Toasting Tourists Health

The above image copyright

Standing on the corner a grotesque arresting sight
Twisted limbs protruding from his rags,
His wailing sends the pigeons in a hurried startled flight,
His clothing from some cast off hessian bags.

“Baksheesh” yells this woeful sight as people pass him by
Rattling coins to illustrate his words,
Then to reinforce it he emits a throaty sigh
Throwing curses at departing noisy birds.

Others with their begging bowls intrude upon his space
And he beats them with his stick and sends them on,
Locals pause to comment at this obvious disgrace
And they wish he’d take his begging bowl, be gone.

They know this wily beggar man he’s been there many years,
Rattling coins, confronting in his call,
And they fully understand it when he sheds deceptive tears,
For his deceit there’s no way that they’d fall.

Tourist folk don’t understand; will linger in surprise!
Throw tourist dollars in his beggar bowl,
They’re angry at the locals unaware this beggar lies
They wonder if these people have a soul!

But when the day is ended he will straighten twisted limb
He’ll discard his rags and take his new found wealth,
Praising all the gods of fortune with a loud and lusty hymn
With friends he’ll toast the foreign tourists’ health.

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2011 All rights reserved”

I know this poem will be confronting to some. True a sizable portion of the human race have very little of this world’s basic needs and deserve as much help as we can give them. However, when giving donations we should make sure it goes to those who have a genuine need. Take advice from those who understand the culture seeking to be benefited, for by so doing you will place your resources at the disposal of those who are really in need rather than those who look like they are in need. Ian

3 thoughts on “Toasting Tourists Health

  1. Great advice you have given at the bottom of your post sweet Ian. My parents visited another country some years back and there were people begging on the streets just as the person depicted here in your post.


    1. Yes and some of those people are in desperate need. The difficult task is to find out who really is in need. Responsible people within the culture are the only ones who can sort that out for you.


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