There’s a man on the street
with dirty feet and an old guitar.
He’s got $18 in an old jam jar,
but he can’t seem to remember
his way home.

There are stories in his veins
and in his bones,
and in the quiet songs
he syllable-strums into the sun.

See that mockingbird there?
She’s the only one
who catches it all, calls
back to him with
all the latest news
from the street.

Some days when we stop
and say hello, I wonder
why his feet no longer
these twisted alleys,

…………..but his fingers
…………..still know
 ………….those strings.




Written for Kelly’s awesome narrative (story) prompt over at dVerse, a tribute to the great Harper Lee. 


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20 Responses to StorySongs

  1. Stories in his veins and bones – I really love that. So much you can find in just that single person standing handling his strings… There are always strings attached

  2. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Love this especially the image of his fingers still knowing the strings ❤
    Beautifully penned 🙂

    Lots of love,

  3. Excellent De, you give me a clear picture of this man, loved that he didn’t know the way home but could remember the songs…..

  4. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Buskers are some of my favorite folks, brimming with stories & emotion. This is a marvelous narrative, not interrupted by the rhyme scheme; rather enhanced by it. Nice job, bravo.

  5. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
    There’s something about those old strings
    that are always picking ya home.

  6. kelly says:

    Oh, I adore this take on the prompt, and the way you pulled the mockingbird in. It’s a wonderful story, the music always stays with us, doesn’t it?

  7. That second stanza about stories in his bones and in his veins is absolutely wonderful! Truly poetic. This is wonderfully done.

  8. I like this so much. You’ve helped me visualize and hear the story song. Wouldn’t it be fun to follow along after him some day?

  9. whimsygizmo says:

    Thank you all, so much.

  10. Em says:

    Street rings. I love that. And the way his fingers “still-know” (without even moving) those rings.

    I also like how tight the title is. The dirty feet. The mockingbird. All of this is so good.

  11. kim881 says:

    I love the idea of a dialogue or duet between the man and the mockingbird, De. Nice one!

  12. ShirleyB says:

    This is great. Such a vivid picture – stories in his veins, still untold, but the Mocking bird knows…

  13. MarinaSofia says:

    What an intriguing portrait of quite a character – told with empathy and care.

  14. What a wonderful word picture of this old man. Actually, you didn’t say he was old, did you? And yet I feel sure that he is. I love your various internal rhymes that flow so nicely. Peace, Linda

  15. Music always remembers. Love the story and character you’ve presented. Melody and memory harmonize perfectly in this. Sweet deal, De!

  16. lillian says:

    strummin’ those strings………music is in the soul, even when lost in the soles. Quite a character you’re written here — loved reading it aloud. I love poetry about music — and this musician is memorable in his forgetfulness and in what he will always remember.

  17. Bekkie says:

    This made me sad but gave me hope.

  18. PoeTry..
    foR sOuL..:)

  19. erbiage says:

    He’s got $18 in an old jam jar, LOVE this line!

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