Walking Old Streets Of My Youth Poem by Bryan Sefton

Walking Old Streets Of My Youth

Rating: 4.0

Where would you take me my friend
Bright colours run on the pallet of my mind
Satins and silks make up the tapestry of me
They hide the sackcloth that was then
Perused upon, a simple stitch
takes on a forgotten face
It is a crowded place

The sky flickers in reverse
Like an old movie screen
Trees collect leaves out of the loam
Attach them to branches
Curl them into tight parcels
Tuck them away in secret places
Years take back their pages
Youth takes back old faces
Calendars give December back to January

The ground eats up new buildings
Fields, long hidden, shed streets
Shed avenues, the refuse of habitation
Town houses lose their cladding
Rendering is replaced by old brick
Places become points in time
Street corners carry ghosts
Their voices call across fifty years
It is the distance between curbs

I ache to see old friends
They who smiled so young
Moved on and out of sight
Pledged friendship for life
Then hid themselves away
Their voices call from the broken mill
They play in the rubble that is the years

'Kenny! Joe! Brian, Alan! Bob!
Where have you gone?
Come on!
Come on, let's have some fun! '

Ken, you and I were joined at the hip
We walked with an arm around each other
Joe, we were brothers
Your mother mothered me
Brian, I cut my arm accepting your dare
You said I couldn't, I said I could
You picked me up where I fell
I want to hide in the old yard, yell
'ready! ' And hope you find me
You always knew
I could never hide from you
Alan, I could bare my soul to you
Tell all and it would never be repeated
I still keep your secrets
Commanche torture would not drag them out
Ming's men would not loosen my tongue
I would face the death of a thousand cuts
I would not give them up

Bob you fell to the inevitable
We never thought you'd be the first
The rest of us saw it as a curse
Then the contagion became something terrible
Suddenly they were everywhere
With firm young breasts and laughing eyes
Guys weren't safe to walk the street
Things happened that beggered belief
Parts started acting out of character
Hairs grew where they'd never been
You left stains at the end of dreams
Life, so simple, had to be explained

Down past the old school
Where are you now Simmy?
Maths teacher extraordinaire
You did your best to shine the torch
Of knowledge in my gloomy brain
With shoulders bent, determined plod
Total dedication. Hopeless odds

Teachers, Atherton, Cockcroft, Berry, Lloyd
Laboured Herculean on such as I
Laboured hard to fill the void
Made by recalcitrance we thought wise
Wiser boys were working hard
Preparing for futures coming fast
Lethargically I got results
In history, english, science, maths
That merited only a dreamers wage
(In dreaming I got all straight A's

Take me back old friend
Take me back to then
Take me back lets do it all again
Then hold the recess bell. Don't let it ring
Till I find the King who got shot in the eye
Why M-C squared? What is Pi?
And x equals y can that be true?
Simmy? How may I equal U?

Here's the homework you didn't give
I'll stay after school if it isn't enough
I'll hoard your words like a squirrel nuts
I'll rise to the challenge and never give up
I'll slave to a finish and beg for more
Lie by your bed on bare wooden boards
To catch any word you murmured in sleep

(Kenny! Joe! Brian! Alan! Bob!
Where have you gone?
Come on! Come on!
Let's have some fun)

I have not seen these streets in over fifty years
The darks and greys have all disappeared
Gay colours abound in facade and garden
With flowers I once only saw in Parks
The old terraced streets have been erased
For new terraced streets with garden gates
Double glazed windows gaze on gardens
Where ours looked onto cobble stone streets
That sent the morning milk cart sounding
Like Morris Dancers with flying feet

My ears prick up as I hear their voices
Seeming to walk through a tear in time
My wide eyes wait for their appearance
That will bring them back into my life
They all walk laughing round the corner
My feet hurry forward, then slowly cease
For though their faces echo those familiar
They are not the ones I ache to greet
I watch the five of them walk away
Toward a future bright and gay
And I want to run; give chase, enquire
Have you seen five boys? Around your age?
You see? I closed my eyes to count to ten
And I never saw their like again

Sunday, June 21, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: friendship,nostalgia,regret
Ratnakar Mandlik 21 June 2020

Memoirs about youthful days, thick friends and the secrets shared with them and commitment with the same all full of nostolgia marvelously narrated. Thanks for sharing.10 points.

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Bryan Sefton

Bryan Sefton

Farnsworth near Bolton, England, UK
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