The Codger Conga

Not yet ready (Surely ‘able’ — Ed.) to write anything worth keeping for the OWNERS series, but settling on Ottava Rima as the form. And that encourages stray thoughts (Surely ‘ravings’ — Ed.) like this:


He is developing new dance steps without music:
the creep, the slouch, the shuffle, and the waddle.
‘Old age!’ he crows. ‘When I get there I’ll choose it
in preference to rejuvenation twaddle.’
With running gone, and short-range hikes elusive
he chooses totem poles as his role model.
He sits and dozes through the hours that bridge
the gaps between his sidles to the fridge.

4 thoughts on “The Codger Conga

  1. Well, Alan, is this an autobiographical bit of poetry? Permit me to say that when we were serving together in the U.S. Navy on that destroyer eons ago, one of the many things I admired about you was your dancing ability. I still have clear memories of you doing the twist and generally gyrating to the early rock ‘n roll sounds of the day. Always thought your style was beautiful to behold and I was envious. Parenthetically, I note that I have become a pretty good dancer later in life, to the extent that following a recent party I was told by an acquaintance afterwards that her son, who was also in attendance, had admired my dancing and wished he could dance like me. Perhaps some of your ability and style rubbed off on me. Who knows?

    Henry Massey

    • Many thanks, Henry. Glad to hear you are dancing on and well. No, not autobiographical I’m glad to say. Just observation/fantasy. ‘Experience’ in the sense of that word used by James Dickey in a wonderful passage I will quote if I can find it. Ah, here it is: ‘Again, to come back to experience, a word that we keep coming back to, I think that a creative writer, or maybe just a creative person, really becomes creative when he realizes that experience is not limited to fact … Experience is everything – it includes fact – things that have happened to you. But it also include things that you’ve heard about, that you’ve seen in movies, that you’ve read in newspapers, that you’ve fantasized about – all of that is experience, everything that ever impinges on the imagination, and is recallable, or even half recallable, or even subliminally recallable. All of that is experience, and when you throw the gate open that wide, then you begin to understand what the imagination is capable of doing.’ AMERICAN POETRY OBSERVED, POETS ON THEIR WORK, 1984.

  2. I feel the codger’s pain, but am delighted by Henry’s revelation that you were/are a dancer!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s