The boy from Homs

He walked a thousand miles
the boy with pebbles in his mouth.

Wild his hair, moon-spun from
the desert songs his mother sung,

his feet are dust and water
saffron, salt and cardboard

and you can see yourself reflected
in the forest of his mica eyes.

but where can tin-boys find a home,
where windows still are frozen?

Apocalypse by Denis Peterson

Shay asks us to use imagery in poetry at toads. I hope this works.

March 30, 2018

21 responses to “The boy from Homs

  1. Does it work? Oh, yes. It certainly does. I liked the opening but with the words “his feet are dust and water saffron, salt and cardboard”, you had me completely. The juxtaposition of basic almost throw-away items, to saffron is fantastic. Wonderful, Björn.

  2. I love the sharp shift in this poem, Bjorn, like desert sand, from the ‘hair, moon-spun from the desert songs his mother sung’ to ‘his feet are dust and water / saffron, salt and cardboard’.The final lines are amazing – and true.

  3. You did well by my standards. I’m not versed in imagery, sometimes it comes out and sometimes not. Much better than I did, I was trying it to fit into 28 syllables so not room for many verbs and articles which it needed, at least I needed room.
    BTW, my profile picture is of me and Mr. Tin Man of Oz. He sits beside the Yellow Brick Road and waits for some folk to stop and talk with him. I obliged him.

  4. I found this to be remarkably effective, Bjorn. It makes me fear for the homeless, even as I am marvelling at your imagery.

  5. Why Bjorn! Look at you laying down the imagery! This is excellent and i especially love the second and third stanzas. Wonderfully done!

  6. I Love your words here… So deep. Love the images… pebbles in mouth, something my Gr. Grandfather taught me to do when hiking. and “tin-boys”… That is an age-old expression I haven’t heard in many, many a decade. Gr. Granpa used it to describe the hobo’s that rode the rails from town to town, living on what food they could find in tin cans…. I just love this little poem so much, Bjorn! 🙂 <3.

  7. I’d say it was hella well done. The descriptions all come together beautifully to get across the feeling of transience, and more importantly moves the reader to consider why it is we treat some of our fellow humans as if all they are is walking flotsam.

  8. This makes me think of Ishmael.

    I love your poem, as well as the research trip it sent me on. City of Seven Doors. Mother of Black Stones.

    This is one of my favorites of your poems. Exceptional creativity.

  9. Amazingly penned! …and many refugees are considered “dangerous”. After being vetted for 10 years or more…? I follow children in New York – and they are sweet souls – no harm to us and many are with single mothers – father’s either dead or can’t make it over. One father died because he was pro-American. talk about frozen windows!

  10. This fills me with a sadness that physically hurts. I can tastes those rocks, feel them breaking teeth and hopes, know that I’m lucky not to have to swallow them… but not so lucky to live in a world were many people must.

  11. This is striking in its color and depth, using so few words, yet we see the emptiness and terror of being lost and with no claim on anyone…of being afloat in a world where all the entry points are frozen, the plight of so many refugee children, especially Syrian…I hope there is a door waiting somewhere to open to this boy.

  12. Completely engaging! And I wanted it to go on much longer and tell me his whole story, every detail.

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