I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

30 September 2011

Turning 30

I recall now, bemused,
the unwonted depression I sank into 
around the issue of turning 30 —
a trauma which, at the time, seemed huge.

The only depression I’ve ever known,
it started six months before
the momentous event, and lasted
a further six months after.

I can’t get back in the head of that girl.
What did she so dread? It was like
the demarcation point of age for her.
Too many pop songs, perhaps!

It was after all, also, the end of the sixties,
that perfect time to be 
if not teenage, still young enough.
Suddenly it was all over.

There she was, with both her children
already born and no more planned.
Girlhood and fertility both behind her.
Nothing but matronhood left.

Silly girl, she didn’t know
that in her 30s she would be ripe and juicy
emitting a glow. Nor that the secret scribblings
would demand to be valued and aired.

I look back, and yes, I think I do
understand now. I see that unconsciously 
she was mourning the end of childhood, 
saying a long drawn-out, final goodbye.

Then she leapt into power and freedom,
new kinds of adventures, and began
the long journey of twists and surprises 
which led her here to me.

30 Poems in 30 Days: 30, the number 30

Submitted for Poetry Pantry #69 at Poets United


  1. I loved this poem and the subject too.
    One makes so much of crossing 30. And yet, one might not bat a lid turning say 38. So much in the mind, isn't it?


  2. Thanks, indiwriter. Yes, ever afterwards I have looked back and thought, 'How ridiculous; what was that all about?'

  3. I was happy crossing into 30 because the 20s seem rather confusing to me, and I was treated neither young nor old enough. Love the joy and promise expressed in this one as I can relate to it.

  4. Thanks, Pearl; yes, so I did.

    Ravenblack, the strange thing is that it was quite out of character — the only time in my life I've ever cared about my age.

  5. You wrote this poem for me. For me!! I am going to copy it into my latest journal - poem for Shaista, girl in her 30s, by Rosemary the Witch of Wonder.
    It was just so for me, live or die. It didn't matter which, just so long as the beginning or end were fierce and bright and right.