Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Educational Karma

by Liam Maloney

Teenage predators
a schoolyard watering hole
seeking the meekest antelope.

They bite with sharp insults
rip underwear with razor talons
he tells his fretting mother
it happens to everyone,
not just on birthdays.

Those once sabre-toothed grow old
their dreams, what dreams?
putrid and forgotten.
Frightened now
by ugly wives
and dull children.

Every Friday night blotted out
by take-aways, pornography and stale beer. 
Life bullies them now.

Added: 21.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


I loved the animal images in the first stanza. Punctuation a bit erratic, but a good poem with a strong message.


Nearly made my top four. The first stanza sets up a really poignant metaphor, but it needs a little tightening up after that.