Not yet sixteen

It’s just the start of another

Raggedly cold dark and rainy night

No room for stars

As the clan is gathering

The talkers

The scorers

The half-baked scorchers

The midnight tight rope walkers

Jumping and starting for the love

Of something to do

Hoods and would be

Rapped and tapped wannabee’s

Flying and lying their way along

The pavements and the streets

Chatting and chortling

Escorting any giggling jiggling molly

That will let them

These thirteen to fifteen somethings

Kidding shoving and swigging coke

And candy pop

Lit up with lollies and cigarettes

Loud and proud

Among them

Two Jacks one Harry

Snigger at each other

Phones and sounds turned on

Minds tuned out

This time is theirs and nobody else

Because no other body shows a care or stare

At this crew

This troop of

Street crawlers

Of the night

◄ Misty Islands

Waiting ►


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Stu Buck

Thu 19th Jan 2017 12:34

missed this when it first appeared martin but its a fantastic piece. cant add much to what has been said, just offer my apologies for overlooking it in the first place!

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Martin Elder

Tue 10th Jan 2017 15:21

Thank you all.

Thanks Hazel and Colin for saying I am not preaching. This is good because I don't always relate well to teenagers. But these guys were just walking down the street in twos and threes enjoying themselves and it was joy to see.
Thus I take your point Ray about not judging and the amount of bad press they get.
elp you are so right about the innocence that exists there. It is so easy for them not to realise what they don't know.

Paul and Colin I am glad you like the rhythm of the piece, it just came to me as I saw them. I am not sure whether I had been listening to some music in the car but suspect I had been which would have helped with the overall pace, but also with the way they carry themselves.

Cynthia it is always pleasure to have you read my work I am grateful and hope to see you soon.

once again
Thank you all. I am always humbled when other poets like my poems


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Sun 8th Jan 2017 21:11

Hi, Martin..I think that the words you choose allow these young people to retain their innocence. Adults see them as immature because they are. But thank goodness that many of them don't know what they don't know, if that makes any sense. They're with others of the same age, where they should be. We talk a lot about peer pressure, but truth be told, it's likely that it's adults who do the most damage to them. And, even outside of suffering direct harm, they need to try out their independence on their own terms (albeit in relatively short bursts of a few hours).


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Sun 8th Jan 2017 17:26

I like the way you don't actually judge the participants but stand back and observe accurately their state of mind and of course the pack nature of their activities Martin. Individually we usually find great loss of purpose and focus in the young minds. Inevitable really and in a sense fodder for the ad men and predators.


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 8th Jan 2017 15:07

Really good, Martin. I agree with all these comments. You have 'power' and the skill to channel it to your intent. I would never 'pass over' one of your poems, no matter how tight my time is.

<Deleted User> (13762)

Sun 8th Jan 2017 09:37

yes - as Hazel says - you don't preach, which is refreshing - for these 13 to 15 somethings are not always out looking for trouble despite their swaggers and hoodies, loud and foul language.

and as Paul pointed out - there is great rhythm here - the rhythm of their street walk accompanied by the sing-song rhyme of their banter - molly / lollies - giggling / jiggling - rapped / tapped to name just a few.

rhyme doesn't have to be sentenced to the end of lines - much to be learnt from reading this excellent poem.

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Paul Waring

Sun 8th Jan 2017 08:41

Martin, I enjoyed reading this very much, it tells the story so well. The rhythm of the piece really stands out for me, for, together with the language, it captures so well the movement and attitude of the group.

I've literally just read your profile, so I'll definately go back to read some of your earlier poems. Many thanks, Paul

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Hazel ettridge

Sun 8th Jan 2017 07:17

I love that this poem is so spare. Captures a whole lot - how it is for the boys, the excitement, the mystery and potential of their evening, challenging the opinion of the onlooker (or not - you don't preach). Lovely.

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