By habit and repute and daring cunning

By never minding who or what was hurt,

By creeping, checking, doing worst and running,

Never caught though, always after, cursed.

By being stealth and venom in one moulding,

By wrapping it with subterfuge and sly,

By revelations, once perceived, revolting,

Never sought and always wond’ring why.

By hands that first turned fists to malice mischief,

By feet that rarely led but to astray,

By numbing all the sense he once was born with,

Never cared and always went own way.

Antithesis to good, I knew the boy then,

No one could get round or through or near,

Sixteen years have flown, I still recall him,

Man-child nurtured, natured in all fear.



6 thoughts on “Man-child”

  1. Nature vs nurture. It’s worrying, sometimes, what we, as humans, can do to our off-spring. And then a trait will show itself that surely must be innate. Try as we might, do we ever get it right?

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      1. Known a couple like this – which is worrying. I always remember the time of Jamie Bulger, and the outcry of ‘a ten year old couldn’t’, and me, disturbingly, being able to identify one who already had no moral (or social) compass.


      2. I remember that all too well, Chris. A horrific case. Coming across children like these is, thankfully, rare. But truly worrying when we do. Probably why they stand out so starkly in our minds.


    1. No, it’s about a boy I briefly taught. He’s about 28 now. I had occasion the other day to be talking about him and, the last I had heard, not much had changed in his life or the way he operated. Very sad case. Smart but just chose the wrong thing all the time, like he couldn’t help himself or enjoyed the wrong. I don’t think I’ll ever know. I rarely come across kids like this so they live on in my mind, wondering exactly why he was the way he was.


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