Monday, June 17, 2024

I WALK HOME THROUGH THE MADNESS By Bradford Middleton


I walked these streets this morning feeling a renewed

Sense of understanding as before me people went

About their lives in this town where some have everything

They could ever possible desire whilst others sit

Fumbling cans of Desperadoes on church doorsteps

And I know forever which grouping I’ll always be closer to

And how close I’ve come on many occasions.  His face,

Beaten and bloody, suggests a war which will surely

Only end in an early death as this session seems never

Ending, lasting from that first fateful taste right through

To that ultimate state of release when all those troubles

Will come crashing to an end.  


But today, with things to do, I walked on...

It wasn’t long before I saw another, this time three guys

Strung out, crowding around a mobile phone desperate

To get fixed and working out how they were going to pay

For it and suspecting that the answer would be to steal it

I walked on...


Further down the road, in an empty shop doorway, sits

A woman, clutching a sleeping bag, looking dirty and

Crying, crying her heart out to some kind soul who

Stands, listening, sympathizing as another life circles

The drain and I walk on...


Arriving at the shop I need to visit the entrance is a

Gaggle of activity, a Big Issue seller surrounded by

A mix of street drinkers and more needing to get fixed

But navigating my way through the scene the first 

Thing I see is a panicked looking security guard 

And a group of workers all keeping their beady eyes

On a suspect placing large fillets of salmon into his

Carrier bag.


I managed to make it around and out and back home 

And after seeing all the street life out there I think I’ll

Stay in and hopefully write a few more words about

This life of mine.





Bradford Middleton still lives in Brighton, UK but has recently landed a new job that he doesn’t hate so maybe here for a bit longer yet…  Recent poems appear in Beatnik Cowboy, River Dog Zine, Back Room Poetry ‘Rebel’ Anthology, Stink Eye Magazine and Dreich.  His most recent chapbook was published early 2023 by those fine folks at the Alien Buddha Press.  


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