Unlearn – for Prompt 16 Life Lesson


fire (Photo credit: matthewvenn)

The cruellest truths
You can’t unlearn
You’ll try to forget
Or to overturn
These ravages of
Crystal memory
That know no fall
No entropy

Your innocence
Once lost is gone
The bitterest truths
Are hardest won
And hardest left
To hail and rain
You’ll stamp them out
But they’ll remain

Once wisdom’s seen
You can’t turn back
You’ll cry for youth
Your heart turned black
You’ll plug your ears
Gouge out your eyes
You can’t evade
This icy prize

You can’t unlearn
All you have seen
Can’t wish away
Or call it dream
It’s such a price
To learn the truth
You’ll run away
Refute the proof

The cruellest truths
You can’t unlearn
These scars you bear
Are those you earned
No matter how
You cry or yearn
Your old life’s gone
And won’t return

And so it seems
For wisdom learned
The heart is broken
The soul is burned

(c) Helen Valentina 2013, Al Rights Reserved

This little dark poem is my response to the life lesson prompt (prompt 16) for mindlovemisery. It’s just about the loss of innocence and how that changes you. See mindlovemisery’s wonderful work at http://mindlovemisery.wordpress.com

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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33 Responses to Unlearn – for Prompt 16 Life Lesson

  1. This is so true there are so many unfortunate defense mechanisms I learned when dealing with a traumatic past and though effective at the time they are detrimental now. On a more humorous note I kept mixing up the light switch with the fan switch in the bathroom (no idea why) but finally my husband rewired the switches altogether since I was always in a dark bathroom with the fan on lol I am really not with it in the morning or at night haha

    • LOL! I think the poem was quite influenced by watching Twin Peaks all afternoon and thinking about the Laura Palmer story (hence loss of innocence) and then all the deeper, spiritual white/black lodge stuff, so I’m in a weird mindset this evening. πŸ™‚

  2. wow, a great offering, nicely done!

  3. Lovely. Beautifully put.x

  4. Brian Hughes says:

    The owls are not what they seem.

  5. Rowan Taw says:

    Reminds me of how my childhood evaporated.

  6. Skye says:

    Oh, Helen this touches me deeply. As my children are growing and inevitably experiencing more of the world, they are having things burned into them just by walking through their lives. I am thankful to be able to walk them through all of it in love, but so many do not have that. This was a very touching piece. Big hugs.

  7. brian miller says:

    really like the refrain of the cruelest truths cant be unlearned…so sad as well…experience is surely not the best teacher…particularly in the hardest of lessons….

  8. SSMatthews says:

    Oh yeah, kind-a dark, kind-a deep, kind-a deep in the dark, but wisdom gained is a hard won prize and clears away the darkest skies! Great writing Helen!

  9. vastlycurious.com says:

    Dark and deep but I identified

  10. gs batty says:

    yes we do learn from our mistakes…very nicely put in this poem…

  11. The darkest truths burn the deepest for sure. So many things I wish I had never learned but such is life. Remarkable job on this poem!

  12. This is very wise. I have often felt nostalgic for those times when I didn’t know all I do now, but on reflection I have never really wished to unlearn anything…not really. I accept that I wouldn’t be who I am without the lessons life’s chosen to teach me and I have always wanted to be ever and further inwardly awake…because that’s the only way I know to develop greater understanding, compassion and love. Hmmmm, as you see, this poem touched me! Thanks for sharing:-)

  13. phylor says:

    No matter how
    You cry or yearn
    Your old life’s gone
    And won’t return
    All too true! Your poem is the story of my life put into words — thanks for giving me a voice!

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