“The oldest trees often bear the sweetest fruit.”- German proverb
The old are in a second childhood.
It is a mistake to regard age as a class inclined toward dissolution.
The reverse is true. While one ages, one rises with astonishing steps.
Blessed are the elderly, when they experience indisposition or worse;
their shattered limbs and fevered brows, when there
Is a need for healing from the senescent discomfort that they feel,
While they seek medicine and words of comforting care-
During lugubrious moments, support them with honor.
A saggy bending of the knees and elbows, with their palms
Turned out, prudent-Socratic perspective: The greatest minds
Throughout the centuries as foundation stones when
Candles burn at night where they lay their hands upon understanding;
While pensive and reverend amid waving Methuselah trees,
The adoration song plays alongside the sighing breezes,
In accents of climactic praise, shedding appreciative tears.
A grateful influence from their wisdom- well-versed,
During life’s warm adventures under serene skies,
With brief showers of rain nurturing Tiger Lilies and Cushion Chrysanthemums.
And when we were children, they taught us judicious morals
In the shires of the island where we read novels about physics
And astronomical matters until sunsets came with twilight shadows.
At nightfall, we stared at the pulsars and supernovae through telescopes,
Where their temperatures and substantiality were high enough to
Sustain nuclear fusion reactions. They burned afar with luster until
The beams of morning came at summer solstice as they drank
Coffee in gardens filled with Larkspurs, snapdragons and delphiniums;
Followed by a toast of vintage on the deep-delved earth: the dazzling Hippocrene!
They taught Plutarchian tales- (Character is simply habit long continued).
As the grass, the thicket and the wild pomegranate trees clustered around
When our youth grew pale with soft incense; warblers hung upon the boughs,
There were damselflies, antlions and web-spinners while the air was thick
At midday as we flew on the wings of Poesy with imagined pards!
Blessed are some senior citizens, for being perceptive and erudite.
There on rocking chairs, where they assemble and participate
In elderly activities and social roles.
They are the roots that clutch that create the footprints of time;
Blessed are elders with their wrinkles and liver spots on the skin,
Their grey hair or hair loss and their lives captured in daguerreotypes.
Oh and when we make our visits, in Venetian weekend villas;
Dined in destination restaurants with them discussing global politics,
Bringing back memories of quondam times.
The grandfather clock brought darkness on a November night
Where the Queen-Moon, happily on her throne called their venerable soft names.
Like an art-piece from Nicolaes Maes, an old woman dozed by
While wind-blown glass armonicas made a melodious plot
With multitudinous penumbras behind her from the noctilucent clouds.
When a man honors his father and mother, God says “I regard it as though
I had dwelt among them and they had honored me.”
In distressing stages, as patients sojourning in nursing homes,
Blessed are the old-aged who are respected and loved;
That I may commemorate measuring out my life with comparability,
And how should I suppose while holding a damask rose in sylvan eglantine;
As I grow older, that I have two hands, one for helping myself and the other
For helping others. And indeed we don’t grow older, we grow riper like
Bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
And as adults, appearing at the old people’s homes with delivered Prinzregententortes,
Streuselkuchens and Buccellatos, we assuaged their frowning countenances.
We’d watch them suspend consciousness like slumbering angels as the
Zephyrs blew tunes of infatuation while raindrops fell delicately against the
Clerestory windows outside. One day, elder Benjamin and Oscar sat smoking
Their tobacco pipes puffing by a fireplace with burning cinders where
They recollected with personal narratives of their childhoods and manhood.
The afternoon slept so composedly during that time they memorized about
Riding Andalusian horses on German and Soviet ground forces
In World War II. And how they wept for the deceased, laughing with
Candidum Hybrids tearing the petals apart, declaring “Ladies
Life is too short to be anything but happy.”
Age is factually a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
Old Earl’s face, wrinkled with perpendicular lines, resembled a Eurasian Cave Lion’s.
His eyes, observant and avuncular fixated on me with a light heart like the
Desert sand while his white, thinned hair was parted with a comb; also
Dressed in turquoise flannel trousers.
He held ‘Mister Ferris’ his birman cat in his skeletal hands,
Stroking its back gingerly, when he recalled yesteryear night fishing in the yellow
Fog of South Korea for the duration of July. Under the stelliform sky, his best
Friend Edmund navigated the rowboat as they searched for kingfish through
The seaweed while the great winds shoreward blew. As young individuals,
Their relatives told them mythical tales about the mermaids and mermen from
The South Sea. At times, the faint quarter-moon dipped out of view while
Thoughts of death entered their minds;
Of patient bitterness they waited for their targets.
Blessed are the elderly ladies and those dying from old age
-These experienced teachers as counselors about life, command veneration.
Often I have seen the self-conceited youth disdain the aged,
Treating them with neglect and mockery, forgetting that they’d be old too someday.
And when it was time to congregate with Elders Theodora, Dorothea and Madame Zenobia,
In the retirement facility in Lucerne, they laughed cheerfully in autumn’s transition
Into winter when on holiday season, they chatted about their puerile days.
As youngsters they danced modern ballet in studios in Saint Petersburg and Moscow with
Choreographers, violinists and pianists for musicals with Edelweiss.
Their cachinnation tinkled among the teacups.
Pacing about the room, Miss Dorothea put a record on the gramophone and conversed
About her womanhood in Amsterdam with the Riekermolen windmill that kept the area dry.
At three o’clock, my associates and I left them to return home with farewell kisses.
Their faint breaths and tired eyes were ready to sleep on the flocculent pillows,
Like tottery edifices, crusted with mould; chambers thick with dust.
Oh what a sight did nature here present! Dreams of days past long ago,
When pubescents played around their knees, filling the air with childish glee.
The blessing of a senior citizen’s prayer, silently wiped a trickling tear as she wrote
A letter while sipping her Vichyssoise in the company of an electric grand piano.
“To the world at large and anyone that cares,
At that time of my life when the sky decides
To pull its curtains on me, I desire that my body
Would be buried in a tomb so that it may be
Preserved like my father’s and that if God
May order me to rise like Lazarus, I would say
I come from the dead, reappearing to recite it all.
And that would’ve been it all.”
Blessed are the veterans and pensioners dwelling around the globe.
Next sunrise at six o’clock on a hazy day with visible stratocumuli,
I sat in the mesic prairies beside Big Blue Stems
With my friend’s grandmother and the neighbors in unfenced country.
The Atlantic Ocean on the left side foamed with algae and Echinoderms,
As the lake on the other side was occupied with ivory whooper swans
That frolicked to the rhythm of the water ripples while their feathers formed
Fluffy patterns in the atmosphere. We listened to her vocal thoughts of the past
When she lived in Paris briefly, as an art curator at the Louvre museum
Where she constructed artwork inspired by Caravaggio’s ‘The Fortune Teller’
With Poussin’s ‘Echo and Narcissus.’
Delighted at our assiduities to her dialogue as an old woman’s disposition;
She was lonely as her husband passed away decades ago.
Blessed are the elderly that remember the joys and remember the pain
-Are loving and living life.
“Desire and hope will push us on toward the future.”-Michel de Montaigne