Ode to my Walking Stick

Published in Poetry Scotland 7 May 2020

Ode to my Walking stick

(Apologies to Keats)

Thou silent steel against my bedside table

Thou foster child of strength and resilience

Senior historian who canst thus express

An edgy tale more sweetly than our alliance

What shine doth your shape reveal tall, silver

As I lean on you to reach laden table, my dinner

Forever warm and a friend to have and hold

Always ready to the loo or anywhere for a stroll

You match the greying hair and wrinkles fair

To you I owe my walks up and down the stairs

Mock ye not ye young ‘uns, healthy and so brave

Your day will come, I promise so be prepared

When old age shall this generation waste,

    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

    Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,

   “Stick  is truth, truth stick,—that is all

    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Let me explain. A few weeks ago I was cleaning the kitchen cupboards, fell down and did some damage to my left knee. The hour long walks we enjoyed in the woods behind our house came to an abrupt stop for me. Life revolved around the house, hobbling painfully with the aid of a stick, hence the poem.

Three weeks on, the pain has subsided considerably but not enough to warrant a walk outside my garden, so the patio’s every slab and the wee beasties hiding in them are all too familiar now. Thank God for the garden! It gifts me new blooms every day and makes my day a little bit better. Hope you’re all enjoying the warm weather.

Are you writing? Zooming new classes on your computer? Filling your day binge watching? Cleaning the house till it sparkles or baking umpteen banana bread or sour dough loaves? Cuddling your near and dear, playing board games? Talking about board games did you know this?


The legacy of the Guptas lives on.
An ancient game given to the world
Ashtapada, the eight squared board
Mentioned in the epic Mahabharata
Of chess men infantry, cavalry, chariotry
Elephantry the game of war and strategy
Perused by Arabs taken by the Buddhists
To the Silk Road, Chaturanga made inroads
To Europe over centuries the game played on
Stone changed to boards now on computers
A game of skill checkmated and stalemated
Imprinted into the history of mankind.

I started with a poem, so I’ll end with one. Stay safe and keep writing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s