Our innocence was kept in a blue vase –
Holding chrysanthemums with heavy heads –
Or over gas fires making toast and reading Flecker
Or lying on narrow beds comfortable with happiness –
Books littered with petals and ‘notes’
About coming ‘home’ late –
Piping a recorder in the dusk of that autumn,
When words spun to the ground with united pleasure –
Only the flowers fell one by one –
The words were never weak –
Only the autumn’s changed from then till now;
As vases hold other flowers and our innocence
Is no longer found within their blueness
On a high mantelpiece,
But is a piece of jagged glass
Broken yet still beautiful –

Shänne Sands, from Night Song published by FootSteps Press

The Value of Innocence

I am not entirely convinced that innocence is at any time something to be desired – unless you are in a minefield then not knowing is as useful as knowing and less stressful. But that is ignorance more than innocence.

Naivety is something that cannot be avoided – we all are at some stare in our development. But to want to remain innocent of what is going on around you to protect your own purity seems to me to be dangerous. If you never give up believing in fairies you never face up to the challenges of living at all.

That is not to say you cannot be hopeful. to lose hope would be a true nightmare but you should have the wisdom and courage to know that hopes are small in our culture and experience is worth more that innocence is every case.

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February 2019
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