Saturday, September 19, 2015

Oh Ma!--By David J. Kelly--Ireland

Oh Ma!

“Oh ma-ah!”,
the little boy cried,
as tears rolled down
on either side.

“Oh ma-ooh!”,
he called again,
perhaps enduring
mortal pain.

“Oh ma-ay”,
he changed his tone,
but the battle was
already won.

The words dried up,
the sobs held sway;
it’s hard, as a child,
not to get your way.

This poem attempts to recreate the pleading cries made by an Indonesian child (a 4-year old boy) to their mother. I only heard the exchange, but there was such heartbreak in the child’s voice I was moved to reproduce the sounds with as much phonetic accuracy as I could. I never found out why the child was so upset.

David J. Kelly is an animal ecologist based in Dublin, Ireland. While his day job revolves around science writing, his light poetry and Japanese verse forms (haiku, tanka, haibun and haiga) have been published in a number of journals and anthologies. He aspires to publish a book of poetry one day, when he has enough suitable material. David is a member of The British Haiku Society and Haiku Ireland.


  1. That is an engaging poem....Vivid imagery with a satisfying conclusion, cheers, Suzanne

  2. Love your poem and the reason behind it, and regardless of the reason why I think it can be related back to many a mother and child's path in what you have captured aside of the sounds... An enjoyable visit.