Where do the children play?
after Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam
I built my house one December’s day
laid out the garden where our children would play
there where a summer grasshopper sat up to say:
bring out your children, to learn our way.
April came, a season’s change as seasons must do
and our house was grand as was its garden too
there where an ant, busy abuilding called with ado:
your children, your children, they are learning true.
July was with us, bold season’s bracing brisk time
that in our garden we learnt the ways of such clime
heard tiger worm and slater beetle composting in rhyme:
yes children, new life from old, is the world’s greatest mime.
Spring came, brash and young, no longer so bare
as our garden re-grew all greening and fair
there where a cabbage moth asked if we all could just share:
for your children to learn, that of our planet, we all are the heir.
Summer came once again, that a year’s full cycle was complete
that our house, our garden, seemed our world full and replete
but then all our critters sang out to be heard all down the street:
what these children have learnt, you the world must all now repeat.
They are the grandchilds of one who formed her views
though walking unlettered in a far-off world’s shoes
then in turn the childs of one who gave me my Muse
gave us our issue, and their issues in twos,
that all is beyond describing, beyond describing, or refuse.
John Miles lives beside South Australia’s River Torrens in his home called Amanzi, a Southern African Nguni word for water, the giver of all life.
Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.
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