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When I grow old

I shall wear purple

polished patent leather, platform soles

aspire to strut higher

grind cool skin till its on fire

twixt scapula and lumbar

spread my toes...


I shall chuck grandchildren beneath the chin

then chuck them back - gladly

to parents disapproving, sullen eyed

not aspire to die too wealthy

make the most of being healthy

keep a tally of the peers

that I’ve survived…


I will play my music loudly

give not a button for the neighbours

what others think, what others feel, what others say

apply my own domestics

dye my hair till there’s no silver

wax and polish

till there is no trace of grey



But now I must be sober

tread the tight and narrow path of one who cares

be the citizen looked up to

choose the shoes that are most up to

avoiding all those torrid love affairs…


But maybe I ought to practise a little now?

wear as tartan scorching scarlet

embrace the high heels of a harlot

break every rule my freedom will allow

so people who know me are not shocked and surprised

when suddenly I’m old and start to wear purple.


◄ Shoes, Feet and all things Podiatric

Experimental Podiatry in 9 1/2 Weeks ►


<Deleted User> (9593)

Tue 30th Aug 2011 19:01

I liked this!And purple is one of my least favourite colours. Some wonderful images and ideas. A very long time before you're old but you can do it (dis) gracefully, so keep on with the purple.

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Alan Morrison

Mon 11th Jul 2011 23:20

You have an easy way with words, Isobel. And "Harlot" is a waaay cool word. Like you reached through some black hole in the wordzone layer and out it popped. Wish I'd known about this foot fetish comp. I'd've kicked something together -) Oh well. xx

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Sun 26th Jun 2011 16:27

I came up with it - thinking it would be totally different to anything else we had run. I'm not sure it's taking off as well as the more serious themes though. Aah well, one can but try.

Glad you put your paw mark on it though. Lovely to have you dipping in.

And yes - I may have as many shoes as Immelda Marcos but I only have a small cupboard to put them in - in fact I have a shoe mountain, so I have to empty it all out to find a matching pair of anything.

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Cate Greenlees

Sat 25th Jun 2011 12:54

Love this Isobel. Its sooo you! Its a funny and quirky re work of one of my fave poems...and a glimpse into your personality! I love the reference to old folk who " keep a tally of the peers." I remember my dad looking in his works magazine year after year when he`d survived his stroke, to see who else had "copped their lot" as he put it!
Cate xx

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 25th Jun 2011 12:16

It's a great poem,Isobel, bulging with marvellous lines. I'm sure glad you acknowledged Jenny Joseph's classic; I have a copy of it in one of my anthologies. You want 'dye' I think, unless it is a mischievous typo. I sure don't know why everyone thinks older age equals irresponsibility; but maybe it's just in fun...or maybe not. I think red and purple are closely related, especially if you curl the spectrum into a circle - sex and power!

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Elaine Booth

Sat 25th Jun 2011 00:16

Great poem, Isobel. I am looking forward to being an irresponsible older person - hopefully fairly soon!

Also, love red and purple - what does that say about us? X

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Fri 24th Jun 2011 15:08

Thanks for the comments folks. Glad you enjoyed my reworking of Jenny Joseph's classic.

My purple shoes are a much nicer shade and design than these Ann - a dark purple with lots of lustre - if that makes me a latent homosexual then I'll have something to look forward to, along with a free bus pass...

I like red cos it makes the statement 'Look at me!' From a shy no confidence kind of kid, I've morphed into a great big egoist in later life. It's a lorra fun though!

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 24th Jun 2011 10:32

Maybe they're mauve? (The shoes!) I always think of purple as being darker. I can't stand red - what does that say about me? (I'm not talking about the wine here btw!)

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Dave Bradley

Fri 24th Jun 2011 10:18

How strong? Haven't noticed anything yet.

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Laura Taylor

Fri 24th Jun 2011 09:22

As Dave says, nice pastiche!

Factoid for you - did you know that purple has a strong link to homosexuality? ;)

Ann - sod THAT! Blimey, if you can't get pissed on a school night when you're not even working, when CAN you? :D

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Andy N

Fri 24th Jun 2011 08:18

Excellent, Isobel.. made me smile - need to dig up my piece for it (reminds me) x

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 24th Jun 2011 07:07

Did you hear the latest doctors' advice - when you get to be over 65 if you're a woman you shouldn't drink more than 3 glasses of wine a WEEK!! Bloody hell! (Good job we're all so rebellious!) xx

<Deleted User> (7212)

Thu 23rd Jun 2011 20:35

pretty damn good (if you'll allow me to comment ?)

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Dave Bradley

Thu 23rd Jun 2011 19:40

Worth waiting for. Purple is my favourite colour

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Thu 23rd Jun 2011 17:08

I love this! Did you read my mind?
I may end up wearing purple too one day just to be even more rebellious -one of my least favourite colours EVER.

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Dave Carr

Thu 23rd Jun 2011 16:56

Much better than satin sandals.
Nice pastiche.

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Julian (Admin)

Thu 23rd Jun 2011 16:20

When I grew old
I did turn purple

This bounces along merrily, Isobel. My sort of assonance.

Peer survival tally keeping for profit and pleasure. Like it.

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