The Ragged and the Fine

“When I left my home and my family

I was no more than a boy, in the company of strangers,

in the quiet of a railway station, running scared,

laying low, seeking out the poor quarters

where the ragged people go, looking for the places

only they would know.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdKjEHfHINQ

Today in SanFran on the bus

I learned the meaning of Paul’s words

when the ragged people climbed aboard.

Yesterday I had walked up Mission and,

crossing 16th, crossing 17th,

seeing the poorer quarters

where the ragged people go–

now I know.

Forty years later, now I know.

Though

I am not one of them. I am

not one of the ragged people.

No, heaven forbid, no no.

My crowd congregates out on the Embarcadero

where the ragged tourists go

looking only for the places we are trained to know.

Meanwhile, up on the hill

and a few miles from here

there’s the Haight Ashbury

where my generation was told to go

Life mag told us to go

don’tcha know

But how’s that working out for ya now?

Here here and  now now.

My g-g-generation, so merry

went up on Haight Ashbury

where Ben&Jerry now serve raspberry.

Meanwhile back at the tranches,

over at the downtown bank branches

the makers and shakers program their chances

to do the dowjones nasdaq dances

while down below

the ragged people come and go

looking for michelangelo

or maybe just angelo,

or maybe just so and so

in the places only they would know

in San Francisco.

See Dick go. See Jane go.

Go go go

to San Francisco

and the silicon valley

ee eye ee eye oh.

It’s all good don’tcha know

as the people come and go

to San Francisco.

Glass half-Full

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One Response to “The Ragged and the Fine”

  1. Ariel Says:

    This is one of my favorite songs, and I enjoyed your poetic tribute. Sharp, catchy, pleasing irregular rhymes. This is a poem to be read aloud (as all poems should be, really).

    Almost inspires me to re-open my poetry blog, except I don’t write them enough.

    Keep it up.

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