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Ballad: Just another odd guy

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Ballad: Just another odd guy

Ballad : Just another odd guy*

He was just another odd guy
   With a self-abnegating smile
He spun no known wilful ploy
   Enough – just look at him a while

Others came to camp by the Seine
   And watch the folks saunter by
His place by the Pont , it was plain
   No one ever wished to occupy

He made no show of his wild child’s face
   Querying side-boards curled round ears
Nor no look of pain would surface
   From behind the mask’s ravaged years

He was just another odd guy
With a self-abnegating smile

Meek children looked him in the eye
   Where some gleam of mutual ties shone
Babies blinked hardly an eye
   To take in his clucked smile forgone

No hint of a past hung o’er him
   No woman came by with a flask
Nor some grown lad with the shopping
   He emerged from behind a mask

He spun no known wilful ploy
Enough – just look at him a while

No regrets sagged down his full lips
   His chin held firm and tipped upward
Bushy brows spoke well of his tips
   Though crown to nose-bud bit wayward

One could read weary clothes threadbare
   His shoes could speak of miles out-worn
And the wriggly strands of his haïr
   Reminded one of wild thoughts torn

Doves and crows alike found his hand
   Outstretched with crumbs from some table
No sparrow stilled on wing sought land
   Without some morsel to unravel

Weeks went by in screeching silence
   And still no sign of him rode where
His winged friends kept in his absence
   The stone-slabbed bench warm through bare air

Some unsuspecting passer-by
   Wrapped in lone airs comes to this spot
Makes as if to stay with a sigh
   Yet moves along to some other plot

He was just the other odd guy
   With the self-abnegating smile
His trusted friends all gone to fly
   In weird worlds beyond the last mile

All looking for that other guy
   With his empty hands and a smile
He would spin no known wilful ploy
   Just remember him for a while

•	After posting the poem, I came across the line :
« I’m just an average guy » in the Masqueradors’
song of 1969, so I’m constrained to change the same
phrase in my poem to : « Just another odd guy. » 
Things like this happen when we use words.

© T. Wignesan – Paris,  2013

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