When I was a Boy

T Trainor By T Trainor, 1st Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

It's about an old man who tries to get a message to himself when he was a boy. The poem is set in a meadow in the spring and nature looks after the boy.

When I was a Boy

When I was a boy, May eased into my wretched world opening her heavy golden doors,
Warm days eased my life and sweetened harsh bitterness erased by her mighty beauty,
A springtime landscape of magnificence with wonderful scenes repainted, re-gilded,
Drawing open her veil, she led me into her majestic gardens to play and be happy.

Meadows of strong green grass bend with late March winds but they are very strong,
Uncombed hair whipped around my ears, flicked my eyelashes and blinded my view,
Nature playing games with a sad, lonely, lost little soul, giving me her garden,
Seasons understand everything, they see, hear, they have been here for all time.

A garden full of trees, white, heavy with blossom, streams boiling over green rocks,
All around is carpeted with myriads of mosses, flowers, each playing a starring role,
Breezes diffuse the most delicious sweet and heady odors, that would haunt you forever,
While the sun spreads his beams across the bluest of skies, he looks down, all is well.

These days I sit in my rear garden, an old man, in the Christmas of a very long life,
In a country lane sits a shadow of a man, shouldering a scythe, he gives a friendly wave,
He waits for a man to tell a long story, he understands my memories, they must be right,
He is a figure that used to scare me but now he will be my last, but very good friend.

Sitting in the shade of an old crab apple tree, my eyes pass real time and I go back,
Back to my youth where the sun is so bright I cannot lift my head it burns my bare neck,
Powerful sunbeams brighten the clefts in hills and forests, warming damp hidden thickets,
The day warms rivers, serene lakes, a world that will be soon be gone when builders arrive.

This was my garden, if I chose to sink to my knees, bow my head, cry, it was my choice,
There were strict rules, nobody points or laughs at suffering, ignorance stayed well away,
A nightingale, might fly down and sing the most beautiful song ever sung,this was my world,
He was my guardian, a friend with full understanding, bright clear eyes I will never forget.

It is a warm morning and I rub my chin with the back of my leathery old hand on my stubble,
There was a three day shadow under my chin, it rasped against my hand like a file on wood,
I can feel and see everything so vivid, it is like going back round again to days gone by,
And my dark friend waits patiently in the shadows, this time a little nearer, I feel at ease.

My thoughts of the past are very strong, around me are wonderful hues of perfect amber green,
Sitting in my garden I can touch the past, the beautiful limes with their sweeping branches,
I can see a child in knee deep grass full of flowers, sycamores, humming full of honey bees,
If I could just reach out and talk to the boy, tell him that his misery will not last forever.

In my young days my life was hard, my father a nasty drunk my mother too scared to speak,
The most hardest thing about cruelty is never knowing what to expect, when it would strike,
Never being able to relax, hearing drunken brawls shouting at night, and screaming hatred.
I would take myself to a rosy vale by a noble river to a willow island guarded by swans.

In my world away from home nature was my castle, all was calm, all was safe and beautiful,
Ditches filled with calthas and kingcups of emerald green, golden blossoms and cardamine,
Some were white but each had such lovely flowers, that have lived on in my mind to this day,
Memories of delightful peace in country glades made me strong it was my broad sword, my hope.

When I did not want to go home I would go to my special place, just to sit and look around,
Primroses gave me their welcome bloom across the commons, they would just smile and say hello,
Sometimes there would be a thousand nightingales singing sweetly from their fairy forest,
The cuckoo could be heard across the Mead's and fallow fields, this place was my real home.

The sun disappears a shadow blocks my light, and as I focus it is my lovely smiling wife,
She puts a cup of coffee, and a biscuit on the small wooden table next to my outside chair,
It breaks the spell and I am back to my seat under the crab apple tree my eyes moist, sad,
She is my love my friend my guardian, my courage, my nightingale, my swan, she knows it all.

In the bad days my mother would tell me to go, to sleep in the big woods, keep out the way,
I had an old carpet up there in a well hidden thicket I would roll myself up and feel safe,
My friends of the nighttime woods sat in branches near by and watched out for me, they cared,
As the morning sun lifted itself on the horizon my birds showed their importance, they sang.

