Oh ! That Childhood might not be reduced to an App
The sounds of children's feet in hail or rain or sleet
Playing on our childhood street,
Comes to me the in waves of my sea and the echo of my years.
And I still hear the joyous cheers
Of triumphs in our youthful ears
And sometimes held -back tears
At hectoring from our peers
But these were from other spheres ,
Long before the rabbit ears
Bedecked our black and white and snow showered TV sets
And these were followed by the decadent video cassettes:
Long summer days with a friends in his father's woods
Before our attics filled with obsolete consumer goods
And further I recall,
We climbed and conquered the tall oak trees
And nailed bare planks into the bark, on bare knees
We fortified our lofty tree -house citadel
With every barrier to repel
The Daly gang from over the hill
To persecute them or for the thrill
To imagine we could make them suffer the bitter pill
In knowing we could bring them all meek as lambs to the kill
So keen then was the dramatic justice of our courthouse drill
But the his sisters and their friends,
Before the Daly attack
Discovered a knack , found an easy track
Into our solid lair ,
And made us ( under threat of vile blackmail)
Share our tree hut , which was never fair
Then up they scampered with illusionary foods
And furnished our rugged roped-ivied tree house
With coloured cans carefully placed and many times repositioned , tins,
Heedless now that they'd invaded
And changed our fortress
To a sitting room .
So daintily had they triumphed ,
Quite heedless now of a ripped skirts or fresh torn and tattered blouse.
They then would set about finicky cleaning
And take their dolls and their dreaming
And changed our fortressed citadels
With skipping rope they decorated
Our barriers with coloured petals
Till we abandoned our lofty bastions
And crawled away like tamed lions.
But come ! And see- all for free
Proud and daring chest -puffing robin . Yellow glimmer of the goldfinch , the clattering of pigeon wings beating against the foliage . The bolting thunder of the rocketing pheasant. The low guilt-laden fox loping low , and slipping without fluster into thick deep copse ; soundless into the much- mazed -scrub. Beetles , ladybirds spiders and the kaleidoscope of butterfly wing,
Hedgehog curled in frigid defensive abandon,
Frogs gulping in startled amaze ,before wild the leap into the air and into sumptuous camouflage of the grass turning myriad colours in September .
The smell of fallen grass ,damp with perfumed dew .
Dear child don't barter your tender years
For some crude but clever and enticing app.
Open your feeling to all the senses
And open their senses to all your feeling
For this time is quickly fleeing
And it so speedily dispenses
Take heed now for time is so short and
Is so utterly relentless
But they were fair summers of eons ago
Before the internet did sow
The Seeds of virtuality
which grows a new and fertile reality
There is no bonding such as child with nature
Where limb and mind run free , before their departure
From this uninhibited place of childhood rapture,
With unshackled fantasy , untamed and free of danger
But parents now worry of dark secluded places
Haunted by wicked minded hidden faces .
Better let the child surf and play
Secure in her room and free of prey .
No hidden mischief hidden in the
But young lungs lie unexposed there to childhood allergen
And young Limbs , lithe and subtle
Will stiffen all too early from not romping in the wood
And roaming freely in the glen
But oh ! I fear those days are now times past and gone
Dimmed forever by the triumph of the web-cloyed -dawn
That flickering monster before their eyes
Delivers to the bedroom , a childhood in disguise.
Child , preyed upon ,
I wish you need not be so doted on
But that you be much prayed for
That your youth be not now silver- gift wrapped ,and mummified and locked in a golden drawer,
Would that your precious childhood could proceed , unimpeded
And the perverts could be weeded , and that you might live out your youthful life un-cheated
And that your days might be greeted by the hedge -hollowed echo of childhood glee in shrill -voiced joy , repeated .
In the Wood.
I hope for you that your housebound , incubated childhood :
be not , replaced with a shimmering screen ,
That you live and love your youth with full abandon
Live it with safe passage and passion
Because your youth is not just a spin or toss at random
It is ordained and it is both sacred and sanctioned
And I pray that in your precious youth you are neither deceived ,deprived nor your world diminished by some uncouth .And that you are guided through in Truth.
Never depleted , or defrauded by some amorphous avatar .
You are precious because you Are …You are here , precious and pious and You are here as yet without a single physical or spiritual scar