A Poem by Beccy

It starts earlier than you imagine.

Look at all the motor cars, like sardines in a row,
mostly playing stumble start, hardly ever go.

But it gives me pause for watching
little creatures as they play,
in the hedgerows and the verges,
the rich and verdant clay;
where they frolic and they ponder,
just why we spend our time,
in pursuit of the pointless,
lost to slow, corrosive greed;
not looking to the left or right
as we scorn the greater need.

And against the morning sun we drive, 
to where the skyline greets our day,
where smokestack, steeple, brick and block,
chart natures slow decay.
To hour on hour of vassalage
far from the ploughmans' tread,
where none ought tell you join them,
although 'tis often said.

Then it's back beneath the evening sky,
to chores and apron strings,
to memories of a joyous past
when we played on slides and swings.
When our world was one of make believe,
and our delight was still to run,
fast as the wind, then faster still, 
beneath the sky and sun. 

Where all that ever counted, 
was the set and shape of things,
when we flew in sunsets scattered gold,
testing our fledgling wings.
Drank deep the draught of childhood,
feared naught but friendships lost,
assumed our right of passage, 
never thought about the cost;
that we were being programmed 
by those desks set in a row, 
to enter into servitude
not reap what we might sow.

But still with tireless shoulders bare
we danced and danced, light as the air,
our shadows running swift and far
and eyes more bright than any star;  
poised on the path as if beguiled,
until in silent interlude, the moon
slipped lost behind a cloud;
and time was called... 
though never called aloud.  

Oh; just look at all the motor cars, like sardines in a row,
mostly playing stumble start... Hardly ever go.
Oh, look at all the children, already tamed and trained,
'tis the school run quintessential, less the melody unchained.   

© 2019 Beccy

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it's hell. a lot of truth in what you describe. the system teachers and enforces conformity in the name of money. what about nature, truth and individualism which goes against the grain of man's institutions. packed like sardines and lemmings to get back and forth to jobs we despise. the nations roadways are clogged - has reached problem levels in boston (where i live) and they want to do something about it like more work-from-home and off-hours work. i was recently talking with friends about how i don't enjoy driving anymore like i used to when i was younger - i just end up frustrated, stressed-out and angry before i even get to where i'm going not to mention parking. good food for thought or something i don't enjoy thinking about ... :)

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


3 Weeks Ago

indeed. it will be ugly and is starting to get ugly as the system is running out of time and soluti.. read more

3 Weeks Ago

The real problems always come when the vested interests start running scared. Hong Kong Vs China bei.. read more

3 Weeks Ago

that's why they want rigid control. when people start thinking for themselves and asserting freedom.. read more
Beccy, as I read this I nodded in agreement, recalling my days commuting in Washington, DC, even on the trains. We're like programmed, driven cattle, shoved into narrow chutes, and we drag along our children on this monotonous daily voyage, programming them, too. Yet, those pauses, the moments we want to thump on the horn and steering wheel, we're better to immerse ourselves in the beauty and amusement that surrounds us. Sometimes, even a yellow dandelion, growing between a crack in the blacktop, catches my eye. Sometimes it's the perspective and the pause that save us... when we're not traveling 60 mph. One of my favorites from you. Truly good stuff!

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

This comment has been deleted by the poster.

3 Weeks Ago

It's the pauses that matter most; none should ever be missed or taken for granted.

'S.. read more
This reminds me of a video that I saw some time ago. The gentleman was talking about how our education system literally has not changed over the decades and how, still today, children are being taught to suppress individuality, critical thinking, and independent thinking. They are being ingrained and trained to just get in line and follow everyone else. To be honest, it amazes me that nothing has changed. Then, on the other hand, it doesn't. So many parents have handed their children over for indoctrination and have abdicated their responsibility as parents. You touch upon this greatly with fluidity and grace, your voice beautiful to be heard.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

We are indeed programmed by nature and society. Learning to unprogram yourself is no easy task. I suppose we still remain programmed, only we choose our programming.

Loved this intelligent and elegant write:)

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

' .. we danced and danced, light as the air, - our shadows running swift and far - and eyes more bright than any star; '

You've written this with not only insider knowledge but a mother's heart. Becky - and used such fine language and meter. I near skipped down the page first time.. it's flow was so natural. But, on second reading i truly appreciated your thoughts on how it could be if children were allowed more time to learn whilst adventuring the facts given rather than mere words. Guess there needs be a certain amount of restraint in a classroom but not to the point of restraining small children's natural inquisitiveness. I need to find a song by Harry Chapin that our Josh loved.. will add it..

Hugs, thanks and happy happies.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

well thank goodness your son has you for a teacher to brush off some of those classroom programmings and give him sights to some of the right things too:) to say that i love this and agree with so much of it would be an understatement of monumental proportions... good god this is wonderful the structure rhyme scheme messages and flow... just lovely, delicious lines Beccy an instant favorite!

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

This is largely why I decided to teach my own children. There is so much more to life than being what is expected, but often we don't understand that until it's too late to sensibly pursue our passions or something that would contribute to the greater good.

As of now, my children are both passionate about nature and finding ways to make a real difference where they can. They were arguing this afternoon while we were walking about who loves reptiles more. Ok. I love that. But, I also worry that they will not be emotionally prepared for the world as so many children are learning to see it today. And they will have to face that world as adults. So, I have to think about ways to balance things.

It's tough--like your poem says there's a kind of formula and we are all expected to meet certain criteria and live our lives in some kind of mindless algorithms. But deviating too much leaves you alienated in different ways. I like the way your poem dances along in the rhythm and lulls the reader in the same ways that life does. We say we will only do something for a short time and then we look back and it's been twenty years. Where did our lives go?

Great contemplation here, Beccy. Your poems always offer something important to ponder.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


3 Weeks Ago

There is much that is wrong in this world today and I suppose I ought not cavil overmuch about the t.. read more
we are so busy going back and forth in life....impatient to get to the next place we are going...we forget to enjoy where we are...
way back when time seemed to slow to a crawl....we didn't drive, we were enjoy our days and they lasted a long time.
but rush hour appeared in later teens....and we rushed through college, then profession...driving ourselves at high in older age...i find myself slowed down again...trying to enjoy where i am...saving gas...and living more...
this is such a cool poem...we serve the does not serve us.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago

Beccy. Aside from the absolutely wonderful rhyming, (as good as it gets in my view,) there is an important message here, a message which you have so cleverly reinforced with your last stanza.

The first part of the poem gives no great clue that this is as much about lost childhood, as the cradle to grave mentality that now seems programmed into our species. The point you make is subtlety delivered, but no less effective.

'It starts earlier than you imagine.' Indeed it does.


Posted 4 Weeks Ago

Superbly written, some fantastic lines and spot on rhymes.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago

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14 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on October 21, 2019
Last Updated on October 21, 2019



Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

I'm forty two, single and have a lovely thirteen year old son called Charlie. I've been writing poetry and short stories since I can remember. I have always been an assiduous reader of poetry and real.. more..

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