Sunday 11 December 2011


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.


  1. Excellent! A great work, Ygraine.

  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!

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

  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.

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

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

  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!

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

  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

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

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

  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!

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

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