Dinah Livingstone


I wanted to take down a curtain
but couldn’t get the ladder up the stairs.
It is such a nuisance being old,
so many things I did without a thought
I now need help with.
I crave more sleep and even then
when I get up again I ache.
So many people dying,
neighbours, close friends
and my younger brother.
It’s still a shock to realise they have gone
and it is lonelier.

But sometimes there comes a clarity,
a sense of calm and gratitude.
Life’s precious and while I’m still here
I have many things to do before I go,
as well as people whom I dearly love
of different ages, some not yet grown up.
Life will go on and there are
passing moments that hold it all
flashlit in an eternity,
a seeing that is utter happiness.

Dinah Livingstone had a rural childhood in in the West of England and has lived in Camden Town, London, since 1966, where she has run the small press Katabasis since 1967. She has received three Arts Council Writer’s Awards for her poetry. She is also a translator and editor of the magazine Sofia . She has three children and two grandsons.