WAR KIDS (Prime Parental Reproofs)


'Use your head for something besides keeping your ears apart!'

Probably my favourite; it had such punch, with flair.


'A stitch in time saves nine. It also saves lives. Keep your gear in shape.

It could be the difference between life and death.'

A bit harder to follow, but very applicable to almost anything with a little imagination.


'The bugs will get you faster than the bullets! Personal hygiene is important.'

A direct transfer from crawling through swamps, maybe. But we got the point.


'If one eye goes left, and the other goes right, you won't see a trap until you step on it. Never forget – Up – Down -AND Forward!' 

(Evil lurks everywhere, eager to catch you, even among those whom you most trust.  Today, I would add 'AND Inward!')


'Don't squeeze the toothpaste from the top!'

So spoke the army veteran who trained 'his men' for survival in all climates, on all terrains. The 'toothpaste' bit - a mystery. Like he just 'had to bark' about something not too important.  A kind of reflex, or outlet. But we did forget – a lot – not on purpose. It really did upset him.



'Close the door behind you.   Were you born in a barn!'

She was a farm girl, born and bred, very bred, bless her heart. You can never reverse it.


'Hear no evil. See no evil. Do no evil.'

(The 'three monkey principles'. I wasn't happy with the first two: they seemed a social cop-out. Mum said, 'You'll learn.' And I did. They always gave me pause for thought because they stressed positivity, not jumping to judgment, and I figured that was only good.)


'Gossip will kill you faster than guns.'

(There was no protection from tongues, none, except my own behaviour at all times.)


'If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.'

(Positivity again. A real oldie goldie, excellent in a world of such diversity. Very Eastern, I think.)


War raged across the globe;  and we played.

Children always play, a built-in 'survival button'.

We skipped double dutch to:

                      'The bugs'll get you faster than the bullets !'

                       'Close the door behind you. Were you born in a barn?

                         And OUT!'

Speeding up the rhythm each time – shouting  

tumbling to the ground -  scraping knees - laughing!

because falling on purpose is funny even when it hurts

it's always funny  - because you're NOT DEAD.

caught in the flush of  hot muscles and childhood yelping 


And forgetting - even for  a moment - is refreshment of spirit.


War kids! 

 Nothing changes. 

Every day we see the spirits of ourselves.

And we pray for them, all these children

surviving with games and giggles, 

and falling about 

in war debris

for fun!

Cynthia Buell Thomas, Sept., 2017

🌷 (1)

◄ Reflections on Humanity (and Other Things Too)

Fireflies ►


Profile image

Big Sal

Mon 4th Dec 2017 00:21

Good transitions in between the stanzas leaves the reader hanging onto the words at the end of each one. A unique perspective on a very interesting subject. Good poem.

Profile image

Stu Buck

Thu 21st Sep 2017 17:28

i love the structure and the contents. its brilliant.

Profile image

Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 21st Sep 2017 13:10

An unusual entry maybe, but one in my heart for a long time.

It did not transfer from my computer to this arena at all well. I may get back to some restructuring. But, today, it stands as is.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message