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Life: Poem and Discussion Inspired by a Word Prompt from Brenda Arledge

Ann loves to write poetry and also enjoys responding to prompts. A challenge is always interesting!

Wheel of Fortune

Spin the wheel and make a choice - or change each day's position to suit yourself!

Spin the wheel and make a choice - or change each day's position to suit yourself!


‘Life is a minestrone’, according to 70s English rock band 10cc. Is it? Does that mean it’s a few long strands to explore, to consume, and then it’s gone, ‘served up with parmesan cheese’ if we’re lucky, or anything else, palatable or distasteful?

We battle our way into this world, we exchange a sheltered, muffled, warm liquid within our mothers for a terrifying world of noise, texture and maybe warmth or cold. We have no choice of where we land. It’s pot luck; minestrone or dust, nutrition or starvation.

‘Life is what you make of it.’ Is it? Seems to me that it’s where our parents placed us, for a start. Then it’s how they dealt with us, for better or worse. Only then can we start to think about making something of it for ourselves, if we have the intelligence, the ability, a measured outlook. So much is left to fate, and so much is put before us to make of what we will.

Given all that, if we made it that far, if we were dealt a good hand, what do we do to mould it for ourselves? How do we deal with situations, people, climate, temperature, good and evil?

‘Life is just a bowl of cherries.’ Is it? Maybe there are lots of plump, succulent cherries to relish, when life puts sweet choices and beautiful things in front of you. Maybe there are a few bad cherries in the bunch, so you have to taste the bitterness of things that go awry. Maybe the hard stones inside give you problems, break your teeth, or you have to spit out the unpleasantness that is served up to you. Does that teach you a lesson? Does it make you realise that all is not what it seems? Or does it make you resent it, as you wanted it all to be plain sailing, because you think you deserve everything good on a plate?

So much to think about! So much to work out! So much to do! How on earth do so many of us survive?

Well, I can only speak for myself.

My life story is not remarkable, not that different to many others. Its path up to the present is a mixture of what I’ve been dealt and how I’ve played it. I was dealt a wonderful hand at the beginning, I’ve had a few hiccups but, all in all, I have been lucky and known some wonderful people.

Me and my Dad!

This Bond was Strong!

This Bond was Strong!

Life of Ann

Second of May 1951,

my life in England had just begun.

Mum and Dad, a joy for me,

taught me much, how to run free,

how to play and care and learn,

ask those questions, energy to burn.

Riding bikes, making friends,

hugging Teddy when day ends.

Family is second to none,

school is interesting, fun.

Secondary to get my grades,

then, oh no! my confidence fades.

What to choose, which path to follow,

so I can make it a great tomorrow?

Boyfriends, now it’s complicated,

how do I know which one’s fated?

Now I’ve found the one for me,

And my joy’s my family.

Life has given me lovely treasures,

jobs and friends and nature’s pleasures.

Choices bad and choices good,

what we could and what we should,

confidence to make it work,

make an effort, never shirk

any chance to make a difference,

even when there’s awful penance

when it all goes wrong - and then,

pick yourself up and start again!

That’s Life!

It's up to you!

This latest word prompt to inspire us to write presented many different ideas for me. In some ways, that makes it more difficult to choose. In other ways, I can be more diverse. Whatever we choose, we need to make the most of it, be it in poetry or in life. I hope I’ve illustrated that here.

May you choose the right paths and follow the sun. If the darkness gets in the way, shine a light of hope and you’ll get through. Life may throw a wobbly but you can catch it out and win the day.

Ripples of Life

Paths in the Sand

Paths in the Sand

© 2021 Ann Carr

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