Anna Linden and I got the idea for this poem one the morning at the Cooma Caravan Park, during a tour of NSW. I was packing up the tent, while Anna was searching for her comb. The first verse and reply were spoken out during the process, pretty much as they appear here. The other verses were written later but they all come from real events.
Oh where is my comb? It's chanced to roam.
I wish I'd left it safe at home.
It's giving me the chase: all around the place.
It should be here, safe in my case.
I've looked here and there, in the tent, on the chair,
In the bag, in my hair... I'm set to despair!
I was starting to drool, when I felt a slight pull.
"Here it is you great fool; in the bag with the wool!"
You may think it sound and fitting:
To do your combing, standing or sitting.
But I consider it less than witting:
To leave your comb amongst your knitting.
Oh where are my keys? Can I have them back please?
They've walked off and hid, (they just do it to tease).
They can't have gone far, I sure need them for the car.
They're not in my handbag... Are they in the jar?
They're not on the bed. Did you hear what I said?
I've looked everywhere, I think I'm losing my head.
My hopes they were thinning, but I started grinning...
I found them at last, with the products of spinning!
You may think yourself a wag:
To treat those things like a piece of old rag.
But still you might be a bit of a dag:
To stow your keys in your old knitting bag.
Oh where my shoes? I'm looking for clues.
They suit me so well that I can't bear to lose.
I had them last night, now they're giving me a fright.
They were next to the bed… No that can't be right.
Near the fridge on the floor, or by the back door?
I've checked the whole house. I tell you: it's a chore.
I was feeling unstable, what with being unable,
But what's this I spy? They're under the table!
I have a scheme, with which, I'm betting,
Your life will improve, no effort, no fretting.
This dictum follow, without regretting:
"Just learn to recall, instead of forgetting."
Oh where are my specs? They always perplex.
They're floating round somewhere, it can't be complex.
Were they up on my nose, you'd laugh I suppose,
I've checked in the couch and yesterday's clothes.
Not under the tree, nor by the TV.
I'd find them in a flash, if I could just see.
I try to be strong, when things all go wrong.
And look! They were here in my bag all along!
I observe your mental freeze,
And contemplate with some unease,
(Without intending to displease),
The advance perhaps, of Alzeimers disease?
Oh where is my phone? I can't hear the tone.
I must make that call, now I'm totally thrown.
It's such a frustration, it's my only communication.
Perhaps it was left at my partner's location?
It's not in the street, nor behind the back seat.
Not put in the wash, is there some way to cheat?
I was starting to flag, with this worrying snag,
When I suddenly thought of my pink travel bag!
It may be fun, to think like the weather,
And drift and soar away like a feather.
But p'rhaps 'twould be wise to find it a tether,
Or one day you might lose yourself altogether.
Warren Mars & Anna Deacon - September & November 2011