He dresses as the fool
But does he fool you?
In clothes of rent
Torn twisted and bent
He drinks to excess
His voice is loud
He spouts obscenities
But he runs like the wind
Catch, me if you can, he shouts
The maze of traffic makes his jams
He speaks in riddles
Like old men, from ancient lands
He collects bottles and begs for lamb
He mumbles, I am homeless, kiss me hand
He is crazy for this is sure
He lives in alleys like a whore
Jets above fly overhead
Their orders received from a street called Hamra
As their armies invade, so bold
The homeless man, their leader
The man from Hamra
Notes: Hamra Street is a somewhat famous street in West Beirut. It was one of Beirut’s trendy areas before the civil war, and was frequented by poets, writers, and intellectuals.
During the civil war, and before the Israeli invasion of 82, there was a bum who lived on Hamra Street who was really a spy for the IDF of Israel. No one paid him any attention, being a street beggar, at the time when there were many. Not only was he collecting intelligence, he was the running a network of spies at the time.
From a Lebanese restaurant/coffee shop I frequent, I am told many fascinating stories from all over the world. What a lovely feeling to sit among people of all religions, nationalities and opinions, and share life’s experiences.
Thank you Diwan
Anyone who happens to have any first hand experiences referencing this poem, I would love to hear from them.