Elder’s Wisdom


by Bill Corden (June 2019)

Graham Greene in Antibes, Paul Hogarth, 1985



I struggle with an iPad,

Fight a mobile phone

The kids think that I am old and sad

And shouldn’t be out alone


Sure, I’m getting slower

Than I was back in my prime.

And, like a push-pull mower,

I’m likely past my time.


But grass still grows just like it did,

A million years ago.

And it’s still cut the same old way,

Despite life’s ebb and flow.


Life’s constants never change that much

We eat, we sleep, we die

Not one of us has figured out

The burning question . . . why?


Who can help you make your way

To the final exit door?

Who can guide you day to day

Who’s seen it all before?


Well, not to toot my trumpet,

Nor to blow my horn . . .

But, I’ve dealt with lots of crumpet

Since long ere you were born.


I’ve seen a lot of winsome lasses

Turn into nagging shrews . . .

And shapely, curvy, comely asses

That grew and grew and grew . . .


I’ve seen the guys who guarantee

To get you riches plenty.

They can set your future free

But leave your wallet empty.


I’ve seen my share of bosses

Who don’t know chalk from cheese,

Nail you to the roughest crosses

Yes sir, thank you, please.


I still make my mistakes, it’s said

Follow my heart and not my head

But, now, I minimize the harm,

Now I don’t bet all the farm.

         I’ve got the sense to cut and run

         Getting old’s a lot of fun


I’ll finish up and emphasize

An elder’s counsel’s mostly wise.

If you’ve got problems with existence,

See a person with persistence.



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Bill Corden is a happily retired sports columnist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Now he writes, plays music and makes people laugh.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

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