Once of a Pattern

I remember once to days as a child,
   of a frolic alone to a stream
With silent fascination on a wounded dying bird
   a helpless but courageous young being
For who but a child would sense naught of guilt
   and do homage to nature divine
While brushing a tear out of pity in the rain
Could quietly kill him and then suffer the pain
     and then run to his mother and cry

And once as a boy if I serve my recall
   in an angry and foolish young way
To argue and conquer a true friend for long
   caused a battle of which he must pay
For in matching his sorrow against a true tie
   as sudden the start came the end
For only a young boy who seems to know all
Can repute at his anger, despise his own fall
   and can stretch out his hand to a friend

And young men are wise so they tell us each day,
   I remember of being that kind
With all as their servant, to bow at their knees
   with the world of their knowledge sublime
But young men can weaken far swifter than most
   by the turn of a young woman’s eye
And from kings who have reigned and have conquered all foes
Who have scarred tens of thousands, left widows to morn
   but in the arms of a young girl they cry

 And now as a grown man, in body not soul,
   for the soul ages slowly over time
Having been through my visions, my dreams and my prayers
   and the memories we’ve all left behind
But what of an elder, would all this be lost
   would the past seem to fade from his mind
For who could foretell of an elderly man
When the life of a child, still unlived, still unplanned
   as helping a young bird to die, and he died