A silent boy

I was a quiet boy who liked to draw, construct, create. Often I withdraw from my boisterous baby sister who filled the rooms with shrieks and laughter. But left alone I thought, build fences. Somewhere deep inside I think I was more a farmer than a soldier. I don’t know if pictures makes me see it different, but when I look at them today, my gaze is serious. I never laugh or smile, and perhaps that was how I was. But I think that when I put the goose on top of the pillar, I wanted mother to correct me: ‘Geese don’t live on pedestals’, but she thought my building was magnificent. Maybe it was then I realized that parents sometimes lie to make their children happy. I was a quiet boy.

moon is perched outside
painting playground with silver —
silent are the toys


Today we have Jane guest-hosting for haibun monday at dVerse.  The theme is to tell a childhood memory, and that brought me back to old photo albums. Join us when we open at 9 PM CET.

January 9 2017.

34 responses to “A silent boy

  1. I really enjoyed this … especially the quick touch on details, like your sister, the goose, your mom, the way you liked to draw. (Do you still?) And I’m left wondering if you repeated “I was quiet” to suggest that now you’re not. Maybe outgrowing your family has enabled you to be yourself a bit more … “loud” in your own way.

  2. absolutely love the goose on the pillar. Why not? In the world of make-believe, animals can do quite the amazing things (even great writers like C.S. Lewis thought so!)

  3. ah that we should all place a goose on top of a pillar….at any age! Imagination. Silent toys — I think that’s the wonderful thing about becoming a parent is that we’re given a time again in our lives, where we can crawl on the floor, make animal sounds, and build with legos and blocks, remembering that the correct place for the goose is indeed on the pillar! 🙂

  4. As parents, we all want to give the best positive news. But we all learned that its not always the case isn’t it. Enjoyed this share Bjorn including the picture. Love your haiku moon too ~

  5. Absolutely lovely, Bjorn. The details reveal and flesh out a bit of your personality. You should have been an architect. A wonderful haibun, but that haiku is superb.

  6. Firstly just love those building blocks .. so simply crafted yet so much potential! … ‘left alone’ ‘build fences’ there’s a whole lot going on there around that phrase and like the way you draw the lie. Great write

  7. oo the last couple lines gave me a chill. kinda sad that we have to lie to our children. what is it that we are teaching them?

    i was more of a creative type as well. quiet, nose stuck in a book — a million light years away. painting, writing. i think we could still make soldiers if forced to. in our own way.

  8. Perhaps she merely understood, as the mother of any creative child does, that there is beauty in eccentricity. It’s not a lie of the mother truly believes it (says the mom of a creative son).

  9. I tried not to lie to our children. Sometimes I might have exaggerated what they did, but it is amazing how they can do so much at such young ages. Worth praising.

  10. Ah, this is brilliant, Björn! A quiet poem (like the boy), but one that flows deep. I love the haiku, especially “silent are the toys,” echoing back to the boy.

  11. Ah, what a sweet and gentle soul you were! As the mother of a boisterous creative and a quiet but steady builder, I can really relate to this story. I like the untold depths of ‘a farmer rather than a soldier’. Wish there were more of those in the world.

  12. Yes, a deep seated tale of unstoppable, unanticipated growth spurt of a young innocent boy wanting only to be true to his self and follow is bliss.

  13. Such a vulnerable glimpse into your childhood, so tender, instructive and meaningful. I LOVE the haiku at the end….it is piercing in both beauty and meaning.

  14. I love how you book-ended the narrative with “I was a quiet boy,” as though to drive home the point. I wonder how many of us were quiet children. I also lived in a rural area (none left in L.A. now) and the only other child was a little boy down the hill from me.

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