We are all Vagrants [poem]

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When you saw that homeless woman sitting in the street
with only tattered clothing that she wears and nought
but sandals on her calloused blackened frostbit feet,
you thought “That’s something I could never do”.
But yet between that poor young girl and blessed old you
there’s hardly any difference other than your bedroom view.
No doubt you think (imagine) you’ve a place called home.
But there I have to laugh! For in a brief discrepancy of time,
wherein we say “Whatever happened to the years?”,
we’ll realise that everything we had was dreamed;
and all the stuff we think we own was merely loaned
to us for just a little while and all our plans and schemes
& plots and games and every little relished wonderland
had no more substance & were no more worthy than the rags
upon that homeless person’s frail and skeletonly frame.

No doubt you’ll beg to disagree and point me to the pillage
you have diligently plundered over all your many years.
Your proudly-hanging chandeliers, that painting by Magritte
(and other objets d’art which you imagine make you one
of the elite), the duckdown quilt upon your bed, the feather
pillow which you coddle every night beneath your head,
the chic and sporty garaged car you have seducing every
eye you pass down on the street, the Gucci boots you
pull with gusto every day upon your manicuredsome feet,
your handmade oakwood doors, your thick-pile carpet floors,
that fitted kitchen costing you ten thousand pounds or more,
your proudly-owned gold toilet seat with taps to match,
the arctic fox-fur stole you lushly wrap around your neck,
the many jewels you wear with evening dress, to great effect.

All that, and more, you think will prove you’ve nothing much
in common with the girl upon the street who has no home.
But very soon, when three-score wintertimes have sped on by,
and you, my friend (alone), are on death’s door, you’ll realise
that all you have was given you for just a little time to borrow.
You cling to them today but death comes swiftly on the morrow.
& if we count the things we have as being little more than rags
they’ll not become our masters nor we slaves to what we have.
That girl down on the street (who you and I will never meet)
is just like us in ways we cannot fathom now, if all we use
as means to judge is what we think (believe) we have and own
and place upon the rusty broken throne of matter’s faulty
concrete thin veneer, against which I am now a mutineer,
realising home upon this globe is only where I hang my hat —
a vagrant on the hinterland of time at that — and, like the girl
down on the street whose face screams love me for my soul,
we’re only on this planet on parole until we find our way back
from these pedagogic turbulentful oceans to our proper home.
The only difference we and she possess is one and true:
That she has nothing left on earth to lose; but we… we do!


© Alan Morrison, 2016

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