Signs of Ageing – No. 302

Would  you like  to make love
she asks, but enquiringly
rather than insistently.

Do you know I say
just this once
what I’d really,
really like
is a mug of tea.

Sometimes she says
just sometimes
a mug of tea is better.


49 Responses to “Signs of Ageing – No. 302”

  1. Davide,

    Hilarious! And fabulously written!

    I had a conversation with someone recently about this very subject!

    Age has disadvantages , I know, but how wonderful to feel free to be so honest!! 🙂

    Love you loads



  2. Hit this one with a hammer — I can see you sitting on a porch…

  3. Hi David

    I wonder what brand of tea that was… 😉 must have been good stuff?

    Good sex never goes out of fashion, but the fabric needs more ironing wrinkles away perhaps. 🙂

    (Just trying to make a metaphor!)

    Coincidently I also published a poem about aging a minute ago, but it is not cheerfull like yours. I hope your cheerfulness in poetry is catchy! Sneeze my way please! 🙂

    Arohanui 🙂


  4. I remember my poet friend, Lyman Andrews saying that hot buttered toast was the only thing that never got boring.

  5. oh , this is good! made me laugh out loud! Excellent poem!

    Ciao, Francina

  6. Smiling as usual, at your lovely wit!! Nothing is simple as you age,and yet,in it’s way, it is sometime, easier!! Love this,can smile about it all day!!! Big Hugs!!

  7. David at our age a mug of tea is the best thing for us.

  8. 🙂 Yes, sometimes a mug of tea IS better… regardless of age.

  9. I might be aging..i do not know is.. but at times a cup of chamomile tea is just… better.. loved this David!

  10. Yes, there is much more to life for us all…especially as the years of experience stack up. I can well empathize with your warm poem (:

  11. What a beautiful poem, delicate and personal and honest. It provokes a lot of thought for me about the future and about now. Thank you.

  12. This is a such a sweet poem. I really enjoy reading your work.

  13. I love the ‘enquiringly’ rather than ‘insistently’; A fine distinction! This is funny and poignant and true and sad and happy all at the same time. A lovely poem.

  14. I generally leave cups of tea unfinished and going cold these days – I’m trying not to read too much into that after reading this!! Love this poem, David; right on the money as ever. N.

  15. David, this is the third time I’ve written a comment on this poem, and every time it doesn’t take. I’ve been having problems with connection speeds, I’ve afraid. So, perhaps this time will be the charm.
    I have been trying to say that, in a way, even though there is truth in the title, this is not quite the right title for the poem. When I first read it a train of thoughts was started that means the poem has more to it than is on the surface–thus the comment about the title.
    What I have been saying is that in Alaska the Yupic and Innuit peoples have many words describing snow and the state of snow as it relates to their world. I used to know how many words, but, as your title says, signs of ageing.
    Reading this poem reminded me that, as rich as the English language is, it still has lapses, and one of those is the word, love. That’s the only word we have for an emotion that, like the words for snow up in Alaska’s north, has many variations and shades within the environment of our inner and outer selves.
    What this poem is about is a certain kind of love, which really deserves a word of its own. When we are young love is woven into a roll in the hay, as Ina said, and the physical expression of passion. Sex is glorious and consuming when you are young. But, of course, that is not the only kind of love. The love you talk about here is usually associated with long-term love, often with aging, but also with a certain kind of human spirit.
    Would you like to make love
    she asks, but enquiringly
    rather than insistently.
    The possibility of sexual love still exists and can still be embraced, but is not insistent. The inquiry acknowledges the intimate bond, but
    what I’d really,
    really like
    is a mug of tea.
    a warmth that is physical, but, more than that, companionable and social. This is the love that goes beyond the instinct for procreation. It is also the love that allows the building of human community since it demands sharing–something that monkeys and apes do not do. If it takes two or more of them to secure food, the one who has the ability to get to the food partakes without a thought for sharing what more then one of them has made possible. If you do not grab what’s there now, two minutes from now it might be gone forever.
    The love expressed through this poem is not about communal sharing, of course, but about intimate sharing, but without the possibility of intimate sharing, community sharing is not, I suspect, possible. As I say, we poets need more words for the word, love.
    The glory of the poem is the response to the gentle rejection:
    Sometimes she says
    just sometimes
    a mug of tea is better.
    Between the two of you is an understanding deeper than conscious thought. The bonds of love weave the two of you to a cup of tea that steams with all of the moments of your time together.
    This is a long response to a short poem. But this is stream is what your poem engendered.

