I was in town today. I popped in to see if any of the local record shops had gotten in some good vinyl and on my way I decided to check out the Oxfam Shop in Parliment Street. While I was walking up the quays just before Capel Street bridge I noticed a sign outside a pub which read , ” Rooftop Market”. I went in and climbed up a flight of stairs and found myself in an empty room with paintings on the walls. It was a bit like something out of Dickens , very old , dark with a fire burning in an old-fashioned fireplace and what I think was a bar just inside the door. Beyond that it was just an empty room. Off that room on the right was another smaller room with about 7 or 8 stalls selling jewelry and brick- a -brack. – – And there he was. A young boy/youth sitting behind a table upon which sat a little red typewriter and a little notice to say that he was selling poems. I don’t know how old he was , perhaps 16 or thereabouts. I’m very bad at judging age but to me he seemed just a boy. I had wandered in there hoping there might be some old records and as I didn’t see any I left and went on my way. I managed to pick up a copy of Louis Stewart’s Louis The First ( I already have 4 or 5 copies of the LP) and a couple of Columbia silver/white labels which are quite collectible. I was going to go straight home at this point when I thought about the boy selling the poems so I went back to the Rooftop Market and there he was sitting there behind his little table with the red typewriter in from of him. I told him I had a blog called The Man With No Friends and he just smiled and said , “I’m sorry”. I told him I wanted a poem for my blog and he asked did I want it dedicated to anyone. I said it was for no one in particular , just for my blog. Without hesitating he started to type. He had long delicate looking fingers and with these he proceeded to peck at the typewriter. Peck , peck , peck……The other stall holders looked at him as he worked and it was very quiet apart from the peck , peck peck of his little machine. Three minute later he handed me a poem and I gave him 10 euros……
When I got home I made a cup of coffee and put on my Louis Stewart record then sat down and took out the poem. Here it is just as it was written…….
The Man with No Friends
He walks alone,
Untouched by the physical,
The shrieks and cries of the world,
Wash over him like yet another rain storm,
Yet another blizzard.
Still , onwards , he walks,
Company in the rhythm of his steps,
His thoughts and feelings
Broadcast across the internet,
Picked up by fellow travelers,
Weary of their interaction.
The young poets name is Stephen Clare. I quite like this little poem. It is not perfect but considering the circumstance its not bad at all…..in fact it is rather good. I like the idea of a young man/boy sitting behind his old-school portable typewriter in an old room in an old house selling poems to passing strangers. It gives me hope that the world has not entirely gone to hell……. So there you are , you never know what the day holds , what little adventures awaits you…