Only Yesterday

Before I bring the curtain down on my week of writing acrostics, here’s a final flourish based on today’s Daily Prompt from WordPress: Childhood

We are all experts when it comes to this topic. Happy or sad, or else the more common mix of both, what did or didn’t happen then has made us who we are today. It is our inner child who feels empathy for today’s youngsters unless we have contrived to repress that part of ourselves and can only feel jealousy or resentment. It takes a whole heart to recognise that we are all the same under the skin.

Come back with me to where we used to
Hide: homes made of deckchairs, secret clubs
In musty sheds, mystery dens in hollow bushes and
Leafy look-out posts in high and mighty trees. Ah,
Did we really care what grown-ups thought or said or did in their
Houses when we had our own grand epics
Of eager exploration and wild adventure to enact
Outside their petty rules and endless puzzles – beyond the
Dull routine we knew would come too soon, too soon.

 

Image: ask.extension.org

 

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25 thoughts on “Only Yesterday

  1. Those were the days – in my dens, up trees, under trees and in the brambles – away from adults. You captured it.
    We had a lot of freedom back then.

    1. We did indeed! I have a theory that the war generation were understandably knackered, so us baby-boomers were left to our own devices. That goes some way, I think, to explain the cultural explosion of the 1960s …

  2. Very beautifully put. You are inspiring me to invest a little more attention to acrostics though I do not know whether I would be able to come up with something concrete or substantially worth reading. I am not going into the beauty part of it as that comes with lot of time, originality and may I say practice?

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I would say that if you use language fluently, which you clearly do, then free writing will bring the result you want. Truthfully there is no skill involved, just a degree of courage and a drive to communicate. The only prerequisite is that you want to express yourself more than you wish to produce something polished or sophisticated. As Ted Hughes said, keep your eye on the object and the words will take care of themselves.

  3. The freedom to wander and daydream— to get lost in Tarzan, Robin Hood, and Treasure Island— to not be weighed down under self and societal imposed burdens— to enjoy endless summer days playing with friends… Those were indeed the days, Dave. The bad parts have faded away. I’ve enjoyed your adventure into acrostics. Great writer’s aids. –Curt

    1. Thanks for that, Curt, I’ve enjoyed writing them. Cramming stuff into a small space concentrates the mind! Your reference to childhood literature recalls for me the work of Ray Bradbury, whose insights electrified me when I was 13. Our generation is surely blessed by our astonishing cultural influences. In music, the Beatles …

      1. Speaking of Bradbury, the one flower we found everywhere on the 10,000 mile trip we just completed were dandelions. I graduated to sci-fi from cowboy books. Boy was that a leap. By 16 or 17 it was Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller. That created all kinds of mischief. –Curt

        1. Haha, that’s a trail I too took in my teens … must stop using so much alliteration! ‘Dandelion Wine’ is a great book about growing up – I worry today’s kids have to grow up too soon. 16 or 17 and Henry Miller sounds about right …

          1. Growing up too soon, maturing too soon, not having time to just be kids… I see 7 & 8 year olds decked out in sexy clothing and wonder where have we gone wrong? Maybe even worse, I watch children with their lives programmed from sunup to sunset and beyond. –Curt

          2. Yes, it gives a whole new meaning to the old saying ‘Clothes maketh the man’ … a children’s book that touches on programming kids is Russell Hoban’s ‘How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen’. Worth a look if you’ve not come across it. Here’s the Amazon description:

            ‘Tom is so good at fooling around that he does little else. His Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, who thinks this is too much like having fun, calls upon the fearsome Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen to teach him a lesson. So the Captain challenges Tom to three rounds of womble, muck, and sneedball, certain that he will win. However, when it comes to fooling around, Tom doesn’t fool around, and his skills prove so polished that the results of the contest are completely unexpected…’

  4. I well remember my favourite den,inside a huge advertising hoarding at our local civic centre where we could thow things at unwary passers -by and ogle the local young ladies, all unseen! Such a shame they redeveloped the area and removed the hoarding.

    1. Great story, Steve – the secret bit was such a big part of it … I remember standing at the tops of trees and listening to people’s conversations as they passed by below!

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