Treasure Island

Valsa George


A Rag Picker


Sometime after mid night, it had rained
Putting out summer’s sultry heat
The sky had its face washed clean
And wiped the grime off Earth’s soiled feet

The dawn is quietly breaking
Night lights still glimmer here and there
The blue firmament remains cloudless
And cool is the mild blowing air

The sleeping town is slowly waking up
And at this transitional point
I look out into the street
To see a sight that shall never disappoint

Along the road moves one, ragged and withered
His discolored white hair left unkempt
With hunch back and drooping shoulders
The marks Time has left of the hard years spent

Though age has drained his life sap away
He has a firm resolve never to beg
His frail body supported on a stick
Serves as a veritable third leg

With his staff, he perseveringly stirs
Every heap of abandoned rubbish
Indiscriminately piled on either side of the road
Hunting for trinkets lying hidden in the trash

A rag picker with a sack on his back
Picking up today’s treasure
From yesterday’s discarded trash
Things, for him ‘priceless’ beyond measure

With complaints none
He faces life and its trials
Never losing the glitter in his eyes
Though a loner in life’s dark isles

I ask myself, why every day
I routinely look for this man who limps along
And I get a quick answer
‘He helps you turn your sobs into a song’

Submitted: Monday, April 07, 2014
Edited: Monday, April 07, 2014

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Topic(s): life

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Comments about this poem (A Rag Picker by Valsa George )

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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (5/15/2014 3:20:00 AM)

    Deep sympathy and observation of the depressed and compassion in deeper mind I think came into a poem of the rag picker which I repeated in reading and its word vibration and accuracy felt it so great and wonderful. (Report) Reply

  • Tajudeen Shah (5/9/2014 9:25:00 AM)

    A very close observation has resulted in such a wonderful creation that keeps resounding within soul-walls.. as feeble sobbing or painful imploring or what... can't make out yet, but this particular 'rag picker' moves drooping.. propped on a shabby shaven staff into some shaded track of destiny, it seems to me. Your soul and pen has done proved its mastery once again, i 'm sure. God Bless. (Report) Reply

  • Kanav Justa (4/22/2014 3:53:00 AM)

    , , , i have no words for this poem, , , , , leaves me speechless, , , , , and what a perfect ending to this poem, , , , , your story turns my sobs into a song as well, , ,
    I LOVE THIS POEM, , , , , , (Report) Reply

  • Geetha Jayakumar (4/21/2014 2:24:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem Valsa. Wonderful lines...

    A rag picker with a sack on his back
    Picking up today’s treasure
    From yesterday’s discarded trash
    Things, for him ‘priceless’ beyond measure...

    Ending with captivating line..very true said...
    He helps you turn your sobs into a song’....I loved reading each lines...you have captured very well the life of ragpicker...I also wrote long back on ragpicker, but incomplete yet, so I didnt post till now.
    Loved reading it. (Report) Reply

  • Nika Mcguin (4/14/2014 12:47:00 PM)

    This is beautiful Valsa! Picking up today’s treasure/From yesterday’s discarded trash these are striking lines indeed, there's something profound about this sort of action, though its one that would make many people cringe. And the verse as also lovely, especially the line ‘He helps you turn your sobs into a song.’ We're all here for a reason, so who knows if we might be this for someone. On another level though, it's not realizing how lucky we are until we see someone less fortunate, yet they're more resilient than us! I guess it just goes to show, life really is what you make it.

    Another poema perfecto ^^
    ~Nika (Report) Reply

  • Dinesh Nair (4/12/2014 8:27:00 PM)

    This rag picker may first wet our eyes and dry our hearts. But then he instills a feeling of hope and direction.In the highly duplicated world of smaller and insignificant identities these sharp original sketches bear the shades of introspection for many of us.I often wonder however, why man alone is ill fated to have such contrasting phases in life. A poem that can linger about our thoughts even after many rains and mornings.Here goes my 10 for you madam. (Report) Reply

  • Rishabh Bidya (4/12/2014 10:36:00 AM)

    A great narration. Many times, I've felt for people from this class of our society. They rarely get the treatment they deserve. (Report) Reply

  • Hazel Durham (4/12/2014 10:31:00 AM)

    A life of simplicity and acceptance of knowing who he is as a rag picker looking for treasure in the trash, he is rich in not having to dance to any tune, he writes his own song that is about a free spirit who doesn't conform to societies rules!
    Such a beautiful, haunting account of his daily life with superb lines! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rajesh Thankappan (4/12/2014 3:25:00 AM)

    A rag picker with a sack on his back
    Picking up today’s treasure
    From yesterday’s discarded trash
    Things, for him ‘priceless’ beyond measure

    I ask myself, why every day
    I routinely look for this man who limps along
    And I get a quick answer
    ‘He helps you turn your sobs into a song’

    This is a touching poem with great emotional insight. Let me stand up and applaud you! (Report) Reply

  • Marie Shine (4/11/2014 7:57:00 AM)

