Francesca Johnson

Rookie (I'm a metal tiger - there's your clue / Europe)

Old Ted Of The Cut - Poem by Francesca Johnson

You don’t want to talk to Old Ted!
He has a bite almost as ferocious as his Rottweiler.
People give him a wide berth as they pass
His rotting old narrowboat,
Rusting and uncared for.
Just like Old Ted.
Blackened portholes adorn the sides
And a collection of old pieces of metal
Lie gathering dust and cobwebs
On his stern deck.
He emerges into the sunshine
At regular intervals
To move pieces about and clutter up
The towpath.
Addressed with a “Good morning”
Old Ted will look right through you,
With mad eyes and down-turned mouth
And mumble some obscenity,
His dirty skin and grubby grey clothes
Making the passer-by move more quickly
Stepping gingerly past the thick-necked dog,
As quietly as they can.
Seen only to leave when hunger gets the better of him
Or to urinate in the bushes
Old Ted is left alone.
Was he ever someone’s son?

Comments about Old Ted Of The Cut by Francesca Johnson

  • (10/14/2007 2:52:00 AM)

    Fascinating. I wonder what he dreams about.
    Ez X

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/30/2007 3:14:00 PM)

    Astute observation that gives rise to a great piece of characterisation - I think we may all have come across someone with attributes like Old Ted's. A vivid portrayal that conveys your understanding of human nature. Justine x (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/29/2007 9:20:00 PM)

    Poor old Ted - hanging on so tightly to his rage. Great description and the last line adds a touch of humanity - which lifts the poem, beautifully. love, Allie xxxxxxxxx (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/29/2007 3:23:00 PM)

    Francesca, I think I know an 'Old Ted' who was not only a son but also a father. In fact my paternal grandfather. Which in effect means I don't know him all that well. Yet you have described him with great clarity. Thank you for that! Regards, Ivan (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/29/2007 7:45:00 AM)

    Francesca, Ahhh poor Ted, unloved by anyone. Such a sad tale, but so beautifully written down. The observation and detail always pristine. Top marks and thanks for sharing it my friend.

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/29/2007 7:20:00 AM)

    Poor Ted, perhaps his lover left him, or he was a bandoned as a child. Nice observation Francesca, perhaps you should tell him you've immortalised him on the internet. I gave you a ten for caring. Bob (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 6 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 29, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[Report Error]