Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Daily walks would lead me down

The tourist laden streets

Where people from all walks of life

Would congregate and meet

Buskers, singers, ne'er do wells

Would work throughout the throngs

But in back of Giannis restaurant

Sat an old man sharing songs

He didn't sing so much as talk

His voice was hoarse with age

But a milk box and an orange crate

Were his table, chair and stage

His instrument, an old guitar

Scarred, battle worn and black

His guitar strap was as old as he

An old potato sack

He sat and played to nobody

He just let the words be there

His audience could be a hundred deep

Sometimes it could be air

His music was his lifes blood

It was everything he had

So he shared it with the people

And the people....they were glad

The tourists, stayed away though

They were more attracted by the flair

Of the buskers and the jugglers

Not this man who wasn't there

He never left to join the crowd

And to sell his songs to those

Who really wanted nothing more

Than to hear some manufactured prose

The people who he played to

Were just others from the street

They worked the bars and restaurants

And at night they'd find a seat

In front of this old bluesman

Sitting by his orange box

Playing his guitar by candle light

Taking in his songs and talks

He sang songs from the heart, I guess

About those who'd he'd met

He'd sing about a dozen songs

That would constitue a set

Then he'd open up his silver flask

And ******* two gulps down

"This here's just my medicine"

"My past lives just to drown"

He sang of Truck Stop Beauty Queens

And of Walks out in the park

He sang of people living life

Not just hiding in the dark

He sang of things so real you'd see

Their pictures in your mind

He'd sing of places and of things

That others would not find

But tourists, they just stayed away

Near the buskers blowing fire

While yards away this old man sat

Just like an old town cryer

His audience would leave a bit

of change for their free show

He never asked for anything

For this was his row to ***

At two though when the street shut down

He closed his show down too

But he always had an extra song

A special one for you

His music came from in his heart

He shared it without fear

For once it left his throat it was

A sound that was so dear

The tourists went to hotels

Once the buskers all went home

But he just moved his crate and box

He slept out here alone

He sang his songs of characters

Who helped make us his life

His words were sometimes gentle

While others cut you like a knife

His world was just that orange crate

And his music helped unfurl

The melodies in this mans mind

It helped him share his world

He knew some things and people that

Would take rather than give

He sang about the street people

Because among them he did live

His home was just a cardboard box

Behind Giannis bar

And if you want to see a real good show

You don't have to go far

It's just a little beaten path

Away from tourist fare

Where this little, old, shy

Bluesman sings to hundreds or the air..
Leiser Poetry Aug 2014
I know that you are always with me. I follow that scent, the calm folded crisp smell of cigars lit on the rainy morning in the streets of Calais. I pass through the art galleries, boat docks, pubs, markets and old churchyard buildings. That scent again? It draws me in and embraces me close into secluded streets. I see friendly faces wearing the same weepy eyes and bright smiles every day. They were buskers, street tramps, just in my eyes fellow lost rebels who I admire. They haven’t yet given up even now their naked without luxury, starved of food and clothing they wander around building up a new home every day.  

Every time the buskers see me they each greet me in turn shake and kiss my hands. I drop a penny down; they play out their beautiful music and sing their songs into the early hours of the evening. The air of the night is surrounded with the distinctive smell of cider and cigars. Outside the docks of boats the pub is festered with local communities drinking and talking about previous nostalgia. People laugh and cheer at the buskers who come into the pubs and applaud even louder when each of them comes on stage. They play, they dance, they rant in their own unique way in time to the guitar and banjo. When the evening is finally over music and laughter without question just stops, I can hear those... heavy awkward whispers, muffled voices and coughs of things left unsaid. At that point each of the smiles of the lost rebels fades out into the night, they know they must face and enter that filthy alley alone forced into the solitude of old cardboard boxes. I thought they did a splendid show and award them money and praise in return some of them come up to compliment and kiss me again.

