Poet/Bum Poem by Richard Jarboe


There's a thin line between the poet and the bum,
Usually both are broke,
In boxing circles, there's the bum of the month,
And like the poet, considered a joke.

For instance, a poet has to fight for respect,
Like any boxer risking his neck,
The poet fights with words he understands,
The boxer fights with his hands.

Neither fighter can afford to be afraid,
Taking a hit from a move delayed,
Clobbered by critics, or clobbered in the ring,
Can sting.

As remote as it may sound,
They both have to survive the round,
Neither wants to remain the tramp,
Both would choose to be the champ.

They exist on a parallel track,
With no time to look back,
They touch gloves with Heaven and Hell,
In an endless fight till the final bell.

Martin O'Neill 25 January 2012

I was utterly useless at boxing due to my short sightedness and tendency to use karate moves when getting hammered, like a swift kick in the crotch. My enforced army boxing career lasted about 2 minutes! Criticism of my poetry however tends to be by people beyond arms' length. Dammit.

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Mamta Agarwal 18 January 2012

fresh perspective, intersting parellel, like the closing lines

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Karen Riggs 16 January 2012

Great ryming scheme. Good piece. Thanks for sharing. I will read more of your work.

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