The Hard Seat.


a bus stop child i saw

today aged 12 or

thereabouts sat

harnessed in a wheelchair

tongue hanging out

eyes rolling in sockets as

she drooled and shook


i saw a beefy mum

kiss her brow then

pushed the chair

onto the arriva bus

 smile-wreathed charge

preening pleasure-puss


battling slightly only

with the winter blues 

i rapt in guilt this

unfair lottery in life

◄ Transgression.

The Haunting. ►


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Ann Foxglove

Thu 6th Jan 2011 08:26

Good poem. I wrote one on a similar theme in the summer but didn't post as it contains the word "cripple" and some of my mates reckoned that was verboten. But maybe I'll post it and see.

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Wed 5th Jan 2011 22:41

really love this - although it's given me an idea based on something else I read a long time ago... I can feel an idea brewing - not sure if you'll like it though - we'll see. all the best. B

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Tue 4th Jan 2011 20:10

Yes - I would agree with Ray and John that there could be some tightening up and ditching of words that would make the poem perfect.

I think you are maybe like me - the message is more important to you than the fine tunings of the poem. Good critique is hard to get though - great when people take the time to think about it, as well as the sentiments.

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John Aikman

Tue 4th Jan 2011 16:45

Best poem on here for ages, in my humble opinion.

Strong story, vivid language and fabulous denoument.

As far as perking up its poetic impact... I would ditch a couple of words. The '-she' is unnecessary and spoils the 'thereabouts' and 'hung out'rhyme. Most of the 'she's' and 'her's' could be re-thought and 'puss' and 'fuss' just don't rhyme well enough (for me) unless one has a very strong regional accent...which, if you haven't, makes the rhyme sound more like 'pus' to my ear...which is a bit disconcerting. Personally, although the last verse is fabulous...the 'unremitting' could be ditched (bit of a cliche) and the last line could just be 'of life' (having already established that it's the human condition you are reflecting upon it is tautological and unnecessary to over egg the humanity).

All that is just my personal opinion though. I think that, in good poetry, every word should count.

Fabbo poem though.

Thank you.



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Ray Miller

Tue 4th Jan 2011 16:04

Appreciate the sentiment, though there's a few moments in the 2nd verse it felt a little too much - "sturdy" mum and those rhymes,bus, fuss, puss - perhaps it's just me.Wheelchair is only one word, though.I think at the end you just need "unfair lottery of human life."

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Tue 4th Jan 2011 15:29

The title fits the poem brilliantly. Moments like this are so important - bring it home to us just what we have. It also makes you realise what super human strength some others have and how happiness can be found in less than perfect.
A lovely glimpse of humanity in its best light.

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