Alan Strand

(February 18,1953 / Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Six Up! The Beat Men


Six up! Here they come!
The black leather boots
Of the beat men,
Braving the weather
All day and all night
Walking the wretched streets,
Stench-filled lanes,
Darting into smoky bars
In seedy hotels
Where misery lives
In neon’s pale shadows
And decency is at best-
An unexpected guest.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
Bold as can be
With eyes of an eagle
And talons to boot,
The blue tide slides
Ahead of the beat men,
For few really want
The status of a rat
There’s skid road poison
To take care of that,
Don’t cross the line
Mess with street justice
Just do your time
On these lean, mean streets.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
The boys in blue
Hide the drugs,
Knives, and boosted stuff too
For they are looking
To take you down
Don’t try and run away
Unless you’ve wronged
Your fellow man,
Is there blood on your hands
And shame in your heart?
Then turn yourself in
And grab a new start.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator,
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
They’re men on a mission
Slamming the damned,
Collaring the crooks,
Picking up the drunks,
As societies’ babysitters.
Defending the weak
Protecting the poor,
Creating the peace
Making it safe
In this dope-fed place,
Watch tweakers dance
As crack pipes glow-
It’s a Carnival show.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator,
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
With hands in their pockets
Flashin’ a smile
Though death keeps knockin’
Off their drug-sick flock
While the devil morphs
They stop to talk
But not their eyes,
They pause on vomit-
And blood-stained walks
Under garish lights
That makes ghouls
Of the walking dead.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator,
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
Always in pairs,
Look, a man’s in cuffs
Bleeding from the head
He’s had far worse,
‘Cause it’s bloody pride
His badge of honour
Paraded past the gauntlet
Of the morbidly curious,
“Better him than me”
They say, as they swig
And dig and puff and
Stuff needles into flesh.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator,
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
The cocksure crew
Don’t mess with them
The living conscience
Of crimes committed
Don’t you remember?
Hell no, you won’t go
Do time, not for those punks
In stark, dark, blue,
Those beat men
Sure you’ll “Cap their ass”
“Mess them up real good”
Slap! Reality hits you hard.

Walking the beat
They are the predator’s predator,
Giving you a grin or a steely look.

Six up! Here they come!
Looking to book ya
Yah, you’ve done no wrong
It’s a ‘bad rap’ sure,
Heard it all before
Smashing ’em in the head
Just ‘settling the score’,
Try shouting and screaming
But don’t be spitting
Your venom their way
Or they’ll send you to jail-
For they are the beat men.

(My retirement poem, Vancouver's Skid Road,2003/04/26)

Submitted: Saturday, October 15, 2011

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