The next morning I visit the library to indulge in my long lost passion of French poetry but I keep on getting distracted. I pick up on that very dangerous scent of cigars, wine and … aftershave. It was just so intoxicating, the fuel I craved. The aroma got stronger outside, something was around me. I was feeling that someone had just touched my breast, pinched my ******* then started to bite, caress and kiss my back but that feeling had quickly faded out.I sat down, unable to detect anything. I open up an loaned book of poems by Christina Rossetti. Before I could read her first poem, a written letter had fell to the floor. It was encrypted in my name with a place and time. I begun to read it out aloud as if it was some fairy tale enchantment.

The cigar smoke started to rise, embrace and surround me it filled my eyes again. A young man appears at my feet. He is *****, long black hair; smile cheeky but eyes concrete and dreamy when magnified they melt into a fire. I gaze into his piercing green eyes; I can already feel my body heating up and chest feel tenser. We start to greet each with a handshake, he grabs my hand and begins to put each of my fingers into his mouth. Straight away I could feel this urge to share everything with him to plant that warm kiss onto his lips. We start with talking for hours about our previous past, poetry and art. I read out some of the poems in French and he was translating them for me. He asks whether I would want to go Paris with him; he knew the best historic sites to take pictures and then without any hesitation he flashes out two train tickets. A charmer no less, but I feel drawn to follow him hoping he would lead me to more adventure. We both catch a train together from Calais to Paris. He takes me into the French café near his apartment we end up drinking coffee together out in the balcony. He drove me around in his car; we end the day with having a great picnic of red wine, sandwiches, cakes and croissants out in the jardin. We end the first evening having a smoke or two out in the beautiful countryside air. He drops me back to my villa and kisses me slowly on the ears then begins to whisper softly the words k.i.m.m.y into my ear. I could feel the last of his words really start to linger, the final words before leaving me and promising to meet up the next evening outside his own apartment.

I came out the next evening wearing a tight red frock and bright red lipstick on the ****** cobbled streets. We both embrace each other with small kisses on the cheek, walking down with our tongues tied in knots and arms locked together to the local tavern drinking more wine. When it finally got late I was allured to follow him into his apartment a classy one bedroom with a double bed, rose flowers on each window ledge. There is another classy rose wine bottle on the table and a room of old books. We sit on the sofa watching movies, eating chocolate and sipping on wine. My head begins to spin, lose some focus. Could this really be love or was this just another drunken lusting daze? I droop to his shoulders; He recites bits of his own poem, I can’t help but stare into his deep eyes when he reads them, I look up again at his moist lips when he reads out aloud the final words. I yearn to snog him or for at least him to make that first move. I feel dizzy and high on red blooded wine and cigars. I could then feel him starting to kiss the temples of my neck and feel his soft teeth mingle and bite leaving small indented marks on my neck. I draw even closer towards his mouth; I can feel his beard tickle me. I love to taste him, love that aroma! He tastes of dimly lit cigars which mingle with my fruity perfume. At this point I feel that the ember inside surround and heat up my whole body. I want him to really light me up so I can explode into them blue flames. I begin to clench up my body as he bites my neck, we both kiss frantically. He whispers into my ears and begins to nibble on them. We end up huddled up together in bed! The window reflects that the sun is approaching, he sits on top of me staring at me blankly in silence. He takes time to admire my calm sleepy concrete clay features.

He knows that when the sun comes up that everlasting rainbow of color we created together will begin to melt and transform back into monochrome. It just comes to the end. we know we can not argue, we must leave each other. I know I must say the two forbidden words. The very two words that turn me back into this empty corpse. I hate them; I greet him with a long lost embrace, the in-completed hug and the final words to end everything! Bon- Voyage At the same time trying to hold myself together, I leave on that last train, feeling tired and drained but only for a second. The whispers of his voice fill up the station crying out… KIMMY, kimmy... kimmy! . They echo out and embrace me again, they always make me smile.

