This be the verse


Talkin’ to myself and feeling old.

And thinking about mum.

Funny, but it seems the only thing to do.

The title of this post says things, innit. That poem by Larkin.  I’d quote it but it doesn’t make any sense to where I am right now. Especially that last line. But bits of it do. Lots of it makes sense.

Mum never got poetry, and I’m no writer, so I’d never try to write a poem to say how I feel, or try to write a poem for someone who never got poetry. That’d be like writing a Haiku for someone who died in a Japanese internment camp.

Talking to myself and feeling old.

Mum and I used to talk. A lot.

At the end of it. When the hours spent talking came to a closed space in the conversations and questions, questions that could never be answered, mum used to look at me. Pale green eyes and an impassive face.

And she’d sing.

Her favourite song.


Ever seen About A Boy? Yeah. Like that.

No need to talk it out. We know what its all about.

Mum couldn’t hold a note in a bucket, but she sang this song once, in a pub, karaoke stylii.

She sang well. The emotion was there and obvious for all to see. She got an amazing round of applause and went back to her seat. Which she missed because she was drunk and fell into a bin.

Mum was complex, irritating, arrogant, frustrating but she taught me to look at things on a very small level, which I still do. To admire the patterns and colours on a leaf, not just see a leaf. That microscopic level of analysis can be so damaging at times. Especially when applied to yourself. She knew I was bright. She fought hard for that during my education.

It’s just a shame the brightness she championed never made her life less dark.

This is a eulogy of sorts. I know this. God knows how much time is left but mum died a while back. It’s just she’s still alive. What’s left of mum is memories, and not all of them good. This is what I struggle with. This is why I’m fighting anger, guilt, frustration and all the faults they had, and some of the others they added just for me, to go back to Larkin.

Mum was right, I guess. No need to talk it out. And now, certainly, there will be no need. These will be my last words on this subject.

Thank God her favourite song wasn’t Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, or this post would’ve been a bugger to write.

I love you mum. Don’t know if you ever understood that. But I did. I do.

This be the verse.







3 responses to “This be the verse

  1. What an awesome post, but you got one thing wrong – you are a writer. This is so beautifully written and I can feel the emotion coming off the post. You and your mum look so alike, sounds like you think alike in some ways too.

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