George Howard

Rookie - 0 Points (14.02.53 / Pontefract (Broken Bridge) , UK)

The Grey Man - Poem by George Howard

He sits in the corner, or stands, with a slight swagger.

An invisible man, a grey man. Not a ten pint bragger.

He smiles quite politely at everyone’s jokes.

He sits by himself, outside were he smokes.

He’s no Brad Pitt and he’s not some other superstar.

But if you look at him closely there’s ‘ je ne sais qua’



He dresses quite smartly in suits not in jeans.

He could be a man of incredible means!

No one will know though, no one will ask.

Moving without complaint, when pushed. Not a task.

He sips down his lager then brandy, perhaps gin.

A haze on his face, with a lopsided grin.



The barman shouts “Time please! ” As he empties the trays.

The grey man in stupor, blurred thoughts of better days.

Staggers out of the doorway and off down the street.

Down towards home and whatever to meet.

He reaches his castle, his safe sanctuary.

And he opens his fridge, no food, “I know pantry! ”



There’s nothing in there though, at least nothing to eat.

Maybe some crackers or tinned processed meat.

“Now just wait a moment what’s this I espy? ”

He lifts out the bottle with a jubilant cry.

“I’d forgotten about you my dearest best friend.

How could I ere forget you? When you help me no end.”



He pours out the whiskey he’d bought just that eve.

A promise when buying it “’until Christmas I’ll leave! ”

“I’ll just have a stiffener. A nightcap or two”

“What’s that? Who’s talking? What’s it got to do with you? ”

He empties the bottle, slips into the dark, makes a terrible racket.

Hitting his head, splitting his nose. Tearing his shirt and spewing on his jacket.



“I wonder what his name is? He’s been laid here some time!

No sign of a family. No sign of a break in, nor crime.

He’s lived all alone here, you can tell by the mess.

Had a bad drink problem, by the bottles I’d guess!

Dressed rather sharply though. Kept himself clean.

No valuables or trinkets or luxury goods to be seen.”



“Ah well! Bag ‘im ‘n’ tag ‘im, John Doe, if you would? ”

“Why they get in this state, I’ve never understood! ”

Off drove the officials without a second thought on their mind.

As to what kind of life he had. Was he mean? Was he kind?

Just another body count another ‘Joe’, on the slab.

Another statistic, another headline in a local Tab.



He sits in the corner, or stands, with a slight swagger.

A grey man, an invisible man. Not a ten pint bragger.

If you turn around slowly and look to your right.

Take it easy and heed me, for you may get a fright!

Carefully look in the mirror, and what do you see

Now what colour suit is that, Grey man? Tell me!


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010



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