The man in the ragged clothes looks like God
Or an older version of Jesus
As he dips deep into the rubbish
He shuffles backwards, unsteady on his feet,
Underneath his grubby robe, a bound leather book hides
He removes it from the stained and dirty cloth,
Carefully removing it from under the rope that keeps it to him
Holds it aloft, between filthy fingers,
Climbs aboard a plastic carton,
His eyes watery with love,
Or maybe hate, or maybe stardust, or whatever he’s been snorting today,
“Here is the word!’ he shouts
As the ambulances scream past, lights all flashing.
‘Here is the word… the WORD, friends!’
‘And the word, my friend’, he spits to the unwashed,
The abused, and the damned on our street
‘Is the truth. What I hold in my hand
Is the Book Of Phidelius.’
‘Whatever, old man!’ Cry the street rats.
no truth here for me!’
And the actual rats aren’t even here anymore.
They don’t want to hear this. They’ve all gone. Retreated .
Back to the sewer for a fag and a quick nap and Mum’s cakes.
He spills and chokes and coughs out parable after parable. He’s not even holding the damned book anymore.
Pretty little pieces of trash like sweets chewed swallowed and thrown up
That’s what we are and we have no rules, no authority figures, and certainly no God.
Preachers better beware- no false prophets and all that shit. No redemption for the likes of us,
Whatever this means it’s like watching TV
It never happens here.
This man is a force of nature all on his own,
He flourishes like an actor in the final throes of Shakespeare
He leaps, stamps and twirls, it’s like choreography,
Even the street rats are quiet
Their pasty faces and dull eyes show a flicker of life;
They are in love with this thing, this performance;
‘Yeah Fee-Dell! Fucking talk to me!’
Some girl is high and she’s getting well into this
She’s got a filthy face plastered in makeup
She stumbles on her patent platforms, nearly breaking her ankle to cross the road and dance around and around him,
The cigarette in her hand making little burning circles in the air.