I catch the last train back to Calais then head off home to stormy England. I never feel sad to leave him or the place behind because I will always remember him. Just as any dying whisper, music of buskers, words of a poem. The bond you share is never really gone it ignites again to finally burn on eternally.
Not a poem or a complete short story yet just a snippet at the moment hoping to work on it at some point but this is my first real attempt of writing a ****** short story so tell me what you think?
Colt Aug 2013
Now sit there, just a minute, hold on, hear my tale
for just a minute.
One of humanity, sincerity, tragedy
Of when I was there, live from the square.
Jackson Square.
Not the one of Coin Coin, the Nevilles, the Toussaints,
Allen or L’Overture.
This is one of a momma and her baby
in 2008.
Three years, three years,
three years after the flood, three years after the storm.
Let me paint you a picture of Orleans as it stood one day in 2008
as it stands today.

2008, NewOrleans:
What happens here, no one will remember in the morning.
The buskers, the tunes, why, even the voodoos get the blues.
Walking towards Bourbon
The lights, the sin, the history

New Orleans, where life ain't so easy.
There’s a family down there who don't survive so peacefully.
You can see them if you walk down Canal St., leisurely.
There, sleeping on the courthouse stairs,
A mother and her child who own only the clothes they wear.
The boy was young, elementary-aged
Curious too, I could hear him ask questions:
"Mama, why don't we got food?"
And her reply,
"Son, that's just the way it is, life's just hard for me and you."
Sitting there on the courthouse stairs.
I take my place on the opposite side of the stoop,
Watching the crowds go by.
The women in their high-heeled shoes
The men with their shirts half-open.
Grenades in hand, ***** in the blood,
Pockets full of cash and hearts full of lust

New Orleans
What happens there, no one will remember come morning.
The buskers, the tunes, why, even the voodoos get the blues.

There’s a family on vacation there
In such a sinful city, a family.
White, middle-class, suburban, all too WASP-y.
mom, dad, a daughter and a son,
elementary aged, with a pop in his cheerful step,
On the way to a nice restaurant
gon’ eat crawfish, gator, red beans and rice, jambalaya.
They’ll forget to tip the waiter.

New Orleans,
What happens here, no one will remember come morning.

That happy family, walking down Canal St.
Like walking out the gates of hell
Where the lost souls sit on the stairs
Begging for something, anything at all
The happy family had ‘bout reached the courthouse when the young boy asked
"Daddy, why don't they have any food?"
His father covered his son’s eyes with his white hand and replied,
"Here son, let's go and find a toy for you to buy."
And the kid shrank after seeing this mom and her son
His innocent eyes died and he said,
"I don't want a toy.  I don't want anything"
They walked on by, the happy boys' head turned the whole time,
those eyes.  Stuck on the family that was stuck on the stairs
Mom dad, a daughter and a son,
Elementary-aged with a slump in his sunken step.

Now, in my mind I wonder:
was it more monumental that my life changed
or that a had life changed before my eyes

New Orleans, two thousand and eight.
New Orleans, today,
what happens there, no one will remember come morning.
The streets will belong to the beggars and buskers
who'll paint the ivory towers red and
take out the old tuskers who sit and scribe laws in
dusty old books..
..here I shall pause,because I'm not sure of what laws.

But these fossils who will us away,
the same who turn night into a much longer day
and don't pay us no wage
are quite sage about this,
they knew that the 'kiss off' would kiss them away and
have made laws to outlaw the coming of that day.

The buskers and beggars can sit playing chequers and
make Kings on the boards
and on the boards of multinationals where they can
rationalise it all,
they'll make more ivory towers to refill more empty spaces
and more laws to put beggars and buskers
in their places.

