Tag Archives: childhood

Not So Simple: heroic sonnet

How simple it seems to be born again:
to never reach the stage of an adult,
but each time that you feel a growing pain,
to plead no contest and avoid the fault,
accepting being only just a child
with no responsibility to age,
nor consequence for acting dumb and wild
besides the reprimand of childhood’s cage.

How easy it must be to start anew
each time you slip in error, to reset
the game, and once again replay it through
retaining what in life you would forget,
thus seeming at advantage to proceed
as if your past mistakes had little cost,
so you advance while others stop to bleed
and you gain opportunities they lost.

Too bad that’s really not the way it goes;
just your belief won’t always make it so.

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I Can See Ohio

Nothing comes from nothing,
yet something always does;
you can smell the future coming
long before the buzz,

sitting on the front porch
listening to the rain
as the winter fades away
and summer comes again.

I can’t speak for Michigan
but I can see Ohio
rusted into sentimental dreams.
Knowing there is nothing left
but giving it one more try;
oh, nothing’s ever really
what it seems.

Idle hands find mischief,
that’s what they tend to do;
you can’t make a liar honest
thinking that he’s true.

Thinking turns to dreaming
where nothing’s ever done;
ain’t much comes to those who wait
without working some.

I can’t speak for Michigan
but I can see Ohio
lost in faded technicolor dreams.
Knowing there is something left
to say before goodbye;
oh, something more important
than it seems.

Dreams of California
turn to chalk and dust;
what you don’t intend to do
don’t seem to matter much.

Lonely days grow empty,
wishing wells run dry;
everything is living
up until it dies.

I can’t speak for Michigan
but I can see Ohio
growing old and busted at the seams.
Thinking there ain’t anything
but a lost, longing sigh
or anything to sell
but an old dream.

12 JAN 2014

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The Songs That Filled My Boyhood

The songs that filled my boyhood time are gone,
their melodies have faded with the years;
and all my vain attempts to sing along
have left only their skeletons, and tears.

Mere shadows take their place, as mummers’ tunes,
their substance lost to darkness and neglect;
and now, like worn-down tracings on old runes,
they hide their meaning and demand respect.

You hear their traces, sometimes, on the wind,
or in an imitation from a bird,
and then some noise intrudes and once again
they fade. To chase them thither seems absurd.

What songs are these that so enthralled a boy?
The anthems of a world embracing joy.

05 APR 2006

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Addled Essence

“The problem,” he said, “with making life so easy, particularly for the young adult, is two-fold. First, a life of leisure without significant responsibility or strife is bound to result in an attitude of mere idolent malaise — which of course is far from intense enough to serve as the impetus for any angst-ridden revolution or major shift in philosophy.”

“Secondly, the parents of such youngsters, who must deal with the nebulously undefined childish and ultimately selfish agendas resulting from their offspring’s lack of needful action, are likewise never taxed, insofar as their abilities to deal with REAL paradigm shifts are concerned. As a result, they become weak and flimsy shadows of their potential selves, and are woefully unequipped to counter the nefarious attacks of those unscrupulous individuals (and their attendant organizations, religions, governments and so on) who would shape the moral fiber of their children so that future generations will not even be aware, let alone care, that the world does not belong to them, or that they have been forced to in effect pay rent on their own bodies to afford the luxury of being alive with absolutely no free will whatsoever.”

“What was once adolescence,” he continued, “I therefore think would be better off termed ‘addled essence.’ It is at this critical stage that those in power first successfully attempt to convince people that they are in fact powerless, hopeless and witless — by offering them courses in empowerment, positive thinking and entertainment.”

“They are like the young elephant, who when relatively weak and small is attached, via a lightweight chain and metal hoop around their leg, to a stake in the ground. At that young age, no matter how they try, they cannot free themselves. After a time, they give up trying. As a result, even when they are fully grown and could easily pull out the stake and/or break the chain simply by lifting their enormous foot a matter of inches, they can be controlled, and do not attempt to escape, when tethered in this fashion.”

