Ramblings of an Old Man

It’s sad that wisdom comes along when we are so damn old.
The lessons that you’ll learn in life are worth much more than gold.
I prefer to treat my age as simply time that I have earned.
Some facts of life you'll come upon are painful when they’re learned.  

The lessons I'm about to share were gathered through the years.
Some of them came naturally and some were bought with tears.
I’m confident my age has given me the right to muse.
Who knows? I may have some advice that some of you could use.

Don’t search for fame and fortune if you’ve overlooked your health.
The first person you must respect will have to be yourself.  
Promises won’t mean a thing if once one had been broken.  
Love is proven many ways and not just simply spoken.  

If you’re as pretty as a flower, just prepare yourself to wilt.
Don’t ever point a finger cause you’re seldom without guilt.
You can’t appreciate your wealth until you know what it has cost.
Several things are never missed until you know that they are lost.

Just when things are going well, they all can fall apart.
You’ll never know what pain is ‘til you’ve had a broken heart.
So many sights in nature simply take away your breath.
You won’t know how sweet life is ‘til you’re face to face with death.

Life’s simplest of pleasures will be sleeping like a log.
You can’t know true devotion if you’ve never owned a dog.
The most hurtful thing you do can simply come from what you say.
Kindness won’t do you any good until you’ve given it away.

About this poem

Sometimes, I'll look back on events and think to myself. "Boy, I wish I had known that sooner". As they say, "Too Little Too Late", I guess that qualifies as 20-20 hindsight. Whatever it means, I have taken some time to jot down a few of such things.

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Written on November 09, 2023

Submitted by npirandy on January 10, 2024

1:32 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic octameter
Characters 1,554
Words 305
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Randy West

I'm 76 years old and a combat veteran from Vietnam. I used to compose poetry while on ambush patrol as a way of staying awake on watch, since falling asleep could be hazardous to my health. I started early in life though, because, as a child, I would write little tidbits to my mom for the heck of it. more…

All Randy West poems | Randy West Books

16 fans

Discuss the poem Ramblings of an Old Man with the community...

  • Philipo
    Your fan as always. Congrats.
    LikeReply3 months ago
    • npirandy
      You are a true and loyal friend.
      Thanks Buddy
      LikeReply3 months ago
  • npirandy
    Thanks Adam. I'm a big fan of yours. Your support and kind words are much appreciated!
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • adam.gutteridge
    Another great poem from you Randy. I always enjoy your work. I feel like this poem should be printed and distributed to the masses! A perfect poetic guide to living a thoughtful and soulful life. Like all of your poems, it’s plain to see that it comes from a place of warmth, goodness and integrity. Many congratulations on your win! 
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • npirandy
    Thanks Doug. Ironically, I too voted for the 2nd place poem, but was considering yours as well. Frankly, in my opinion, mine wasn't even in the running for the top 3.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • DougHaberman
    This is a really good piece that everyone of a certain age can relate to. I gave my vote to the poem that came in second place, but it was down to that one and yours.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • npirandy
    I appreciate your support as well, but I couldn't ignore the quality of the competition.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • Vixility
    I knew this one was going to place the moment I read it. Excellent poem and great advice …
    LikeReply 13 months ago
  • lovingempath
    Another beautiful, insightful piece of art rendered by our very own Randy! You never disappoint!! Congratulations.
    LikeReply3 months ago
    • npirandy
      I told Steve this one caught me off guard cause there were so many excellent entries. I gave myself no chance. But thanks for your support.
      LikeReply 13 months ago
  • npirandy
    Thanks for the kind words Trisha, or do you prefer "Pixie"?
    LikeReply3 months ago
    • PixieLove24
      Trisha is fine. No worries.
      LikeReply3 months ago
  • PixieLove24
    Beautiful poem......true true! I am so glad this was chosen to win. Deserves a 5 star!
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • npirandy
    Honestly, I did not see this one coming. There were too many GREAT entries including yours.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • Symmetry60
    There you are at the top again. Great work, Sir. Props on the accolade and well deserved.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • fortinjeanmarc187
    Perhaps , as a younger man , I may have missed the intensity of this poem , but this old man was rambling along too . Then I look out the window at this beautiful day .
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • Chrissy.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • lancai
    I got to peek into the mind of someone who has lived a life and learned its patterns.

    And he used it to remind those of us who are still young not to repeat patterns that won't serve us when our time nears the end.

    When I'm old, I want to look back and think "my life was epic". Right now, I accept my humanity and lead on knowing my path ahead is uncertain, regardless of what I do. But I will always embrace daily reminders. It took me a while--years of introspection and resolving of childhood traumas--to feel this free. I refuse to fall back into a state of worry, anxiety, pride, self-doubt, overthinking, procrastination, inactivity, unnecessary temptations, and many other things. I don't want to look back and feel unfinished.

    With that being said, I really appreciate that he took the time to even say all of this. He didn't have to, but by doing so, it shows me he cares about the way everyone spends their time, instead of wasting it on everything that won't bring us fulfillment once we look back from the finish line.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • bookerina
    Lots of good points in this poem :)
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • mai715
    Im a lover of rhyme and meter in poetry. The poem gives so many wonderful advice without being haughty. The poem tells a story of an old man’s journey. If you read between the lines, life lessons are defined…. 
    LikeReply3 months ago


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"Ramblings of an Old Man" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/180524/ramblings-of-an-old-man>.

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