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Passions in Poetry

The Ballad of Ben

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pmc
Junior Member
since 03-09-2000
Posts 48
Germany


0 posted 03-31-2000 09:49 AM       View Profile for pmc   Email pmc   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for pmc




The Ballad of Ben

Where morality and need compete,
Drug remains lie on the street,
Children play in burnt out cars,
After dark the shops have bars,
It's to this world that Ben comes home,
There's no one in.  He's all alone.

Ben wonders what he'll get to eat,
Turns TV on and falls asleep,
Awakens to the front door slam,
His mum returns with another man,
"Get up stairs" his mother said,
And a hungry child goes off to bed.

It's eight o'clock when Ben awakes,
Breakfast is a bowl of flakes,
Got no time to wash your face,
Eat up fast you have to race,
Out the door don't hesitate,
Arrive at School ten minutes late.

All look up as Ben arrives,
Tears swell up inside his eyes,
Teacher wonders what's to blame,
As she contemplates his tiny frame,
"Sit down child you don't look well",
His classmates say that Ben does smell.

Ten O'clock and time for break,
Teacher will a phone call make,
Looks out onto the School playground,
Where Ben alone just walks around,
Has that child no friends she thinks,
As her cup of tea she drinks.

After School Ben hurries home,
His mum is there but not alone,
A lady with a book and pen,
Asking questions about Ben,
Mum said, "He's been off his food",
"Shake hands Ben, now don't be rude".

The lady said she had to hurry,
But would tell the teacher not to worry,
Could see that Ben was doing fine,
And would return another time,
"Ben You must try hard to eat",
"Ben's Mum you've been nice to meet".

With the stranger out of sight,
Ben's mum was ready for a fight
"What have you said you little ****",
As in a rage, her son she hit
Ben goes running up to bed,
Bells are ringing in his head.

For two days Ben has not been seen,
Teacher wonders what could it mean,
His mum has not informed the School
By telephone as is the rule.
Decides to call around next day,
Just to ask if Bens ok.

No answer as the door was knocked,
She pushed inside it wasn't locked,
Calls out loud. "Is someone there",
As she slowly climbed the stair.
Spotted Ben lying on the bed,
A blood stained sheet about his head.

In despair
She crossed the room
And wept beside a child for whom
Love or kindness never came,
And life became a losing game,
Ben kept his pain inside himself
He never knew to cry for help
But he lives on, and can be found
A child alone, in the playground
Ben never talks and hardly ever cries,
Abuse is often only,
Written in the eyes.


P.J McFadden  


This is my attempt at a ballad.

© Copyright 2000 Patrick McFadden - All Rights Reserved
hsystems
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since 03-28-2000
Posts 320
Murray, UT, USA


1 posted 03-31-2000 11:30 AM       View Profile for hsystems   Email hsystems   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hsystems's Home Page   View IP for hsystems

Another gem!  This struck a chord in me, as I was also a victim of abuse as a child.  It can be a devastating experience.  Thank you for giving a voice to those who can't speak for themselves!

Troy


 Beautiful, Thought-Provoking Poetry
http://www.h-systems.net/p1.htm
Marge Tindal
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since 11-06-1999
Posts 43042
Florida's Foreverly Shores


2 posted 03-31-2000 08:11 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Oh, PJ~
This is just the saddest commentary on the circumstances that befall so many innocent victims.  Poor little Ben ...
you've told this tale so vividly that I want to reach out and cradle him with love and protection.
God, how many Ben's do we have to give up before we learn to look and listen?
Thank you so much for this tenderest of tales.
I would wish that everyone would read it.
One by one ... we CAN make a difference.
~*Marge*~


 ~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
noles1@totcon.com

Nan
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since 05-20-99
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Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


3 posted 03-31-2000 08:43 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

This is quite a poignant piece, pmc...
Bureaucracy can be such an insipid force. Educators are faced with this issue all too often.  You do tell the story well.. I look forward to reading more of your work..
Poet deVine
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4 posted 03-31-2000 08:49 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

This is the saddest, best written tale of child abuse I've read in a long time. Thank you so much for this. I would like to see each school get a copy...it's a lesson..don't look the other way! Look into the eyes of that child and SEE what's really there.... thank you.
Butterflies_dont_cry
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since 03-06-2000
Posts 3768
Michigan


5 posted 03-31-2000 08:56 PM       View Profile for Butterflies_dont_cry   Email Butterflies_dont_cry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Butterflies_dont_cry


