The Socialist Unity Network


Salman Shaheen

Underneath the city streets,
By the platform’s edge,
Dishevelled, disgruntled, but not distant,
There sits a man in ragged sheets.
A home, cold stone beside him,
A lifetime in two bags;
Guitar in hand, he plucks a string
And sings a melancholy song.
Whilst I, besuited and in tie,
Scurry past, the words unheeded;
Glancing down, I fail to notice,
I scarcely catch his eye.
But a moment’s pity stirs some sense,
And as he sings, he sings for change,
So hand in pocket, I pass him by
And throw him fifty pence.

A little over five minutes’ stroll
Takes me to the sun-lit park,
Where business suits and briefcases
Hide their owners from the dole.
Could these Gods of rich desire
Create a world they did not know?
Such people talk of stocks,
But they know not how to share,
When no Rolls Royce or first class flight
Could ever feed the hungry poor.
And I listen to his song again
And know now what he meant;
When a cry for those in need
Must by all be understood;
For as he sings, he sings for change…
Embracing him, I broke my chains
And took his hand in brotherhood.


August 2004


For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism