Martin O'Neill

(20-06-1958 / Solihull, Birmingham, England)

7am Passing By


Black polythene bags disgorging detritus
An urban comet trail along the path
Limned faintly in morning frost, cars passing, oblivious.
There, below an incongruous vermillion balaclava,
Framing a bearded wreck of a face,
Egg-yolk eyes blear vacantly
Through an indeterminate fuzz of grimy facial hair.
Tremulous, liver spotted hands on
Emaciated, bony wrists clutching a can of beer.
7a.m. Commuters pass, indifferent, apart.
A thin patina of of grime, helplessness and loss
Clings to this dessicated, withered hull.
A discarded, broken party balloon
Imbued with the wan hue of incipient
Hepatic surrender interspersed with the
Spidered red veinous signatures
Of dissolution and despair.
They will likely be there tomorrow
Unconsoled
These remains of a boy.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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  • Ruth Walters (6/19/2012 12:47:00 PM)

    Tragic. A merciless, graphic description and outcome, the poem takes no prisoners and leaves its reader reeling with the echos of red veinous signatures, those marks of destruction and waste.
    Great write. (Report) Reply

  • Sue S. (4/8/2012 7:21:00 AM)

    You get what most people forget, when looking at someone with an addiction; that underneath there remains a child. (Report) Reply

  • Karen Deeks (3/21/2012 7:50:00 PM)

    An absolutely impeccable and perfect portrayal of lost souls sat as vagrants. My father was one of those egg yolk eye men (a few years ago) in London and as you so compassionately put out, he was indeed the deflated party balloon lost after marriage and some misdeeds He was far less than perfect but to discover he wasn't dead was just a wonderful moment.thank you for caring for lifes under dog, who at the end of the day remains a little child lost.. (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (3/21/2012 8:22:00 AM)

    Fine gritty imagery of a life that endulently has prematurely passed. Not judgemental, just factual representation of a breif encounter, told with the clarity of a war poet. (Report) Reply

  • Shadow Girl (3/21/2012 8:14:00 AM)

    wow..this is a moving and powerful piece....spectacular imagery. A fabulous write.
    -SG (Report) Reply

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