Yesterday, I put up a poem called Innocence. Today, I am going to try to explain in as well as I can. I'll get right into it...
1st off - starting with the title, Innocence, and down through the rest of the poem, each line has exactly 9 letters. Count them if you don't believe me. I was writing this poem from the point of view of a 9 year old boy, right at the time in life when you are no longer a little no-nothing child, but yet not a sophisticated (ha!!!) teenager.
The boy is watching another child, swing on a swing, not just any swing, but their personal swing. The child on the swing is genderless (sometimes it changes depending on my mood).
The child on the swing, soars through the air and jumps into a pile of leaves (yellow and reds). Guess what season it is? The season when everything starts to die. Yup, Halloween. No just messing.
"Your blank eyes soar broad, faintly in the clouds and back in view again." Now the child gets back on the swing, after jumping off and landing in the leaves. As the boy watches the other child from the ground, the explanation he gives is of him going high (faintly in the clouds), and then coming back down (and back in view again). With the child on their way back down, the boy is getting frustrated. Ready to see this?
"Stop flyin’ on my swing- it’s my turn to shatter this sound barrier." The child from the ground has expressed his desire to see the other child get off HIS swing. See the controlling factor of the boy? He can't have somebody else enjoying themself on HIS swing. The sound barrier is simply to show that he knows something about going fast. He's heard of Mach 1 and loves to imagine himself going fast. He is past the point of "chase me, Daddy" and thinking he is still faster than Dad, but has not gotten the childish sensation out of his head to imagine himself being the fastest in the world, even if it is swinging from a plastic swing.
"Do you see the changes in the sky? I am twinkling now under a star." Have you ever stretched back in the swing, and leaned back as far as you can, holding on to the chains with a tight grip while your hair practically touches the ground. Something tells me that I'm not the only one who has. He is stretched out, looking upside down as he looks behind him at the open sky of darkness. But the light-headed feeling he has almost makes him feel starry, and dreamy, and he is the one twinkling. Picture the little birdies above his head. Did you notice that? Oh, maybe I just added that for some fun.
"As it’s flashed in as I squint, throwing a blackness to the back of my brain." The starry, hazy feeling he has is starting to make him light-headed, causing him to have a pain in his head (the squinting). Now do you see what the blackness in his brain is about? When a child feels pain, what is their first reaction, especially when it is something they have never experienced before? They think they are about to die. Now I am not saying that this is every child, but many will start freaking out at the sight of blood, a weird bump, a rash, etc. Why? They don't understand what happened, so it MUST be fatal.
"Forcing me to reach in-to deep dry grass." Notice that this is an involuntary action. The boy has no control over what happens. It is not another person that forces him off the swing into the grass, but the feeling in his head, and the squinting from the pain that has caused him to lose his balance. If you want, you could say that the other child, who for a while in this poem has stepped off the scenes, is the one that forced him off by pushing him, and that would work, but that wasn't what was going through my mind. Still, feel free to interprite it as you will.
"As my sight goes dim, waking up, lying on this Earth, flat with a deafening laugh thru the ground." Now the effects of his actions are taking hold. He is lying on the grass, in pain, lost his sight(momentarily) from hitting his head, because that's the first thing that is going to hit the ground when you are practically lying over the seat upside-down. His position: flat on the Earth; his eyes: shut. he is hurt, but through all of this, he still can hear the sound of the other child, the one that he told to get off his swing, that is laughing at him. That is the deafening laugh. The child that he told to get off the swing has watched him hurt himself, and they are loving it.
What about naming the poem Vindication. Nah, I like this title. Here's why...
The children, though innocent in theory, still have the nature as human beings to enjoy other people's demise. I felt it to be a fitting title to such a weighty poem. So much joy can come from being a child, but oh, we still remember the times when someone laughted at our pain. I am not trying to be sinister in any regard. Just think of childhood. We go back in our mind to the days when everything was innocent, and what did we say? I can't wait til I'm older! As children, we learn lessons that we soon forget. So many people hate being a kid, but when they look back on life, it almost seems that they would long for the days of innocence again only to forget the many things that caused us to loathe it so much.