Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Fire of Youth

The fire of youth
that still believes
it can do more than cause a ripple
in the giant pond that is the world
should be kindled, cherished, guarded, fed.

Adults chuckle knowingly
from both sides of their mouths
raise their eyebrows,
thinking, "pipe dreams",
while trying not to burst small bubbles,
or perhaps act more purposefully
(always well-intentioned)
to rain on young parades.

"Time to grow up and put away childish things...
Things are the way things are because they've always been so
and who are you to think that you alone could make a difference
better to accept the facts than to risk ridicule or pain".

Recall the dreams we once held dear
before the slings and arrows,
before the jibes and laughter
turned us cynical and "wise"

Ever looking backward, we long to recapture
the hope-filled heart, the starry eyes,
embarking on new journeys
embracing change, welcoming pain,
knowing the dream was worth the price.

When did courage, nerve, vivacity
shrink to become good manners,
hope fade into the background,
and we revert to being
seen but never heard?

Recall chasing after rainbows,
turning down blind alleys,
running full speed in the dark
unafraid of our mistakes.
Was it carelessness or faith more pure?

How many, having put away
the dreams that once were cherished,
transfer all their hopes
onto the shoulders of the young--
so that pressure dressed as "guidance"
puts a damper on their flame?

The fearlessness of youth
to challenge authority
and dare nonconformity
should be praised and imitated.
For once the fire's extinguished,
it's so hard to reignite;
and without dreams, as yet unbruised,
all else lies in ruin around us.

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