He is from grey gales and the smell of manure made rich with death. He holds a sleeping bag while he walks: hopes to meet the owner of another, though he doubts he ever will.

He is from flat fields and marshes, where small animals hide in ditches and the ears of the mad March hare are flattened in anticipation of storms.

He is from farms which dot the landscape in congregations of humanity, where some strangers are welcomed. Many more are cast away.

He reaps harvests of wheat and corn: roots buried deep, feeding the flesh on dead menís chests. He feels the faint stirrings of desire as he breaths earthís rotting flavours. He salivates and gags as bile belonging to a far-off place floods his throat.

He is from woodland:  sparse in these parts, but appearing boldly on the flat horizon like a pile of cigarette ash on a Formica-topped table.

He is from bracken-lined tracks, leading to towns and cities of no concern. He feeds his tobacco addiction by rolling dried grasses. His liking for liquor by stewing mushrooms raised on moonshine.

He is from memories of secret bars where the call of the wild existed in missile shelters, bereft homes and abandoned factories.

His dreams still disturb him. So he walks, walks and walks, though mud and rain, sun and hail. He shelters in slanting churchyards when the need for company arises. He shares his thoughts with stone cherubs weeping tears of ice in wintersí frosts.

He wants for nothing; lives his days in stories that were never told, around crackling fires that were never lit.

Andrea Bowd

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Andrea Bowd would be pleased to hear them.