Evening Showers

By Kenneth Francis (June 2018)

Scrap Paper Pile With Water Cannon, Michael Karaken, 2007


On flattened cardboard, in pee-drenched lanes,
Huddled by empty bottles and bags, they rest:
Nothing to declare, no job, just junk

Could’ve been youthank God you’re blessed!
Look at the old man scruffy but saved

Singing “Jesus’ blood never failed me, yet”

And look at the girl who drinks too much

Slouching to relieve herself, her tattered gear

In barren pram; she never sings or laughs

Her disordered soul is the answer to her

Sleepless nights; just like well-healed selfies

Who rush to Tinder dates; how long will

They love delusions and seek the false

Gods of their carnal mates?

High above, the cold stars just keep on burning

Like old man river, who don’t say nuthin’

While out on horizon a baby cries, as mother

Suckles her newly born; one day he too might sing

About Jesus, all alone while tip-toeing through

Alleyways of dung, needles and paper cups

He might even take meds and shout at old ladies

Who’ll push prams well into their eighties

Or fulfil his life’s days by attending the

Spiritual needs of his body and soul

Or help those mocked as homeless skunks

By handing out soup and rolls in back-street

Kitchens run by Capuchin monks

Or sit alone staring out the window in a

Zimmer-frame zoo beside another old biddy

Who takes night feeds from a plastic tube

Or one who sits in underground tubes;

One who used to work as a magazine model

When they partied hard into the early hours

Now she walks the streets at night without keys

Or cards, through the mist of evening showers



Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 20 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing).

More by Kenneth Francis here.

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