On The Soft Landscape Of Childhood

(My first posting on UKAuthors in Jan. 2003
and my first comment received was by e-griff,
who recounted the logistical challenges of raiding the
sewing box and candle drawer when tank building!
Pic. part of my old crinkly birth certificate

Young children always regard deprivation
as being caused by their own inadequacies


Drawn deeply, deeply inwards
to early bromide images,
the mind’s eye hesitates
as it awakens
warm and
 humble beginnings.

A small boy is crouching in solitary play
on knees scuffed by awkwardness,
eagerly chuckling to himself,
engrossed in fantasies,
with forced, irregular breaths,
cursing Kaiser and Hun,
he sucks in inaudible words.

On the soft landscape of childhood,
the long, red patterned hall carpet,
Monty’s “Desert Rats!”
Glorious and victorious,
are in action to save the day again.
Large glass Challenger tanks
are launched to clink and scatter
Rommel’s advancing array
of broken toys.
The cogged German cotton reels
jerked forwards by twanging elastic
midst mutterings of explosions,
screams, and ricochets,
and aimed with impartial deceit,
founder into upturned wrecks
on tufted curled edges of the desert.

Risking court martial,
and execution by firing squad,
his older brother’s Meccano size 5
has been appropriated for the war effort.
Green metal plates, yellow flanges,
brass pinions, pullies, and wheels
are rapidly plucked out
as, drawing in excited breaths
to repeatedly halt a running nose,
his fumbling fingers rush
to bolt together
invincible contraptions of war.

He knew he could last three shouts
from when Mother first called
“Come and eat your tea!”
Tired, the war is rapidly won.
All the British survive,
and he retires honourably
from the untidy battlefield.
He had fought bravely,
tried to be a boy to be proud of.
But, his father,
never came home from the war.
Goth: September 2001


© Gothicman 2023
Views: 686
critique and comments welcome.
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This is great and as good today as it was when you first posted in back in 2003. My first ever post was back in the same year. It too was a poem that was very personal to me. I was thinking about posting it again. I think I will. Although it is not as well written as yours.

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