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Intimations of Idiocy

From early childhood until now I’ve spent my life immersed
in earnest pantomime of games adults will feign to play:
the forging of relationships through love, business and war;
the chaos that somehow surprises all when facades fail
and underneath, our lack of understanding is revealed.

In retrospect, it seems so pointless that this grand charade
we call adulthood is but one more round of hide-and-seek;
and now, on different playgrounds, the same bullies still parade,
hiding their shame and fear behind bravado that relies
on hurting and belittling those who would disagree.

And love? We still believe in it: ideal, without the strings
that in our adolescence, even, we could plainly see,
some fantasy played out in Greek mythology
that culture’s constant shuffle classes second-rate
compared to the technology of modern, improved angst.

So now we watch, our brainwaves dulled to sleep
except when from banal, idyllic states
it is required that we produce or purchase
to keep the dream machine well-oiled and financed;
in such an embryonic state, we all wait to mature.

From early childhood until now, I’ve been told meaning waits
around the bend, a few short years beyond where I am now;
but every month that passes by exposes those who preach
this gospel as just more blind fools who like me, search in vain
for dreams that will not simply fade as we approach the light.

01 MAY 2005

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Finding Neverland

‘Tis said there lurks a boy inside each man,
whose unhealed wounds from childhood form a part
of how he goes about when it is time
to find the man inside the young boy’s heart,

whose grandiose bravado and fierce pride
will not admit his battle lost to age,
nor for a moment take his unclenched hand
away from the great sword there at his side.

The world may change, but not his frightened soul,
that rages against clocks and seeks its wings
among the chimeras his mind creates
instead of laying up such youthful things.

He fears the loss of innocence, of grace,
invincibility and boundless joy
that beat retreat with each line on his face,
to the stronghold of that small, simple boy.

And yet, some dragons are not only myth,
content to parry blows with wooden swords;
they roam the adult kingdom to corrupt
its spirit in both evil deed and word.

Against such beasts, no childlike rage will do;
mere lads have little hope, despite their zeal.
It takes a man to strike such creatures down,
with blades not made of wood, but hardened steel.

For this, were young boys destined to grow old:
to wrestle demons beyond childhood’s ken,
despite their wish to stay forever young
and thus avoid the battle scars of men.

The boy will never fade to naught and die.
If that were so, no men would learn to dream
beyond hardship of a grown-up life
where everything’s exactly what it seems.

And so, half man and still half ungrown child,
each seeks some purpose that will suit the whole.
Some lose their way, and wander in the wild,
while others struggle vainly for control

Of time, that does not heed, but marches on,
each step after another, unto death;
then of its own accord, the game will end,
and either win or lose, claim the last breath.

So dream big dreams, stretched out from where you stand,
and whether young or old, seize with both hands
the time and place you are. To realize
the magic of each moment is the prize.

07 APR 2005

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At the Wishing Well

I wish that I could still believe the lines
that feed the young and nourish childhood dreams,
the reassurance everything is fine
despite the raging chaos it may seem.

I wish the world would confirm to my will
when I am sure the course the world should take,
but what I want to move often stays still,
convincing me such wishes are mistakes.

I wish the course of my life was less blurred,
and that the path ahead was much more clear.
But often truth and logic are obscured,
and what seems plain is not what it appears.

I wish that the religion of my youth,
the vanity of hope I held so dear,
would have ten years ago revealed the truth:
that who you are is not found in the mirror.

I wish, and then for wishing want an end;
instead of dreams, to just touch solid ground,
and in this world, that often seems pretend,
to be at peace with what small things I’ve found.

But wishing is a habit hard to shake,
a tool that serves its purpose for a while,
resisting all attempts one tries to break
its hold, to seek for substance rather than its style.

I wish instead of wishing to just be,
and in that state to become without fear;
to loose the chains of whimsy and stand free.
When faced with being, seeming disappears.

26 FEB 2005

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