If Only In My Youth


This is a another poem from my old site, written back in 2004 as I was beginning my current voyage of self-discovery. It starts out a bit whiny, but that’s where I was back then. 🙂

The meter is loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, and the plot is partly inspired by Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.

If Only In My Youth

Friday, March 19th, 2004, Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.

If only I had known you
    known you, truly known you
If only I had known you in my youth

If my parents but had felt you
    heart and soul, had really felt you
If they had found a way to feel you in my youth

Then I wouldn’t be so lonely
    heart and soul, feeling so empty
from the terrors and rejection of my youth

I might have learned to trust you
    learned from them, just how to trust you
with the feelings and perceptions of my youth

Learned to come to you for comfort
    validation, hope and healing
in the mad confusing turmoil of my youth

I’d have found the words to tell you
    tell myself, and those who loved me
all the pain that I was suffering in my youth

Found the way of true redemption
    so I wouldn’t go on hiding
the secret lonely sorrow of my youth


Isolation slowly gnawing
    at my self, my sense of being
As my self-esteem was forming in my youth

Never knowing nurture’s caring
    how my inner child was faring
on the troubled seas I sailed while in my youth

How I longed for reassurance
    self-acceptance, peer conformance
midst the conflicts and dilemmas of my youth

Someone just to sit and hear me
    Listen still, not judge or fear me
As I shared the daily struggles of my youth

God, my God, why’d you forsake me?
    Never shine your face upon me
When I wept and searched for you during my youth?

God, my God, why’d you forsake me?
    Leave me broken, and abandoned
On the cruel and rocky shoreline of my youth?

Why am I a ghost still walking
    Heart is gone, lacking in feeling
From emotions that were crushed during my youth?

Must I live my days a cripple
    With the heart of me to perish
From the wounds that were inflicted in my youth?


“No!” say I, God has not left me
    Though We’re crucified on Friday
Yet We both shall rise again, and that’s the truth!

Lost was I, but God has found me
    And He never truly left me
Though the clouds obscured His face during my youth

Now I know I am His loved one
    One He truly wants, and cares for
Though I had no face to see Him in my youth

Praise His name, His ways are glorious
    Shout and sing, for He is risen
From the grave in which I cast Him in my youth

For it was not God or parents
    But my own unthinking blindness
That cut me off from Him when but a youth

Thanks to God, those days are over
    His forgiveness is my saviour
From the sins both done and suffered in my youth

Now I’ll worship Him forever
    Heart and mind singing together
For we all are reconciled, elder and youth

For to be one with my Jesus
    one myself, and one with others
I must cast aside the bondage of my youth

I must exercise forgiveness
    Seek what’s pure, and good, with kindness
And not repeat the follies of my youth

Then I’ll know Him as He knows me
    And be holy as He’s holy
In a way I couldn’t dream when but a youth

Praise to Father, Son and Spirit
    Three in one, yet all are near me
And in them I find what’s lacking in my youth

Where I belong, how I am worthy
    What the purpose why He called me
When I couldn’t even hear Him in my youth

Now I know I am – for He is
    And He always will be, with me
Just the way He’s always been, since my youth

I am free to love my brother
    Wife and sister, father, mother
With the love I barely tasted in my youth

I am free; O saints in heaven
    Has such grace been ever given
To a one who was so wretched in his youth?

Grace is mine, how sweet the savor
    To the sinner who’s found favor
Though he thought he’d lost it all when in his youth

The past is gone, the future’s open
    I will gain my true dominion
Which God has planned for me since but a youth

The dominion of a servant
    Free to laugh, and cry, and give away
The joy that I was lacking in my youth


Alleluia, thanks and glory!
    As I finish up my story
Of what God has done to save me from my youth

O my friend, don’t give up seeking
    Though your heart be long in breaking
From the grief and shame you suffered in your youth

Love exists, it is worth finding
    God is real, He’ll break the bindings
Of the traps that marred the byways of your youth

And you too can know His sweetness
    And in Him you’ll find completeness
And you’ll see He is the Way, the Life, the Truth

And then once you’ve seen His glory
    Let us pass along the story
Of the One who came and sought us
    With His blood He healed and bought us
One who died and rose to free us
    From our youth

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