Raggedy Man by Louise M. Hart

He sits silently

In a stinking underpass-

Raggedy man

His hollow eyes

Reflecting his soul, like glass

A benefit scrounger

Drops a pound coin

Into raggedy man’s hat

“Only the poor give to the poor,”

He thinks


He eats empty plates of thought

For dinner

And dreams of being fat

For his heart has no home

His body resides

In the West Midlands of nowhere

He does not even own a cat

Called Bob
Man, it is boring here

Where he cannot afford a beer

Or a filtered cigarette of regrets

His tongue is lined with the sweat

Of circumstance

Because his Mother called him, “a sinner”


Gay as fuck

He was big in Moseley once

Now he is invisible

Awaiting his ponce

In the city


Banker man leaves works at 5.33

He passes Mr Raggedy

And notices the delicate curve of his lips

His noble brown eyes…

And orange stained finger tips

He smiles

And takes him from behind


Parallel Lives By Louise M. Hart

“And you think your poetry interests me”

Thinks the man in black

Concealed at the back of the room

“Not the shape of your lips

Or the way you flick your fringe

Out of your eyes

And titivate the air

With your delicate fingertips

And you think your wordplay

Stimulates your audience’s creative desires

Not the way you wiggle your hips

At the climax of each line

And flash your baby sweet enticing smile”

When the performance ends

The man in black sweeps past

The slayer of words

Blank as a verse

In supermarket jeans

And a Primark anorak

But the poet sees no man

He hears only the echo of applause

A bird perched on both

Theatrically flapping arms

An ego as swollen

As his wrecking balls of fire


And when the man in black arrives home

He composes a secret sonnet

To the soul mate he does not know


No one claps