39 steps on the stairway to heaven
Pier 39 where the sea lions bask in the sun
39 circuits round the same sun of this earth
39 years since my birth
39 lines on my face tell a story
at 39 years I’m less youthful, but more-me
39 years and no body can stop me
as long as I’ve paper and ink or a battery
39 years, true love and two beautiful children
39 years, four languages, three different lands
39 years and I’ve read lots of books and learned some things
But more from the lives that I’ve lived than the books that I’ve read
there I’ve found, reflected
aspects of this theatre of life I’ve come to know.
39 years, more than 18 months sober
that is plenty of time to mull certain things over:
39 years filled with losses and gains
but I’m grateful
that, in spite of all these pains,
these 39 years have been overfilled
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
It’s my party, and I’ll rhyme if I want to…
Yes, today is my birthday. In my experience, there are two types of people: those who make a big song and dance about their birthday, and those who prefer to keep it quiet. I fall into the former category. Why not celebrate the day you were born, and the wonderful journey of life you are on, no matter many years ago that was?
This poem was inspired by the poetry of Ivor Steven, whose work you may well be familiar with already. I recently had the privilege of reading the manuscript of his forthcoming poetry collection: Tullawalla. This collection is subtitled ‘A Meeting Place/Where My Empty Hands Are Full Of Memories And Rhymes.’ It’s an absolutely beautiful sentiment, and one which figures strongly throughout his poetry. Ivor has experienced loss and dark times, but his words are always suffused with love and gratitude. I think there is a lesson in that for all of us, and it’s one I am trying to learn for myself, as I continue to do circuits round the sun on my journey back to wherever it is I came from.
Of course, it’s always a risk writing a birthday poem. Because I may feel obliged to write one next year. And perhaps next year I’ll be feeling more like this:
Congratulations 🎊🎊 and Happy Birthday! In my lifetime, 39 is pretty recent but when I think of the ages of my kids at that time it seems aeons ago. The years get shorter and yet more and more happens in each. All I can say is that being in my forties is way better than I expected. So go onwards without fear. 😊🥳🤩
Thank you so much! I was just thinking how much happier I am now than when I was 20 😊
Oh yes!. 😊. Oh and for what it’s worth, I totally side with you on the make a big deal of your birthday question.
Glad to hear it! 🥳🥳🥳
You meant 29, didn’t you?
Of course 😅 thanks Lou!
also ~ proud of you being sober – does it remain challenging for you?
Thanks David – not so much any more. After the first year it seemed to get a lot easier 😅
Happy birthday. Nicely stated. It appears you are in a happy place, so congratulations also. As someone who can no longer even see 39 in the rear view mirror, I believe your line “at 39 years I’m less youthful, but more-me” will continue to be truer and truer as the number increases.
I think that is one of the consolations of growing older! Thank you, Ron 😊
Brilliant! And have a happy birthday🎈🎂🥳
Thank you Ella 🥳 I wish I was on the pier with those sealions but I’ll have to make do with feeling like one after I eat my cake 🎂
Thank you 🙏
Young pup! Happy Birthday
Read a peom by Ingrid today,
Celebrating her latest birthday ,
Well, I gave it some thought,
If I wanted for aught,
I just wish I could wash out the grey!
Thank you so much for your poem 🙏 In my experience, it is better to paint over it than to wash it out 😂
cba! You’ll get there!
I got my first grey hair at 16!
Am I older or younger than Dauphy if you convert him to human years? 🤣
Much much younger!
Happy Birthday! An auspicious one at that, the New Moon (Sun and Moon in Aquarius), along with a Venus Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius too! This is an indicator a new beginning and of good fortune socially and personally. Good luck!
Wonderful! Thank you Francis, I didn’t realise 😊
A very happy birthday, and what a lovely poem you have written to mark the occasion!🏆
Thank you Hobbo: I am finding that these days a little gratitude goes a long way!
We all need a little something. Joyeaux anniversaire!
Happy birthday, Ingrid! I so enjoyed your poem. I don’t make a song and dance about my birthday but I love celebrations by others. Here’s wishing you many more. 🥳🥳
Thank you, that is very kind! 😊🙏
You are so welcome. 😊
Vse najboljše, draga Ingrid! x
Kako lepo! Hvala Nick 😊
thanks for sharing..
