Old Moley-man, three coats, two waistcoats,
jumpers, vests layered back to a museum
of skin, festering, bagged up in ruined corduroy,
his boots, one grey, one brown, both soles
curled under dirt-scarred, nomad’s toes –
he dances in the park. With eyes closed,
struts his stuff and promenades,
a waltz, a quickstep, cuts some rug
and rock ‘n’ rolls, his jive and twist
compelling flies, semibreves around his head –
his stench tolls through the wooded square.
He stumbles, stops, dry as a broken bottle,
soul drained, a desert of old dreams,
new sorrows, sits on a bench, his breath
a toxic smog, until the sun demists the view.
He rests, forlorn as torn up letters
fretting on the breeze. Passers-by tune out
when he thunders godless hymns,
his mouth a caved in hovel, humming,
whistling when he can’t remember words.
He’s entertaining strangers for odd coins
rolled downwind to the ragged cockle of his hat.
There’s no applause.