Occupy Poetry

Unquotable quotes: Beggars - XXX

BY T. Wignesan

Unquotable quotes: Beggars - XXX

Who said beggars cannot be choosers?

Who chooses for them the place, the moment or the people they choose to beg from; the hours of the begging day; the alms they refuse; the advice they brush aside; the language they use – or the looks they reserve - once your back is turned (depending on the weight of the coin or the shape and size of the note) you place in their hands ?

There are beggars and beggars: beggars who beg to survive; beggars who beg for others: their children, their old and decrepit; and beggars employed by syndicates and cartels; professional bodies, the police, the fire-brigade, non-profit associations and poorly-subsidized hospitals, charitable organizations who stoke the “waste-industry” with their mountains of publicity and return part of your contributions as bribes in the shape of quasi-useless objects; churches and religious orders, the Salvation Army, governments - crooks, criminals and thugs piously wrapped and quoting the sacred teachings; campaigning politicians, political parties who promise the world until they seize power and exact payment from the suckers who elected them by enacting laws to make citizens pay for their mismanagement of funds (though they do ensure the continuity of law and order and economic development through the existing apparatuses and institutions they inherit); secret societies through repeated threats of execution by making offers one cannot refuse, and so on and so forth.

Who said beggars cannot be choosers has not tried the easy and flourishing art of getting rich quickly sans sweat.

The lay of Parisian beggars in August

Where have all the beggars gone
on this cool bright summer’s day
To tan their skins they have gone
on glittering swanky Riviera bay

O! Why do they desert Paris gai
Alone miserly muttering nay

Oh! When will they be back, pray!
for their daily euro handout frais
Down by the Mall’s five-foot way?

They’ll be back, they’ll be back, you say
Once they’ve jigged with jingling bags
In their glad rags gay

O! Will they be back, will they be back
before winter’s frost is here to stay?
Fear not, fear not, 0! gentle soul, Sire
They’ll screech their woes the blue jay
Tweets tweets rude tales from yesteryear
From yon winter passage lands gay

O! Will the Croatian come cavorting
on crutches of seeming porcelain clay?
And on Prefecture fence let limbs splay

And will the Haitian light butts, they say
cocaine piths within lips dark grey?
Yes, Mon Sieur, yes, he’s gone Breton way
to hear lone father in farmhouse bray

O Why do they desert Paris gai
Alone miserly muttering nay

Across the road along the gates of the Mall
lie devastated old women all day
Their conniving Kosovan looks reflect times
Saracen swords cleaving mothers at play

O! Where’s she gone, gone, my Gypsy lassie
traipsing down the Palais by walkers jay?
Whose pipe-dreams she pops open
down dark alleys frayed euros gay

O Why do they desert Paris gai
Alone miserly muttering nay

Roumania! Mania! Screeches naughty blue-jay
Will she be back to flaunt her chops
Decked in fineries while lords on horses neigh?

Or that wayward child’s drained cheeks may
Now sprout vibrant goatee strands grey

O Why do they desert Paris gai
Alone miserly muttering nay

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2016

T. Wignesan.


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