Thank you 🙏
Happy birthday 🎂 dear Ingrid!
Thank you so much Kim 😊🙏🍰
Happy birthday Ingrid!
Thank you Paul 😊
Happy birthday! Hope you’ve had a lovely day xxx
Thank you 🙏 I did 😊
lol a very Happy Birthday to you dear Ingrid!
… and I was your 39th like so I get the door prize 🙂 Congrats on 18 months sober and your amazing logophiling, you have talent! I am of the later kind, don’t tell people or celebrate openly … have a good one!
Oh thank you Kate! 🏆 Entirely up to you whether you prefer to celebrate or keep quiet. With the lockdown all the kind birthday messages have warmed my heart ❤️
so glad for you, you deserve it!
Happy New Year!
Happy Birthday!! 🎉 I’m still 39 and holding, haha! But seriously, the 40’s are better than 30’s. I love the idea of writing our own birthday poems. Enjoy your day! 🎂
Thank you, Tricia! I hope to enjoy my 40s, but happy to take each day as it comes 😊
I’ll let you enjoy 39 first, lol! 🎈🎊🥳
Ok good idea 😅 I have big plans with my girlfriends next year so let’s hope the pandemic is well and truly over by then!
Love this beautiful piece of reflective writing; 39 is lyrical and spellbinding on the tongue!
Happy birthday; I hope you have a special and memorable day and have the chance to celebrate YOU.
Thanks Jaya, I think I’ve managed to do that 🥳
Happy Birthday, Ingrid! Yes, make a big fuss–especially this year, if you can. It sounds like you’ve done lots of wonderful things in your thirty-nine years. Yes, next year definitely go all out! 😀
I hope that’s not what happened to your cake! Yes, you should celebrate! And wishing you many more adventures to come. (K)
Not this year 🤣 thank you, Kerfe!
I hope you had a wonderful celebration and made (at least) 39 wishes! Happy Birthday to you! 🎂
I didn’t even think of wishes! I suppose that means I’m happy with what I have 😊 thank you Michele 🙏
A wonderful state of mind. 🥰
This is such a beautiful, beautiful poem. Happy Birthday, Ingrid. <3 <3 And congrats on the 18 months! You should definitely celebrate how you want to, fire extinguishers and such. 😁 It's your birthday, after all!
Hope you had an awesome day and celebration. Sending much love. <3
Thank you Lucy ❤️🥰🙏
Wow! A brilliant poem. Happy Birthday a bit belatedly Ingrid. I hope you had a lovely day ❤️
Thank you 😊
What a wonderful poem Ingrid. I loved it. A rather belated Happy Birthday to you. I hope you had a wonderful day. ❤️
Thank you 🙏
Happy Birthday Ingrid, and I enjoyed your poem/story of your wondrous life… I hope I’m too late for Birthday party, I’m bringing a ‘Banana and Coconut Cake’…
Oh, thank you so much Ivor: I ate far too much cake yesterday but I’m sure I’ve room for more today 😊🍰
There is always room ‘more’…
Happy birthday Ingrid
Thank you Jude 😊
Happy one day late Birthday Ingrid. Not sure how I missed this and thank goodness I kept strolling. Awww you look so pretty getting ready for your birthday and I love your poem on 39. You have lived a lot of life, survived a lot of storms and created a life to be proud of with your 2 precious boys, your supportive loving husband and your wonderful writing and poems. The year leading to 40 is big or was with all of the wonderment for me but the day it comes is no big deal. Just a milestone to be celebrated. It is just an opportunity to see how far you’ve come, be more of who you are and who you are is resilient, beautiful, loving, creative, an amazing writer and poet…. and and and.. fill in the blanks and keep shinning. I say take a whole month! You are a gem and so talented. Funny video… you won’t need that but I sure might on mine. love and hugs fellow pieces! 💖❤️❌⭕️🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷
Love and Hugs,❤️🤗 Cindy
Thank you so much for your beautiful and kind words Cindy! 💝 🙏❤️💝😊❤️🍰
You are sooo welcome! 💖