[With apologies to Tang Man Lan and others of her age]
Arthritics anonymous they called us
But we are not anonymous at all
For you can hear the creaking joints
At least half a mile away.
It is all a wonderful adventure
For we have showed the world how we are
Men and women, sleeping side by side
With common showers
And unlocked, and unlockable, doors
Mind, it is not all that unsafe,
For the fires of youth are a little dimmed
And if not, the creaking floorboards,
Or the arthritic joints
Give ample warning
of nocturnal adventuring.
There are of course the writers
Who within a week will master the novel,
with plots, openings, endings, short stories,
and several varieties of poetry thrown in.
The landscape painters are the heroes,
For off they go in 30 degree heat
Painting the central plains in washed out browns
And coming back with burnt out reds and pinks
But triumphantly having captured on a canvas
the wonders of our western countryside
The doubtful lot are the sculptors
Women of a wonderful age and presence,
With one of the few men amongst them
Being I hear of not a dissimilar age
taking off his clothes each day.
I cannot help but marvel, that the fingers
and the object that they are modeling
have a hundred years between them.
The unknown quantity are the printmakers
With their lino cuts and printers ink.
It is they we need to investigate
For it seems they started late
And there just maybe a chance,
That it was they who started the rumours
Of the anonymous arthritics at class.