The Poetry of Brian Langley


This poem takes a look at one of the big problems of aging - Alzheimer's Disease.

It is a performance poem in which the performer assumes two different identities,
Firstly a rather vague hesitant old gentleman sitting in his chair talking to a visitor -
The second is "Dan", a far more alert individual who is sitting in a different chair, talking to the old chap.    
At the transition,  The performer changes chairs (it is also a good idea to change hats to indicate that it is a different person narrating) 


Dinkum Dan


Do I recall your name sir?

No – I don’t believe I can

But you bear a strong resemblance

To me best mate Dinkum Dan


But you’re many years older

And I wouldn’t be surprised

If you’re a distant relative

But a trifle oversized


You look a lot like Dan, you do

But his hair’s thick and black

You’ve hardly any hair at all

Just a little on the back


And what you’ve got is mottled grey

But still you look like Dan

You wouldn’t be by any chance

Dinkum Dan’s old man?


But no – that cant be right I know

Dan told me just last week

His dad drowned a few years back

When he tried to swim the creek


Was just a couple of years ago

The year the floods came down

The year, that Queen Elizabeth

Inherited the crown


My God, she looked a treat she did

I wonder how she’ll go

Her and that young Philip bloke

I’ve heard he’s Greek you know


Dan, he said he’ll go one day

To Greece, that’s what he said

Was just last week he told us

Me and Jim and Fred


He sprung it on us, sudden like

I dunno why he did

But I bet him that he wouldn’t go

I bet him half a quid


You know I call him Dinkum

‘Cos he never tells the truth

And I reckon that me money’s safe

Now he’s goin out with Ruth


Do you remember Ruthie Jones

That skinny little tart

Well she’s turned out quite a looker

But I think she’ll break his heart


‘Cos sheilas break up friendships

But I don’t believe she can

For we’ll stay mates forever

Just me and Dinkum Dan


I told him, just the other day

I told him, Dan I said

Don’t let that sheila Ruthie Jones

Put marriage in your head


For married blokes you rarely see

They’re home with kids and wife

They don’t see much of former mates

They’ve got a different life


What is your name? – I cant recall

Have I met you before

And who’s that woman over there

Just standing by the door


I’m feeling rather sleepy now

I’ll have a nap I think

Me best mate Dan is coming round

We’ll go and have a drink




He turned and faced the other way

I was glad he didn’t know

That tears trickled down my cheeks

As I stood up to go


She came across and took my hand.

Then Ruth, she said to me

"It makes me sad to see him so

Lets go and have some tea


And we can sit and talk about

When he was our best man

Fifty years ago tomorrow

When we married, Dinkum Dan"



     © Brian Langley  Feb 2005


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