Poems From a Runaway - The Rasta drummer

About the first busker I met, I can't remember his name but he was a familiar character when I would pass through west end aged around 13/14/15

The Rasta drummer

Walking through the west end, its starting to simmer down,
Just following my footsteps and wandering through town. 
I see a Rasta packing, his drum and stool away,
Many times Ive passed him, and listened to him play.

I said hello as I walked past, he asked how was my night,
And I replied I cant complain and everythings aright.
It was obvious to all back then, that I lived on the street,
He asked me what Id done tonight, and what Id had to eat.

Id explained that I was still, wandering on the go,
And Id spent a good part of the day, walking to and fro.
He said he knew a place in Soho, that gave some soup for free,
As well as with it a nice bread roll, and a cup of tea.

So we made our way from Coventry Street, not walking far at all,
And he gets the food and then comes back, whilst Im sat on a wall.
Its good for you this, a nice warm hot soup, it will help keep you warm in the cold,
But Im not sure this place, would of let you in, because to be honest you dont that old..

He told me his stories of how drunks do his head in, stumbling into him and grabbing his drum.
Of how they make him jump up and have to get his point known, to not disrespect him like they have done.
Not knowingly ever met a vegetarian, but its sure easy to understand,
That he had self-respect to not have to put up, with some grabbing his drum with their grease-chicken hand.

Id listen to his drumming and endless deep chanting,
He really rocked Coventry Street.
And when the guy left, I think that place werent the same,
It felt dead without his voice and drum beat.
He was one of those there before the west end got quiet, and it seemed that part of town was a blast.
When I had felt there, some magic in the air, but its not now like it was in the past.

The streets were lined with drummers and artists, and European hippies giving henna tattoos.
For sure there was crime, but it mostly felt fine and those out in town enjoyed their booze.
So its nice to look back at that moment in time, and wonder if Ive been inspired.

Cuz its me that now chants, and sings out songs of peace, and thanks for the soup when I was tired.

Poetry written by Ben Westwood, Musician and poet. UK
Copyright Ben Westwood. 

Follow the true story of a young teenager running away from home and the state, in a premature search for independence. In poetry.

Making choices that often only a young mind would make, Ben tells his
 story and memories of being in the social services system from eleven years old, as well as 1990s London street life, as a missing runaway sleeping rough.

From angels, predators, shocking times to heart-warming moments, Musician and now debut author Ben Westwood gives an insight into the mind of a rebellious-spirited youngster trying to find his own way in the world.
You can read the first fourteen poems written for this project at the following link.

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