Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Man in the Van

This thing has been banging around in my head every time I run past this van and the empty place where it once rested:

There's a little old man
Who lives in his van
It is parked in the park every day.

He's got stacks of books
On the seats, in the nooks
I think he has something to say.

I heard the bright tune
Of his ukulele in June 
His cracked voice singing along.

And I ask in the dark
Why he lives in the park
And I'm the one sharing his song.

As I run past his car
I feel his sharp stare
And I know there's a story inside

Does he have a wife
Or a family or life?
Or simply a black past to hide?

It's been two weeks
Since my cautious peeks
Have seen the old van in the park

I wish I could know
If he had somewhere to go
Or just disappeared in the dark.

How far afield
Is my home four-wheeled?
With its battered doors closed on the world

Will I end up there
In an old lawn chair
With my life neatly packed up and furled?

Life is a game
With your word and your name
And the things you can do with your mind

But the life you make's
A big gamble with stakes
Unless you've an anchor, I find.

My family and God
Make a strong iron rod
To a life with magnificent gifts.

So before it's too late
To banish the hate
I must mend all the troubles and rifts.


  1. I've just discovered your blog and I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed this piece, very haunting. Great to meet you!

  2. I saw him today. He was in there playing his ukulele. I was so glad to see him come back.