Poem a Day #29 – I could yet turn into …

homeless

Two days left. Funny that I feel more creative on a Tuesday than a Monday. This idea has been brewing for a while, but not put into words until today. I’m sure the line between success and failure, between normality and madness, between comfort and destitution, is  a very narrow one.

I could yet turn into …

one of those seedy blokes
scurrying from bin to bin
with red blue tartan bag
and barbeque tongs
fishing out return deposit cans

one of those skinny blokes
on an ex postie bike
a stolen red milk crate
tied on the back
with occie straps

one of those menacing blokes
camped in the corner of a pub
nursing a cheap beer
rounding on his fellow drinkers
with spittle and blasphemy

one of those doleful blokes
in stained track suit pants
held up with string
imploring with cardboard
“no job, please help”

one of those unnerving blokes
cycling around town
old helmet askew
straps undone
squawking ”Beep! Beep!”

one of those medieval blokes
bare, mud caked feet
army surplus great-coat
and matted mane
camping on parkland benches

one of those try-hard old blokes
pony tailed, leather waistcoated
Woody Guthrie sloganned guitar
croaking to the shoppers
“This is your land”

Just
a misjudged step
a misplaced hope
a market failure
a malignant presence

but then again

I could carry on
going through the motions
holding the line
dressing the window
with collar, cuffs and poetry

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014
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8 thoughts on “Poem a Day #29 – I could yet turn into …

  1. Hi Mike, very Adelaide in some ways. I definitely know the ‘beep beep’ guy. Is he still pedalling around the city? And I like the allusion to Geoff Goodfellow’s ‘No Collars, No Cuffs’!

    • Yes, they are all some sort of conglomeration of Adelaide characters. Haven’t seen the ‘beep beep’ guy for a while, but he was often down Waymouth Street when I worked down there. He got his come-uppance one day when he cycled up behind a woman I know and ‘beep beep’ed her. She turned round and gave him a right mouthful, and he slank off very sheepishly. Maybe he learned his lessson.

    • Thanks Jen. I think I’m closest to being the postie-bike man. I owned a little Honda C90 for a while. The neighbours boys used to call me “Postman Pat” behind my back.

  2. Hahaha – nice one, Mike. I can’t quite see you in any of these roles but maybe that just means you’re a very good window dresser…

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