Poems for Reflection and Discussion -

Secondary Schools

By Josie Whitehead



By Josie Whitehead

Pastures Green

Brought up as a child in the war years, 
I longed to see distant countries.
Beyond the shores of this small island
What could await me in the world? 
Lands where the sun shone warm 
From high up in blue cloudless skies? – 
Mountains, whose peaks tore 
To shreds those soft billowing clouds? 
How I longed for those beaches where 
The soft sand would caress my toes; 
Where the salty waves would break 
In endless streams over golden beaches.
I pondered about languages and cultures 
Which were different from my own 
Where I could step from adolescence 
Into adulthood - perhaps unnoticed? 
Oh for freedom and independence 
That would sublimely initiate me 
Into that world where I could be 
My own identifiable person. 
I would be enthroned in this world
Where my choices would be my own – 
Not the guided and supervised choices 
Made for me by my loving parents. 
Oh, but those far distant green pastures 
Are often not what we think they are. 
With liberty there comes the feeling 
Of, perhaps, becoming too detached to cope.

I think that we are like young birds who,
Knowing that they must take that first flight,
Tentatively gaze at what they must face below.
'Will our small feathered wings support us?'

   Then we say 'J u m p' . . . and it is done.

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