A POEM written by a keen 90-year-old author has so impressed a friend that she encouraged him to submit it to The News.
Hayley Beaudelaire visits William Pratt, on the right of the picture, and said she was amazed by the quality of the poetry he writes.
Mr Pratt, who is Portsmouth born and bred, is pictured with his friend of more than 40 years Eddie Copini, with whom he ran businesses including a paintbrush-selling firm that saw the pair travel the world.
Hayley said: ‘I was reading a book of William’s poems and I thought they were excellent. He’s a lovely man and I’m so pleased that his poem’s going to be printed.’
Another March here and my birthday again,
will I still be here next year, will I still be the same?
Will I still breathe God’s air, will I still walk as well,
or will more bits fall off and what’s left ache like hell?
The legs aren’t so strong and the eyes not so keen,
the hearing’s not bad, but it’s not what it’s been.
My back was OK till the years took their toll,
now I bend with great care, lest I snap like a pole.
Some hearts I have hurt in the course of my time,
now it’s my heart that’s paying me back for that crime.
The years roll on past and the joints creek and groan,
but there’s nothing gets better as much as I moan.
So perhaps while I can I’ll enjoy the blue sky,
see the daffodils bloom and watch skylarks on high.
Let the waves on the beach wash over my feet,
and enjoy the spring flowers from the old garden seat.
But when it’s time to go it might all be so quick,
and the time and the place, well you can’t always pick.
So with a long happy life, and few things to regret,
I’ll go when I have to but I have a bit more to enjoy yet!