© Daryl Barnes 2016


When I Grow Too Old to Dream


I helped Bob Bryant celebrate

He turned a hundred the other day

Some commented on his luck

He's a miracle some say


No, Bob doesn't let things get him down

He never goes to church to pray

He never spends time ill in bed

Had no operations along the way


Bob takes no pills nor tablets

He says they’re only for the sick

His body joints are as good as gold

Don’t offer him a walking stick


If he has a fall and gets a wound

An ocean bath will do the trick

Call the family doctor in

And Bob’ll vanish really quick


He can see and hear without an aid

The word cholesterol makes him frown

And his heart’s so strong and healthy

It’s not about to let him down


Now Bob’s always quick to laugh or joke

But don’t try to make fun of him

A happy go lucky sort a bloke

Pity about the thickness of his skin


He'll get a thrill from playing a trick

Like twitching a feather behind your ear

Puts on a frock then acts the fool

Yes, then Bob’s had too much beer


Now living here in this old folks home

It's not his cup of tea

He complains about the deaf old tarts

And others, that drive you up a tree


The food they serve he can’t digest

As he watches others lick their plates

He blames his dry mouth on chemicals

So when cleaning his room he hates


Now locked away in this sterile joint

Not a sole will come to visit

His kids all say that they’re too busy

For just one hour, now who would miss it?


So on with the hat and out the gate

Walk to the club and he’ll be fine

Bob plays some games of Keno

Puts a dollar on each time


He’ll place a bet on a favourite horse

But wins are few and far between

And he stays well clear of those poker machines

That’s one place he’s never been


Now Bob still yearns for those good old days

When a ‘bob’ was worth a shilling

Where money was never plentiful

But meals were always filling


Home then was in a humpy

With beach neighbours he could trust

Some labouring work to pay the bills

Then a flagon was a must


Here a man was able to whistle

Without the fear of ridicule

Entertainment you made yourself

There was no golden rule


He learnt to yodel and sing in tune

And he’d wind up that gramophone

“Let Us Be Sweet Hearts Again”

A favourite that was very well known


Then he’d check the tide maybe run the net
To collect a haul before day-break

Whether mullet bream or whiting

He'd sell everything he could take


Sandfly Creek supplied crabs and prawn

What more could a man need

Well a couple of pussy cats of course

Fourteen he’d often feed


As evening draws, Bob sits outside his room

Hoping for an audience to appear

He plays “When I Grow Too Old To Dream”

A familiar tune from yester year


The harmonica and his lips are one

But each eye holds a swelling tear

Yes he pines for the days of long ago

When he lived and had no fear


Instead his dreams now fade away

As the daylight, disappears
© Daryl Barnes 2016



On Town Beach is where it began

For Robert James William Bryant

He did attend school when quite young

Although he was defiant

His first love was of fishing

It became his life we know

This man who’s left an impression

Be it good or not quite so


Bob at times defied the law

Did things in his own way

He provided what he could

Often work both night and day

Mostly it was labouring work

For a basic amount of pay

But each day you'd mostly find him

Happy and whistling away


Bob enjoyed the party times

Because he liked to entertain

Being the centre of attention

Was always his main aim

Ask any family member

They'll tell stories by the score

And now that the has passed away

There will be, now even more


Bob was as tough as your old boots

Ones you couldn’t wear them out

Was also stubborn like a mule

He was that, without a doubt

When Bob made up his mind

It best you keep out of the way

The cranky old fool, that he was

He might give you a foul mouth spray


‘Just get your hands off me

And leave me well alone

I don’t need your bloody help

I just want to go on home’

Well, at home is where he might be now

If they let him into heaven

For Bob to get through those pearly gates

He'll need to use a name like Kevin



My father-in-law died at age 100

04/07/1913 - 22/11/2013

This story I read at his funeral service


© Daryl Barnes 2016


It's always hot but will it remain fine

Kids are out of school now it’s holiday time
Work is put on hold, long distance travel for some

Christmas is at Barnesys place and anyone can come

There’s plenty of room in under the house

One big family party, won't that be really grouse


Humidity is up, a storm’s made it wet
But there’s ample refreshments, of that you can bet

The tucker’s been sorted and everyone has agreed

It’s roast meat and vegies, yes a good hearty feed

Time for a quick swim before lunch is prepared

There are plenty of hands so the work load is shared


A few have slept over whilst others now arrive

Some have flown in, others had to drive

Time for a snack and a drink or whatever you fancy

Try a low carb or light although you might get called Nancy

So drink VB or a Crownies, they're the Rolls Royce

For those who prefer wine there’s also a choice


Now someone has gossip as there’s always a good story

Let us in on the detail even if it’s a bit gory

If he had it off with her then he’s the dirty rat

But she led him astray so she’s a randy old bat

But whatever’s the truth it all good for a laugh

If the accused are not here then who’s to deny on their behalf


So dinner is now ready and everyone is here
Fill up your plate and a glass for a cheer

Share a bonbon with your neighbour and put on your paper hat

Read out the riddle, might get a laugh out of that

Then the host makes a speech, keeps it real short and sweet

And a thank you for this meal, that we're about to eat
 © Daryl Barnes 2016

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