Sad Rags

Grandad used to wear it so I’m told,

a wobbly old web of useless holes,

all the other clothes know

it won’t keep out the cold,

if it went to a charity shop,

it would remain unsold.

Can you blame a string vest

for being depressed?


All cosy, nice and dry,

not a cloud in the pram or the sky,

until orange rains out of the blue,

closely followed by one number two,

and then at the end of a damp dingy day,

all night in a bin, tied up tight, tossed away.

If I were baby’s nappyI too would be unhappy.


These twins are always distanced,

they’re not allowed to meet,

they see each other passing

as I kick them down the street,

I treat them rough, I scrape and scuff,

and though it’s tough, they can’t refuse.

Pity my shoes who didn’t choose

these weary walking blues.


Soiled and stained where she got soaked,

coming over in the boat,

my younger brother got my coat,

and now my hoodie’s part of me,

a thousand miles by land, by sea,

she can’t forget the bangs and flashes.

You call her a rag but she’s my fleece,

we’re worn and torn and all we want is peace.

Previously Published at Dirigible Balloon


David Bleiman

David is a grandfather and poet living in Edinburgh. He loves to write across the languages and his first pamphlet, This Kilt of Many Colours (Dempsey & Windle, 2021) is a multilingual mixter-maxter in English, Scots, Spanish and Yiddish. This celebration of David's Jewish heritage includes the prizewinning Trebbler's Tale, written in a partly excavated but largely reimagined lost dialect of Scots-Yiddish. With the sense of humour of an overgrown schoolboy, David is now writing childish poems for himself and other children.