Loss of Innocence


As a fledgling teenager I took the long walk –
walking some miles
that symbolise
the need to be loved and appreciated.

We made our way for the first time to the
6A, 7A, or was it…8A Club?
As yet we hadn’t ventured to the pub

But into our first dance-disco
we did stroll –
in through the door trying to look old
There was a band, and girls and a floor on which to stand

The music struck up and strutting their stuff young men
a little older and more advanced
made the squeaks and gestures of kings on the platform-throne
banging out the music as though pop chart triumphalists

As though this was their umpteenth number one hit
imitating those who had gone before

So ‘fish out of water’ was I
So self-conscious – of inferior build
Looking around: what is to be done now?’

The innocency of not knowing
The struggle of not knowing
The mind aspiring to be noticed

The bullies abroad – better turned out – in superior gear
gave their sideways glance and with disdainful eyes did peer

Aspiration of girlfriend was easily quelled
Too soon, too gawky still

Looking back –
If only the pearl of great price innocence
could be recaptured as a lost cause – found.

For as day followed day, week followed week and years passed by
The physical development of cool, hip, in-crowd man,
attractive male,
with rendezvous galore
per weekly clubbing,

produced an ego saturated outlook
to the death of that rejected innocence of youth.

What greater goodness – goodness is
How greater is goodness than filthy swill
How human nature desires the slosh of ego and pride
rather than the innocence of unspoilt virgin mind

Yet, it is the multitudes that tread that path
None being the exception that proves the rule

So much turns out empty and waste

Later – life informs of what is a disgrace
How long it takes to learn what is – hard learned

Like some wound-up toy scurrying across the floor
Unable to be stopped until it falls over.

Our stumbling in all that glitters – that is not gold
means – we will not be told

Until we find – all the adulation and
ego popping friends abandon us to downfall

Self-deceit remains for those who cling
tenaciously to their own fading glory
Like a flower of the grass springing up to be downtrodden.

Reach through the long grass, the prickly hedge,
the thorny bush and grasp
your innocence
– bidding it return
For in its makeup you will find a pure and
unadulterated state
of life’s worthwhile existence.

The underlying point of it all – the essence of being? –
the purpose and power to stay free –
that pearl again of great price to be…

How hard it is to see
through the fog of ill-temper,
the fog of self-righteousness and
whatever else we deliver

projecting a closed mind to all and sundry
whilst tied up
in kidnapped capture
with no ransom of escape to be paid

But there is a way back
There is an answer
There is a returning rest
Why do we spin, convulse, and stubborn remain?

Blocked up with hurts, and disappointments
and emotional turmoil,
clinging to the weak and beggarly,
the rudimentary and the vain?

A beggar still clings to his tattered rags as those of a king
The dirty old water still perceived as clean
There seems no escape – no exit to be found

You will need to find
the rock on which to stand
all other ground is sinking sand

I leave you without the answer
as first –
you must ask the question
if more is to be said…

But brace yourself as the cost of this information
is costly indeed
even though free of charge.


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