MS (9th December Nineteen Fifty / Tiglin, Wicklow, Ireland)

The Nearly Man

I am a Nearly Man,
At least that’s what you think
My bent back
Or withered leg,
My hanging hand
Is all you see.
My slurried speech
Is all you hear
Because you will not listen.
And even if I could speak
What would I say worth hearing,
You’ve already decided.

Inside I’m five foot ten
Straight backed Adonis,
Striding purposefully out,
Singing sweet songs and airs.
Poems of love and wit,
Words of wisdom flowing
Just inside my lips.
And stories told
Over and over inside my head.
This ability I have
Is just a disability to you.

But which of us is whole.
Which is the nearly man.
I who think but cannot say
Or you who will not think
And cannot see the man
Not even nearly.



Martin Swords
June 2001

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Comments (2)

Another brilliant example of your talent at painting characters with mere words, so cleverly that your readers can not only 'see' them, they can feel their emotions. Excellent poem. Warmest regards, CJ Heck
This is a very well composed poem. Great pictorial self-defacing analogies add to the depth of the poem. Adeline