The purpose of writing these poems was a way of utilising the spare time that I had which came about after retiring. I felt it was a useful way of communicating my thoughts and emotions and a way of continuing to engage or activate my brain and prevent the cells dying, as it is often said “If you don’t use it you lose it”.
The poems aim to gain inspiration from any and everything round and about us which we often take for granted and which I hope may inspire others not only to express themselves but utilise their precious time.
It was an attempt also to prove to myself that although one may be older, they are not useless as our society views us. Many older people can often feel useless because they no longer contribute to the mode of production and one’s identity is often based on their occupation. We are also seen as a burden to society, considered as ‘senile’ and this appears to be now so institutionalised that it is seen as the ‘norm’ even in places where you would not have imagined. In my occupation as a social worker it was something frequently expressed to me by older people.
My personal experience of this was whilst in hospital a couple of years ago and on the morning handover the trolley was taken to the foot of my bed with all the staff gathered round. The charge nurse then gave an update of how I was progressing, but to my amazement she started “This is Imogene Mendez, she is xyz years old and she is mentally alert” , then looked at me and gave a polite smile and must have thought she paid me a compliment. I was flabbergasted. Although sometimes seen as a burden to society, however we all have God given skills and ability to write heartfelt poems ( so I have been told ) and the elderly have contributed positively to society with a wealth of knowledge and experiences.
And finally although my views are based on an older person’s perspective, it has no intention to be biased as I feel anyone from whatever age group with time on their hands can usefully utilise it into something positive.