The whole truth

Posted: April 25, 2012 in Poetry

For dverse poets pub night

A poem in response to In My Wildest Jeans by Hugo Williams

Hugo rattled on about his fat arse
and iron filings on his chin,

but that was only the half of it.
Age rages through your body.

It doesn’t need your permission.
It’s immune to dreams – and only

dreams – of fitness regimes. Walks across
the fields to Hughenden are no barrier

as the whole body transforms before
your mirrored eyes.

Aches and pains arrive
without the need for exercise.

Eyebrows and ears sprout hair at an
alarming rate and don’t mention those

I miss at the base of my throat when I shave.
Then there’s the mind.

Easy surrender, drawing
back from busyness and innovation.

Just a spurt of cerebral vigour
from time to time.

And unease at the
slow disintegration measured

in the mirror, in the mind.
Only the power of words still flourish,

muscular, lean. Still fighting to
harness something of myself.

But I still forgive Hugo for not telling the whole truth.
He did sign his poetry book for me.


  1. An ode to the vagaries of aging, to the unsummoned aches and pains of a life lived long. I will have to look up that poem by Hugo Williams, but your poem stands admirably on its own.

  2. brian miller says:

    ha, i really like your close on this….i like how you address hugo…and you build this well by delving into the challenge of aging

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