Scribes Writers

Go to content

Main menu

- 2nd Free Verse

Poetry Competition



Second Prize


The Cursed Ones by Damen O'Brien

What do the Plovers scream
as they falter by through the rags of dark
and we blink blindly into the night?
The children cough in their beds downstairs
and slosh in the vessels of their dreams.

It's not the sonar of a bat,
stroking the air with simple pings.
It's not the garrulous and chivvying speech
of staggering team-mates
finding their way home.

How has a note like this been carved?
Stropped by the blades of muddy grass
edging the football fields, and playgrounds.
Theirs is an envy, spurned and spurred
witness to the shrieking games of children.
A loathing just a paddock from desire.

Their call is a shard of sound,
building in the studded dark
and falling silent like an empty gut.
Perhaps they were men and women once,
and they speak with the words of one
whose tongue has been taken away.

Perhaps they are saying that
the world has changed around them,
and they wish to remember their humanity;
that there is a loneliness found on
the edge of the ocean,
that will not relinquish them.

They do not speak like a busload of workers
stewing in the fatigue of their day,
the hum of going home in their mouths.
They speak as cursed parents do,
who lost their children at the dawn of an age
and may never go home.

<Back to 2018 Poetry Results>

Back to content | Back to main menu