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A poem in dire need of constructive criticism
bobbyalex wrote in bpsociety


And he had Manannán’s breast-plate on him, that kept whoever was wearing it from wounds, and a helmet on his head with two beautiful precious stones set in the front of it and one at the back, and when he took it off, his forehead was like the sun on a dry summer day…

 ~ From Lady Gregory’s Complete Irish Mythology

Noon. Sharp sunlight, like a knife through the head.
Ahead: a street-sweeper, costumed in orange.
She’s old; gray-boned.

Too old to be working. For pension.

Should be knitting
and dying. Not looked at.

Leftward, a beauty of the blossoming hair
Plucking a toyish, age-blackened guitar.

Pretty, dark warbler. Exiled to beg here
My pity.
Poor pretty beggar! A whore, blast her.

Nippleless (fresh, though: it’s youth). Skín’s filthy,
matted with dust, earthen colour. Fruit-blossom hair.

Out, earthen lovely!

Forgive him, brown bird: his race is superior.


Seesn’t me walk. Look up, you! Your master’s bent over
Your beautiful head. Pluck the bread from his throat!
(“Gwan!” gaping readily)

Clemency! he cried.
Don’t you dare mock me!

Very well, master. Now: throw her your charity,
At her poor whorish head,
And we’ll be on our way.

 So he does.

The wind travels softly in the cheek-warming hour.
Mam’s palms in a nest for her boy’s snowy face.

He glides, drift-adrift, through the bays of Streamstreet,
His forehead whitelit by the wintery faint-glow.

Tend, Mother, to him like you did in his childhood!
Remember your fingertips, bubbled with bath soap,
Kiss under his armpits, his gristly boy places, while he
Watched eel-backed, gleam-clean, the water
Rock, there and back? A boy that was loved.

She’s smaller with age. Her eyewhites have cleared,
Her cherryful kisses feel faint nowadays. Old lips,
Foul smells, and her clothes bleached with time:
Blue sets to gray and angel-white yellows.

Mother is pretty no more.

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