05 June 2005

Let Loose in '57

Here I was about 23.
I meant this poem to be about growing up. I originally posted it several months ago, before I had readers! It probably deserves another airing.

Let Loose in '57

Churchill breathed and barbers' poles
Were red and white back then.
We warmed our bones with smoky coals
When I was under ten.

Sport was hard and fast but fair,
Our heroes cheap and clean.
Life was sweet and kind to all
When I reached middle teens.

The girls I knew wore candy stripes
And boys smoked Number 10s.
A Ford Capri drew looks of envy

Punk was light years off.

Beer was warm in dimpled glasses
Summer skies were blue.
Platform boots made men of boys,
Starman was fifteen too.

Special Brew fucked all the years
From then til ’93.
That’s twenty winters cold and numb
Before It shook me free.

Can’t remember summers’ days that
Should’ve been golden heaven.
But that’s the price I guess I pay,
Let loose in ’57.


Marjory said...

from wisdom comes strength and courage
and great things..... like this !

Grace said...

Great poem PV. That picture with the T shirt and you being asleep is an ironic testimony to those lost years!

Perfect Virgo said...

Grace - I fear the sleep was induced rather than natural... I'm a little pink around the gills if you look closely! The T shirt was a Carlsberg promotion in 1980, I had to send in 100 ringpulls!

Dionysius said...

My world was black and white back then,
There were no shades of grey.
When someone asked just how I felt,
I grinned and walked away.

Trudging said...

There are a number of pictures of me like that(at about the same age too)floating around the universe. Thank God for sobriety

transience said...

i always like poems that read like songs. this one is edgy that way. and it helps that i saw the picture. i felt like i went years back--in a good way.

Perfect Virgo said...

Dionysius - that read like an extra verse, thanks! I wouldn't admit anything to anyone in those days, I did a lot of walking away.

Trudging - too many pictures capture me in that familiar and unflattering state!

Transience - I find 'ballad meter' less difficult to use than any other, guess it's my mysical obsession bursting through. The picture serves as reality check because most of the verse is rose-tinted. Thank you.

The Flea said...

Yes, I agree, the photograph was definitely appropriate! I notcied the Carlsberg T-shirt (which was enough) but the fact you sent in 100 ringpulls for it adds another, albeit frightening, layer.

But I digress. The poem is what matters, and I must say it worked well. The last two verses throw the fun and innocence of the first four straight down the gurgler. Giving one quite a hollow feeling.

But then, I can't even begin to imagine what it must have felt like in real life. You must be proud you've come so far since then.

RuKsaK said...

'Punk was light years away' - and what an odd world it was until punk tore it down.

Bloody marvellous poem, took me through a few years too.

doughgirl said...


Perfect what a great poem. 20 long years for me as well, missed all of the 80's and have yet glimpses of the 90's. You've come a long way :)

recoveryroad said...

Good work, fella.

Perfect Virgo said...

Flea - yes there is pride but also sadness and regret for the 'lost' years. But I still wouldn't live my life differently and in a perverse way I loved those days of reckless abandon.

The poem was meant to have that tough ending which, together with the picture is what growing up was all about. Thanks for noticing the picture's relevance.

I have come so far I hardly recognise the boy in the photo. I think we've talked about that feeling before? I know he could save 100 ringpulls in about 2 weeks.

Ruk - high praise indeed, thanks. I have another poem which I'll post soon. I find the restrictions of verse frustrating but it can be rewarding if you get even close to not bad! The punk reference was to remind us my teens were over before 1977!

Doughgirl - what a sweet comment, I am so gald you enjoyed that. I use photos and diaries to jog my memory. You are on the very same journey. Whether 1 year or 11 the fact is the temptation is always right behind us at our shoulder. Keep going my little friend.

Kenny - you know all about this too mate. Thanks for reading and keeping me on my toes. I need a reason to write and its readers who understand that keep providing the inspiration.

Wardo said...

I feel that way - about barely recognizing the boy in the photo - over shots taken only 10 years ago.

What will it be like in 30...

Hopefully I have more hair by then that you've managed to hang onto! ;)


Perfect Virgo said...

Argus - we change so much both inside and out, in a relatively short time. And are you saying I'm follicly challenged!

Cocaine Jesus said...

57 was OK (I guess) a year after my wife was born but obviously 54 is best for it is the year that Rock 'n Roll and I were born!!!!
and sadly, although seperated by four short years for me it all starts with Johnny Kid and the Pirates (o shit i am getting old)

Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - all our birth years are special. By the way I'm catching you up!

Dionysius said...

You are now in a position to fully comprehend this great observation on life:
'When you are young it is the day that is short and the year that is long but when you are old it is the day that is long and the year that is short.'
I am trying to find the source of this wisdom. My memory keeps telling me it was a French Philosopher. I tried Voltaire et al but was unsuccessful.

Someone help on finding this reference......

PS I am currently doing in depth analysis and study on Relativity and the true nature of Time. I am finding Einstein was good but his stuff is most definitely not the final answer. It is all very relevant to your last post on Death and why we, as Mortals, will not ever fully comprehend this multi-dimensional space within which we struggle.

Perfect Virgo said...

The day is long and the year is short. Well I already feel that phenomenon Denis!

Relativity and the true nature of Time sounds like a fair old plateful to me. How long have you got!! I would be fascinated to see the results of your analysis in due course. As you say, you are competing with some eminent minds on the subject.

I am emerging from a period of depression during which the fact of death pre-occupied me. An attempt to comprehend death is however something I might turn my mind to without feeling too bleak.

Jen said...

I like your old pictures, dude. :-D

Perfect Virgo said...

Jen - just as well we never see ourselves as others do. I want to talk to that boy and tell him where he's headed, but I can't.

HOW said...

Loved the poem. I think we all have our own poetry aching to get out, but some are just so much more eloquent, like you, fellow Virgo. I enjoy reading your posts!

Perfect Virgo said...

That's so kind of you to say, I am never really satisfied but then we virgos are our own harshest critics. I love reading you too, I comment a little less frequently because you have one or two quite verbose contributors and anyway you know what I think. Hold on to it.

finnegan said...

This is definitely a song Virgo. What tune do you suggest I sing it with?
Feels so anthem-like to me.

One of my all-time favorite cars was a '57 Chevy. It had that those early-rocket lines suggesting 'to the moon!' about it. The '59 Cadillac went there and way beyond on less gas mileage than a Hummer.

Perfect Virgo said...

(My poetry handbook reminds me this is iambic tetrameter alternating with iambic trimeter - or you could just call it bollocks!) I think it's sometimes called 'ballad meter' Finnegan, maybe because it lends itself to songwriting.

I wondered about REM - Man on the Moon? But I haven't written a chorus (yet!)