There Ain’t No Rest Or Relaxation This Side Of A Prison Gate by Paul Tristram

Who’d have thought food would be
such a hassle, right?
I hate being upset and heartbroken
but it does make me anorexic,
which is a good thing
when you’re homeless.
Just watching people chewing down
all that crap outside McDonald’s
& Burger King
when I’m ‘Sparing For Change’
makes me nauseous.
I live on a tin of cold soup a day,
I get them from The Salvation Army,
people donate them.
I pick out one with a ring-pull
and drink it walking down the road
just like it’s a beer.
But when I’m not upset,
Jesus Christ! I’m ravenous.
I’m in those litter bins
scavenging for any morsel I can find
like a demented seagull.
I only get to sleep in a bed…  in prison,
I only get physical contact with people
when I’m rolled or being handcuffed.
Warmth is a strange concept,
it’s either something to do with whisky
or some almost forgotten childhood thing?
I learnt a new word in the library
the other day ‘Contentment’
I still shake my head when I think of it.
It even sounds foreign when I say it.
That’s another word
I won’t be getting too familiar with,
like ‘Limousine’ or ‘Pedicure’
Loneliness is the only true company
I’ve got… that and this sodding arthritis.
It’s Hell in the Summer
and Purgatory in the Winter.
There are Hostels and Drop-In-Centres
but you can’t climb back on the ladder
when you are so lost and damaged.
If I bust an arm or a leg
I can crawl over to A&E
and let them deal with the problem.
But a broken heart and fractured soul,
is a different story all together.
They haven’t yet invented a crutch,
wheelchair or Band-Aid for that.
And until they do, me old sunshine,
well, it’s hand to mouth constantly
and only ever scraps of almost everything.

Scribblings Of A Madman

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s