Innocence ~ A Conquered Fortress

Innocence ~ A Conquered Fortress

A Poem by Pratik


“Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.” ~   Francis Thompson

 


They gave white roses to the streetwalkers,

The windows were never shut; they let the wind drifts come in,

Smelling of sea-weed and salt; but they never cringed.

Little hamlets, early-born in the sinless corners of the heart,

Where Ariel and Ursula were still the best of friends,

And Goliath was just a brawny kid,

Playing the Illy Ally-O with his wee cousin David.

Those were the times when ‘Happiness’ was often misspelled,

As Miss Maurice at school asked for its spell; but it was felt

In every gulp of sugary lemonade on a scarlet summer’s day

And Love was not just a word, but the summons of the soul, in fusion and form.


Then the Others came in, the men from the East,

They had ridden the lunar tides

To trade in moonstones for Juniper berries.

Phosphorus eyes and sweet cinnamon smiles,

Their kimonos swished in callous, dizzy circles.

As the innocent fell in their Swiss summer hugs,

They pierced the shoulder blades with long, silver daggers.

But they knew no malice, nor the other side of apathy,

They laid the bodies in the somber earth,

Brushing the lips with their saccharine breaths.


The wounds hollowed the souls, but never meant to kill.

So rise they did; and wary they were,

Of the singing sea, stranger smiles and every other sailing ship.

In the snake trails that swallowed the ballerina floors,

They heaved the sniveling stones to the cleansing coastlines.

They built the walls, strong and thick; repellent of the earthly pleasures.

Up in the turrets, they loaded the cannons with weapons

Of abstruse orbits, glacial gazes and wagging tongues,

Holding the tempests at bay; a power decoction,

Freezing the insides with Tundra delights


The oceans fumed and the gales wailed their wails,

But failing as they met the forces of inertia.

Change what may, change it would - and change it did;

No petals were strewn on the curvy streets;

Mr. Frasier had shut down the florist shop,

On the seventh floor, Pomona Hebraize craned her neck,

Alas! She didn’t see her son’s boat!

‘Anne of Green Gables’ yellowed on the dusty bookshelves.

And like everything else They too didn’t remain the same;

From the shires of serene they did transform;

Into widowed islands wading in the sunless sea.

© 2012 Pratik


Author's Note

Pratik
This is something on the lines of one of my previous poems - ‘I Have To Go’. It’s slightly abstract. The central theme of this poem is Innocence. There are many prevalent views on the subject. For e.g. there is a quote that says “Innocence plays in the backyard of ignorance” and some others have said “Innocence is always unsuspicious.” Most people think innocence and maturity don’t go hand in hand. But I beg to differ. I think they are the two ends of the same rope. Innocence help you to see the world differently- not in a mean, deceitful way, not in a way that makes you think it’s a place for the cold and the indifferent, but in a way where forgiveness is your guiding light. It helps you to see things in a positive light, to make you extract the best out of every situation and every person.
Often there are people who come along with immeasurable finesse to cause hurt- something that often tarnish this virtue. People sometimes let go very easily. Suspicion and disbelief reigns supreme! You start thinking twice before promising love to somebody. Unfortunately this is a vicious circle! The more you distance yourself to keep pain at great lengths, the more corrosive your thoughts become… They eat you from the insides and you are rendered as a planning and calculative creature.
I think love always involves that risk of not being reciprocated with or your trust getting breached. But does that mean we stop loving? No, I don’t think so! After all love is nothing but the leap of faith born out of innocence.
This is my point of view. Of course people can differ. I leave the poem to my readers to be interpreted around this centered theme. Of course any other alternate views are more than welcome!

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register




Featured Review

So much of what I read today revolves around being a victim with no power, no choice; and yet I perceive the universe as folding around the choices I make. Innocence is a choice; we decide to give it up or keep it. Great work here, love the metaphors and the contrasts. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thanks Mark :)



Reviews

Very beautifully composed. A strong story line here! I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing. You are a wonderful poet and teller of stories.

Posted 8 Years Ago


My, what a beautiful piece of literature you've written!! Such a deep thought eloquently portrayed through your verses. Innocence is indeed such a dear thing that all possess, yet the choice to discover, keep, or drown it is in our own hands. The best innocence is the innocence of children, lol, because it is so pure and has no peripherial vision to it whatsoever.
Wonderful job!!! I absolutely loved this!

Posted 9 Years Ago


So much of what I read today revolves around being a victim with no power, no choice; and yet I perceive the universe as folding around the choices I make. Innocence is a choice; we decide to give it up or keep it. Great work here, love the metaphors and the contrasts. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thanks Mark :)
You are an extremely gifted writer and I am honored to have the opportunity to view your works!! It is love that shall heal the deepest of wounds as this love allows trust to be tested, and to be built into the powerful force that it may be with understanding and acceptance of others - often as they are, even though we differ in opinion. You speak of the leap of faith born out of innocence and how some think that innocence and maturity do not go hand in hand - but they are the same. We cannot mature without the experiences of innocence as we allow what we learn to ripen us to the level of understanding that surpasses all doubt!! These are my thoughts - we all benefit from trust, from looking beyond self, from being all we can be - from believing in the innocence of self and others that enables us to walk the path to maturity!!
A wonderful write my friend!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thank you Sheila... you just made my day... :)
The innocence you write of is lovely, even magical...and innocence lost is something to weep for...you make me feel I've forever lost mine...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thank you mam... I am glad you liked it :)
i love the quote your used- it's so deep and has truth in it :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


Nice ... as it continues to reign through it's way!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thank you Sagar :)
There is a sadness felt when I read this, to have books loved as a child yellowing on the shelves, is a metaphor for childhood innocence passing by. Innocence and maturity do go hand in hand, and through life that innocence can become tarnished by hurt, making it least likely to forgive easily. You perspective on this is enlightening and penned beautifully! Great write, my friend!

"‘Anne of Green Gables’ yellowed on the dusty bookshelves.

And like everything else They too didn’t remain the same;

From the shires of serene they did transform;

Into widowed islands wading in the sunless sea."


Posted 9 Years Ago


Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thanks a million Robbie :)
A masterpiece beyond words this piece. I love the message and it comes together wonderfully. Your logic and talent shines! Great write.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thanks Anna :)
Amazing photos and words. It is funny how things can change. I like the story and the logic of your thoughts.
"And like everything else They too didn’t remain the same;"
Thank you for the outstanding poem.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


Pratik

9 Years Ago

Thank you... Glad you liked it :)

First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

2659 Views
18 Reviews
Rating
Shelved in 5 Libraries
Added on September 17, 2012
Last Updated on September 17, 2012
Tags: innocence, childhood, fairy tales, strangers, love, hamlets, islands

Author

Pratik
Pratik

Raleigh, NC



About
Hello! I am Pratik Mukherjee from Calcutta, India - the city of Mother Teresa and the famous poet Tagore. My pen name is Aaran, a variant of the word 'Aran' and derived from the Aran Islands, a gro.. more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..