Brian Johnston

Gold Star - 16,093 Points (Jan.20,1943 / Oklahoma)

Ph: Life: Whipping A Child - Poem by Brian Johnston

Whipping A Child!

How few people know in this world,
That the ones who are beaten
Find ways to take rage out on others,
All frequently fruit of one tree!

But just for this reason I chose
To forgo my own children
Preferring this legacy die and
Find no life extension thorough me.

Though discipline can bless a child,
Pain just sends the wrong message.
It says, “I am bigger than you are.”
Not, “This is a much better way! ”

In life take the time to be fair
If your motive is really to win,
Emotion and justice aren’t rhyming,
Your hasty decision won’t pay.

My father’s rage cost him a lot
Focus clearing his pathway
Of love really real to those nearest,
Devotion to vision his wife.

A child of depression’s cold class
And a father who beat him
He dreamed of escaping it somehow
But War and his dad stole his life!

Though choice estranged daughter and son,
(Through tears) wife never crumbled,
Can life ever be past redemption?
Amazed all that mom stayed on board.

Just once did my dad lose control,
It seemed yard needed mowing,
A Saturday job for the male child,
But new friend left duty ignored.

Unable to finish the lawn
By the time dark had fallen
I knew that Dad would not be happy,
But never could have guessed his ire!

“Go cut me three switches, ” he said,
And then told me I’d failed him
And needed to cut three much thicker...
Mom’ tears just poured fuel on the fire.

My mom and sis fled home but left
Me behind to face music.
The blows fell on angry red legs while
I swallowed my tears, choked on hate.

The lesson I learned was that life
Is not fair, and that no one
Is safe in the world or with loved ones
We all live alone with our fate.

But what would life look like if mom
Had had courage enough then
To say, “No, I won’t let you do this! ”
One soul can stop tanks with such deeds!

Is this not respect for yourself...
To risk all for another,
To stand up for weakness that touches?
Could this be just what the world needs?


The years come and go oh so fast
But no memory’s fading
And trust never came in his lifetime
I left home to choose my own path.

Forgiveness was never that hard
But it’s obvious now why
I’ve chosen to just work for others
It’s simple if you do the math.

And what did I lose when I chose
Not to ever be like him,
That passion in this life is deadly
And focus is just devil’s toy?

My father made serious errs
But he later rejoiced in
Son’s life that picked up on dad’s lost dreams
Decisions all made by his boy.

Topic(s) of this poem: life

Form: Burlesque

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Brian Johnston
November 4,2015

Comments about Ph: Life: Whipping A Child by Brian Johnston

  • Valsa George (11/4/2015 10:32:00 PM)

    Though discipline can bless a child,
    Pain just sends the wrong message...........

    Quite true! Beating a child can cause more damage than it can do good! The intention may be good, but it leaves a negative impact! In India, it is not quite rare for the father or mother to beat their children if they misbehave...... but it is not seen so serious by the children as they see the umpteen sacrifices, the parents make for their children until they breathe their last! Unlike in the West, parent support and supervision will be there for a son or daughter even after he/she becomes an adult! I can imagine how you must have felt when you were flogged by your Dad for not mowing the lawn! A great narration!
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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 4, 2015

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