For John on His 60th Birthday
Sixty already! Time to take a break.
Don't stay repressed.
Tell all your kith and kin: I Have To Paint!
They'll be impressed.
Off to Tahiti! But when there, eschew
The Liloed shore.
Head inland where the beasts and forests are
And so much more.
Build there a hut of clay and wattles made.
Set up your easel.
Ensure your heart is reasonably pure
So that no sleaze'll
Corrupt your judgement.
Then corral some girls
To pose for free
-- That is, if you can get them ere they go
Nude's best for such an enterprise as yours.
They'll think : That's Art ; so it's unlikely they'll
When finally your Oeuvre is complete,
Bid them Adieu
And hurry back to London: le Tout-Cork-Street
Will flatter you.
Enjoy ! For sooner than you think Age, AIDS,
-- Those enemies of promise - will arise
To take their toll
-- Unless, of course, you settle for Plan B
And try a life
With what you have already : your good friends,
Your kids, your wife.
Walk on the Wild Side or stroll nearer home :
It's up to you.
I think I know, though, if the choice were mine,
What I would do.