Wrinkles and the art of aging

When my mother had her cataracts done the one downside was the realisation her skin was no longer smooth – more bark than balm, as she thought it. Not that she really minded. She just wished she’d realised.

I found myself buying a suit last week and it was an almost novel experience. I’ve not needed one for two decades. But I’ve changed and, in truth, my suits are a bit like mum. Surprised at their condition. So I asked the factotum if his suits wrinkled. Well, his nose did.

‘If you want smooth then buy polyester.’

He didn’t say that but his expression suggested as much.

I went for a linen mix. I might look like a jobbing architect but at least the wrinkles enhance the look.

The one member of my family that did wrinkles well was Dad. He wreathed himself in them, at moments of great joy.

First pint, foreign holiday, family celebration, that sort of thing.

And he had a way of capturing the absurdity of our youthful vanities in poetry form. Much to admire really.

The Wrinkles Lament


When we gaze in the mirror while shaving

We mustn’t get too uptight,

Though the sight makes us weep

Beauty’s only skin deep,

And we’re bound to look better tonight.


Sparse locks on an over-wide forehead

Where once clustered nonchalant curls,

If dissuaded from roaming

By judicious combing

Just might deceive short-sighted girls.


We’ve always had finely drawn features

But the nostrils in that Roman beak

Which in wild youth would flare

Are now full of hair,

And constantly saltily leak.


Our eyes, which held loves sweet secrets,

Were mysterious, soft – dark as night,

Now they’re bloodshot and runny

And one’s a bit funny,

Looking left when the other looks right.


These firm chiselled mouths show good breeding

But today they can spoil our adventures

For though you feel sporty

It’s hard to be naughty

If you find you’ve forgotten your dentures.


Girlish breath in the ear was exciting

In our youth, we recall with nostalgia,

But now, poor old mugs,

If you blow down our lugs,

We’ll get an attack of neuralgia.


But it’s wrong to become introspective

That mirror can ruin our fun,

Let’s stop shaving today

Chuck our razors away

Grow beards – and think we’re twenty-one!

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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32 Responses to Wrinkles and the art of aging

  1. HAHA! I love it Geoff, especially about the eyes looking different ways! Another of your Dad’s classics:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    You look more like your Mum I think, but both parents seem to have aged well. Your Dad is/was a handsome bloke.


  3. This is hysterical. I loved it and read it to Hubby who is also chortling over there!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I love it! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your Dad’s charming poetry parody. Wonderful family photos too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rowena says:

    What wrinkles? Humph…I have noticed that many of my school friends have developed crow’s feet round the eyes but glasses are a fabulous invention. They hide the wrinkles when they’re on and you can’t see them when they’re off.
    BTW no doubt you’ve heard of the demise of the Australian cricket team after this ball tampering incident. As you know, I don’t follow the cricket but I did see Steve Smith and the bowler confront the media last night on TV and they are broken, shattered men. There’s some real pontificating going on and as the Prime Minister said, Australians have higher expectations of the cricketer’s moral code than politicians and I’d have to second that.
    However, the fact that three of them out of 11 were in on it, says something bigger was going on to me but that isn’t being discussed to my knowledge in the media. There’s just a lot of shaming, disapproval and a realization that our cricket team is up the creek. For many Australians, this is akin to a death in the family.
    What’s been the talk over there?
    I’m touching on this is a post I’m putting up shortly about mistakes. Stay tuned.
    Best wishes & Happy Easter,


    • TanGental says:

      Well I think it’s a bit ott on all honesty
      If you look at the ICCs own rules the maximum ban for this is one Match. Ball tampering is a level 2(out of 4) offence. Maybe the ICC are wrong too in that is too light but 1 year and public excoriation is going a bit far. As for politicians holding the moral high ground.. very self serving. Must be having their own problems I’d guess. Shame because Smith is a phenomenon and worth watching.


  6. gordon759 says:

    I tend to wear a linen jacket in the summer and it gets terribly creased for, in the heat, (as Noel Coward memorably put it)

    The English Garb
    of the English Sahib
    Only gets a bit more creased!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ritu says:

    Your dad is as much of a classic as your mum! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    Fabulous,as ever! And I envy your Dad’s talent…💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. He summed it all up quite perfectly really 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You Dad sounds like a jolly good sort, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. JT Twissel says:

    Delightful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Erika Kind says:

    Oh, this is awesome. What a humorous man your father was! Two fantastic and classy people!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. trifflepudling says:

    Exactly how one feels today with a streaming cold and looking every day of my ** years! That portrait of him with the pint pot is an extraordinary photo – it could win a prize.

    Liked by 1 person

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