This is....I'm at a loss I'm sorry It was amazing, You wrote so exquisite and then the message...haunting and painful but most of all much to common.  If the way my hands are shaking is a clue as to how much your writing moved me then I would have to say you shook me clear to my soul. God bless you for your message and most of all God Bless the children that have been placed in our care to LOVE not HURT...**Angel wing Hugs*
Roniece Dawson-Bruce
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since 01-29-2000
Posts 5694
Sydney, Australia


6 posted 03-31-2000 08:58 PM       View Profile for Roniece Dawson-Bruce   Email Roniece Dawson-Bruce   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Roniece Dawson-Bruce

I loved this Ballad P.J.  It was well written and told a tragically sad story - I feel for the Ben's of this world....I look forward to reading more of your work
Roniece
Severn
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since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


7 posted 03-31-2000 09:30 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Absolutely lost for words.
Child abuse is insidious; these little ones don't know how to cry out for help. To some it is normal - they don't know they are being abused. It is just life to them.

Thanks for this - yes, I think teachers would do well to read it too.
hoot_owl_rn
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since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


8 posted 03-31-2000 09:39 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Oh, this is so very sad...thank you for sharing this with us and thanks for speaking out for those who can not speak for themselves....the innocent children.
Balladeer
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9 posted 03-31-2000 10:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Amazing display of writing here. So true....so sad...and so well done. I applaud you, poet.
devina
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since 10-28-1999
Posts 3189
Northern Cali


10 posted 03-31-2000 10:33 PM       View Profile for devina   Email devina   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for devina

This was an excellent poem, both in meaning and rhyme...It gave me shivers!!! You've displayed your wonderful talent!!!

 Open arms can be the most fragile in the world...

Denise
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11 posted 03-31-2000 11:44 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Very sad tale. My heart aches for these little ones. Well written, P.J.

Denise
tori
Senior Member
since 06-18-99
Posts 521
Mechanicsville, Maryland, USA


12 posted 04-01-2000 07:43 AM       View Profile for tori   Email tori   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit tori's Home Page   View IP for tori

Your attempt was an out right success****
All the noise you here is coming from my little corner of the web.... applause, applause, applause and a loud whistle!!......
You have touched a cord inside my heart as you speak for the children who have no voice~

Thank you ~Marge~ for sending me to this one!


 If with pen in hand I've made you think
I've not wasted one drop of ink
Vlh.
visit my site~ http://www.hsanet.net/user/dkm/hellomy.htm
Nan
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since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


13 posted 04-01-2000 10:48 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

I don't like seeing this piece on page two..
Bumping!!
Danny Holloway
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since 01-15-2000
Posts 2072
Tulsa, OK


14 posted 04-01-2000 10:51 AM       View Profile for Danny Holloway   Email Danny Holloway   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Danny Holloway

Let me echo ALL the complimentary things said about this Ballad.  The story of Ben is the story of thousands of children everyday in this country. This Ballad certainly brings home the hurt and abuse suffered by these children and the frustration that outsiders have trying to help.
pmc, this is great writing.  Hope to see more from you.
pmc
Junior Member
since 03-09-2000
Posts 48
Germany


15 posted 04-01-2000 02:59 PM       View Profile for pmc   Email pmc   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for pmc

Thank you all for your kind comments.
When I have time (and inspiration) I would like to expand on the poem so that it doesn't end so abruptly.
What I always find sad is that abused children have such a hard time at home and because they are abused and look neglected they often have a bad time at school amongst their peers  ("He smells").
Sometimes it is spotted. Often it is not.

Many Thanks

P.J. McFadden
WhtDove
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since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


16 posted 04-01-2000 09:57 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

This was so sad, touching, heartbreaking!
Attempt? I'd say you've done an oustanding job! My God, how this has grabbed my heart!
Lost Dreamer
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since 06-20-99
Posts 2589
Normal, Illinois


17 posted 04-03-2000 06:26 AM       View Profile for Lost Dreamer   Email Lost Dreamer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lost Dreamer

Your talent as a writer shines through in this poem, not sure if I should have read it first thing in the morning as it brought tears thinking about all the poor Ben's in the world. Along with teachers having this poem I think social worker's should also as in this poem there are many times when they will take the parents word if the child seems halfway O.K. It's a tough call when it comes to abuse cause there are so many forms, but you captured one of the most cruelest here brilliantly.
 
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