The Archive

Sunday, 14 September 2014


These days,
children remain,
The seasons given little notice.
Sun, rain or falling leaves
Matter not
As kids stare
At meaningless characters
On bright screens.
Grandparents talk of better days
When back doors were left on the latch
And the young were free
To run the streets
With friends they may have met
Just that hour,
As long as the call for tea
Brought them racing back
To mother hen.
But now parents fear the worst
Of the world that lies
Outside the barricade
Of the Number 3 front door,
Seldom consenting to their delicate flowers
Spreading their leaves
Outside their brick shelter.
Most found solace
In their cage
By letting their thoughts
Be squashed and moulded
By television, computer, phone and game,
Living vicariously through pixels
Formed into shadows of human faces.
Some, the luckier ones,
Picked up books,
And lost themselves for a moment or two
In the smell of well-thumbed pages
And beautiful, inked combinations
Of the 26 most important characters
And hoped for a day when they, too,
Could run the fields
And sail the seas
The smell the air of a freer world.
But until then,
The adults fear
Of “the world these days”
Would keep them caged up
With the rest,
The screen slaves,
Until they were too old
For their parents fear
To matter much anymore.

Amie Bailey

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