Duncan Forbes

Gender Difference
(on a theme by Robert Graves)

Why are there so many truly revolting men
With bad manners and worse habits?
Leerers and gawpers, beer-bellied drunks,
Rowdy and raucous, flab-covered hunks,
Who guzzle and slurp, crunch crisps and burp
Whose language is coarse, crude, crass or worse –
Inconsiderate, selfish, offensive men
Who seem not to have heard of Buddha or Zen.
Are they creating a space for personal use
Where they can behave as they choose or booze?
And why do they always use public transport
At the same time as me and in such close proximity?
Feet on the seat with burger and chips
Chewed in full view with wide-open lips.
Thoughtless, self-centred, repellent drones
With tablets, iPads and mobile phones
At which they boom inanities at full volume.
Have they no shame? No dignity? No self-awareness?
No sense of us others? No fairness?
Did their mothers say nothing to them about being bovine?
(Boorish, ursine, oafish, simian swine?)
And what are they like at home? Or in bed?
Imagine. Enough said.

Duncan Forbes is a poet and painter. His poems have won a Gregory Award and First Prize in the TLS/ Blackwells Competition. His work has also been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies as well as being broadcast on radio both in the UK and the US. He has read his poems at over 50 venues and at various literary festivals and
has lectured on, and taught, literature and History of Art.