Ask Only One Question

Unknown Ecology ~ Philip Brent

Unknown Ecology ~ Philip Brent

Give me now the cheerfulness and fearlessness of our youth
Back when we knew they were our lives, embodied our truth
Towels we used to make super hero capes with paper masks
Innocence our strength to conquer all our Sisyphean tasks

Heroes all, though one day as Indians, the next day cowboys
Imagination’s fires lit, more magical than any children’s toys
Climbed to the top of every mountain, to be king of the hill
Cast down, defeated, but a mother’s love made it less than nil

Held us, helped us, sent us back to conquer worlds unknown
Growing in sunlight, fresh air, no video games and no phone
Adventure daily plotted by, with friends and erstwhile cohorts
Comrades, brothers; haughty sisters teased with sneers, snorts

Till a day when feminine looks, charms capture our attention
Friends from youth lost, ignored without conscious intention
Seen but changed, all our gazes now looking up and outward
To heed life’s imperative, abandon play upon the greensward

No swimming holes, fishing holes, our secret forts and caves
Where we plotted our greatest conquest in sheltered enclaves
Memories of triumph, failure, seen through the gauze of time
Buried deep in our mind’s dungeons, too challenging to climb

Could we, might we, ever reclaim the innocence of childhood
Friends enemies, enemies friends, something all understood
May we somehow shed the shackles of stress and simply play
Contest, if we must with imagination, invention an hour a day

If we abandoned our toys and play at war we’d improve our lot
Yet toy guns and pointed fingers hold no threat of a burial plot
Cap-bangs, children’s piping cries: got you, followed by did not
We don to play, doff at end of day, the reasons why we fought

What a world, where we train children as merchants of death
Death, a daily diet, we fill them with hate until our final breath
Fools we are, fools we remain, believing the die has been cast
Pain embellished years; living in the present, dying for the past

When men and women recall how to play like girls and boys
So innocent imagination with every dawn all possibility unfurls
And nothing ever so important that we must always kill or die
Or will future beings view our past, ask only one question, why


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