11 September 2012


Rooting around in our attic space this morning I came across a collection of poems published by The Co-operative Society back in 1993. The little anthology brought together all the winning entries in their Caring Poetry Festival. They received over three thousand poems - all on the theme of caring. I had forgotten my winning poem. As I sat amidst the dusty old suitcases, children's books and various other bric-a-brac, it was like reading someone else's work. I guess that nineteen years ago I had been thinking about the oft-repeated modern day tragedy of an old person dying alone and forgotten in their humble home - an indictment upon the sometimes impersonal nature of modern day urban life and a plea for people to be more neighbourly. This is what I wrote:-


  1. I don't normally comment on your poems because I'm not much of a poetry person to pass criticism for good or ill, but I found this one particularly moving. It reminded me very much of some of the old people I have known, their determination to be independent and the loneliness that this often entails, even when there is a busy world outside. Thank you.

  2. You've given me good reason to appreciate that my son still lives at home. And that I have a cell phone.

    Five years ago I was on the floor a couple of times, wondering if I'd ever get up. You've captured that feeling very well.

  3. Wow! My heart is aching for that forlorn soul full of memories and love and promises yet to come.

  4. A very moving poem, YP and a worthy winner.

  5. SHOOTING PARROTS I am so pleased that you were able to "connect" with this poem and that it "rang bells" for you.
    JAN BLAWAT It is tragic to think of older people, so close to help but unable to access it - trapped in the "security" of their own homes, Just occasionally I think I ought to have a mobile phone for those occasions when I'm walking in wild country on my own.
    MOUNTAIN THYME It's as if you have just begun a spin-off poem:-
    My heart is aching
    For that forlorn soul
    Full of memories
    And love
    And promises yet to come
    My hand is shaking
    For a feint pulse
    Beating along veins
    The golden ore
    Of life
    And dreams undreamt...
    JENNY Thank you. As with Mr Parrots, I am so pleased that the poem touched you and co-incided with some of your own views on urban isolation and old age.

  6. It seems your poem strikes a chord with all of us. With our three 90 year olds it sends a shiver down my spine. I would hate to think the end was like that for them.

  7. You forget, Mr. Pudding, that I do not write poems....but I do not want to leave this life with dreams undreamt.

  8. Every week at the Methodist Church I attend, the pastor calls all the young children down to the front, where she sits on a little folding chair on their level and has a "children's sermon" on the same subject she will be speaking about later to the congregation. Last week the point she wanted to make included passing around a bar of Neutra-gena soap among the assembled group. Just as she launched into her sermon, one little boy was heard to say, "It smells like old people."

    I thought of that amusing incident as I was reading your poem.

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  10. cheer up you miserable sod!

  11. HELEN Again, it pleases me that this poem resonated with you.
    MOUNTAIN THYME If I might be so bold, the way I re-wrote your first comment proves that you DO indeed write poems ma'am!
    RHYMES WITH... As I am not yet old I have still to smell "Neutra-gena" soap. Tell me good sir - what does it smell like?
    ARCTIC FOX Any more vicious comments like that one and I'll write a poem about you...pursued across the moors above Marsden by red-coated huntsmen..."Tally-ho!"

  12. I only glanced at the poem and have come straight here. I hope you'll forgive me YP, but from the comments it sounds that it is a brilliant, but sad poem about old age, and as two dear old friends of mine are ailing at the moment (perhaps due to the cold snap) I'll read it at a later date when I'll be able to deal with it better...


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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