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This Old House

By Roger Desmarais:

Every old house has many rooms and hideaways filled with memories of early growth and expansion through years of development. Though seemingly sturdy enough to face the storms and winds of life, there is a finite time of producing comfort and support, warmth and belonging. Eventually the space is needed and the old squeaks and settings suggest time for removal and new growth and development. Looking on the price of progress, one can wonder where all the old houses go. What happened to the palpable love? Where went the constancy of the location of presence? What took away the hospitality that filled the old house with life? We are all kind of like that in our own houses of self.


The old house stood on the corner lot for years

With a light in the window to guide the wanderers

A seat at the table to nourish the hungry

A bed at night to comfort the weary and lost

Always a fire to warm the soul at the end of day.

Each room developed a responsible life of its own

To shelter and protect the innocent from the tempests

To support and encourage those first steps outside

To provide a safe shelter from the external elements

To require an inner growing time for next steps.

A lovely old house beginning to show its lovely old age.

We are similar to our homes of belonging and growth

Compartments and rooms where we live off and on

Sharing our wisdom and grace with our loved ones

Moving in rhythm with the give and take of life

Trying to be as best we can with ourselves and others

Wondering how best to shelter here or encourage there

Sometimes taking the head of the storms head on

As our role in the development of the world around us

Sacrificing personal longevity and health for others.

A lovely old house with many rooms for many others.

And then there is the end time for our finite beings

Our rooms become empty in time with our sending forth

Some rooms seem vacant before their time

The solid foundation begins to sink into old soil

New developments focus on the old space for expansion

Emptying out the loves and joys of the old rooms

Leaving behind vague ghosts of what used to be

Envisioning the end of the old and beginning of news.

It is difficult to see the old house torn down

it is difficult to feel the end time in our own lives

Old homes come and go—and now it is our time.


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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