Sheep counting

When the alien arms of darkness steal
the day away, there’s a silent ticking
in the night
Blood pulsating in my head
the sheep continue grazing
I will not count
trying to switch off my thoughts
yet the very act of doing so
makes it worse, trying to think
of not thinking

Even saying I can do this, defeats
the task at hand
The crunching of the pillows
the toss of sheets
crumpled at my feet
The arms of night pick me up
the devil wants it’s way
throwing me about my bed

I walk, pace the house, stare out
windows into night, gaze at stars
street lights
Listen to crackling wind
as it punctures trees
Sometimes I read,
my weariness
enough to dream

The clock continues ticking
with eyelids closed the
polychromatic colours
filter like snowflakes
It will not come as needed
my sleep, my rest this night
too many thoughts that race
Too much time wasted
wishing to know nothing

copyright JMTacken 8.5.2014





















Saturday Centus Wk 148 Perhaps

Saturday Centus Week 148  – The prompt this week is:   “Without you around, I sleep like a baby” 108 words including the 5 in the Title.

Perhaps because there is no snoring
no sniffling, moaning, grumbling
perhaps there is no waking me as you
get up for the loo
perhaps I am not woken from sheets
or doona being dragged off me
or talking in your sleep as you
sometimes do
without you around I sleep like a baby
I wake in the morning quite refreshed
but I would miss the noises that you
make the little disturbances throughout
the night
for I know that this way you
are next to me
your body next to mine and
I’d rather have that and a restless
than be sleeping all alone


Trifecta Week Sixty Five Challenge Exhaust


Exhaustion comes to mind
when I lay my body down to rest
words invade my head from one challenge
to the next
I wonder why I do it
push my mind to the extreme
it’s not for comments, likes or such
it just comes from my within
I exhaust all possibilities
gathering my thoughts
I cannot stop this madness
to put my entry onto sites
I revel in the madness
and I push myself it’s true
so forgive me when I write
it’s what I have to do
you must know by now it’s who I am
I shall exhaust myself
for the love of writing
I can I will I can


For – Picture11-1-1

Who Am I – Part 3


I remember putting on t-shirts and immediately would throw them off again, as they clung way too much around my stomach or my back. Now the task of getting dressed each day isn’t quite a chore, due to the up keep of exercise but also choosing clothes that now fit my body shape. Thank god for the invention of stretchy light material that just flows and doesn’t necessarily suck to your body shape!

Many years back I did venture into the world of plastic surgery. I was sick and tired of my protruding pot tummy. (Hmm it was many years back, as I glance down to see it has returned over the last few years). Whenever I stood in conversation with someone, I’d fold my arms in front of me to disguise what I thought was unsightly. I wasn’t what you would call ‘big bellied’ but I was always so self-conscious about it (high rib cage perhaps). For anyone who hasn’t had a tummy tuck there are obviously risks involved and a great deal to think through, however l was very happy with the results.

There is the pain of the scar akin to caesarean scarring I would imagine, (though I have never had one so am not an authority) the bruising from the lipo-suction combined with the general uncomfortable stage after any major operation but at the time l took the plunge into the world of cosmetic surgery, l was extremely happy with the outcome. Now that I have ‘advanced in years’ and have noticed that my skin has loosened I am happy to report that so far I can still wear jeans without elasticized waistbands (though some days l wish l did). When I shop for summer tops I steer towards those with a little or cap sleeve to cover up the under arm skin, it’s wobbly and continues to wave even if my arm has. (Is anyone nodding?)

My hair that use to be shoulder length is now in a Vidal Sassoon original style Pixie cut , it took some while to get use to but it’s so much easier to maintain (and don’t they say us women should opt for the shorter styles as we get older anyway? They do say when one is older one shouldn’t go long (again what l have read) maybe length provides an optical illusion to disguise the drooping jowls? I visit the hairdresser for my colour/foils mainly to cover the few grey hairs that have sprouted on my head. I pluck the odd facial hair (yes some are even black) and notice a little fine down (sounds like a doona filling) along my jaw line. I don’t wear eye shadow that much anymore and if I do I am very careful not to be too heavy handed, as it now ‘falls’ into the creases and folds of my eyelids.

I’ve never been a huge water drinker, but of late drink more as my mouth and lips tend to dry more quickly. I use a magnifying mirror now when putting on my make up, especially eyeliner or mascara. I had always wondered why older women would sometimes have remnants of mascara on or underneath their eyes, or have crooked eyeliner applied. The reason was simply because like me, their eyesight was failing and if we can’t view this up closely, we simply don’t see it. I take Omega 3, Magnesium, Glucosamine  (when I remember) to try and banish the aches and pains of my old bones and help restore the memory. l realize how funny that sounded taking pills to help my memory, but then l forget to take them.

I am and always have been a sun lover, (hands up people of my generation, I’m not the only one) now of course we are more aware of skin cancer, but my years of continual exposure skin drowned in baby or cooking oil meant my skin has started to show signs of being more weather beaten. I don’t have skin like a horse saddle but lf l had been more cautious of the sun l would not have developed some Actinic Keratosis (or in laymen’s terms –small dry patches of raised skin and small age-spots).

Speaking of my memory some days are better than others- short term i.e one day not so bad, long term – well just give me a minute or several to think. My girls got to the stage of writing things down for me or sticking notes on the fridge of what they were doing, where they were going etc so I wouldn’t have to keep asking them continually.  The menopause hurdle was the next to cross over. It started just before my 50th birthday.  Some women breeze through without even realising they have had it, whereas others that I know are still putting up with it some ten plus years on.