But we are used to this krap and so
we sing or we busk for a penny
in our flat cap
and the streets remain the same,
it's just the name that
changes.
Going down to Festival Park, just to see the sights

Neve know what you might see, It changes every night

Buskers, dancers, singers too, kids with faces painted

Pickpockets, con men and others who, live life by methods tainted

A hundred years ago or so the park was then donated

The family Billings, gave the land and their lovely gift was feted

Every year a party held in honour of the Billings

Until that time in fifty one, when the town had all those killings

No one in the town that year was safe while he was out there

He didn't pick just one set type, he didn't seem to care

Couples parked in cars at night at the far end of the park

It wasn't a safe place to be, especially after dark

Two men were found with bullet wounds, dead upon a bench

The Wylie boy was found because a dog had liked the stench

Yourng Tommy Wylie, 12 years old, was found behind the boat shed

The only thing to tie his case was the bullet in the head

The park though nice in daylight, at night became a veldt

Everyone was scared to death, that;s the way the whole town felt

A young man by the cenothaph and two more by the lake

The police had no clear suspect, they needed a mistake

The party at the park was stopped and other functions too

For the killer could be from this town, and who nobody knew

Eleven deaths in that dark summer put the town upon the map

Tourists would not visit, they would not come to his trap

The police were inundated with phone calls far and wide

People turning in everyone and making others hide

A task force was assembled, 30 cops from out of state

They had to find this killer before it was too late

While they interviewed the suspects the park had no events

You could go on through in daytime, but it still made one feel tense

The city added lighting to walkways and no luck

The only thing it added was taxes went up a buck

No other killings happened until that one in sixty two

It was just like all the others, so they thought that they knew who

Was back in town gone hunting, but there only was that one

A young man in his rambler, sitting drinking in the sun

The task force was abandoned back in fifty five

But after this last ******, they called back only five

This time it would be different, this time they'd get their man

Technolgy had changed alot, he'd be caught before he ran

A shell casing was found beside the wall down by the bridge

And it had a print upon it, they identified the ridge

Years ago they'd interviewed about three hundred men

But with this single ridge print, it was narrowed down to ten

Eight were dead and one left town, so with only one to find

A dragnet and a takedown plan were carefully designed

They knew that he'd be running if they called him back to talk

And they couldn't risk to lose him, or their whole case would walk

So with some misinformation printed in a column in the post

They hoped they flush their suspect, the one they wanted most

They said they'd made the capture, confessing every crime

They would take away his thunder, dropping hints on every crime

But, they would omit one last case, the one he started with

For this was information that they wanted him to give

It worked, he dropped a letter to the paper that same week

Threatening to strike again, and the first case he did leak

In his anger and his hurry he would leave another clue

They found another print to help them out and with this they had two

They swooped in and arrested a man of no abode

He lived in city missions he had no moral code

His capture freed the city from the monster in the park

It was now a place where you could go, and feel safe after dark

The festival committee for the city planned a fete

The victims of this monster, their lives they'd celebrate

A monument to those who died would be erected in their honor

And the whole thing would be organized by the Mayor...Mayor John B Connor

The names were read of each victim and then two minutes silence reigned

And a wreath for every family involved, these then were laid

New trees were planted for them all in a corner near a wall

And the park would schedule new events and brand new festivals

But, every year on this same day, on the tenth day of month ten

They would hold a special service for these women and these men

The park was now a joyous place, like it was meant to be

And if you're there, out by the wall...then you just might locate me.
.
Phil Lindsey Jun 2015
It ain’t too bad to be from there
Just ask my family and friends
But it’s too flat, ain’t no way out
The roads are all dead ends.
Sometime soon I’ll find a place
Where the music I’ll enjoy
But for now I keep on tryin’
To escape from Illinois!

There’s a river on the border west
That moves a lot of dirt
Mighty Muddy Mississipp
Drowns the pain and covers hurt
Yeah, I’m movin’ south to New Orleans
Maybe I can find employ
In a blues bar down on Bourbon Street
Escape from Illinois!

Well I stopped a week along the way
When I saw the Gateway Arch.
But the folks out by the airport
Were stagin’ up a march.
Seems a white cop fired a shot that killed
An unarmed teenage boy
Oh yeah, the teenage boy was black,
Escape from Illinois.

Kept walkin’ to the Landing
(Named for Pierre Laclede)
It has most every thing you want
But nothing that you need
Some travelin’ folk told me some news
That made me jump for joy
Memphis maybe had some work
Escape from Illinois!

