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  • By Rowland Hughes

Child in the Café

Sat in the toy corner,

withdrawn from the

conversations around him.

He opens a world of

imagination, where the

wooden blocks are

windows into his own


The lights above his head

are giant stars that move

with the hurricane of an

opened door.

He has little past to linger

into dark rooms, only the

magic of an uncluttered


For a moment, he closes

his eyes, not to shut

out the light, but to peep

beyond the sky's horizon.

He takes no clues from

what has been, his thoughts

are new born from a soul

that is still free.

There are smiles from those

who look on, but what he sees

remains secret.

Though his world will be broken,

when memory's shadows dim

his bright lights,

and his imagination will wander

to what might have been.

Rowland Hughes is a Welsh writer and poet. He was born, and lived until his late teens, in the Rhondda Valley, from where he still draws most of his inspiration. He worked as a Master Decorator and studied trades in the construction industry. He later became a Local Authority Assistant Surveyor. Due to ill health, he retired in 1997. In 1998, he joined a Cardiff University Creative Writing Group. He loves to observe people, places and nature, writing in bustling cafés and the confines of his writing shed.

4 Kommentare

14. Juli 2022

This is a beautiful poem - incredibly perceptive and delicate in the way it ingeniously avoids trying to tell us what the child at play in the world of his own imagination is seeing or thinking, because the poet/observer has no real way of knowing that. Instead the focus is largely on what the external scene suggests: the wooden blocks that offer 'windows' into his world, the lights above his head that are 'giant stars' etc. There are also some nice factual observations about the the storms and hurricanes of life that await all young people beyond the magical world of childhood. I especially liked the way these were first hinted at in the line: 'the giant stars that move…

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15. Juli 2022
Antwort an

Thank you so much Martin, Rowland.

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11. Juli 2022

This is such a fine poem that I am tempted to compare it with Rilke. It seems to really penetrate into the core of a child's being.

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12. Juli 2022
Antwort an

Thank you John, that’s such a beautiful and flattering review.

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