Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
I had written several poems beginning when I was 6 such as Dirty Sheet, the Ghost and Low Noon but I don't have those anymore. This was the first serious poem I ever tried to write. I was a freshman in high school at the time......
Within the eerie shadows of a tiny, crackling fire
A small man sat, whose services did no one care to hire.
Knowing not a useful trade, caring not of being paid,
With crumpled cigarette he laid beside his man-made pyre.
As wind and rain would feast upon the man's bedraggled clothes
He poured out to the hills and woods his troubles and his woes.
"Why have I no friends to greet? Clothes to wear? Food to eat?
Why does the frost slide 'neath my feet
And nibble at my toes?
"Why must I travel aimlessly with no one place to go?
Why must I walk in field and stream and sleep in mud and snow?
Hear me now, you God above, sing to me that song of love.
Let me see that ivory dove
And not this blackened crow!"
"Be quiet!", a voice boomed from the stillness of the night.
"Let me not be a witness to your anger and your fright.
I have heard your words of grief, heard you cry out for relief,
Now LISTEN to me. I'll be brief
And let you see the light."
Within the glow of campfire light the stately stranger stood.
His clothes were threadbare, chest stuck out, with face made out of wood
But, staring there upon that face, one could see a somber trace
Of quiet, dignity, poise and grace
And knowledge more than good.
"Ten thousand years ago today, I then began my life
And thus began my agony, my torture and my strife.
I drank from a chemist's pot brew so evil, strong and hot
That I, through my error, got
Eternal, lasting life."
"You smile, I see, no matter for the words I say are true.
I know, by looks, I seem to be a hobo just like you
But I am forced here to remain, free of death and mortal pain
With hopes to die but all in vain
And nothing can I do."
"I have seen the vikings and King Arthur's mighty reign.
I have seen the bodies fall on Lexington terrain.
I have seen so many thing - knights, crusades and lords and kings,
I've seen war and what it brings -
Destruction, death and pain."
"Why, though", said the hobo, "do you wish to stop and die?
Why is there no happiness or gladness in your eye?
Why of sadness do you speak? Why no pleasures do you seek?
Why your thoughts of life so bleak?
Why do you Earth deny?"
" I have seen humility replaced by lust and greed.
I have seen philosophers learn shame toward their creed.
I have seen monstrocities, mingled with atrocities,
Taught in universities
In the name of human need!"
"Earth is slowly dying like the echo of a bell
And those who feel the pressure mount can understand me well.
Men of stature once had tried to save the world, but were denied
Now man will not be satisfied
'Til he blows himself to Hell!!"
With those last words, the stranger turned and walked into the night.
Upon the railroad tracks he stood, before a blinding light.
The train came roaring down the track and, with a loud, resounding WHACK!
Hit the stranger in the back
Then continued out of sight.
The hobo looked and there he saw the stranger standing high.
A lost expression on his face and sadness in his eye.
The hobo then began to cry..the tears came streaming from his eyes
And, to his grief and sad surprise.
He didn't know just why.