Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HIS STORY, by JOHN PHILIP BURKE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
HIS STORY, by            
First Line: My name?' (he was wizened and wrinkled and grey
Last Line: "can you lend me a bob for a rum?"
Alternate Author Name(s): B., J. P.
Subject(s): Drinks & Drinking; Names; Story-telling; Wine

"My name?" (He was wizened and wrinkled and grey,
And poverty-painted and old;
His dirt-armoured head on his blanket he lay,
And this is the tale that he told:)

"Well, boss" (and he straightened his back bent with years,
And his tangled hair waved in the breeze,
The wind whistled in through the caves of his ears
And the splits of his pants at the knees.

His bluey was coiled like a boarding-house duff,
And his billy-can stood at its side;
His jumper, worn through—the original stuff
Was cobbled with moleskin and hide.)

"My name" (and he drew forth a whip from the swag,
And shook out the knots from the strands
That yet were unplaited) "is Tommy the Lag"—
Then carefully spat on his hands.

The yarn seemed to hang, so I threw him a plug,
And his eye brightened up in a trice;
Beatitude played round the sundowner's mug,
And his jaws went to work like a vice.

Tobacco juice trickled in drops from his chin
And fell on the hair of his breast,
It seemed to transport him from damper and sin
To a land of ineffable rest.

I thought it quite likely he'd chew for a week,
As he plainly took time by the year;
When, listlessly hooking the plug from his cheek
And inserting the same in his ear,

He motioned me near, with a jerk of his head,
To a seat at the foot of the tree—
A stringybark, all but a branch or two dead;
It was just such a ruin as he.

I waited, expecting to hear from the "vag".
Some old tale of our criminal scum;
But he just grunted out: "Yes, I'm Tommy the Lag—
Can you lend me a bob for a rum?"

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net