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Monday 9 April 2012

Alfresco Easter

I'm new to this
and learning as I go.
I'm introduced to "Frank" -
as good a name as any -
who says he was a hoodlum in L.A..
He wasn't, that's for sure.
He had a business, doing well,
a large house and a limousine,
a wife, two daughters
and a dog he walked on Sundays.
"If he asks to talk in private,
don't go with him," I'm warned.
"Don't go with anyone.
Don't go alone. One of us goes too."
We talk a bit, then I move on.
I have to talk to Chap.
I talk, he listens
then he gets his meal.
That's the deal. It worries me a bit.
I can't quite work out why.
Chap doesn't mind the talk.
In fact, he welcomes it.
It's the listening that bugs.
He tells me - he tells everyone -
"Imagine all the Bibles in the world
would disappear at once.
I could replace them all -
from memory."
Perhaps he could.
No one ever caught him out, I'm told.
On any subject he can quote a text
that's apt and accurate - King James -
well known or not.
No one knows his story,
only that he's sleeping out
and has been since forever.
We don't talk Bible. Weather, health
and holidays - he'd like to go
to Brighton for the Easter.
Kip beneath the pier. Might do...
But Frank it is who worries them.
He's new. Five weeks. No more.
The crucial time.
Much longer and he'll not go back.
For him it's now or never -
that's what all the statistics say.


David Cranmer said...

Perfecto for the holidays, Dave. Hope you had a top holiday weekend, sir.

jabblog said...

Making the break or being reduced to 'sleeping out', whichever it is, can happen so quickly. There, but for the grace of God . . .

Mary said...

You have a winner here, Dave.

Claudia said...

wow...what an awesome capture david..some of them find a way back..even after five weeks...good that the statistics are not always right...loved it

Ygraine said...

There is so much food for thought here, Dave.
So much can change in so short a time, and statistics are all too often misleading. Any one of us could find ourselves here in your words. Today, or any day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sad poem Dave and yet your individual characters don't in themselves sound sad. Interesting.

ds said...

I could see those men. Hope the statistics are wrong. Thank you.

Adura Ojo said...

Often the figures do not reflect people that buck the trend. It happens and continues to happen that people do turn a corner when they're not expected to. Thank goodness for that! Thank you, Dave for sharing this piece.

Kathe W. said...

Thank you for writing and sharing-these are the forgotten people.

Wolfsrosebud said...

intense write

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I have been tremendously attracted by Chap as a prodigious character with some profound irony about it. Great. Then I got lost towards the end of the poem...is Chap Frank?

The last two lines are anyway absolutely marvellous.

Windsmoke. said...

Chap sounds like he has a photographic memory :-).

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story, David, and told with such sympathy. Also you are so terrific at working in specific telling detail. K.

Elephant's Child said...

'For ye have the poor always with you'. And the homeless and the lonely. Not to mention the sick.

I suspect that each and every one of us could walk that route more easily than we realise. Thanks Dave, you have got me thinking. Always good.

Cait O'Connor said...

I loved this and love the fact that all your poems surprise me with their 'difference' and originality.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Flows beautifully - lovely stuff Dave!

Anna :o]

Dave King said...

Am I the only one who thinks that Blogland (and Blogger in particular) have gone just too far with their all-pervading security madness? It was bad enough being asked to read almost indecipherable lettersin order to be accepted as a real person, but now they are wanting to send phone or text verifications. Where are we going with this? It's not as though the basic site is running efficiently. I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with all the visiting and commenting I want to do. Blogger seems simply determined to make it impossible. I regret there were one or two friends for whom I did not manage to leave comments today, though I would have liked to have done so.

Rant over.

I did indeed, much thanks. Hope you and yours had likewise.

Certainly puts our brrfs into perspective.

Really kind of you to say so. Thanks.

Yeah, I'm not convinced about the stats, but I guess the longer you are out the harder it becomes.

Absolutely so. That came through very strongly from their stories. None of them started out as favourites to lose everything.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, I'm really glad that came across. It was perhaps the main thing that I wanted to express. Thanks for saying.

They possibly will be for some of them. For all? Very unlikely - I'm told - but we can hope.

Hi, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for your visit and for your positive comment.

Kathe W
Thanks for the response.

Good to have youur visit.

Thank you for this. Good to know you thought so.

Thanks as always. Your comments very much appreciated. No, Chap is not Frank. I was trying to contrast the two.

not sure about that, but a possibility, I suppose.

Many thanks for this really helpful and encouraging response.

The Elephant's Child
Yes, as I mentioned above, you only have to hear the stories to realise how thin is the line that has to be crossed.

Lovely comment. Thanks so much.

Much thanks. Really appreciate this.