Category Archives: Aged

The Trails of Sand Snakes

Whispers of the wind,

Carry across chasms,

Leaving lines etched on folds of sand,

Marking out the relief of dunes,

Steps, carved out in the shape of sand-snakes,

Traversing vast deserts;

Bearing imprints of the echo,

Left by the cries of the earth,

Leaving their mark,

Like reverberations of experience,

Casting lines of wisdom to adorn your face,

Gradually increasing their relief,

As you age.

Wool & Fishbone

Home-spun wool, looped through fish bone, can’t sow your clothes now ;

A meal of suet and gristle stew, with hard bread, no longer makes your mouth water;

Chasing lambs, knocking cattle on their sides, tumbling down grassy hills ‘n’ vernes in fits of giggles;

Simple games of your youth and humble beginnings forgotten on the incline,

Uncomfortable truths give way to more comfortable prose, when the summit is in sight;

Never realising that the summit is a harsh, inhospitable and baron place;

With so many trampling over each other for a foothold, it’s home to none for too long;

And, courtesy and  humility are not character flaws to be ashamed of, or embarrassed by;

For, a pioneer with the much-envied ‘ace gene’ once said of their corollary- humbleness:

‘There is no act too small, for a truly big man’.

Ol’ Nan to Little Pet (Part 2 of 2)


Forget me not, for I have not forgotten you,

Show me love and compassion, as I had once shown you,

If I could, y’know I would still be useful to you,

As it is, I am trapped in a palace of my own memories,

With a variety of heaven, foreboding and hell – snapshots from a lifetime of diverse experiences -, behind every door;

The barriers of my mind (that could once be trusted to keep my thoughts distinct and separate from each other) have somehow given way,

Forgive me if I can’t place you quickly or at all, for you – like all of my memories – are a jumbled maze,

This glaucoma-like blur clears less and less frequently, if at all;

Be patient with me – a simple human kindness, for any compassion you bear me;

Be kind to me, though I know (in your frantically stress-filled life) it is not easy;

The end is rarely pleasant, Little Pet;

But you must be strong throughout;

I am glad you are doing what you can for me, and that must be enough;

For only the rarest few achieve that sense of finality in life;

And, you and I (I’m afraid, my sweet Little Pet) will not.

‘Little Pet’ to Ol’ Nan (Part 1 of 2)

Streaks of tears flow from ol’ nan’s rheumy eyes;

Is it her tear ducts or is she terribly sad? I don’t know which!

Her face is an age-old mask of wrinkles and parchment;

Turned into paper mache-

Changing from haunted, stern, angry and sincere, each time I visit;

I can no longer read which is which,

She can’t seem to recognise me, I don’t know why!

It fills my soul with helplessness enough to suffocate,

Love isn’t enough to cure you Nan, and the realisation is tearing me apart!

A hard-working woman all your life filled with duty and warmth left virtually an empty shell, where is the justice in that?

Remember, you called me ‘Little Pet’, no one else does now or ever will again;

I fear one day I will visit you and you’ll be gone, and I’m not ready for that!

Please, Nan, show me that you can hear me and come back:

To see my growing family, to give you all the comforts you deserve, and a chance to say ‘I love you’ one last time!

I need that!

Death of Compassion

When did it happen?

Truly, I need to know!

As a nation, we are compassionate,

That much: is- a- fact;

We lead the global list of per capita donations to charity & worth-while causes,

And in the wake of disaster and need,

We respond wholeheartedly,

Often, without restraint!

However, in the quiet corners of this nation-

The aged live isolated (even, neglected) lives;

If the curse of debilitating ill health should visit you in your old age,

Likely modern medicines will keep you alive and prolong your life,

Thereafter, it seems it’s down to random luck if you will be entrusted to carers with compassion and understanding, or not,

A frequent topic of discussion of call-in talk shows, which, each time, unearth frightening and disturbing accounts of neglect & maltreatment,

Suggesting the problem is neither isolated nor localised,

A frightening prospect, then:

Which, at its worse, could condemn you to suffer in silence, making pleas for help to unsympathetic deaf ears, or worse till your end of days,

Perhaps even left un-cleaned in your own excrement, to likely develop bed sores;

To face an unimaginably painful dread end;

Where is the imbued compassion of years old?


Why has the death of compassion allowed to become so widespread?

They’ve given their best, only to be treated like consumables past their prime and cast aside!

Lying in a human equivalent of a landfill site (with a marginally better hygienic regime), waiting their turn to die;

Why is this so? When in other (perhaps less developed) nations, this is not so?

Is it a by-product of our hectic, busy-busy, over-sophisticated lives?

Or, does obsession with self, rather than the whole, mean-

We are individually less generous with our time, patience or understanding, than even with our money –

A national disgrace no matter what positive spin is put on it by those in authority;

Who will likely compare favourable statistics with unfavourables, deftly playing the well-practised numbers game;

For, unlike other less developed but better performing countries or societies on this front-

This country can afford to do something about this udesirable phenomenon, but chooses not to;

Because, it should never be forgotten:

That not every problem can be fixed with money and you cannot (no matter what you believe) pay another to care about one of your nearest and dearest, as well as you would.