MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

A Beggar On The Street

I used to be rich
I had a big house with a big backyard
I spent all my money away like it was water
The little money I had left I gave it away
When it was gone I had lost my house, my job, and my friends
Today I am a beggar on the street
My best friend is a bottle of rum
As I beg for money on the street everyone that passed by me
Had noticed that I was dirty
No one wants a beggar for a friend
I have nowhere else to go except to live on the street
I am getting old and my life is passing me by
There are wrinkles on my face
I can hardly walk straight anymore because I am almost always drunk
I drink too much
I am a beggar what else should I do than drink
That’s what beggars do best
I know that one day my heart will give out and I will die
When I was rich I wasn’t happy with my life
Of course I had lots of friends
They didn’t stay around for too long
My money finished and I became a beggar
They tell me I have no shame
I would rather live in a refuge camp than live on the street
The streets are dirty and filthy
At least there would be water to drink, food, and shower
If I am lucky on a good day I get enough money to buy me a bottle of Rum and a doughnut to eat
On a bad day I just have to starve
I know I am dirty and smelly
There are no showers or washrooms on the street
I would love one
Soon will be winter and I will go to a men’s shelter
There I will get some food, a hot shower, and a warm bed for once

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Comments (4)

You have to be careful when employing the technique of repeating a word or phrase over and over in a poem. In this case it works marvelously. I like how Sherrie did it in El Dia Vendrra, and there's a Neruda poem - I forget which one - where he keeps repeating something in every stanza. It's one of my favorite poems and I can't even remember the damn thing! Ah well. Nice job with merde, Michael, and interesting comment Ron. I'm always saying to others - never essay poetry except in your native tongue. You may fall dans le merde. (Or is it feminine? My dictionary doesn't know the word...) Oh shit. Break a leg, Ronberge!
Another thing you might not know... It's also an informal way to wish luck on someone intimate. An exact opposite of the more classical usage. ex. Before an exam 'Merde! ' Many Thanks for the poem and especially the sentiment, Sincerement Ronmerde ; -)
Excellent, Michael. Spoken like a true Brit. Raynette