28 August 2008

Being Old In The Game (rev)


It was a half-life that seemed like
a genuine world wielding hard
symbolism over those who ruled it;
we casually learned, lived vaguely
in teen-easy ambivalence while our
pedagogic peers took their chances
in ordered existence, wearing
their office with pride and esteem.

The guises we wore were a mask,
a dream in denial of their system,
its cachets, its legends,
its grotesquely worn smiles.

My pupils once told me I couldn’t be old,
a cheering perception that held my
success – if I could read the lessons
suggested. Unless they were joking.
I asked, they giggled and said you can laugh,
a sign that they knew was not fraught
in old teachers. I aught to be pleased,
I wanted to teach and to teach meant to reach,
to fathom the heart, the essence of each
ingenious child.

That teaching is sharing, puissantly bareing
the soul, airing weaknesses, caring as bold
in its basics as love is revealing; all this is done
in an aegus of trust, a vaporous scroll much
older than reason. It does take its toll;
the treasonous must can sour in the vat
and being old in the game
is a sign of just that!
© 1966, I.D. Carswell