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Sunday, 11 December 2011

THE TRAMP

Illustration by Joan Walsh Anglund


I was once a wealthy man,
Before my unfortunate obsession began
With betting on the dogs and horses.
So now I've had to leave the forces.

I was a Major, highly respected,
Until the Colonel my activities inspected.
Then I was discreetly shown the door
For becoming an embarrassment to the Corps.

So now I live in a cardboard box
With my sole companion, an urban fox.
But it isn't at all too bad a life.
At least I've escaped my nagging wife!

And this shabby old box you think you see
Is actually a stately home to me.
It's decorated with furnishings rich,
Crafted from things I found in the ditch.

Now here on the streets of London I'm free
From everyone making demands of me.
I can come and go whenever I please
And laze in summer under leafy trees.

Those are the days I love the best,
With empty spirit bottle hugged to my chest.
Surely I must be in paradise,
Apart from being eaten alive by lice!

I think I'm being prompted to take a bath,
So down to the Thames I follow a path.
I bet you don't have a bath this size.
In comparison yours is the booby prize.

As long as I earn a crust now and then
By busking and begging beneath Big Ben
I'll never starve, in fact I'll thrive
For I need very little to keep me alive.

'But don't you need hot food in winter?' you ask.
Well, haven't you ever heard of a flask?
The soup kitchens are open all day
And they always allow us to take some away.

'Aren't you cold though as if in a fridge?'
Not when I shelter beneath the bridge.
And even if frostbite prompts me to die,
There's no need to feel sorry for me, nor cry.

For I will have lived my ideal life,
Free from all the stresses and strife
Of pandering to a society
That never really was for me.




13 comments:

  1. Excellent! A great work, Ygraine.

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  2. As I began to read this, it took me from my first thought of this being about an "Occupy Wall Street-style protester" into its rhmying and from there into its freedom of heart. Nice!

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  3. I'm bowled over by this one. It's stupendous.

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  4. There are many days where i wish i had the freedom to live as this person does. Very beauitful poem. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent with us.

    Blessings, V.

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  5. Bonza poem about someone going from riches to rags because of an addiction to gambling, well done, very enjoyable :-).

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  6. Thank you, Richard.
    Really glad you enjoyed the poem :)

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  7. Thank you, Gnome.
    I guess it was my free spirit finding it's voice.
    Don't think I'd go quite so far as to live on the streets myself though!

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  8. Hi Dave,
    Thank you so much. I really appreciate that :)

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  9. Hi Vivienne,
    I totally agree! Don't think I'd survive the winter though. Never could tolerate the cold very well.
    Thank you for your more than kind comment.

    Blessings Y

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  10. Hi Windsmoke,
    Thank you,
    and welcome!
    Really happy you liked it :)

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  11. Hi Windsmoke,
    Thank you,
    and welcome!
    Really happy you liked it :)

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  12. Fabulous write, I am rather envious of his freedom - though I should not live very long after taking a bath in the Thames:D Such an enjoyable read!

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  13. Hi Rose,
    I know what you mean.
    You'd probably catch goodness knows what!
    So glad you liked it :)

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I really appreciate hearing your opinions...:)