The Haphazardly Poetical – Superman


Sunday 16th June – Father’s day (UK)

I’m not certain just how I expected this to turn out when I started it, but I’m pretty certain it wasn’t quite so Pam Ayres. I was thinking about how, as you get older, your children turn to their partners for support rather than you (quite rightly, of course). Realising that you are no longer their Superman is quite jolting (even if the grandkids still think you’re cool). I remember feeling super-human when I was younger – indestructible – these days if I don’t watch myself I become increasingly anxious. This, I have decided, is stupid and I rail against it. My children do still call me when they want help. My superhuman cape no longer makes me feel invincible, but I still have my moments of being adequate. I can’t stop a speeding bullet, but I can still hang a shelf. I may no longer be Superman, but I’m still in there giving it a go. Watch out Lex Luthor, I’m limping towards you!


It’s no fun being Superman when your rheumatics are playing you up
And your hairline is receding and your teeth are in a cup.
When just changing in a phone box gives excruciating pain
And you wish you could get back to being just Clark Kent again.

It’s no fun being Superman when you’re not quite what you were
And you wish had a leotard, thermal lined with lots of fur.
When you stomach, like the crime wave, is spreading much too fast
And you realise your exploits are all stories from the past.

It’s no fun being Superman when your x-ray sight has failed
And you find you need bifocals just to read what’s in the mail.
When you find that where you flew one time at supersonic speed
You now can’t race the budgie ‘til he gives you five yards lead.

It’s no fun being Superman when the quiff’s gone from your hair;
When you try to flex your muscles, but you find there’s nothing there.
When a gentle, modest amble has replaced the supersonic
And the only super-strength you have is in your gin & tonic

It’s no fun being Superman when you’d rather run and hide
And your rippling thighs and biceps have now gone out with the tide.
When you wrap your cape around you just to keep you from the cold
And you’re not as scared of Kryptonite as you are of growing old.

It’s no fun being Superman when, as former man of steel,
You discover your whole being is just one Achilles heel
And your super-human body is just human flesh and bone:
It’s no fun being Superman when your super-days have flown.


(I tried, repeatedly, to give this a ‘redemptive’ last verse, but I couldn’t do it. And then I realised that the reason I couldn’t do it, is that it wouldn’t have been right. As long as you realise that not even Superman will be Superman forever, it doesn’t matter. Pour yourself a long one and enjoy the sunshine.)

The Haphazardly Poetical – Flower

The Haphazardly Poetical – ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

9 thoughts on “The Haphazardly Poetical – Superman

  1. Nothing wrong with a bit of Pam Ayres! And that is a funny, funny poem. Even Superman must have reached a time where he thought ‘No more saving the world! Time for the pipe and slippers.’ Leaving the buzzing about to the Supermillenials to get on with. 🙂


    1. You are too kind – you are actually much too kind – but I’m sure there has to be a time when even superheroes think ‘oh sod it, I’m just going to have a beer and a packet of Marmite crisps. And if there isn’t, there should be. As for the supermillenials, I’m pretty sure they’d have to risk-assess it first…

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  2. For me, Superman died when Christopher Reeves was injured.

    My Daddy has always been there for me but I call him Dad.
    I guess I’ve just never seen him as Superman. Just Dad. The
    one I can always count on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I sit here in a Gin soaked stupor with a tear in my good eye, I have to agree… It concluded where it needed to conclude. I always said that I should finish full-time work whilst I could still leap from tall buildings… I probably should have retire earlier!

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