How I envy the wandering vagrant, dishevelled splashed and splattered

Unkempt, greasy lanky long hair tousled, mattered and plaited

His worn-out coat and trousers torn ragged and tattered

The gapping holes in leather, sodden socks in sole-less, lace-less shoes

A man who has long given up on life’s exacting demanding dues

I can see the haunting sadness – confused madness in his eyes

No more for him does the world hold the possibility of pleasant surprise

He wanders, trundles in a shuffling gait as he passes you a wandering by

For him, the roof over his head – is the cold, rain cloud – open sky

His bed – is wherever he decides to rest his aching weary head

Do I still envy the vagrant whose empty life may soon – even be dead?

Should I, too, drop out of society and surrender to the tramp life instead?

No more bureaucratic taxman dirty brown manila, State threatening envelopes

Just nature’s fields, dales, vales, roads – green undulating, soothing slopes

To wander and follow the path of undefined, unbridled, uncharted destiny

Surrender all pride, the alter ego with its outrageous pumping, arrogant vanity

Learn to walk a hundred miles on a single cup of luke warm tea

Amazing how his body can so perform when his soul now sings so free.

Shame! Oh, what a pity! They say, poor man has lost his tramping mind

When, in fact, o’contraire – ‘tis the mind that he can surprisingly, clearly, find

‘Tis only as a roving vagrant that he is exposed to the complex shades of human kind

His mind is open to all human acts – see his eyes no longer blinkered blind

No longer fooled, tempted by life’s sweet juices, hurt by its sour and bitter rind

He knows not where his vagrancy will next tell him to o’ a wandering a- go

But he holds no fear – he’s learned to expect the unexpected deep down on skid row

Now, as my vagrant shuffles past, I no longer whisper profanities in a muffled mutter

Our vagrant is a philosopher king; he has learned all that wisdom from life in the gutter.

He is a man I now so admire, and I offer to him nothing but complete and utter respect

For a man with the courage to ignore life’s trinkets, shallow temptations and all its shallow gloss –

‘tis the least he might from me expect.

Michael Knighton

Author Michael Knighton

Famous for his involvement with Manchester United and Carlisle United professional football clubs. This website showcases the other lifelong passions of Michael Knighton - as a creator of Art and Poetry and occasional blogger.

More posts by Michael Knighton

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