Tiresias takes the bus

The ink is still wet on this first draft – tweakings will follow ha ha.

Tiresias takes the bus


I am Tiresias,

deaf by design

sightless by choice

my blind-man cane

ensures a space 

when I take the town bus.


I shudder  

as from all sides

sparks from the pale fires

of others’ despairs

pepper me.


I dull my ears against

the quiet chorusing

of impotent rage

at poverty, sickness,

ageing and dying.


someone is coughing,

another, cursing.


a wailing child


resists his mother’s

soothing pleading.


her hollow tones cross

the void between us.


locked in vaults

behind her eyes

the crystal spheres

of her tears

are an open book

where I read her memory

of that happy day

when she, the dowdy one

that no man ever asked to dance,


(except one who took her 

for a bare-back quickie

in a damp raw alley

and walked part-way home

sharing chips and curry)


was the bulging white dress princess.


that happy day when vows were made

and she believed, laughed, hoped,

cut the cake

and waltzed with her man

at the wedding ball.


her man?


the one who beats her senseless

weekends after pints of Stella

and might call Wednesdays at closing

if he fancies a fumble and

there’s nothing better on offer.


the one that brings a mouth

heavy with promises

to stir up the kids

but never shows up at birthday parties.


the bus stops

she busies off.


a sudden lightness

at her leaving.


then on my right

a silent sobbing.










© coolhermit 2023
Views: 658
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Tiresias paints a raw picture of life’s miseries. Insight can be a real pain. Maybe it’s better to take a taxi sometimes, but then he’d find out what a shit job driving taxis is. 🙂
Excellent work though, I really like this. I can’t understand why you get so few comments.

Flag Content