Stinging desire

20130707-062914.jpg [photo credit:]

Carnival sun shines along neglected lanes.
Stinging nettle strangers catch my eye,
leaning tall at forty- five degrees,
reaching out with implied intent,
swaying with laddish temptation.

I imagine:
schoolboys pulling sleeves over fists,
clutching nettles as swords,
chasing shrill squealing schoolgirls.
I half recall the harmless, yet painfully
intolerable, aggravated calamine-less itch,
and for a flimsy, fanciful, fraction of thought,
I wish to feel the sharp prickles of stinging
sharpness burn across my thighs.

Quickly, I catch and query my whim:
Is it just nostalgia?
Or perhaps more specifically,
I want a reminder of innocent coquetry,
when boys had no idea of what to do with me,
once I was caught!

Today Brain at dverse has us writing about puzzles. Here, I puzzle on my own fleeting desire.


36 thoughts on “Stinging desire

  1. ..your ending lines are quite clever Rowan… & spin quite a deep thought & consideration… for me your finale statement rings true 30 or 50 years ago but now? i don’t think so… youths are even wilder today & more liberated & exposed… quite frightening to note… loved your take on the prompt… smiles…

    • Perhaps I’m a naive optimist, but I like to think that even despite today’s exposure, well grounded children will develop an interest at a natural rate : )

  2. Goodness, that puts a whole new slant on playing conkers: nettles as a weapon of seduction.
    made me laugh. Were you just being very brave or did you see Dock growing nearby 🙂
    Hope Blighty is treating you well. At least the heatwave [of sorts] is materializing.

    • I don’t remember anyone actually getting stung (except perhaps the boy’s trying to hold them), it was more about the chase. And while I thought about them, I did avoid them. It’s been burning enough with the heat here in Bristol!

  3. ha – they really did this…? oy… i once fell in a nettle field as a child… i was burned all over…really…i was one blister from head to toe and suffered badly… smiles on the boys not knowing to do with the girls once they caught them.. would be good they could keep that –hm..not sure how to call it– maybe curiosity and innocence to think anew and not mechanically go the steps that they have learned once they “grew up” and know how it goes….ok…dunno if that makes sense..ha… smiles.. and maybe not just the boys but we all in a way with all the people we meet along the way..

    • Yes, that makes perfect sense. I’m sorry to hear of your nasty nettle experience, which most have been a tearful, as well as painful experience for you as a child (or as it would be for me as an adult, as well as when I was a child).

    • As you’ve willingly confessed, I’ll reduce the 100 lines of “I must not chase girls with stinging nettles” you would have been given, down to fifty 😊

  4. I hope no young boys read this… I never did this…. (but I recall playing with the content of rose hips (itching powder) and burweed (once I put it in someone’s hair)… and I really like the end. Whatever can you do with a caught girl… 🙂

  5. when boys had no idea what to do with me when caught…ha…i remember innocent days…i am working on a short story right now about playing those games as a boy…when the world made sense…it felt at least at the time…you caught me in your memory stream a bit

  6. Yikes, chasing schoolgirls with nettles….I’d run fast to escape THAT fate. But really, these were simpler days; and the sting of the nettles is mild compared to other things one could encounter when caught in more complicated times. I did enjoy your reflections and reminiscences, and I too remember those innocent chases. I see my grandkids involved in them now. Chasing other kids just for the sake of chasing, and absolutely nothing happens when the other is caught… Smiles.

  7. I remember those wonderful times too when children were quite innocent – I remember being very naive aged twelve… Lovely trip down Memory Lane Rowan – thank you!
    Anna :o]

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