On The Streets—Have you got a penny?: a Rap poem

My poem On The Streets—Have You Got A Penny? Is a poem of 14 lines only. I wrote it in response to this weeks’s W3 Weekly Poetry Prompt.

Poetry Prompt #36
Murisopsis’ is Poet of the Week for the Skeptics Kaddish W3 Weekly Poetry Prompt and these are her guidelines.
Write a poem:
1. Of exactly 14 lines;
2. In any form or style; 
3. On the topic of poverty (moral, financial, romantic, etc.).

The challenge is to write a poem of 14 lines on the theme of poverty. I considered a sonnet as that has a strict 14 line form—but sonnets are love poems. Poverty doesn’t strike me as a suitable theme for love poetry… other than the love of a lost love… or the yearning love for impossible to get, money. I suppose writing about a homeless person’s love for his/her dog… or a warm sleeping bag… might be a sonnet? Hmm. 
No. A sonnet is not my choice for the subject today.

On The Streets—Have you got a penny?

My poem is urban street style. While Rapping it in my head (I enjoy a good Hip-hop!) I wrote it down all in one go, in minutes. The only change I made was replacing the word isn’t with ain’t. Oh, and I’ve just changed the word you to yer!—to add a touch of the colloquial. Hang around for a few days—and who knows? It might all be different!

Have you got a penny? | Photo: Lesley Scoble

Have you got a penny?
Have you got a dime
Have you got any thing?
For my waste of time?
Can you bring me sunshine?
Have you got a line?
Can you bring me rain?
Can you give me anything!
For my druggy pain?
I haven’t got a bean
My livelihood is mean
My cardboard box is clean
But it ain’t waterproof.
Yer know what I mean?


Lesley Scoble January 2023


I Was A Poet

I was a poet. | Photo: Lesley Scoble

A man is on the street. He is oblivious. Every passer-by appears oblivious to his existence.
He wears only one sock. His worn boots lie a yard from where he lies. He holds a pen in his hand. Why? 
This image breaks my heart. We could all be there. At the edge. Destitute. Life’s adverse circumstances and struggles can surprise and affect anyone. Eviction from home, mental health, addiction, domestic abuse, loss and bereavement…


Afternoon siesta at the canal side, Kings Cross | Photo: Lesley Scoble

I know earlier; I discarded the idea to write a sonnet on the prompt’s poverty topic, but the thought of a sonnet to a homeless person’s dog keeps recurring in my mind… I wonder. A Shakespearean sonnet to a street dog? 
I’ll say cheerio for now—I’m off to find a quill!


My thanks to Murisopsis for this prompt and to David of the Skeptics Kaddish.

Take care of yourselves and be happy.

Street art, River Lee Navigation, Stratford | Photo: Lesley Scoble

18 comments

  1. I can totally imagine this being rapped! A couple things –

    1) I also considered writing a sonnet! And I also didn’t for the same reason 🙂

    2) There’s a YouTube channel I follow run by a formerly homeless man who goes around the US and the UK interviewing homeless people, and he always gives each one of them a gift: socks

    ~David

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s