    I just love this excellent penning, Valsa! Exquisitely, you narrate the story of a very beautiful spirit trapped within the body of a human being - an Angel in disguise! The deprivation of poverty, the lack of Ego, the abandonment of dignity, are all highlighted through excellent word choice in this extremely poignant inking. The imagery is haunting, it will remain in my mind long after I have read your poem, dear. This is a beautiful tribute to the lovely gentleman who inspired it and I wish you could recite it to him one day, evening. It would bring tears to his eyes to know that he had inspired you, but it would also give him back a little of the dignity which he has lost along The Path Of Life, through its misfortunes. A privilege to read, dear Valsa! Thank you for sharing. Blessings for a very lovely, happy, peaceful, relaxed weekend - enjoy! (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (4/11/2014 3:38:00 AM)

    Yash... I feel proud and happy about you... not because you sang a song of praise on my poem.... but because of the heightened vision of life you have developed at this tender age. A young group humane enough to see the
    suffering of the marginalized and the deprived with empathy and is willing to atone for the indifference and insensitiveness of many others is indeed a promise to the future! Though perhaps we may not be able to do much for them....... yet an attitude of sympathy, of compassionate love will go a long way in changing the attitude of a generation that counts a man's worth only in terms of riches and possessions! Thanks!

    Shahzia, I feel honoured in adding this poem to your favourite list..... Thank you so much! (Report) Reply

  • Shahzia Batool (4/11/2014 12:25:00 AM)

    I ask myself, why every day
    I routinely look for this man who limps along
    And I get a quick answer
    ‘He helps you turn your sobs into a song’....

    it goes to my poem-list! (Report) Reply

  • Yash Shinde (4/10/2014 1:36:00 PM)

    I am again here to review this wonderful piece....But I fear I may not do justice with your efforts! ..................
    Rag pickers, are a prominent part of our society, though they do, the so called-Lowly work or scavenging, his worth is known to mankind, but then too, he is rewarded with inhumanity.............
    Since yore people have been borrowing words of wisdom and advice from saints, prophets and teachers, but even a poor rag picker can teach you values like self-respect and pride.............
    .....He teaches you not to complain in life, and reward each person with gratitude and smile................for every rag he dwells upon, he thanks people who left it for him, , , , , , , ...........he has survived the torture of time, and his self-respect doesn't allow him to beg.............................
    .......******.If the poor fellow could read he would bow and kiss your legs Valsa., ......Not appreciating this poetry is injustice to my poetic ability................none could spot the values of life in a frail rag picker, ...........Its you who looked out for a person, whom the people consider an eye sore.....................salute****** (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (4/10/2014 10:48:00 AM)

    Living on the fringes of time
    There are many such as these
    Whom nobody helps or cares
    And this attitude is our biggest disease........

    Quite picturesque and written with true feeling (Report) Reply

  • Diane Hine (4/10/2014 4:47:00 AM)

    An unstinting attention to detail crafts a vivid picture with a surprise turn at the end. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Sebastian (4/9/2014 11:19:00 PM)

    A poignant poem mirroring we sometimes are and this man can open our eyes of love, care and hope.
    Great write, Valsa! Keep on opening our eyes to the truth of life! (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (4/8/2014 8:40:00 AM)

    ......dear valsa, sure yash is right...I love all of the poem... and so far every poem of yours I have read...I truly love...you never fail to disappoint me......when I read the first stanza, these two lines in particular
    ~The sky had its face washed clean
    And wiped the grime off Earth’s soiled feet
    .........I felt happiness and glee... (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (4/8/2014 1:07:00 AM)

    Yash, do you mean to say that you liked all the lines...? I feel honoured! Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Yash Shinde (4/7/2014 1:48:00 PM)

    Sometime after mid night, it had rained
    Putting out summer’s sultry heat
    The sky had its face washed clean
    And wiped the grime off Earth’s soiled feet

    The dawn is quietly breaking
    Night lights still glimmer here and there
    The blue firmament remains cloudless
    And cool is the mild blowing air

    The sleeping town is slowly waking up
    And at this transitional point
    I look out into the street
    To see a sight that shall never disappoint

    Along the road moves one, ragged and withered
    His discolored white hair left unkempt
    With hunch back and drooping shoulders
    The marks Time has left of the hard years spent

    Though age has drained his life sap away
    He has a firm resolve never to beg
    His frail body supported on a stick
    Serves as a veritable third leg

    With his staff, he perseveringly stirs
    Every heap of abandoned rubbish
    Indiscriminately piled on either side of the road
    Hunting for trinkets lying hidden in the trash

    A rag picker with a sack on his back
    Picking up today’s treasure
    From yesterday’s discarded trash
    Things, for him ‘priceless’ beyond measure

    With complaints none
    He faces life and its trials
    Never losing the glitter in his eyes
    Though a loner in life’s dark isles

    I ask myself, why every day
    I routinely look for this man who limps along
    And I get a quick answer
    ‘He helps you turn your sobs into a song’......................these are the best lines of the poem....... : -) .........A lovely poignant write, I am humbled by his self-respect, .he'll die but he'll never beg...............this is a jewel in my fav poems directory! ............ (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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