Found the haunted house called Graceland
And the grave where Elvis lay
Where half a million go each year
(Fifteen thousand every day)
They all want to pay respects
To the rockin’ – rollin’ boy
Put their finger in the bullet holes
Escape from Illinois.

Went downtown, knocked on some doors
Once or twice I went inside
But Beale Street was broken
The travelin’ folks had lied.
‘Cuz there ain’t no jobs in Memphis,
Or maybe I’m too coy
So I hitched a ride to Nashville
Escape from Illinois.

Nashville’s a big old meltin’ ***
Lots of great ones started here
But most end up as tourists
Getting’ ****** and drinkin’ beer
So money’s at a premium
And fame’s a fake decoy
End up workin’ in a record store
Escape from Illinois?

From Asheville to Atlanta
From Austin to LA
From Biloxi back to Baton Rouge
Need a place where I can play
I’ll follow all the buskers,
Form a musical convoy
Livin’ day by day and town by town
Escape from Illinois!

I’m a minstrel, like a rubber band
I keep on snappin’ back
I’m gonna make it somewhere
Singing somewhere, that’s a fact
Got my guitar and my music
Gotta do what I enjoy
Find a place to sing my songs for you,
Hell, it may be Illinois!
Phil Lindsey  6/4/15
Dedicated to my Nephew, Peter
Chelsea Avendano Mar 2013
We've got bagpipes and buskers,
cannons, and clip.
Lots of marijuana, and tons of tall ships.
Plenty of seafood, and point pleasent park.
It looks pretty lame, until the streets become dark.
Weve got the Citadel hill, and pavilion kids.
lockups, and lockdown. All things that we did.
Plenty of days, where we fell on our *** ,
smokin dope in the glade, and layin on grass.
With colt 45, and 151.
Alexander keiths, and malibou ***.
Weve all jumped a fence, and swam chocolate lake.
No other province could handle the risks that we take.
Cause were crazy,obviously, were maritimers.
Dartmouth, and spryfeild.. Hell, our schools are the worst.
But its halifax, Nova scotia.
We do it our way.
Live like the east coast,
Cause i do everyday.
Back behind Gianni's bar
The Bluesman sings his tunes
To all the local n'er do wells
And to the stars and to the moon

His voice is coarse as forty grit
His playing smooths it out
He plays upon an orange crate
Comfort is not what he's about

Bluesman, Bluesman play a song
One sung just for me
One that paints pictures in my head
A song that I can see

Buskers, lined the concourse
The street where he was not
This was just a place for tourist fare
He was where the world forgot

His tunes were sung for no one but
Himself and to the air
Out front, that was another world
Bluesman, did not live out there

A crowd has gathered slowly
More of a group, than a real crowd
They heard about the bluesman
And out front was too **** loud

In back, you heard the feelings
Felt the music, heard the strings
You experienced the atmosphere
That a good old bluesman brings

Out of the crowd of fandom
Working his way through the mass
Was a young, tousled haired boy
Everybody let him pass

He rocked in one position
He felt the music ebb and flow
He looked where the notes were airborne
He saw the music go

The bluesman sat and watched him
playing stories, telling tales
Of drunks in old Las Vegas
And of sailors fighting gales

the young boy stood and rocked some
always looking at the air
He wasn't looking at the bluesman
He didn't know that he was there

He walked up to the old man
staring out into the space
that streamed the bluesmans music
right into the young boys face

the bluesman watched intently
As the young lad touched his hand
And he held the bluesmans old guitar
He became a member of the band

The boy moved even closer
If that were possible at all
He was feeling the sweet music
He was having quite a ball

The crowd watched as the bluesman
and the boy became as one
The boy resting his head now
On the guitar, having fun

He couldn't see the bluesman
But the music, it was there
The boy was blind, autistic
He saw the notes that filled the air

The bluesman kept on playing
For that was what the bluesman did
He was playing for the starry sky
And for this wondrous little kid

His mother came and held him
She took the bluesman by the hand
She said thank you for the music
For letting him be in your band

In a voice as smooth as Bourbon
The bluesman told her that her son
Could come and feel the music
The music makes us one

Bluesman, Bluesman play a song
One that's only just for me
Bluesman, Bluesman play a song
That only I can see....
Tyler Nicholas Jun 2013
Holy Spirits
flow freely
like the Mississippi
down the border
of Mississippi.
The girls with
the purple party beads
and the sax buskers
on the brown streetcars
drink through their
Mardi Gras,
down streetcars named Desire.

