Another Sunday Morning

He slouched paralytic across the kerbside gutter

With the pavement as comfortable a pillow

As any he knows at the best of times,

And half-covered with wraps of a City Late,

Then momentarily hidden by scavenging pigeons

Looking for scraps on this God-forsaken city square.


Just one of us,

And but for the grace of God...

Sodden specimen of humanity

Who sleeps in comfort amid pigeon-droppings,

And wakes to a breakfast of brandy and coke

If there's any left.


Christ-the-King is ringing - the final call

As the honeymoon couple slip across the paving

In their best, their once-in-a-lifetime going-away suits,

And seeing one of us in tattered rags and plastic bags

Smile lovingly (at each other of course)

But rush off to find a pew - already a minute late.


A short and narrow-sighted standard-bearer

Heads the heaven-bound Army through the silent square.

Dressing by the left, covering off, yet eyes on the stave

This self-contained squad march in strictest harmony

Playing one-three-nine at the five beat roll

And a left, left, left - resplendent concentration.


But the drunk lies undisturbed - and unobserved

Through both the verses - drums and all.

Only the persistent hoot of the squad-car on beat

Rouses him to his hangover.

And if he hadn't, being tossed into the van

Certainly would have - poor chap.


June 1971