When do boys forget the breasts
that fed him,
and only see the female body as his haven for lust?

When, when, when
do brothers
only see their manhood in the mirror
of their sister’s virtues?

Can boys be molded to men
only by breaking the bonds to their mothers?
Why, why why?

Because when a man denies
the power of women,
he is denying his subconscious memory
of the womb that opened
the world just for him,

Does he forget, believing
being male
is measured only in the way his wife
absorbs him
his name
his lineage
by serving him the sons he needs
to preserve the only heritage
that matters (his and his father)..

Boy at the seashore
Victor Borisov-Musatov

Today Punam guest hosts at dVerse with a prompt on the Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam. by using one of the lines from her poem in your own,

My choice was to use the line “When a man denies the power of women, he is denying his subconscious.” and I used a male perspective on the transition from being a boy to being a man and a part of the patriarchy.

May 31, 2022

20 responses to “Boys

  1. Sigh: when when when?
    Yet I do believe that you Bjorn are denying nothing here, and honouring much. Thank you for this acknowledgement of the power of the womb, which – however – need not diminish the woman’s honouring of men and manhood and the lineage they bring to the twined twain.

  2. I believe the fond memories boys have of breast feeding, leads to more than lust when encountering other breasts; it’s primal, a need to honor the mother, and all women. As to the other points in your poem, they are bang-on. Men fail as lovers if they do not respect and treasure the woman they are with.

  3. That last stanza is amazing Bjorn. I really like you used the man’s point of view in this situation – asking why, when? This part specially:

    Can boys be molded to men
    only by breaking the bonds to their mothers?

  4. To the question in your last stanzas, the sad answer for most men, seems to be yes. This problem is one of the bedrock contributors to the imbalance in modern society — sexism and racism and elitism and unchecked patriotism all stem from this imbalance, and they all feed violence. Strong write Bjorn!

  5. It is exactly that…completely. Especially now, right now, when we see what is happening. The whole tragedy of what your words say is so everpresent it is hard to know ehere to start..

  6. Oo, what a burning question in this opening lines! I love how this poem illustrates part of the journey and reveals the mindset that leads to denial of female power . . .

  7. Yes, that ancient dilemma (raised by Freud as a serious and fundamental issue of many ills individual and corporate) can they indeed find the integrity of identity without feeding off the mother inappropriately and disastrously. Speaks volumes Bjorn of our need to attend to our truth.

  8. A middle aged woman I know of, was so consistently harassed and harried by her three female colleagues that she had a heart attack. Women can be quite vicious. It’s a female trait.

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