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By Roger Desmarias:

It is interesting to note the lexicon of words and phrases used to describe the various stages within the ultimate phase of life. Depending on the subject of the discussion, the nouns and verbs describing old commodities sometimes shift the meaning a bit from "somewhat favorable" to "definitely not worth having around."

It is clear that some things such as basic trash, rotting food, or recyclable waste can have a fixed date for disposal. But when the focus narrows in on the elderly, the aging, the halting and infirm, the cutting meanness of old "cultural" language comes full circle. The "slow lane" and the "handicapped sticker" are more gentle than "old fart" and "get out of the way," especially when it begins to focus more narrowly on oneself.


It’s getting old - so dump it!

Is it still under warrantee?

What is its discard date?

It didn’t last very long.

It lasted too long!

Too late to get any money back?

Can’t recycle this item.

When it’s this old, it is moldy.

Way beyond its usefulness.

And so goes the litany of ‘oldness’

As one elderly person objected:

“I am not a piece of garbage”

Nor do I deserve being shunted aside”

Just because I can’t see or hear very well,

Tend to shuffle with my cane in hand

Or am beginning to break down”.

Excuse my old inabilities,

Embrace my new wisdom.

I am not feeble inside where I live,

I am a young person at heart - mostly,

I love my loves fiercely with care,

I take my time to enjoy what is,

I try not to hurry to the next moment,

I am a good person getting clearer,

I am trying to learn to enjoy what is;

This new normal is a brand new beginning.

Give me some room to go slow,

Appreciate my willingness to contemplate,

Let me savor the bird in the tree,

Feel the power of reality in bits and pieces,

Taste the freshness of an old idea resurrected,

Let me touch the future quietly

Offer me a hand to balance my world,

Really smell the birth of the rose bud,

Be happy for me in my golden years.

Are you prepared for this tectonic shift?

Start practicing now.


Dr. Roger Desmarais has written poetry on his experiences as a consultant to executives and their executive teams as a way to more easily connect with the Emotional Intelligent part of the total leader. This has also opened the opportunity to write poetry to define the Spiritual Intelligence that is the foundation for Ethical and Responsible Leadership—which is a growing request. His recently published book of corporate poetry taps the three intelligences: Intellectual, Spiritual, and Emotional: “Disruptive Poetry: Upsetting the Perfect Corporate Status Quo.”

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Sep 22, 2019

Very 21st century poetry. I like it!

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