Song for Leonard

When I was younger I would dream
about a man, his face unseen,
who’d sing each night in one bar or another.
I’d hear his melancholy tune,
then ask the cold indifferent moon
if somewhere on this earth I’d find a brother.

But then one evening, long ago,
a song came on the radio:
“They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom…”
and gravel tones told gritty truths
of man and woman, poet, muse,
and all the tangled paths that lie before them.

Oh, that voice spoke as one who knows
about the world, the way it goes.
I knew at once that he would be a favourite –
for it’s not often that you see
a Jew use Catholic imagery,
or hear a Buddhist monk praise naked ladies.

The years went by. I met my muse
who luckily loved Leonard too –
his music underscoring our encounters.
So many times we’ve shared a glass,
raised in salute to one now passed;
a dead man’s lyrics whisper still around us…

One Ring

(with apologies to Tolkien)

All that is gold does not glitter.
Not all those unmarried will moan.
The single and strong need no pity,
Deep souls are content on their own.
No, I don’t share this coupling obsession;
I’ve got poems to write, songs to sing!
My time is my own, and it’s precious –
I won’t be enslaved by a ring.

Intermittent Other

To the one I think of often
though you’re rarely by my side.
You’ll never be my next of kin
but I’d want you told if I died.

Maybe we’re too independent –
we survive alone quite well –
but when stuff happens, good or bad,
you’re the first one I long to tell.

No, we’ll never be an item
but, ‘significant’ or not,
you’re my intermittent other
and the dearest friend that I’ve got.

Almost An Ocean

Then along comes a moment
that’s empty, a vessel
for something that someone should say.
But without a remark
which will anchor it fast,
the moment is drifting away.

And the inches between us
are almost an ocean,
and almost as awkward to cross.
This thing that we’ve started,
the water’s uncharted
and we’re both afraid we’ll be lost.

So I search for a word which
can carry the meaning
of all that I want you to know,
but deep down I’m really
not sure what I’m feeling –
it’s too far for one word to go.

And the inches between us
are almost an ocean,
but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.
We could both reach the shore,
and that’s got to mean more
than maybe being left high and dry.

In Praise Of Older Men

Did they stop making gentlemen after the war?
There don’t seem to be many left anymore –
men who’ll open a door and say ‘Ladies first’
and walk by the road to shield you from dirt,
who’ll take your coat, and pull up your chair
and kiss you goodnight in a style debonair.
No, I’m not after a sugar daddy,
but it’s nice sometimes to feel like a lady,
an old man’s darling, not a young man’s slave –
between us we’ll rob both cradle and grave!

Single

If I should speak to married men,
the looks I get from wives!
Their mouths say ‘Where’s your partner?’
Their eyes ‘Back off – he’s mine!’

But a happy hubby doesn’t stray
and I don’t need to encroach.
Please understand that I’m content,
with no desire to poach.

For both sides of the bed are mine –
oh, I still think sex is fun,
but no man, or woman, owns me
and I answer to no-one.

To live life without compromise,
that supplement, I’ll pay –
to travel where I want to go,
stay where I want to stay.

No, I’m neither old nor bitter,
and I don’t have multiple cats,
so I need no-one’s pity –
I’m single, and fine with that.

I’d Rather Read My Diary (Than Fifty Shades Of Grey)

Now there’s a famous quote
from an Oscar Wilde play
about bringing your diary
to read when on the train.
Well, quite a lot of things have changed
since poor old Oscar’s day –
but I’d rather read my diary
than Fifty Shades Of Grey.

It has trysts in distant cities,
midnight missions bearing booze,
where the sex is realistic
and the characters are too.
But I could never publish it
(unless the names were changed…)
so, sadly, it will never sell
like Fifty Shades Of Grey.

It has a lot more single malt.
It has a lot less pain –
except for when I bang my head
(again – again – again!)
It may not be as raunchy
but still, it’s quite risqué,
so I’d rather read my diary
than Fifty Shades Of Grey.

It doesn’t need emoticons
to tell you when to laugh
as I’m trying to un-trash hotel rooms,
hide love bites with a scarf,
or limping home, while trying to hold
my tattered lingerie –
oh yes, my diary’s much more fun
than Fifty Shades Of Grey!