In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Generation XYZ.”


Let me collect ten
thousand people
and group them
into generations,
giving each person
paper and a pen.
let me ask them
twenty questions
connected to their
views and habits.
when I collect the
replies, I will expect
to see close similarities
between the ages.

many young people
may say that they
like new technology,
but so will more than
a few of the old.

and many elderly folk
feel that the world flows
too fast for them, but
some of the young
will agree.

there are drug addicts in their eighties,
and twenty-somethings with ferrets.
sometimes a boy of fifteen
may talk of traditional values,
while a seventy-five year-old woman
may develop a desire to write kindly
letters to prisoners on death row.

Old, young or somewhere
in-between. the only
difference is how much time we’ve
put in at any given moment.
I’ve done a sixty stretch
and counting. my
youngest grandchild
is at the beginning. he
is where he is and later
he’ll be somewhere else.
he hasn’t yet learned the
things that I know, and
he will learn different things,
because he will have alternative
experiences and understanding of
life. he’ll learn what he
learns and will continue to
be the person he is, growing
and learning all the time,
as we all do.

he is as much
or as little as I am;
as we all are.

the dead have left their fingerprint
on this fertile haven.
the unborn wait in line,
and the world grows older
in it’s own time.

© Jane Paterson Basil


8 thoughts on “Ten Thousand People

    1. I don’t know where it all comes from! Honestly, I’m sure I can’t be writing all this stuff. I’m not really a poet, I’m just pretending. Any minute now it will all go wrong.


    1. Thank you. I spend a lot of time thinking about time, and the coincidence of birth – and the arbitrary nature of its timing.
      It baffles me that anyone should put themselves above another because they happened to be born earlier or later, in the same way that it baffles me that anyone should think that they live in the greatest nation on earth just because their mother happened to be there when they slipped out of the womb.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true, though I count myself lucky to have been born here. For all its problems, I can walk and talk pretty freely, I’m not made to observe a religion, I can vote for who I please. We should never underestimate our luck 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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