Killing Beauty


Three boys coming home from school

Nine or ten they were and playing cool

Stopped before my neighbour Dougie’s house

All manicured lawn and flowers neatly there

Then they jumped upon the grass

And threw a plastic carton on the lawn

And walked on by

I saw it all unfold


I went outside and watched them walking on

I didn’t shout that’s not the way I am

I stared at them as if to ask them why

What prompted you this beauty to defy?


I went across and picked that rubbish up

And placed it in my bin the way you do

And if those boys were here now I would say

Why did you do those things?

Why act this way?


Maybe they don’t know what prompted them

To rubbish beauty still beyond their ken

They haven’t done philosophy not yet

Or probed the inner workings of the soul


Meanwhile in Ukraine the rockets fall

Making a human wilderness

At Putin’s call

What prompts a man to send his men to war?

To kill and brutalise and yes, what for?


And you and I kill beauty in our turn

Whenever we do wrong or others spurn

Whenever we use words as weaponry

We kill beauty and maybe we know why


Brian Fahy

21 April 2022

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