Feats Courageous

This is one of those poems from the early days, when I was writing a lot of poetry. Much of the stuff I wrote sprang from childhood experiences and memories. I think I was like most boys from that era, but maybe not–sometimes I think I was a bit strange. But this short poem is about those days when I dreamed of one day “saving the day”. Didn’t every little boy dream dreams of being a hero? 

Feats Courageous

As a boy I had great aspirations

I wanted to be famous you see

I yearned to do feats courageous

Everyone would applaud for me


I watched each day for dangers

I was diligent, strong and brave

If ever a damsel I could find in distress

I’d be ready the day to save


I gained inspiration daily

There were role models by the score

Superman, Batman and Robin

John Wayne, Roy Rogers and more


But then somewhere along the way

I realized it would never be so

My chance never came, my wanna be went

Now I’m too old to be a hero


Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn


  1. What a great poem about choice! Everyday realism and aspiration creatively composed….may I offer that you should start having anniversaries of your 29th birthday every year!

    • 29??? I can’t even remember 29! Thanks for the read and comment/compliment, Cindy. Don’t be a stranger, ya hear!

  2. Sherry said

    Little girls always wanted to do something special, too. This brings back those memories and dreams.

  3. Childhood dreams vs. the reality of growing up…always a fascinating topic to write about! Well presented!

    • I write a lot about the “good old days”. I’m comfortable with where I am now, but, boy, do I look back on some of those days and smile. The old saying, “If I’d known then what I know now…. um um ummm. What a thought to ponder!

  4. Ector Ward said

    Too old to be a hero? I thought we could all be heroes. Child-like faith is admirable. Isn’t it? Who wants to grow up if you can’t grow up to be a hero? There are some things of childhood one should not let go.

    • You are absolutely right, and that “too old” reference is pretty much tongue in cheek. I still keep an eye out for damsels in distress!

  5. jennirey said

    Charles.. So good.. But I have one thing to say in rebuttal to the last line”

    “Now I’m too old to be a hero” I don’t know if you have children, but to children and grandchildren we are re-invented hero’s… You can always be a hero..

    • I agree. The line is more tongue in cheek than reality. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  6. mitu said

    aww….loved the poem……and sweetheart nobody is ever too old to be a hero……..look around, someone even right now might be looking at you with awe 🙂

    • You are so right, and I may not be John Wayne or Bt Man, but I know somebody is looking at me and saying, “Yeah, I wanna be like that.” I am truly blessed that God is using me, if even in a small way. Thanks so much for the kind words!

  7. Never too old to be a hero, maybe not in the way you imagined, and i loved this poem, but my old Dad is absolutely my hero. But so is the kind bus driver who decides to be nice and spark up my day, the lady anna who writes letters to me with hilarious illustrations that always arrive just when I need a pick me up. Heroes, are humbly going about their heroic lives, totally unaware of the important role they are playing each day. :] I bet you are at least one person’s hero. :] xx

    • Yes’m. You are correct. I know it, and though I may not be the hero I once dreamed of being, I know to somebody, somewhere, every now and then, I save the day. Thank you so much for the comments. Please stop by again!

  8. Jingle said

    too old to be hero?

    I bet not, honest reflections, Thanks for linking to poets rally.

  9. thoughtsnotlost said

    Aww, you are never too old to be a hero! Great words, well done!

  10. Shara said

    Tone is light until turn in last stanza. The poem speaks of boyhood experienced and then lost. I will tell you something though- I don’t think anyone is ever too old to be a hero! : ) Maybe you already are, and you just don’t know it.

    • Thank you for the read and comment, Shara! Almost all the comments about this poem said something similar to what you did. And I agree with you and them. When I write the poem–1998, I think–I might have actually believed I was too old to be a hero. But, I was thinking about the kind of save-the-day, cape-flowing-in-the-breeze kind of hero’s from my childhood. I have come to realize that I am a hero to some, though the help I render might be no more than kind words, or encouragement. Stop by and see me again!

  11. I wanted to be a singer oh how I practiced hours a day from 4 to some time in my teenage years till I had to accept I sound like a mechanized cat lol More robot than feline but nonetheless disturbing! I believe though that through the simplest acts of kindness you can be a hero =)

    • Mechanized cat, eh? That could probably sell, nowadays! Make a demo and send it out! Thanks for the read and comment!

  12. Great poem about childhood dreams, how our life choices have lead us away from the dream

    • If i’d known then what I know now. How many times I have said that! Thanks for the read and comment!

  13. Fountains said

    Somehow simultaneously cute and sad. It’s hard to grow up. Very relatable poem.

    • Based on all the comments about it, I wonder if I shouldn’t re-write it and take that “too old” stuff out. It’s a bouncy little fun poem until that last stanza. Might have to fix that and post it again sometime.
      Thanks for the read and comment!

  14. kagenohime said

    A person is never to old to be a hero. There are many ways to be a hero to someone. You don’t need to jump into a building up in flames to save someone. There are passive ways to be a hero. A hero is someone who changes a life. Someone who does the right things because they believe that it is the right thing to do. People look up to them, inspires them to be better. To me that’s a hero.

    • Man! I am SO regretting the last stanza of this poem! My fellow poets have almost unanimously said the same things you have said. In retrospect, I took a kind of happy-go-lucky little poem and slapped the reader upside the head with a terrible finish. I think I’ll re-write that last stanza and send it out again!
      Thanks for the read and comments. I truly aprreciate them!

  15. Fountains said

    Well, charlesmashburn, I kind of like the twist ending. If you do rewrite the last stanza, please don’t completely dismiss this ending entirely!

    • Thanks for that! I seldom change a poem, especially one as “old” as this one, but I was beginning to second guess myself! You’re comment is very much appreciated! Please, stop by again!

  16. Fountains said

    Will do. 🙂

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