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The night the hobo came to town

Stephen Chinnock

28 January 2020

He sat there
The old curmudgeon
Ignoring the frantic
Calls from family
And friends
One in particular
Who’d play a part
In this sad tale
I’ll be alright
He grumbled
Go downstairs
To the second bathroom
There I’ll be safe
Even if the house burns down
Might have been his last words
If the huge tree opposite
On the other side of road
Hadn’t spontaneously
And all of the verge
Up and down the street
Were aflame
Time to go you stupid old bugger
Grab your passport and run
So into the trusty old ford falcon
He dived
Thank god the boogey board
A pair of swimmers
And a couple of old hats
Were still in the back
Essential items down here
On the south coast
Off he drove
Through the smoke
And the fire
Feeling the heat
On both sides
Not much is remembered
Of the details
That terrible drive
Until he arrived at the home
Of Maryanne blessed
Giver of shelter and care
So the old hobo
Moved in for an unspecified time
Ensconced himself
On the back veranda
Drank his wine plentifully
Smoked his rollies
A liberal sprinkling of baccy
All over the place
He sat there
All huddled over
An iPhone
Tapping away
Trying to write poetry
Or at least some thoughts
That wouldn’t go away
He wrote like a man
Pursued by
The demons of hell
Trying shake off
The talons of terror
That gripped him tight
Seiju wonderful Buddhist
Of great insight
Has sheltered with kindness
The hobo on the back veranda
Never expecting
He might change his ways
The patience
Acceptance of what is
Compassion centre front
The hobo from Conjola
Will never forget!

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