When I Am Old

(I first posted this when few people had discovered the site. I have decided it deserves better distribution, so here goes. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  )


When I am old, do you suppose
That hairs will grow out of my nose,
And as I count the passing years
Will tufts of it sprout from my ears?

When arms and legs are thin and frail
And memory begins to fail
Shall I recall those days gone by
When passing women sought my eye?

When face is wrinkled, fold on fold,
And summer heatwaves leave me cold,
And teeth are gone, and eyes are weak,
Shall I lose all desire to speak?

When I have lived my lifespan through
And found at last a perfect view
Will others see there no more than
The mumblings of a mad old man?

When I am always far away,
Too deaf to hear a word you say,
Your feelings – will they be the same
When I keep asking you your name?

When mind’s decayed, and flesh repels,
And speech no longer casts its spells;
When I am old, then we shall see
Just what it was you loved in me.

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on February 8, 2012, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. sarahjaneprosetry

    The last line screams at me. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ben this is fantastic ๐Ÿ˜€ awesome poem and the ending WOAH!!! respect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your response brings me close to tears. Thank you so much. We are all so individual and unique, and yet have the essentials in common, whenever we take time to remember. And then we see how much madness surrounds us!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful poem – so glad you re-posted it. The last line is priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As usual, I’m shooting for the ineffable. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • The ineffable – and the essence. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Thinking further on this – it makes me think of a close family member with Alzheimer’s who is slowly losing herself. But her ESSENCE remains – the essence that we all love. She still has her sense of humor, her generosity, her nurturing spirit, her longing to learn new things (in spite of forgetting 2 minutes later and being constantly confused). She still loves us, though I know one day she’ll no longer recognize us.

        It’s our Essence that never dies… that essential Self. Thanks again, Ben, for the great poem!

        Liked by 1 person

      • And thank you for your attentive and thoughtful comment.


  4. I am so pleased you decided to repost this wonderful poem, if you hadn’t I would not have been able to read such a beautiful exploration of life, aging and the questions our lives bring. This is an exceptional piece of work Ben.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice poem Ben…and very accurate! I can totally relate to your words now that I have reached that stage where I am considered “old.” I keep telling myself that I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This calls to mind thoughts I pondered long in my early years before I fervently pursued a woman, and these are the insights of a mature and loving heart. Beautifully said, Ben!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wrote it at 30 (which is a while ago now. ๐Ÿ˜› ) I am no less insecure, but rather more accepting (or resigned), I think. And as for “mature”? I have to say that the jury is still out on that.


  7. Thank you, Ben, for reposting this. Wonderfully deep… and SO true. As we age we see truly what attracted us to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve only just discovered this comment. It had been interpreted as spam for some reason! Good job I check the “Spam” box now and again.

      Thanks for your compliment. Your observation is quite true, of course, although in some cases we simply become – literally – dis’illusion’ed. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. That really is gripping.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fantastic wrap up. It’s not easy to write such a great piece and then end it even better

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I did comment on this earlier, but my remarks disappeared into the ether, lol! Physically we do deteriorate with age, but often there are also mental consequences. This is the telling time of true love, ie love for the inner person.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great poem Ben, this is my first time to read it, very profound insights…so inescapably true!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Actually, I am old, or certainly trending that way, and Ethel and I still love even after 44 years and so many moments when pain or joy seemed unbearable that the life we have lived was changed–sometimes good, sometimes bad. This poem made me smile. The truth is, as the poem hints at, even though the physical body does deteriorate and irritate you to no end, love can still go on. I love reading this, Ben. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. we are “us” even in the guise of old age–your last line is wonderful–hopefully we are loved for ourselves and not the superficial–though I have to admit,it is difficult losing the bloom of youth

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is brilliant Ben, the last two verses, in particular, are so powerful, and really say it all. I shall repeat myself on my post where you’ve posted it in the comment section too!

    – Esme Cloud shaking his hand

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a wonderful, moving poem. I have copied and posted on Facebook as there is no option to share on the FB. Hope you don’t mind. It’s so nice I wanted more friends to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: