Starting Blocks

I was born in nineteen forty four

When black and white films were the norm

And the black and white bloody world war

Was in the last bloody phase of its storm.


But what does a babe know of such things?

A mother's breast is all that it cares.

Her steady gaze to bask in,

Her voice to soothe its tears.


As child I saw the bomb torn sites,

War blight occupying city streets.

Their berubbled mess was the norm.

Already begreened, beflowered before my beginning.


My father had been killed, my mother said,

By a left over mine at sea.

I wondered, What was a father?

And whether we were having jam for tea.


Oh the battered, scattered continent

Painfully climbing out of its wreck.

Great Victoria's Empire spent and overspent

Plodded to its end but did not bow its neck.


But what would a boy know of it?

From the high trees his dominion below

So pleased him. Hedgerow and fields heaven's carpet

At night the bright starry sky heaven's show.


As a schoolboy I bent and picked potatoes

And learned what money was worth.

I marveled that in the earth food grows

And that all life and living gives birth.


From such beginnings comes all my seeing.

The starting blocks of this unfinished man.

I thank You Lord God for my being,

For all this life’s uncomfortable span.


beginingschildhoodgrowing upthankfullnesswar

◄ Stairways

Three Times ►


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Fri 14th Jun 2019 10:33

Thanks Ray, glad it gave you something. Where I was in Cardiff it was rosebay willowherb (also known as fireweed) that filled up those bombsites with their red flower spikes. You'll probably also remember ration cards, horse and cart ragbone men, the coronation.street parties? Ahh, ok back to the future ?
Go well

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Tue 11th Jun 2019 22:23

Hi Fish.. I just picked up on this and enjoyed it a lot. I was born in that year funnily enough. Life after the war had a sort of stunned innocence for us kids quite exciting to see old rubble sites for playing in. Funny now to try remembering when the first colour films came out ! Really quite moving, reminiscent of the film Hope and Glory.


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Sat 8th Jun 2019 15:36

Hello Trevor - Thanks for your encouragement. ><>

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trevor homer

Thu 6th Jun 2019 20:26

A very brave and reflective poem - 'For all life's uncomfortable span'
honest to the last line! T

mona s

Thu 6th Jun 2019 18:10

The poem captivates and transports one to that time and age.. Great poem..

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Thu 6th Jun 2019 12:19

Thank -you- Dorothy. Yes how our perspectives and importances change when we leave behind childhood.
Go well

<Deleted User> (21487)

Wed 5th Jun 2019 16:18

You build such an accurate and touching picture and the line -

" and whether we were having jam for tea" is powerful in it's innocent.

I really love it.

Thank you

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