    • Tom,

      This wonderful comment validates for me entirely the length of time this poem spent in my note book, and the number of times I changed it to try to get it to say exactly what I wanted it to say.
      For, although certainly it was intended to provoke a smile, it is, at its essence, a love poem which celebrates the warmth, the comfort and the intimacy which can be present in a relationship and which goes much deeper than the physical act of making love.

      I agree with you – we do not have enough words in the English language to describe the different aspects of love. And the one we have is so often used inappropiately as to be rendered meaningless.

      Scott Peck defines love as a verb – an action word, a doing word. And that makes sense to me. Love is demonstrated by the activities it produces. And the actions mean so much more than mere words.

      I like the word ‘intimacy’. It seems to me to encompass so much more than the word ‘love’ and I agree with you – “without the possibility of intimate sharing, community sharing is not, I suspect, possible”

      The New Zealand Maoris have a word – Arohanui – which has no direct translation into English – the nearest approximation being ‘Big Love’.

      I do hope you are recovering well after your surgery.
      My thoughts remain with you.


      • I am back home and doing okay all things considered. When removing the tumors they discovered cancer, but I have to wait for the biopsy to see what I’m going to have to go through to fight it. I’m positive and determined to deal with this with grace–the way Kevin, my son did. I always appreciate being in your thoughts.

  16. Hi David,

    My apoliges I’ve come in so late. I’ve been bit under the weather this week.
    Your poem has made me smile several times. The look into the mirrorball as it were of what lies in the future is an interesting one for me to contemplate. I feel reassured though, Between the smiles and chuckles there is a deeper smile grateful that I’ve built a solid friendship and companionship in my marriage. Physical intmacy is wonderful and a great gift to be able to share with another.
    After a long day though companionable silence with a good cup of tea takes you a lot further and has the ability to endure the journey of time and living in a way the physical can’t.

    I think this is one of your best poems. It is on the one hand very light and cheerful but if one feels moved to, there are deeper layers to expore as well. I personally enjoy those kinds of poems the best. 🙂

    I hope you have been well and you are enjoying a good weekend.

    and K’sOTC 🙂

    • Hi Tikarma,

      Your comment delights me for the poem is indeed on more than one level.
      It seems to me that my best poems are those which appear on the surface to be the simplest. They are also often the ones which have taken the longest time to write. 🙂

      This poem is about intimacy. It has seemed to me in the past that when desire is rampant it is necessary to satisfy the physical longing before the real intimacy can take place. There is more intimacy I think in the lying togother naked afterwards than in the physical activity.

      And, as you say, there is much intimacy in being able to enjoy “companionable silence with a good cup of tea” – the real measure of a relationship which works. 🙂

      I do hope your painting week is going well.

      I will send you a separate email about painting shortly.

      and K’sOTC 🙂

  17. all in the perspective …. i like how the point is very specified with little expansion and direct reliance on fact; sometimes the tea IS better. but i like how you leave to the reader, to take at face value or apply as a metaphor. so often the “given” of priorities is not how we work our OWN priorities. and it shouldn’t be. 🙂

  18. So highly entertaining David – you have droll sense of humour and it shines through. But there’s also a tenderness and touch of common sense in this poem. In other words, there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Very satisfying indeed.

  19. Lovely aging, this! I mean, sharing a cuppa can be more intimate in someways than sharing the act of sexual love-making. But I DO “get” the quirky note of self-mockery here, of course. Let us all laugh at our aging processes so gracefully!

    • Thank you Granbee,

      We are all growing older – we might as well accept it and go with it!!

      And God forbid that I should ever take myself too seriously!! 🙂


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