Tough Heart Someday | Martina Teeny Collender

Tough Boys

Imagine if you please,
A little tiny boy of 4 years,
4 years young,
With a wise and old heart,
Who falls a scrapes his knee,
While chasing a flutter by,
And he cries. 

You wouldn't tell him,
To pull himself together,
Dry up his tears,
Boys don't cry,
I hope you wouldn't anyway,
You might hold him tight,
Till all his feelings spill out in tears.

So why do we,
Tell with certainty,
For men,
To become tough Boys,
And not to cry?

We leave them to drown there broken hearts,
In bottles of whiskey alone,
In the shadows of the night,
When there mother's die,
We expect them to carry the coffin of grief,
With quiet dignity,
And not break down,
Not break out,
Because that's not polite,
Or quiet,
Or comfortable.

When there sisters are raped,
We demand there emotions,
To be shown in violence,
And violence alone,
Not tears,
Or fears,
Because the tears,
And fears belong,
To women alone. 

When the final act of the lives,
Is being played,
We demand they say the lines,
We wrote from them,
And all those lines are brave,
We demand them to be brave,
Not shed a tear.

All the tough boys,
Going around with broken hearts,
All the tough boys,
Are going down to the river,
Down to the river,
Down to the river,
To find an answer,
An escape.

My heart breaks for all the tough boys,
Who were told so very young,
Dry up your tears,
Be a man, my son.

It will mean nothing,
But I see the tears in your eyes,
And you find the courage to let them fall,
I love you all the more.
I love you all the more.
I love you all the more.

All my tough boys.

A Whore’s Heart

No one sends flowers to a whores grave,
Her womb is cobwebbed,
No child will grow there,
A whores heart gets no I Love Yous,
A whores heart gets I'm Fond Of Yous,
Prince charming doesn't want her hand,
But will gladly take her mouth,
Bruised knees on her,
Bruised throat on her,
Sucking cock since 8 years of age,
She's a god damn fucking expert,
A whores heart has no particular poison,
Any drink will do,
Cheers to liver for handling,
What the heart can't,
A whores heart will do ANYTHING,
Except kiss on the mouth,
Not since his tongue,
Infected with the taste of whiskey,
And stale smoke,
Pushed his way in,
One faithful night,
When she was 19,
A whores heart is bitter,
And used up,
By 31,
She's done,
A whores heart knows the price we pay,
After 3am
And a whores heart doesn't die,
It's been decaying for years,
A whores heart knows her place,
Knows her part,
Long before you ignored her,
Rejected her,
Forgot about her,
And traded her for a pint and a fucking session.

In the Park
Digital Art
©2023 Miroslava Panayotova


I don't ever want to get married,
But if I do,
And who knows,
I'd like to marry when I'm 92,
To a gentleman,
Or a gentlewoman,
And we'll tend to our garden,
And drink tea,
And laugh at our dog.
And we'll get married on August 18th. 
And it will rain. 
And we'll run to cover under the trees,
And laugh and the cracking sound of our knees,
And we'll order take aways,
And we'll drink cans,
Play old music,
New music now,
But it will be old by then,
And give advice to children,
That they will ignore,
And go to doctor,
Until one of us is called to God's door,
And we'll have plain gold wedding bands,
And we'll watch TV and read,
And sip champagne just to toast the ordinary days,
And we'll have cake for breakfast,
And when people ask,
Because they will ask,
Why did I wait so long to get married,
I'll simply say,
I was waiting for them to come along.

©2023 Martina Teeny Collender
All rights reserved

Martina Teeny Collender…

…is a Queer, Disabled, Award Winning, Playwright, Poet and Writer living and working in Waterford City and County with her beloved Ellie.

She’s been commissioned to write plays for Loose Screw Theatre Company, Red Kettle Theatre Company, RigOut Productions, Trinity Players, Comeragh Wilds Festival, Imagine Arts Festival, The Drama Circle, Brothers Of Charity, Rehab Care, Waterford Youth Arts and Garter Lane Arts Centre.

She’s been published in The Waxed Lemon, The Munster Express, The Lonely Voice run by the Irish Writer’s Centre, Pride Of The Deise Supplement, Shallot Journal of Mental Health, Art and Literature and The News and Star.

Two of her plays Crotty The Highway Man and Pettiecoat Loose have been published by Suirdzign. Her play Still, We Sing has been published by Beir Bua Press.

She’s been awarded Best New Play three times by Liam Murphy at The Munster Express and was shortlisted for Best Play at the Billy Roche International Play Competition for her play Visiting The Grave.