The Jamaican on the street corner

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Forever flow the waters of humanity, O beauty, O lie.

Submitted: May 29, 2010

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Submitted: May 29, 2010



Between the cobbled streets there was a trail,
Of dust, dirt and sweat, in sunlight oh so pale,
And on this trail sits the little Jamaican man,
With a smile in his eyes and wrinkles in his hands

Now, these white men glided along, polished leather,
Snobbily dismissive, don't give a damn whether
This little monkey man hit the dirt with a dead-eyed smirk,
But this little man played, played until it hurt and hurt.

You people, though, who pay close attention,
Perhaps you saw this man but were too puzzled to mention
The rough little orchestra, spread around his feet,
A drum, wheezing accordion, worn maraccas, incomplete.

See the dreadlockled little monkey man, with lion heart,
Had made an oh so nice symphony from the rubbish yard
And when he sang with a raba-daba-baba-deet,
You couldn't help but cry, feel, move to his beat.

So a broken one-man symphony by the ice cream store,
That made your hearts sing and you plead for more
Now you, lovely people, spare a penny for sure
But not one small, gleaming penny, did he saw..

So, one happy little morning, I walked down singing
The Jamaican man's song with my pockets a-jingling,
But although I looked beside the store,
Monkey man weren't there no more..

But then I walked down the twisted alleyway...
And this is where the monkey man lay...
Glass shard in his heart, blood in his shoes..
This is the way that Death dances, and how he moves...

I don't know how long I stayed there, unmoving,
I'm sure he killed himself, with no-one's soothing,
With his song and his soul scattered around his feet...
...I, the good samaritan, turned back into the street.

© Copyright 2019 Jake Shelvey. All rights reserved.

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