Wisdom of the Aged

Anita Britto, Auckland
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Jun 8, 2016

In the autumn of my life, I’ve yet to figure out
The purpose of our journey and what life’s all about
As I prepare for winter armed with grace and fortitude
For the blissful spring and Summer I’m filled with gratitude


I can’t believe how quick time’s gone for just the other day
Grandma sat me on her lap while I heard her pray
And as I whizzed through teenaged years in stonewashed faded jeans
I dreamt about those superstars on 70mm screens


My Wren & Martin thick enough to hide James Hadly Chase
I spent time singing songs that had no treble but all Bass
Living for the moment without looking for the kerb
Life for me meant Action, Not a Noun but Verb


Armed with half-baked wisdom and the arrogance of youth
I thought I knew it all without a single wisdom tooth
Finding myself in the dark, I grew beyond my years
And learnt some nifty strategies which helped me deal with fears


Not savvy in my twenties but somewhat settling down
I turned my wounds to wisdom though I didn’t stop playing the clown
The vagaries of youth long gone I learnt to look within
Well into my thirties I knew Life was yang and yin


Now at the tail end of my 40s, 49 to be precise
I’ve grown old but not grown up and I still romanticize
I’ve learnt more from my growing kids than they did from me
And am grateful that they love and trust their Mum implicitly


I’ve figured that it always pays to listen to my heart
And retreat to timeless values that my Grandmas did impart
My Grandmas, both survivors – tender and yet tough
Their sense of humour intact even when times were rough


I’ve seen them cry and cleanse their souls enduring heat and pressure
Diamonds in the making that their Grandkids learnt to treasure
Emerging with new brilliance through heartache and through pain
Their heads held high, they hung in there and never did complain


Both these women, strong as steel barely five foot three
Had vast reserves of patience and just boundless empathy
They knew of love and loyalty, forgiveness, faith and hope
With hearts of gold and souls of grace they learnt to smile and cope

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Comment on this article

  • anita britto, Mangalore/Auckland

    Fri, Jun 24 2016

    Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your appreciative and encouraging comments.

    Agree [1]

  • R.Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Mon, Jun 13 2016

    An aged man told me a couple of decades back....
    1.The old need not necessarily be wise.
    2.You have to listen to them for they have 'Wisdom'.
    Today two decades later, the old man is not there.
    I ponder over his two sentences but.I realize that to have uttered those two sentences also,he must have been very wise.
    Such a thoughtful,lively and relevant poem for all times-Madam Anita.

    Agree [4]

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Frazer Town,B'lore

    Mon, Jun 13 2016

    Well worded meaningful poem of decency and of great thought.Congratulation and all the best.

    Agree [3]

  • Christine Vaz Kapinos , Virginia, USA

    Sun, Jun 12 2016

    Beautifully written!

    Agree [2]

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Sun, Jun 12 2016

    Another great Post Anita !
    Keep penning and continue your amazing work !

    Agree [5]

  • margarita saldanha, london

    Sat, Jun 11 2016

    Anita, you have so much wisdom for one who is only on the brink of the second half of your century, you are really awesome. You really encompass all the wisdom of the ages, as you have absorbed not only all that you have been taught from the role models in your family, but also from the great philosophers of all ages.
    Margarita Saldanha

    Agree [3]

  • Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira, Sakleshpur/mangalore

    Thu, Jun 9 2016

    Children who grow up with grandparents are very fortunate to learn from their wisdom, love and affection. They also grow up to be better human beings. There is a strong message in your poem that we need to understand and pass on from generation to generation.You use words brilliantly and it is always a pleasure to go through your poems.Thank you.

    Agree [4]

  • THERESA LOBO, MUKAMAR,SHARJAH

    Wed, Jun 8 2016

    Congratulations Anita. Nice Poem.
    Beautiful words.God bless you always.

    Agree [7]

  • Richard Lewis, Udyavar/Bangalore

    Wed, Jun 8 2016

    Congrats Anita, great one as usual, keep up your good work. God bless you.

    Agree [8]


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