‘No’ to Arrested Development

See how she sits in her high chair,

Obedient child to the last,

See how she sups up her porridge,

Flavoured with history past.

 

See how she spits out the spoonful,

Proferred by patronage hand,

See how she picks up her own now,

Infancy making a stand.

 

See how she learns from endeavour,

As natural an act as can be,

See how she grows to an adult,

Independent, self-nourished and free.

 

See how some children, retarded

By parents who will not let go,

Develop arrested behaviours,

Damaged by some who don’t know

 

That nothing is worth being stuck there,

Harnessed in chair like a child.

It breaks under pressure from fairy tales,

Sometimes we’re born to be wild.

 

Wild as the woad on our faces

When history wrote out our path,

But timing is now, and with courage,

Freedom not given, we grasp

 

The spoon from the parent who knows not

A whit of development’s way.

Our children are free as a nation, come

September 18th, ‘Yes!’, Independence Day.

Matins’ Bell

‘I’m tired now’, he said, by light of darkness,

mumbled into night his waking thoughts,

a plaintive sort of fatigued exaltation,

no defeat but crushed by earthly knocks.

A glimmer in the darkness listened keenly,

spluttered into life to ease his pain,

descended on his forehead as he struggled

pasting joys in desiccated pains.

In dreams he saw a dancer up above him,

then dancing on the parquet floor of hairless pate

and, in the gentle tapping of her footsteps,

he traversed back in time through all life’s gates.

To childhood days that merged with church’s bell ring

and infant hands so soft within his grasp,

sunshine holidays and harder times when

they’d pulled in belts and wondered if, perhaps,

the work and want, the endless, restless passage,

fraught with cares and doing all he could

were worth the love of all that gathered round him.

He sighed in sleep and smiled at all the good.

The dancer danced and then lay flat upon him,

impressed herself, as light, into his mind,

bestowed the recollected visions of his voyage

and whispered tunes he’d carried deep inside.

His breathing eased and slowed to mellow movements,

shallow sighs belied the deeper well,

exchange of life, the price became apparent,

sleep on in peace or ring aged matins bell.

Light maintained its presence in his mindset,

centred on his soul when he awoke,

he smiled at love that lay asleep beside him

and whispered thanks to angels when they spoke.