Saw a man … wrote a poem

O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! That we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts! William Shakespeare, Othello

What’s in our past?

Driftwood eyesI found some old poems from forty years ago in mine. Driftwood is one… I saw a man, I see him yet …

In the mid-seventies I worked in Dundee. I’d walk up and down from the Rail Station to a factory on the Hilltown. One brisk October day in 1975 I saw a man. It birthed this poem.


I saw a man today
At 6 pm on Union Street
Saw his battered face
Saw his tattered feet
As he went in a liquor store

He waited in the queue
For a liquid trip to paradise
Saw his tremblin’ hands
Saw his bloodshot eyes
As I passed the liquor store

What happened in his past?
Did something snap a straining mind?
And the only cure
Some cheap strong wine
And a burnin’ thirst for more

Has he anyone?
Only me the wind replied
He’s a nameless man
Nameless he will die
He is driftwood, driftwood, on the city shore

I saw a man today
And, sad to say, I can forget
That unloved face
So slackly set
I’ve forgotten, yes forgotten, so many more

Mac Logan

If you’d like to listen to Driftwood as a song, drop me a note and ask for a link.

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