Holy Spirits
flow freely
like the slow jams
from the Apollo
during Locke's Renaissance.
The young gangsters
down every block
drop their
fists sticks knives guns
and shake to albee.

Holy Spirits
move through
vast cathedrals
and through
empty pews.
The zealous hearts
and the corrupt voices
all drink
and listen
to the voice
of the serpent.
everything about it
the raising waves of sound
and the pluck of the violin
the fiddling fingers on the mandolin
and the swell of the drums

his voice bows like a singing saw
and curls down into the depths of his own feeling
and art not only in the poetry
but poetry in the very sound
i want to see the things you see
             because i like the way you breathe

it pulls a soul onto its toes
both of the mind
and of the feet
and sends it dashing down the snowy roads lined by broken corn stalks
and gray buildings
and fairy lights of the city
brings us one with the buskers
and into the hearts
of every other person
who has heard it

my god, it has made us into a pool of humanity
each soul touching
in ways deeper than this
to my dear violins
and violas
and basses
and mandolins
and drummers
thank you for the gift
of sound
Nigel Morgan Sep 2012
Just taking time out to see who's on the park. Been here for a while and there are a few guys who know what the board's for. There's a lad from Deptford who can turn a neat Olley on a Grind. Bit of a curiosity with my long board and northern street style. Had a couple of skate offs and found where the cracks are. Pulled the shoulder AGAIN but nothing serious. Thought there might be the odd ramp here seeing as it's London, the South Bank and all.

Been working on my rotationals. Three Sixty is just fine but the Five Forty is ****. I don't think any of these guys here know what a One Seventy is. Well they do now.

Nobody here seems to skate off-park even though there are some well good grind rails and step jumps. Too many people about I suppose.

 Saw this lass hitting Toe Edge to Heal Edge turns - VERY bright. Wappo better watch out! She's got him covered. The guys from Wakey would probably clean up down here, but we're guerilla skaters and would probably have the 'ol blue boys on our backs if we did the business. Maybe we should do a recce one weekend? Sleep on my sister's floor.

Reckon Paris is better though - there's those parcours guys about to show you the space. When my Dad goes to Centre Pompidou there's all these great buskers - some serious ****. Nobody playing anything round here.

Ok back to the park and a few Primos I reckon. Seen no one doing a glimmer of a Rail Stand so time to clean up a bit.
My son is a sk8t . . .
Thomas Thurman Nov 2010
I watched from Farringdon as Satan fell;
I’ve battled for my soul at Leicester Square;
I’ve laid a ghost with Oystercard and bell;
I’ve tracked the wolf of Wembley to his lair;
I’ve drawn Heathrow’s enchantment in rotation;
at Bank I played the devil for his fare;
I laugh at lesser modes of transportation.
I change at Aldgate East because it’s there.

The Waterloo and City cast its spell;
I watched it slip away, and could not care,
the Northern Line descending into hell
until King’s Cross was more than I could bear;
he left me there in fear for my salvation,
a Mansion House in heaven to prepare:
so why return to any lesser station?
I change at Aldgate East because it’s there.

Three days beneath the earth in stench and smell
I lay, and let the enemy beware:
I learned the truth of tales the children tell:
an Angel plucked me homeward by the hair,
to glory from the depths of condemnation,
to where I started long ago from where
I missed my stop through long procrastination.
I change at Aldgate East because it’s there.

Prince of the buskers, sing your new creation:
the change you ask is more than I can spare;
a change of spirit, soul, imagination.
I change at Aldgate East because it’s there.
Bother, I've got it wrong again. Ballades are ababbcbc, not ababcbcb. I think this can be saved anyway.

— The End —