I occasionally dabble in rhyming poetry but rarely read my work out loud. Recently, I took the plunge and 'performed' one of my poems at the Rising Voices showcase at Bournemouth University and at Doppelgänger Dialogues at Obsidian, Boscombe. Here is that poem - with added stresses and intonations.
When I'm six Feet tall
Came into this world, not knowing a thing,
Or what treasures – or pains – that life would bring.
I’d look up at my Dad, when I could crawl.
I can’t wait to be him, thirty-feet tall.
Trying my hardest, I stood on two feet.
Then fall until the ground and bum would meet.
Dad would be there, a child to haul.
Couldn’t wait, to be twenty-feet tall.
I would see my Dad effortlessly pick up weights.
Drink beer with a laugh together with mates.
Jostling and moving, he’d win the ball!
I’d soon be him – when I’m ten-feet tall.
Being small at school; It wasn’t nice.
Would they hurt me? A throw of the dice.
My back would slam against the wall.
I’LL SHOW THEM… when I’m six-feet tall.
Amongst my peers, looking up to those faces.
Hair growing out of all the right places.
I’m just there, like a freak oddball.
How do I get to six-feet tall?
‘Drink your milk’, Dad would say, ‘You’ll grow by half.’
“But I don’t want a drink made for a calf.”
‘Well, up to you, if you want to be small.’
Dad would sneer, ‘Don’t you want to be tall?’
We went to a doc, who prescribed a pill.
Dad shook his head as he studied the bill.
I didn’t care, not at all.
Not long till, I’m six-feet tall!
Dad would get out the old measuring stick.
“You know, you don’t need to grow up so quick.”
“I’m in a hurry,”, my back to the wall.
“I really want to be six-feet tall.”
Then it happened, I sat in the bath.
Spotted the hair, I’m on the right path!
“Not long now!” I did call.
“Until I’m six-feet tall.”
Now, my metabolism is slowing.
God damn. It’s my waist that keeps on growing.
And yes I am big; taller than friends.
But this isn’t how my story ends.
I look down at my dad. He has shrunk.
His skin is creased, his eyeballs sunk.
I tower over him. He is now small.
I wonder. Was he ever six-feet tall?
It’s now time to come and say goodbye.
In the cold church, his body does lie.
Height doesn’t matter, when the soil is brown.
And he is put to rest, just six feet down.
I think about the times, oh to be like you.
Smart, clever, your own world view.
And you said, ‘There isn’t one single rule.
Just what does it mean, to be nor-mal’?