Pools and streams are white with the water ranunculus, foxglove leaves are strong and firm,
Insects flitting about visiting flowers and humming over the warm land, a butterfly is out,
It is a red black spotted butterfly basking in the warm dusk of a stoney, dusty footpath,
Elevating and depressing its wings as if drinking every spore of sun and the spirit of life.

The ichneumon flies are out busy and alert, they have renewed fire, happiness in their veins,
Gossamer is seen in this season covering the grass with its films of silken cottony threads,
By the foot paths the common currant is beautiful with its pendant racemes still with flower,
In days long, long ago I could not have named but a handful of flowers, I can now name all.

But that did not matter, names are names only, if something warms your heart does it matter,
If you met a stranger and sat down talking would he be a better person if his name was known,
Some people I would trust with my life after few words others I know well, I would walk away,
Beautiful people roam this world, just to meet such a person, would enrich a lifetime forever.

Left alone in my chair under the apple tree my heart and eyes go into a fifty yard stare,
Staring back to my past, the feeling is so strong, I believe time has turned back my clock,
I can hear the sound of a rushing brook running and leaping through beauty with riotous joy,
It twists and turns catching the sun the reflection hurts your eye, but you cannot look away.

Again I can see the boy in luxuriant herbage, staring down at some of the dear old cowslips,
He sits down by a hawthorn, it is bursting into flower, breathing air that is sweet and fresh,
Things, so real I call out his name he looks around, then back to bank and the rushing water,
He sits down by the lapsing waters, the grass and blossoms listening to music from each bough.

I remember a poem I once wrote, it was very short but it had a huge effect on how things are,
It was about a little bird caught in a cage, its cage up against a wall, dreaming of its past,
It could remember the joys of flying through woods and trees, all his friends from the forest,
This poem was in a book I wrote and it upset me so much I rewrote the book to free the bird.

So here we are again back into my past, to my refuge, my castle the woods I loved so dearly,
There the lesser butcher bird, the cockchaffer and a host of many other unseen birds sing,
The woods were warm, the meadow saxifrage mingled amongst an ocean of beautiful bluebells,
In this sea of blue with a wind brushing the bells against my legs is my memory of memories.

Again so near I can smell rhododendrons, laburnums, lilacs, westerias and the yellow broom,
Grass under my feet is cool and long, I touch the blossom of the late flowering apple tree,
I carve a message on a small board of hard rosewood, be strong, it will all go away one day,
And placed it by flattened grass at the riverside, under young green apples hanging overhead.

Sitting remembering woods at bluebell time makes my eyes well, and a lump forms in my throat,
When my friend puts his hand gently onto my shoulder,and gives a gentle squeeze it is my time,
Flowers of the fields and forests must accompany me to my rest, I am going back to my home,
To lay down with all my friends that cared for me, maybe a nightingale will sing a last song.

My wife stays behind to say a last goodby and tidies some wild flowers she is always very neat,
She takes a trowel and digs a little hole to plant some Spring bulbs and places a small font,
She stands and looks over the plot making sure everything is in its correct place, as always,
She remembers my lucky little rosewood board and lays it down in pride of place on the ground.

It Reads, 'Be strong, it will all go away one day.'


Spring Flowers, Spring Images, Spring Poems, Spring Time, Spring Weather, Springtime

Meet the author

author avatar T Trainor
My passion is to write poetry and prose. I have been lucky and have had some books published on my poems and prose. The feedback I receive for my work has been fantastic.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Rathnashikamani
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Wow, great debut poem.

Welcome to Wikinut!

Reply to this comment

author avatar T Trainor
13th Oct 2016 (#)

Thank you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar LadyQueen
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Like it, it's wonderful.

Reply to this comment

author avatar T Trainor
13th Oct 2016 (#)

I'm so glad you liked it.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Ibolya Lőrincz
13th Nov 2012 (#)

Welcome to Wikinut.
Hope to read some other nice poems by you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar T Trainor
13th Oct 2016 (#)

Thank you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Stella Mitchell
29th Dec 2012 (#)

Beautiful,. Just Beautiful.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?