Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Who's for a Bouncy Castle in a Playground of Dreams?


Most children love a bouncy castle. I dare say many adults would love to try one out as well.

I am reminded of a conversation I had many years ago when I was an egocentric teenager. I asked a neighbour (as one does) what life is all about. Yes, well…silly question, I know, but I thought it sounded clever. More to the point, I thought it made me appear very clever.  I received what I thought was, in turn, a very silly answer, something its being a rubber castle bouncing us all up and down in a playground of dreams...

Now, though, I’m not so sure it was such a silly answer  and suspect it was too profound for my little poem to do it justice.

I recall telling my mother about that conversation. She just said, “He’s a very nice man if a little eccentric/ Mind you, there is always more to eccentric people than meets the eye just as there's nearly always something in what they have to say worth hearing. Now, go and do your homework…’ She was another very nice person, my mother.

WHO's FOR A BOUNCY CASTLE IN A PLAYGROUND OF DREAMS?

Sometimes I regret my lost youth
but for its teaching me the truth
about my place in the world, neither
big nor small, like a rubber ball
bouncing up and down along ground
now smooth, now rougher…

It’s enough, in the end, to land safe
and sound, roll gently down a hill
till still as a star on a cruel wintry night
bringing to travellers a peace of mind
they never thought to find at all,
like children searching for a rubber ball
now lost, now found, like a fairytale
meant to lull us asleep, took us instead
to a world neither big nor small,
like a rubber ball bouncing up and down
along ground now smooth, now rough,
on a roll, safe and sound till done, bounce
all but gone

Sometimes, I wonder if life isn’t, after all,
but a tale at bedtime about a bouncy castle

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009


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