Poem – Unintelligent Design (By Donal Mahoney)


An hour a day,

sometimes more,

I chipped away

with mallet and chisel

on a block of marble

I found in Carrara

and shipped to New York

on the deck of a trawler.



I offered the marble

to a famous sculptor

who told me he works

in granite only

so I grabbed his beret

and one of his smocks

and said I’d sculpt

the block myself

with whittling skills

picked up as a kid

from a drunken uncle

named Whittling Sid.



Several weeks later,

to my surprise,

I finished the bust

of a chimpanzee

simply by wielding

mallet and chisel

the way I wield

pencil and eraser

when hewing a poem.



Working with marble

or working with words,

a sculptor or poet

proves less is more

by chipping away

until something emerges

upright and walking

with a soul of its own.



Author Bio:

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had fiction and poetry published in various publications in the U.S. and elsewhere. Among them are The Galway Review (Ireland), The Recusant (England), The Missing Slate (Pakistan), Guwahatian Magazine (india), Bluepepper (Australia), The Osprey Journal (Wales), Public Republic (Bulgaria), and The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey). Some of his earliest work can be found at and some of his newer work at