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Poetry Pleases: Childhood Memory

In this seemingly-simple poem Tony Ellis distils the essence of a child's ability to create wonders out of the ordinary and the everyday.

I grew up in a world
Rubbed black by carbon
With acrid air
And soot-stained streets

I breathed in smog
Tasted acid in rain
Saw green hills
Stripped naked and bare

White sheep wore coats of grime

People coughed and pale-faced
Died young of old age

I played in mighty rivers
Imagined from polluted streams
Stormed electric pylon castles
Reveled among broken glass
And stinking steel

Pram wheels were my chariot
And sticks my swords.

Secret in the woods on Round Hill
Were deep carpets of bluebells and wild onions

From There is Wisdom in Walnuts; 27 Poems by Tony Ellis and a Couple by his Dad. 2004 tony ellis / www.tonyellis.com


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