they trudged home weary of conforming to rules
eyes focused on the screen to see what they could glean
a stark sext pic they fervently wished they’d not seen
keen to dismiss with a thought those instigators are tools
they amble along feeling their prime is slipping away
wasted in the institutions inflicted by their society
struggle for identity but mostly yearning to belong
come play a while on swings and things in the park
they scuff and run, shout and laugh for an hour long
realising this is what they lacked, fun playful distraction

d’Verse, middle turns, Peter


  1. That is the threat and allure of life isn’t it? One realizes not how they slip out from childhood so soon.. may the process be as painless as possible. 💝💝

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  2. Oh so true: “wasted in the institutions inflicted by their society” You can never go back, but if I could I would never inflict those institutions on my sons again. One of the benes of the pandemic (I know sacrilege to say any benes from it) is that many are home-schooled for now and are one step removed.

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      • Agreed. They are teaching obedience and empty memorization of “facts” (i.e. propaganda) and tend to crush critical thinking. They are also teaching classism because the kids whose parents give money to the school or can afford the very best tend to be the “stars” of the student body. It’s rotten to the core!

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  3. I first read this as a couple of older folk overwhelmed by the crass present; then re-read it as children forced to grow up too soon – and I thought about my neighbour’s son who’s grown in a few short years from playing in the park – scuff and run – to shouting at his virtual team playing Fortnite (or some such) on his PC. Who’d be a parent? who’d be a child?


  4. I suppose the admonition often heard of, “Grow up!” should be stricken from the language. I fully embrace whimsy and a playful spirit. Too often adults are asked to squash imagination and then society bemoans the lack of inventiveness! A key component of innovation is imagination! I hope you (and I and all the readers of this blog) can retain a spirit of fun even amid the responsibilities of adulthood!

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  5. A powerful photo and poem partner-pairing, SweetKate. The two “play” together very well.
    The world can be harsh and demanding and children’s innocence and childhoods are shattered too soon. 😦 They grow up to adulthood in their mind, heart, spirit…long before their bodies do.
    We must be examples to encourage them it’s okay to be kids, to play, to have fun, etc.
    One of my fav schools to teach at was a Montessori school…we helped the kids learn and grow through play and fun.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    “Play is the work of the child.” – Maria Montessori

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    • Whoaaaa i am so thrilled to know you taught in a Montessori School cos i did too, and yes we taught and engaged children into learning and playing at the same time. Montessori believed that the mind of a child is like a sponge, it absords everything easily, so as adults we have to make sure and be careful of what we teach our young children

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  6. mostly yearning to belong
    come play a while on swings and things in the park
    they scuff and run


    I am lucky to have a six-year-old who demands this of me 😀

    A lovely poem!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. That the paradox of the pandemic, Kate – children who once felt limited and moulded by school are now longing to go back to see their friends. Some were lucky and had access to parks and big gardens, so they got playful distraction and fresh air. My heart goes out to children who are cooped up in tower blocks with no green space to escape to.

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    • my heart tore Kim when they shut down the huge apartment blocks in Melbourne … all our poor migrants had spread the virus because the health information hadn’t been translated into their languages … how could they know, nobody told them. But many blamed them … it’s a shocking way to live with hundreds of tiny apartments with no balconies for fresh air …

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  8. Children who want to be grown up and/or fit in, go along with the instigators–when what they really want is to be children. It’s sad when they are forced to grow up too soon. Nice turn!

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  9. We all need that – some healthy distraction – to play!

    Too many are forced to ‘grow-up’ too soon and some elders have limited freedoms are locked away…
    It will be so much better when we can all more freely help each other.

    I actually read an advice column where the Host in an invitation to dinner, requested all cell phones were to be turned off and left in a basket by the front door. The writer wondered if it was a fair request. And the advisor said; as the host, yes. If you don’t want to give up your full attention to your host, then don’t go.

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  10. I loved this poem and picture – such an important reminder of what gets missed in the race of achievements and education. Fun and play are required for our wellbeing – for children to grow up wholesomely with their innocence and for adults who have their little inner selves yearning for play and lightness.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My younger daughter, who is 30, still loves to swing! When she was living at home, she used to swing in the backyard swing hung from a big Jacaranda tree to talk on her cell phone. She was in heaven! She still walks her dog to the park, sits on a swing, and calls me.

    Great poem, Kate. Even old people need to express their inner child! ❤ Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We spend too much time pushing children to be little adults. Even adults need time to play. No one’s life should consist of just “work”. And part of play is being with real people not screens. You say it well. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too. It often gave me anxiety, seeing my friends hire tutors and coaches to give their children a leg up. Luckily, mine also thought it a ridiculous idea. But even so, they did not have the freedom I had as a child. Their lives were already more confined, and now their young adulthood has been turned into a screen by the virus and technology.

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