Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Yellow Balloon OR Whatever Happened to Children's Play?


Children across the world are expected to take its worst tantrums in their stride, but for how long…?

For the many caught up in its conflicts, the world must often seem a bleak place, any worthwhile future, for them at least, an all but impossible dream.

Of course, it is not all doom and gloom, but children should not have to snatch at happiness as and when they can; it should be the greater part of growing up. Yes, even playtime has its ups and downs, good times and bad, but that’s life, a learning curve for all of us at any age. 

True, the world today is a dangerous place, but children need to be reasonably prepared for, not scared of it. Besides, is not having to deal with parental and peer pressures enough without having to contend with being made to feel they are a disappointment for not fully participating in someone else’s second hand life or, far worse, struggling to survive a war zone? 

Whatever, indeed, happened to playtime?


playing with a yellow balloon,
mothers calling   
back home, as a mocking wind 
snatches it from tiny fingers,
dispatching it to drift mottled skies
weepy with satire?

chasing after a yellow balloon,
father calling
back home, but they play deaf
among innocent cries
inciting adventures, welcome respite
from secrets and lies

trying to catch a yellow balloon
beyond either reach or ken,
no sense of direction, quickly
consumed by angry skies,
menaced by cloud figures waving
smoking guns

observed in tears over a balloon
burst by a phoenix
rising from its everyday ashes
to heavens where sunlight
last seen glancing off shrapnel
slowly killing them

Children, in near and faraway places
picking up the pieces…

Copyright R. N. Taber 2009

No comments :