I performed this rap poem at my sixtieth birthday party at Fort Belan, Wales in 2005. It was published in The Buzzin Bards (Local Gems Press, 2019).
Birthday Poem - Sixty
Welcome to the Fort, to my birthday celebration.
Welcome to the place that's welcomed every generation
to play out their dreams
in this tiny dreaming nation
of dragons and despots and demons and dens
of poets and passion and beaches and friends.
Welcome to my party –
Welcome to bird-watchers, bicyclists, musicians and artists, fit freaks and feminists,
activists, pacifists, socialists and anarchists,
and those who voted Green.
Welcome to students and media types, health workers, trainers,
and you who’ve retired – definitely not empty-brainers.
Welcome to entrepreneurs
and officers of the local government mould.
Welcome to celebrate me getting old.
Welcome, welcome, to the very best
who've peopled my world since 1955 when I came alive
Welcome to my family, my friends from north, south, east and west,
from Devon and London,
Holmfirth, Hereford, Horwich and Hebden Bridge,
Aberaeron, Oxford and Sussex,
La Suisse, Croatia and Himachal Pradesh,
not forgetting the lanky, manky, slinky streets of hippy-hopping teeny-bopping gender-swapping
Welcome to the thinkers, the runners, the talkers, the boozers,
the realists, the dreamers, the winners and sometimes losers.
Welcome to the youngsters oozing with style
joining us oldsters, cool and hip (with some replacements) for a while.
Welcome to my party, to make a sixty buzz
Let's pump our hearts and dance away the daily grind, because
it’s my day – with you.
Regrets – I have a few. There’s stuff I can’t forget.
There’s no way to get to today without pain on the way
But I just want to say:
Fuck the uphill struggle, join me at the top, look over the hill
and bask in the radiant rainbow if you will.
I'm over that hill, joining the oldster clan,
sixty-plus and counting as far as I can.
Sixty is nifty, long time since fifty,
sixty has prospects to fill my days and nights
like a senior railcard for me but not for my wife.
Sixty is filled with the stuff of life.
So it's gonna be
travelling to stations up and down the nation
part-time work for my daily occupation
free swimming, free medication,
free money - a local government pension,
a lump sum with many applications
(my twenty five percent - already spent).
Studying history, lost stories forming revelation.
Time to think - rumination, until ....
slippers and nippers - a new generation.
But that's too far hence, let's stick to today.
Today I'm sixty and sixty is nifty, long time since fifty.
I'm over that hill,
Let's party like there's no tomorrow.
Let’s get high on being alive.
Let's overdose on conversation according to our inclination,
Bring light-bulb illumination and fulfil every aspiration for together celebration.
Let's talk, drink, laugh, sing, dance and eat cake.
Let's shake it about, let's celebrate!