Old People

I have always admired old people

Even as a child.

Behind wrinkled skin and blue veins

Knobby knees and rheumy eyes,

Behind faltering steps and hesitant speech

I saw 'Fire'!

Not just dying embers

But hot light, crackling with energy.

I saw Attitude, fascinating and inspiring.


I said to myself: 'It takes GUTS to grow old!

And basic good health;

The right foods, exercise, clean air;

Freedom from poverty, from natural disasters ;

From war and the fear of war.

Ha! And 'family genes'!


So I wondered, as a kid,

'What have they seen, these old people

Like my grandparents?

What have they enjoyed – championed -

Endured – despised – survived!

Physically – mentally – emotionally – spiritually?

Life can be hard, not just daunting but crushing!

And yet, here they are – survivors!'


Big ideas for a young girl, I know.

I boldly challenged my elders:

'What is meant by 'the decline of life'?

'Up the hill and down the hill' seems silly.

Surely it's more like a mountain range -

Peaks and valleys as far as the eye can see -

Or the blood can flow?'

I must have been so annoying.

At least I didn't say 'disingenuous'!


Yes! Old folks shuffle and yawn

And tell the same story a hundred times

And pass gas unrealized -

But they have survived this hard world

Which is still here for us.


And the Young rightly say to the Old,

'Look at what YOU did NOT do!'

And 'YES!' reply the Old, 'We KNOW that.

We acknowledge our failings.

So, take the reins of civilization!

YOU are now the driver - and the driven!

It's YOUR turn.


◄ 'She's a Prostitute'

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 8th Aug 2019 12:32

Another excellent thought-provoking blog from this source.
It helps to be bold
When you grow old;
You know the score,
Seen and heard it before
Try to pass on the best
Before going to your rest.

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Thu 8th Aug 2019 12:19

Quality poem this. Alas some of us oldies who visited the Amazon ports around Para circa the mid 50s, weep at the Junk Mail which has probably contributed to what is now an unrecognisable place through deforestation. The world left to me by my grandparents will not be the one I pass on to my grandchildren. It saddens me greatly that and the GPO insist on pushing the stuff your letter box in spite of notices to the contrary and protestations. Shame on them I say. (Some postmen privately insist they have no choice). Here endeth. Brave of you to single out a particular generation though. It is my teachers of the past that I continue to hold in reverence and awe. They helped me understand a world that sometimes needs a huge amount of human understanding. ?

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Don Matthews

Thu 8th Aug 2019 00:18

This is so good Cynthia.....

As far as wavelength sharing
I oscillate with you
My mind is whirring 24/7
I scream, what can I do?

My mind says answer's simple
Just write it down, in words
Then pad them out with meaning
And spread them, make them heard

What continues to amaze me Cynthia is what our mind comes up with. It never stops it's journey of exploration........even when asleep.

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Jason Bayliss

Wed 7th Aug 2019 22:52

All day every day, constantly washing at the shores of my consciousness.
Love the poem, love the insight.

J. x

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 7th Aug 2019 16:53

My brain whirrs even as I sleep, and then I have to write ideas down, give them solidity. And I wonder: 'Who else might be on the same wave length?' So - I share.

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