Sunday, October 24, 2021


Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is one of my favourite bands. Their song "Teach Your Children", from the album Deja Vu, inspired this poem that I wrote. Although this song is seen as an anti-war song, i wrote the poem with my daughter in mind.

photo by Patrick Fore at Unsplash


rein them not
with a mailed fist
but mould them
with the gentle touches
of a potter's fingers
for they are like clay
all the love
we can give them

and more.


first published in i write too, June 2011

White Lion - When The Children Cry

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

Love the poem and completely agree with its message. Children become a lot of what we used to raise them. Your daughter is a lucky child.

24 October, 2021 23:32  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

Mould them with love. I do agree
Happy Sunday Cheong Lee san. Thanms for dropping by my blog this morning


24 October, 2021 23:40  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you.
This is quite an old poem. :)


That's what i thought is the better way. Thank you. :)

25 October, 2021 00:02  
Blogger colleen said...

I absolutely love this. I gave me a chill as someone who loves and is an advocate for children.

25 October, 2021 00:13  
Blogger phillip woodruff (jalopy dreams) said...

to mold a beautiful bowl on a potters wheel, all you have do is "stay in touch" "maintain contact", that's all, a gentle touch with the tip of one finger is all that is takes. very well said my friend

25 October, 2021 00:28  
Blogger Helen said...

This is precious poetry .............

25 October, 2021 03:18  
Blogger Rommy said...

Should be required reading for every parent. :) This is a lovely piece.

25 October, 2021 06:01  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Yes, yes, yes!

I remember a psychiatrist I used to know saying that it's a mistake to try and toughen children up for the world they must face by treating them harshly; what really strengthens them for the world they must face is to fill them up with love.

25 October, 2021 07:24  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you! :)


"stay in touch", "maintain contact" : ah, very important words in relationships.
Thank you for the kind words. :)


Thank you! :)

25 October, 2021 09:39  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


"required reading for every parent" : Thank you! :)


I remembered that's how my parents raised us, no harsh treatments on us, and we still grew up well, healthy, street-smart, educated.
Thank you for the kind comment. :)

25 October, 2021 09:48  
Blogger A Cuban In London said...

I loved that poem so much. There's so much tenderness running through it. And we need more tenderness in the world now.

Greetings from London.

25 October, 2021 17:23  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
certainly, we need more tenderness in the world.

25 October, 2021 19:47  
Blogger indybev said...

Such wisdom! The TV personality, Dr. Phil, often says "children are the blank slates upon which parents write". So true.

26 October, 2021 00:06  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

"children are the blank slates upon which parents write".
yes, so true.

Thank you, Beverly. :)

26 October, 2021 10:16  
Blogger ashok said...

Yes, very true

27 October, 2021 02:03  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Ashok! :)

27 October, 2021 15:48  
Anonymous Jewish Young Professional "JYP" said...

This is beautifully written but the metaphor isn't quite working for me. There's a limit to how much you can mold your children. They are their own people and they will do things, become people you may not have intended. True that maintaining close contact with a light touch with the clay is a better recipe for success than leaving it neglected to dry, but eventually, a parent must accept they don't have the total control and mastery over a child as they might a work of art.

08 November, 2021 23:02  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Jewish Young Professional,

Thank you for the thoughtful comment.

True, there is a limit on how much one can mold their children. These children will grow up too, and some, if not all, will become parents one day. I do agree with you that a parent must accept they don't have the total control and mastery over a child as much as they would like. The theme of the poem is that it is better to gently teach a child, than to bring the cane forcefully on him or her.

I really appreciate your comment. I wrote this poem when my child was already a teenager, and was thinking about the years that we brought her up.

09 November, 2021 13:55  

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