“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Sunday, 29 July 2012

This old man....

My son sent me a poem during last week and I'd now like to share it with you...firstly a little background information....

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.
Cranky Old Man.....
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within ... we will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched.
They must be felt by the heart


  1. I've seen the female version of this poem Neesie! I remember sending it to my daugher, who is an RN, a number of years back. My first job when I moved over here to the UK was in a Residential home for the elderly and I found it absolutely appalling the way some of the supposed "care" workers cared for the residents. It was a disgrace. I didn't last long in that job I'm afraid. I was not a very popular worker with the rest of them! I cared too much. (as if that were possible!!!) Love and hugs to you! xxoo

    1. A female version ~ really? I suppose this could have been doing the rounds for a few years, but I think the senitment is still worthwhile and something that should be at the forefront of all our minds.
      I was impressed that my son was so touched when he read it and brought it to my attention. ;D
      I hope you're enjoying your Sunday and ready for a fun packed week.
      Thanks for popping over...I'll be visiting soon x0x

  2. Oh my..I have a tear in my eye, that is just so beautiful, thought provoking and heart rending. Thank you for sharing it. I agree we should all keep those words in mind.
    Enjoy the rest of your day :0)

    1. I think so too...I couldn't get it out of my head after reading it.

      Well that's the weekend over! What a shame but hopefully we'll be in for a brilliant week with lots of sunshine ;D
      I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
      Thanks for visiting :D

  3. Oh Neesie, what a wonderful poem, I totally filled up whilst reading it - thank you so much! Crafty hugs, Anne x

    1. Aww Anne...I know I was the same and that's why I thought I'd post it.
      Once I read it, it stayed with me for days. I was just so proud that my son read it and realised just how poignant it was...to then send it on to me. I must be doing something right! ;D
      I hope you've had a great weekend and are ready for another fun packed creative week ahead...oh yes and the sun shines! xox

  4. this really touch me. I work in a nursing home and won't you mind if I copy this poem and hang it on the wall in the nursing home?

    1. Of course you can hang it on the wall Joy, I think it would be a great reminder not only to staff but family memebers too to just stop and think for a moment. ;D
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I wasn't sure about posting it because but then I couldn't get it out of my mind.
      Let's hope that this coming week is a fun packed week! ;D

  5. I saw that on FB a week ago, it really does make you think. Love the picture to go along with it, is that your picture? It's perfect! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina

    1. That's probably where my son saw it then Sandee.
      I was so proud that it touched him enough to bring it to my attention...nothing else he sees on FB makes it to my attention that's for sure!!!
      Hope your week is going well ~ have fun :D

  6. Someone emailed me this the other day, Neesie. It's doing the rounds on the Internet at the moment, and a jolly good thing too - it's about time younger people stopped looking at older people as another species, or stupid, and having no identity. I am going to show it to Wonderwoman, my home help, when she comes on Friday - most of her clients are elderly and while she needs no reminder about their identity as real people, she might well be able to pass it on where it counts.

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. I think the more people that see this the better Shoshi.
      I had a giggle with your 'Wonderwoman' statement though.
      These special carer's are indeed wonderwoman so the name is very apt!
      I've had people ask if they can print the poem to post on Care Facility/Nursing Home noticeboards...which is great. It's not my poem obviously so I hope it's okay to say yes :$
      Only good can come of it surely.
      Thanks for popping by...I hope you're week is going well and you're having lots of fun creating! :D

  7. This poem brought tears to my eyes Neesie. Gosh...I see people like this every time I visit Mum. I try to be kind and listen to them and bring them little treats.
    Judy x

    1. It done that for quite a few people Judy...you're not alone.
      I think we all can do with a little gentle reminder every now and again.
      I know you do so much for your Mum and all her friends...they must love your visits. ;D
      Have a lovely weekend and let's hope the sun shines!

  8. Such a thought provoking poem. I have an Auntie is just about the stage described. I of course know all her terrific traits even if they are no longer present - I wish her caregivers could know them too. They take good care of her tho, bless them.


    1. There are some wonderful carers working in difficult conditions who should be applauded fully for the vital work that they do. I just couldn't resist giving everyone a gentle reminder ~ myself included.
      I spoke to an elderly lonely lady this morning and she just had some facinating tales to tell...all that's needed sometimes is to lend an ear ;D
      Apparently there is a female version of this poem, but I haven't seen it yet.
      Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for joining me :D


I get so excited to see you here and love to read your thoughts and comments.
I always try to answer each one personally (I think it's only polite)
...♥...I truly appreciate your precious time here so thank you ...♥...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...