Thursday, April 8, 2010

Theme Thursday - The Box

Once upon a time in the land of hushabye
Around about the wondrous days of yore
I came across a sort of box
Bound up with chains
And locked with locks
And labelled kindly do not touch, its war

Decree was issued round about
All with a flourish and a shout
And a gaily coloured mascot tripping lightly on before
Don't fiddle with this deadly box
Or break the chains
Or pick the locks
And please, don't ever play about with war

Well, the children understood
Children happen to be good
They were just as good around the time of yore
They didn't try to pick the locks,
Or break into that deadly box
They never tried to play about with war

Mummies didnt either
Sisters, aunts, grannies neither
Cause they were quiet and sweet and pretty in those wondrous days of yore
Well, very much the same as now,
Not the ones to blame somehow
For opening up that deadly box of war

But someone did
Someone battered in the lid
And spilled the insides out across the floor
A sort of bouncy, bumpy ball made up of guns and flags
And all the tears and horror and the death that goes with war

It bounced right out
And went bashing all about
And bumping into everything in store.
And what was sad and most unfair
Is that it didn't seem to care
who much it bumped
Or why,
Or what,
Or for

It bumped the children mainly
And I'll tell you this quite plainly
It bumps them every day, and more and more,
And leaves them dead and burned and dying
Thousands of them sick and crying
Cause when it bumps, its really very sore

Now there is a way to stop the ball
It isn't difficult at all
All it takes is wisdom,
I'm absolutely sure that we could get it back into the box
And bind the chains and lock the locks
No one seems to want to save the children any more

Well, that's the way it all appears
Cause its been bouncing round for years and years
In spite of all the wisdom wiz since those wondrous days of yore
And the time they came across the box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled kindly do not touch, its war

Kendrew Lascelles
My all-time favorite performance of this poem was done on Poems, Prayers and Promises by John Denver.
Enjoy other takes on the theme at Theme Thursday.


Brian Miller said...

oh wow. i love that poem...i was not familiar with it before but...very nice. happy thursday!

Kathy said...

Wow, very, very powerful!

PattiKen said...

That is just amazing. I'd never heard it before either. The John Denver reading is on, and it is incredible. Thanks for reminding us that some boxes are best left unopened.

Kathy said...

JD is one of my all-time favorites. Saw him in concert in Flagstaff, AZ, in 1972. I'll have to check out this reading on YouTube.

Magpie said...

Thank you PattiKen for mentioning the youtube reading. Because he does a wonderful job. It is worth listening to.

Small City Scenes said...

Awesome!!! I had never heard that before or at least to read the words. Thank youZ!!

Regarding have the young man staying with me: We all are products of our home life and oh so true when a teenager spends time with you. LOL. I just hope he went home with some positive ideas. MB

Jill said...

I've not heard/read this one before and like it very much.

What is it about a box that is SEALED that makes us want/have to peek inside?

Jarart said...


Dot-Com said...

Lovely poem, and what a beautiful box. Happy Theme Thursday.

Tom said...

thanks for the heads up, quite a marvelous poem and looking forward to seeing John's rendition!

Jaime said...

i never heard that poem before, but it was great

LadyCat said...

This reminds me of Pandora's box. Some things are better left unopened.

Ji said...


Ji said...

here is mine,
thank you for the feedback!
Happy Weekend!