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Sage Advice- A Poem

Updated on January 13, 2013

Sage Advice

I sat at a bench one day and grumbled and swore

Bitter and angry and wanting to settle a score

When an old man came to me and said good day

He was old and infirm and stooped from decay

Bushy white eyebrows and one clouded eye

Framed with a gray hat and a bright blue tie

He leaned in and looked at me with a squint and a stare

And said with the greatest of care:

“I’m thankful for the dreams that never came and the paths unseen

The life never lived and the places I’ve never been

I’m thankful for the lies never told and the people unknown

The seeds never planted and the plants that were never grown

I’m thankful for the words never said and the pain unfelt

The pleasure never gained and the cards that were never dealt

I’m thankful for the prayers never answered and the prayers never given

Never knowing God or a life worth living

I’m thankful for never feeling, cause I’ve never been hurt

Never knowing loss or an opinion to assert

I’m thankful for nothing because that’s all I’m worth

A life I’ve never lived, an absence on this earth.”

The shock on my face was quite apparent; I never thought I’d hear it

My anger had faded and so had my spirit

Who are you and why did you say this was my quiet reply

The man leaned in and said with a sigh:

“I am you and you are me, we are both one and the same

One day you’ll be old with no one to blame

You’ll brood and you’ll bitch and you’ll bury your life

You’ll make a face to hide your strife

You’ll go through the motions and then go to bed

And one day you’ll wake and know you’re already dead

You’re crippled and sore and life is all gone

With no one to rest your head upon

And you’ll ask where did it all go

You spent it on spite for all that you know

But you can change and live for the day

If you’re willing to listen I’ll show you a way

If you’re willing to listen to an old man’s advice

The path can change for one simple price

Forgive and forget and abandon your ego

Smile and love others despite what you know.”

And with that the old man limped away

Cause we both knew I had nothing to say

I rose from the bench with a stretch and a sigh

I was no longer angry and I didn’t know why

I went on my way with a shrug and a smile

I guess I’d forgotten, at least for a little while.


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    • chip1775 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brett Wood 

      6 years ago from Atlanta

      Thank you so much for the comment.

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      This is just simply exquisite and sublime narrative poetry which reads like a vivid scene out of a movie and so well written too.

      Thank you for your wisdom and deep soulful philosophy as a writer.

      It's so nice to meet you my friend and sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 10:49am


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