that tomato sauce on the floor?

I was hoping to not find a cadaver.

 

What’s more the TV was very blurry,

The AC didn’t work, the heat intense,

And around the bath was mould so furry,

‘Lone Star’, meaning one-star, was making sense.

 

“Room service,” the lady was at the door,

My chance to complain about the place,

As I was about to argue with great candour,

She said “Enjoy” closing the door in my face.

 

Alone I whiled away the hours to bed,

My phone had no signal, I played Solitaire,

This place was starting to do in my head,

It was like in a cell full of fetid air.

 

Sleep was how to deal with the yearning,

The bed bowed in the middle like a valley,

Midnight, one, two, me tossing and turning,

I felt destitute in some backstreet alley.

 

The chips and steak gurgled in my gut,

Sleep virtue of some painkilling drugs,

I had found respite from the Lone Star rut,

But then I dreamt of some giant bed bugs.

 

Groggy in the morning I handed in the key,

Too tired to rustle up any type of complain,

I was just glad to escape, be finally free,

And drive quickly across the wide open plain.

 

“How was it? I hope you enjoyed the room,”

She must have thought that I was a goon,

“I am sure you will be back here real soon,”

She smarmily sniggered as I left the room.

 

“No way,” I thought as I got into my car,

Pondering her final words would not be smart,

So I turned the key to escape the Lone Star,

But for some reason my car wouldn’t start.

in The Cloud

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I wandered lonely in The Cloud,

I was trying to find some meaning,

Sifting through Big Data as allowed,

Searching for our very being,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of faces in The Cloud.

 

The faces were ordered like a book,

They stretched in never-ending line,

Hard to comprehend at first look,

Continuous as the stars that shine,

Faces promoted through pure vanity,

A clear insight into our humanity.

 

But as I stared I spied a face

That suddenly grabbed my attention,

You had the visage of good grace,

Inspiring my immediate retention,

Your eyes, demeanour, so refined,

I quickly opened your Timeline.

 

And there you were for me to see,

Friends, interests, your life laid there,

I gazed – and gazed – how could it be?

That I would find love in the air,

I then reached out to touch your face

But you evaporated without a trace.

 

(Apologies to William Wordsworth for the use of a few of his lines from the poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’)