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Poetry Magnum Opus

Let me feel pain


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Let me feel pain

rather than nothing

a sanguine look

a weak smile


for a new tune

to garnish

this battered guitar

with fingers

that belie old age

A faded great-coat

and blue pants

with busted flies

Leftover kit from when

I went to 'do my bit'

Swapped arms

for alms

and basket weaving women

selling crafts at country fairs

A caravan

a sarabande

And I am free to come and go


And not on anybody's list

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A Tinker nostalgia perhaps? Enjoyed this, it has a sense of loss attached to a very detailed satisfaction. One (That I know of) American fantasy authors was accused of tax evasion, so he fled to England and became a busker for over 10 years, before negotiating his return. I think he probably felt this poem every day for the 10 years in exile;-)


Well done!



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Evolved from a picture that my late paternal aunt (who taught me music as a boy) bequeathed to me in1974. An old gypsy busker.

One of my friends from around that time used to take a fiendish delight when holidaying abroad among the better off; if asked about his work, he'd say he was a professional beggar just to watch their faces change. :biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

The life of a carny or other nomadic type? We can look at others and romanticize their lots in life, but I think there's always a price to pay. I detect a bit of this even in this poem.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Stirs memories, likely different ones in each reader, so well-done. I watched Buskers in London (we Yanks called it the Big Smoke, since coal fires were the main source of heat at the time--1956). The performers I saw were truly talented, and I often thought of them in connection with Burlesque in the U.S. Your poem makes me wonder how many of them were WWII grunts out to earn a living and likely feeling fortunate to be there in the freedom and safety of the streets. Nostalgic and educational. Thank you.


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I recall people dying in the 'smog' of London's pollution in the '50.s.and how I was fortunate to be living in a small clean country town and at a brand new open plan school with playing fields. Monochrome films enhanced the austerity of that time: "The Sidewalks of London" in particular,(a 1938 Charles Laughton/Vivien Leigh film) captured the bleak and fragile existence of street entertainers dependent on theatre queues of the better off for a living; it contrasted somewhat with the 'displaced' and the 'travellers' we saw in the provinces, who eked out a living at the markets and country fairs.

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