Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Birthday Card Poem

It is an irritating fact that some people insist on having a birthday almost every year, and when you know more than one such person, you find yourself having to buy quite a lot of birthday cards.

If you’re anything like me, this is a torturous experience; an exercise in frustration followed by dissatisfaction and resignation. It seems that all birthday cards nowadays are either distastefully vulgar or so horrifically saccharine that even glancing at them leaves you with type 2 diabetes and advanced tooth decay. You either end up getting something utterly unsuitable, or compromise and go with something so bland that it leaves you wholly unsatisfied.

Another dreadful aspect of the birthday card, especially those of the saccharine school, is the appalling doggerel verse. This is normally so grotesquely sickly-sweet that it will leave you dry-heaving in the middle of Clinton Cards.

I can’t do anything about the general awfulness of birthday cards, but I thought I’d try and write something that can go inside them as a sort of antidote to the usual ghastly verses.  With this in mind, I present to you my attempt at a birthday card poem, already deployed against a couple of friends on Facebook as their birth anniversaries have come round. That said, it’s also entirely suitable for anniversaries of all kinds, and Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day.

A Birthday Poem
By Thomas Jones

I hope you have a special day
That's full of love and laughter,
And please don’t dwell on all that may,
Go dreadfully hereafter.
Don't fear the likelihood of pain,
Of ruin and disease,
Of fire, flood or acid rain,
Or plagues of rats and fleas,
Don’t ponder on being overcome,
By existential dread,
Or going blind or deaf or dumb,
Or simply dropping dead.

Don't think of all the things that might
Affect the ones you love,
Like killers coming in the night,
Or comets from above.
Don’t brood on famine, war or drought,
Or failing tests you're set,
Or being crippled by self-doubt,
Or falling into debt.
I hope your day is full of song,
And not of grief or sorrow,
Put from your mind what could go wrong,
But think on it tomorrow!

Copyright Thomas Jones 2017

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