3 Poems by George Ryan


I never think about a biker’s sensitivity.

I don’t expect any to take umbrage at what I say.

As tiny girls in color-coordinated outfits

whizzed past us on scooters at high speed, I expressed the thought

that in fifteen years or so some of them will be riders

on the Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki teams.

I saw shock and distrust in his eyes.  I had crossed the line.



14TH AND IRVING PLACE by George Ryan

I smile at a good-looking woman in her twenties,

whose tee-shirt reads in front, red on white, PUSSY POWER,

and she seems uncertain whether to scowl or smile back

and manages neither.  My guess: she finds flaunting her

message scary, never having wielded such power.

In my smile, she reads my doubt and possibly a taunt.



HEAR THIS by George Ryan

When somebody on a park bench,

in a bus or on a train or

at a bar describes to you some

emotional event they are undergoing

or have recently undergone

you may be intrigued if their words and images

are not what you have heard before

or if you should happen to be undergoing

or have recently undergone

a similar event.  If not,

no. You find another park bench.


Such people have a better chance

to draw you in if their emotional event

relates not to something they felt

the other morning when they woke to rain

and they could tell from chimney smoke

that it was windy and their left arm hurt

or how a partner like everybody

of his or her gender was unworthy,

if those people talked about what

anyone with open eyes can see or

consider without empathy.


And as I look at the opening lines

of your not very short poem,

I feel an opportunistic stranger

clutch my arm with boney fingers

and hear the words, Listen, listen to me.



About the Author: George Ryan was born in Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin.  He is a ghostwriter in New York City.  Elkhound published his WHO YOU NEED TO START A RIOT in May 2017.   His poems are nearly all about incidents that involve real people in real places and use little heightened language.

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