The Boy of Silence

Rewrite. Based loosely on a true story

The Boy of Silence
The face behind the harlequins gaze
hides the scars of yesterdays man.
Born in an  Attercliffe slum
in the rags of fathers graft,
with a pencil for a voice
stolen from milk mans note.
A boy  in possession of an imagination
and no future
Who can still see a glimmer in the rust
buried in the abandoned steel works,
lost in  council’s regeneration
of a green field sites that now offers
the quest for a four leaf clover.
This gift can be a lonely thing
in a world of regimented minds.
Inspiration needs a partner
for every word is a journey.
Writing belongs to my addiction
and my love
for the glorious water of Scotland.
A single malt can make a man hear
the ghosts from the past.
The fear of being the scruffiest lad at school
leaves a Generals memory of war
bullies and a pregnant girls shame.
A school is a flag that I shall not pass
for its contents means nothing to me.
The wood that that lost its view
to the Stalag of  tomorrow’s drones
can only cry in silence.
But I who was born in its shadow
found solitude and my fortress
inside a tent of twigs.
My refuge from a cold uncaring world.
My soul could never connect with
the wage packet teachers
who are as forgetful as me.
I was the boy that future could not buy.
A boy who found utopia in the dreams of innocence
under the protection of a mighty oak.
Curiosity led to the search of detritus,
discarded rubbish of yesterdays dream.
My aging presence still remembers,
the torn book of Sassoon
thrown  into  the brambles discarded,
 as the generation within it was.
I was once the sapling whose audience was the wood
and applause came from imagination,
though the spirits of the past looked on.
The immortality of silence
is only a pretender, perhaps it too was a child.
For day and night is but a moment
Mortality cannot keep pace.
The boy still shouts half a century on
now encased in the moss of dying memories,
of a  ghost  I never knew.
An immortal presence that watched,
as every word left my soul.
For we were linked by a past life
and this spirit found redemption
in refusing the hand of God,
and embracing the space we call solitude.
A being that time cannot touch.
 And long after I am dead ,
the wind will carry this immortal  feather
and in its dance a ghost will be seen.
Looking for a stolen pencil
and a torn book that nobody reads.
























© cooky 2023
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Powerful stuff, Cooky. Have read this several times and am touched by your words Powerful, haunting images of a solitary, somewhat tortured soul. Especially like the final stanza with its tie in to the first.


I agree with Tony – a power poet pilgimae through the wreckage of regret and memory – “with a pencil for a voice / stolen from milk mans note (book?)’ as my favourite lines. Mitch


Hi Cooky,
I loved this. The emotion raw, the pain tangible. The last lines genius. Left me with a distinct impression as all good poems do.

You need to put a few apostrophes here and there to denote ownership
see link 😉

So… say first two lines

The face behind the harlequin(‘)s gaze
hides the scars of yesterday(‘)s man.

You are without doubt one of my fav poets.

Alison x

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