P.S. A Message from India ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 320

Oh I know The Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection ended on November 30th BUT how could I reject this gem of a photograph, especially as it had to travel all the way from India:

Tabebuia in Flower
Photo: Asha Mokashi

Asha is a dear friend, from India,  who I met through my poetry thread on Linkedin. She is one of those people that you feel you have known forever, such is her ability to lend colour, poetry, warmth and light to life.

When I saw her email arriving today, I immediately felt the need to respond in poetry and this one has been playing on my mind all day:



Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

8 thoughts on “P.S. A Message from India ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 320”

    1. Thanks Naomi! Like you, I’ve been a purple-wearer since I was a kid too. You’ve reminded me of a layered skirt I had when I was about six that I thought (and still think) was the nicest skirt I ever had!

  1. Oooh! Good decision! Love this poem and will be pinning it to my board… for when I want to “run my stick along public railings”!

  2. Fantastic start to my day opened this blog post and enjoyed the photograph from India and then saw a lot of my self in this poem . A friend told me recently that I wear a lot of purple which was until was an unconscious thing. Now I will embrace it and look to the future full of what this poem promises but to be honest I think I’m well practiced in many of these things already.
    Thank you Jean for the great blog.

    1. Hi Sinead, smashing photo, isn’t it? It reminds me of Mount Congreve in lots of ways.
      As for the poem, glad you like it. Must say I hadn’t noticed too much purple on you but I’ll be watching out for that and growing ‘abandon!!!’

  3. Oh, I adore this poem, and Asha, who has such a beautiful soul! Such a beautiful photograph too! And the curious thing is, purple was never my color yet lately I find myself drawn to it and it has become a favorite choice!

  4. Nancy, delighted to hear from you. I associate you and Asha so much as ladies of the poetry thread. Interesting about you and purple. I’d have thought with your artistic background, you’d have been more aware of it than most of us?

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