Where did my joyful innocence go?
So light, so bright, with steps of fire!
Where went gaiety laughing with truth,
That saw not the loveliness in its own eye?
Heavy lead feet and a shoulder bowed;
How came the mind so cloudy?
Walking and searching and calling aloud –
This body can scarcely be me!
How can I call back all that I was?
I laughed with the sun and ran with the clouds.
Sheep were my friends, the trees were my guides;
The strong waves called to my innermost pride.
What can I hope for now that it’s gone –
The strength and the joy - a gift of the gods?
What can I be now, lost from myself,
Remembering only the shadow of love?
But now is the time to start anew –
The spiral is there in the making.
Now I can see with a longer view –
If only my heart would awaken!
Innocence never will last too long
(Though it lives for ever and ever)
But how can we know if we know that we know?
Growing pains, birth pangs – we need it!
Lightness and Darkness go hand in hand.
So goodness and evil are lovers.
God needs the devil to build a new race –
Their child is what I have become.
And so I must learn with innocent steps
To laugh at the weight of my knowledge.
None would believe me, so silence I’ve kept,
But now you can laugh at my poem.
(the first one! 1980) © Sarita Armstrong.