I had the insomnia, the flushes (mainly at night when I was longing to sleep) and alas the change in body shape. For 5 years or so years this continued, then the flushes stopped. Then low and behold out of nowhere (after almost a year of being absent) the flushes came back as did the insomnia. Oh joy I hear you say (presuming of course you are not a male reading this).

My body has been lived in for 57 years – my body has changed, and is there a funny or bright side to all of this? Well I’m still here, still breathing so that’s a bonus! Maybe I should embrace growing old gracefully after all…I’ll work on it.

So Who Am I – Part 2

My weight on the scales now fluctuates between fifty-nine to sixty one kilograms (trying to stop the later proves more difficult). Some weeks are better than others, but its like my body has said ‘ENOUGH’ this is the weight you are meant to be so deal with it!’ I’m at a loss some days to understand. I ended my gym membership and my partner and I bought a treadmill and home (weights)gym. I am pleased to say I use said equipment approximately 4 to 5 times per week, and apart from a bag of licorice allsorts or snakes I have quite a healthy “normal” diet, but for some reason with the exercising and the odd intermittent over consumption of sugar l can’t loose any more. It has to be an age thing. I can see you nodding your head, are you relating to me? (Surely this is a good sign refer to paragraph 1). Perhaps the ‘muscle weighs heavier’ theory is correct and if so I should look like the Governor of California – Arnie what’s- his -name. But alas it’s noticeable (to me at any rate) and I wish that l was one of these women who can say “Yes l think my body is looking quite reasonable for my age- I’m happy ” but I’m not there quite yet, question is will l ever be?

Unfortunately when I don a bra, I shake my head at the sight of the extra fold or two of skin that appears over the top and at the sides (rather like a squeezed tube of toothpaste). In fact it’s a case of lean forward and jam in the excess to prevent more over-hang! Can I put it down to just an ill-fitting bra perhaps? (Thank god I’m not big in the boob department though yes would have liked a little more..just to have a cleavage would have been lovely thank you). I notice how my skin wrinkles up on my forearm similar to corrugated iron (at least I’ve returned to the humorous) when I bend my arm a certain way, or the skin on my legs looks drier and thinner, not to mention the turkey skin crepe neck? Bruises, cuts remain for longer now, not fading in a day or two as they use to. The back of my hands, such a tell tale sign of age, the only way I can make them appear young and is to clench my fist.  My kneecaps are starting to crease a little more and drop further towards my feet.  Yes everything appears to be going south as we are told with age.

The extra flesh on the top of my hips (muffin tops) is just one of the parts of the female anatomy that is so difficult to get rid of and of course one or two (ok more than that) facial lines around the mouth and under my eyes. Character lines we are told, laugh lines, no just plain ‘you’re getting older girl’ lines I tell my self. Oh sweet youth where have you gone?

I realise that is probably why I had so much difficulty choosing clothes to wear, the clothes that would once reveal an average and reasonably shaped body had gone forever (in my eyes anyway) and I knew that my mid life years had ascended. That’s why the walking was scrapped and the gym took its place. Yes ’any’ exercise is good for you, but if you want quicker results albeit tough some days, working out on a treadmill, cross trainer, bike, doing weights is the only way to go they say, BUT at the same time you must watch your food intake.. sugar, carbs blah blah blah.

I remember looking upon my own mother when I was younger, looking at her skin and her body shape changing and thinking to myself is that going to be my body? Not that we would ever think that our mothers look abysmal (because we’d be in major trouble if they ever found out we thought that way for starters), but I think we scrutinise or at least I did at a younger age how they looked when they were older and I wondered if my body shape would be similar at her age.

Unfortunately and inevitably the answer was yes more than likely. I am delighted in saying that both my parents look extremely young for their age still (so let’s hope I’ve inherited those genes). No matter how much we may detest or protest, our bodies will change, unless of course you’re able to afford plastic surgery on a regular basis. I’m not ashamed to admit I secretly wish that I could have all that back again. Society as a general rule favours smooth skin and slimness over middle age, wrinkles and spare tires! But does that automatically make us more attractive? (Yes I’ve slipped back to the dark side – best get yourself more wine)

I don’t know if I can or want to grow old gracefully as is purported. Peering into the mirror asking “Where are you, where is the girl, the young woman l knew?” With the answer tongue in cheek “Oh yes there you are, your mother”.  I desperately try to maintain my weight, watch what I eat and drink (as I mentioned most of the time) however my body shape has altered. Put down to menopause and my advancing years. I was generally a size twelve, then went to a ten and sometimes on a good month down to an eight. Now due to my fluctuation on the scales (yes l weight myself daily and now take note of grams now) I either reach for my skinny clothes or my fat ones (hands up, yes we all have a wardrobe like this).

The clothing manufacturers sadly have such an unrealistic spectrum when it comes to clothes sizes. Just when you think you are ‘safe’ trying on a pair of size 10 jeans, low and behold you step into them, get them to your upper thighs (with a bit of wiggling and jumping about in the change room) only to find that your hips are in the way. “Damn” you mutter under your breath, why aren’t they fitting? Then you become disillusioned because you know you have 3 other size 10 pairs of jeans hanging in your wardrobe and you hadn’t eaten anything for the last two days before this shopping spree. They should equip dressing rooms with beds (just like the good old days when we squeezed/sucked our bodies into jeans by lying down).