Writings and Witterings

Birthday Eras


Candles spell out the traditional English birt...


Birthday party,
Cake and jelly,
Pass the parcel too,
Mum lights candles,
‘Thanks for having me,’
Sick, into the loo.


Out with girlfriends,
Local wine bar,
Happy, happy day,
Meet the boys and
Down the disco,
Dance the night away.


Wake in morning,
Toast and coffee,
TV AM blares,
Open pressies,
Children’s kisses,
Showing that they care.


Teenage angst
Is under cover
Best behaviour now
They’ve been threatened
‘Make it special’
They’re good kids, anyhow.


Lovely perfume,
Box of choccies,
Favourite book to read,
Flowers arriving,
Out to dinner,
Special treats indeed.


All alone now,
Worthless being,
– Perspective’s gone away –
No-one loves me,
Celebrate the day.


‘Granny, Granny,
Happy Birthday,’
Voices on the phone,
In with sandwich,
Glass of beer,
Only me at home.


Who’s that calling?
Next-door neighbour,
‘Some cake for you my dear’
Schooner of sherry,
Who’d have thought it?
Seventy-eight this year.

Polly Robinson © 2013


23 thoughts on “Birthday Eras

  1. I really liked the progression in this poem. Isn’t it amazing how perspective changes within 10 years of life! Wonderful poem, Polly 🙂


  2. Wonderful Polly! There is a lot of truth in your words. It is wonderful of you to bring up the topic. Reminding people to look around them and see who could use a cup of tea and a smile, a hug and a listener.

    I love finding out when someone’s big day is and somehow manage to show up with a cake. It isn’t anything fancy but you wouldn’t know it to smile!


    • Ah, Lea, there are so many lonely people around ~ how lovely of you to show up with cake ~ it makes such a difference to those who might not see anyone from one week to the next. Lovely x


  3. Great rhythm to this Polly, and it has a poignancy. Lovely!


  4. Fantastic, a heart wrenching journey that makes me feel I should call my son, my mum and my grandmother right away! This was a truly excellent and inspiring poem, Polly. Thank you for sharing 🙂


  5. Polly, thanks for stopping by and commenting on Bieber’s pants! This poem has a good feel, good bones, you know? The rhythm is just right, the succession of years is obvious without seeming obvious, and the narrator obviously has all the dots on her dice! The “into the loo” part, yes, I remember one year when I overindulged with the same result. Loved this! Amy


  6. A very fun poem, with its special poignancy. Much enjoyed. k.


  7. Oh what a fantastic concept – I look forward to 78 if you get a schooner of sherry!!


  8. Had to read this a second time: the joy of the passing years with new and different ways to celebrate birthday. Very original, Polly. I like it.


    • Oooh, you’re having a catch up, how lovely 🙂

      Loving your poetry too, Jamie – rarely around on a Sunday to comment – but I love it, you know …


      • And isn’t it fun when we are all online at the same time.
        Be well, Polly, and poem on …


        • A rare but wonderful thing … doesn’t happen too often ~ lovely seeing you here Jamie. We have a bright and lovely morning in sunny Worcestershire ~ what’s it like over the pond?


          • Hot!
            FYI form your side of the pond:

            Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2013
            Judge: Moniza Alvi. Deadline Tuesday 25th June. Results published 31st August 2013.
            Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. Her collections of poetry include, most recently, Europa (Bloodaxe 2008) and Homesick for the Earth (Bloodaxe 2011), versions of the French poet Jules Supervielle. A book-length poem At the Time of Partition is forthcoming from Bloodaxe in November 2013.

            £300 First Prize for each of Long (no upper limit) and Short (max 50 lines) poems

            £100 Second Prize (1 poem from either category)

            £50 Third Prize (1 poem from either category)

            Commended poets: book prizes

            Winning & Commended Poets published (in full or extract) in ARTEMISpoetry

            Invitation to read at adjudication event in London in Autumn 2013.

            Entry: £6 each per long poem. Short poems: £4 each or £9 for 3, £14 for 8. Enter by post (2 copies) or online.
            Book & ARTEMISpoetry sample issue offers, £5 & £2 respectively.
            **Members are entitled to one free entry into the competition. Join now to be eligible.**

            more: Rules & Entry.


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