They are young

they are young,
moulded by the past
and those who would use them.
they do not know their beauty
or question that the world is theirs.
adolescent brain chemicals fizz in their heads
twisting them in loud high street mating rituals crudely practiced
from the age of twelve, or ten, or even less.
at sixteen their techniques
may be a little more sophisticated,
but the lost ones drink in the park, pick up quickies,
tell themselves that every notch in the shrubbery bark
is a valuable conquest, another page of evidence
that they are loved, that they can
win the heart of any man –
but they don’t believe it.
they are young, in a land
of brittle hearts, charred dreams,
greedy advertising of harmful things,
where we reach for inconsequential fakery
in the crossed-finger promise of a better life.
they think the whole weeping world is theirs,
but we haven’t shown them its beauty
and they cannot see their own.

©Jane Paterson Basil


9 thoughts on “They are young

  1. How sad and how true, Jane. You really do believe the world is yours at that age. Little do we realise how hard it can be just to achieve the minimum of what we’d like to do – or is that just me? I remember a desperate need to be loved too. How sad that so many of us feel the only way to guarantee that is to give too much of ourselves. At least I learnt that lesson early 🙂
    Great work, Jane

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I find it fascinating to watch pubescent mating rituals in the street – they think they’re being subtle. I can hark back to the days when I played similar games, also believing I was subtle… 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, I know. I watch my son – just about to turn 12 – and the naivety is heartrending. They adopt the swagger, dying to be grown up, to behave like older males, but they’re really SO young still. It’s almost painful to see. And he hasn’t even started being interested in girls yet, thank god. Dreading that

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ha! The swagger – it’s as if the subconscious says “I’m going to want a mate one day. I’d better start figuring out how to get one. How do I do that? I know – swagger…”
              Paul did that when he was thirteen, but then he got waylaid, and has only just discovered girls at the age of 28. I’m not enjoying it. I hope your son behaves better than Paul when he reaches that milestone.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh, lor, why do we have to stand by and watch our little boys turn into stinking great men? Terrifying process! Well, your Paul had to discover women eventually and I guess he has a lot of learning to catch up on. Hopefully he’ll do just that and come out the other side with some sense where the opposite sex is concerned. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

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