friday feast: at your service


by Noël Coward

Advancing years may bring about
A rather sweet nostalgia
In spite of rheumatism and gout
And, certainly, neuralgia.
And so, when we have churned our way
Through luncheon and a matinée,
We gratefully to bed retire
To rest our aching, creaking vertebrae
And have a little something on a tray.

Some ageing ladies with a groan
Renounce all beauty lotions,
They dab their brows with eau-de-Cologne
And turn to their devotions,
We face the process of decay
Attired in a négligé
And with hot bottles at our toes
We cosily in bed repose
Enjoying, in a rather languid way,
A little ‘eggy’ something on a tray.

Advancing years that many dread
Still have their compensations,
We turn when youth and passion have fled
To more sedate sensations,
And when we’ve fought our weary way
Through some exhausting social day
We thankfully to bed retire
With pleasant book and crackling fire
And, like Salome in a bygone day,
Enjoy a little something on a tray.

When weary from the fray
Something on a tray
Sends weariness away,
Something on a tray,
Thank God, thank God we say,
For something on a tray.

~ from After the Ball, 1954


To which I say, “Bring it!”

I’m a vertebrae crackin’, beauty lotion cartin’, neuralgic, weary maniac in my advanced years who likes nothing better than something on a tray.

But I have a little secret. I’ve loved “something on a tray” way before now — all my life, to be exact, and in all my past lives. Yes, I could have been Salome, or a Hawaiian princess, or a rich baroness with a country estate in Kent. But to be perfectly honest, it’s not about the food, or even the tray, but the idea of having someone to carry it — wherever and whenever, serving me whatever I want. As Coward’s charming song suggests, the older one gets, the more one needs this sort of thing. If your maid isn’t doing anything, please send her my way.

Bring it to me when first I wake,

photo by Vintage Pleasure.

when I’m out for a drive with my beau,

fill it with dainties pretty and sweet,

photo by Polonia Catering.

to revive me when I’m low.

“Tea Time” by Devailles (ilovehijab).

Oh, this pampered life I’d never trade,
Kisses and props to the cook.
Though I gladly ravaged every treat she’s made,
still nothing feeds my soul like a book!

*cue in crackling fire*

Poetry Friends, please allow me the pleasure of serving you the best book of poetry I’ve read so far this year, Borrowed Names by Jeannine Atkins:


This beauty is something you’ll want to savor again and again. In case you missed my Soup of the Day review of Borrowed Names, click here.

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Stacy at Some Novel Ideas. I’m sure she has a tray full of tasty poems for your literary dining pleasure.

BTW, does anyone have a fainting couch I could borrow?

photo by accetera.

Happy Spring!!

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.