Saturday, 5 July 2014

Stolen Childhoods

Today's poem is not an easy one, it is about Rolf Harris, who many of us grew up with; he was part of our childhood, but all the time there was a darker side behind the man. Why does one man (or woman) become a saint, and another a monster? I don't think we can always tell.

I think chance plays a large part, and how we make choices, even choices when we were younger, against our background. Clare Rayner suffered an abusive childhood, but she reacted against abuse. Norman Wisdom was beaten, but he took that and channeled it into pathos. The notion that our childhood shapes us is true, but so do our choices given that childhood.

But one think I am sure of: saints tend to shine out, and be visible. Monsters remain in the shadows, and when they do appear, they disguise themselves well.

Stolen Childhoods
Everybody's favourite, hidden past
Can you tell what it is yet? Or who?
Some closure for his victims at last
As past misdeeds are in open view
Innocence stolen, scars left behind
No sun arise early in that morning
And yet he seemed so nice and kind
And few saw any signs for warning
Jekyll and Hyde, the darkness inside
While beaming bonhomie shining out
A crueler face, he managed to hide
Of that there can now be no doubt
We welcomed this man into our home
Stolen childhoods where he did roam

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