Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Poem 31 of 230:  AOTEAROA

Separated, I again perceived New Zealand:
    The strong Maori culture -
    Rangi and Papa,
    Plus the haka -
And the reflecting lakes of highland and farmland.

(C) David Franks 2003

Tuesday, 13 September 2011



North, on the warm island of Oahu,
    There’s a really good place to see:
The Polynesian Cultural Centre -
    A centre linked by Christianity;
It’s run by a broad-minded Christian group,
    Championing cultures while they preach.
I talked to a few of the kind members,
    And here’s an abstract of their speech:

The employees are all uni. students,
    Labouring for their study and board;
They come from many Pacific islands,
    And are all believers in their Lord;
They are studying for varied degrees,
    And working at a number of jobs;
Some work as cultural entertainers,
    While others serve the tourist mobs.

I walked around for more than half a day,
    Then went to a skilled stage-show at night:
By day, the different island nations
    Do shows at their own cultural site;
There’s good Tahitian cooking to be tried,
    Tamure dancing and hula, too;
Plus, at night, dramatic fire-walking,
    Drums and song, to name you but a few.

(C) David Franks 2003

Monday, 12 September 2011


Poem 33 of 230:  TO CARE AND SHARE


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D1 B3 B1 B2 C#’2 C#’3 B1 B3
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Within sunny California
    (Just a wisp of smog arriba),
Not far from L.A.’s Chinatown,
    A rich driver looks, with a frown,
At a beggar sat on a crate -
    Gaunt, it seems long since she last ate.
As the driver stops at the light,
    The beggar moves her hand upright.
But, though the cap clasped holds small cash,
    The rich man shares not his large stash.

Yet, to all it is plain to see,
This beggar lives in poverty.
But, like a fifth of humankind,
Little help this woman will find.
For too selfish the wealthy fare
To help the poor - to care and share.

And, in Tijuana, Mexico,
    Another has no place to go -
It’s an hour before midnight,
    And he’s curled outside a shopping site:
“He is sick,” I’m told, passing by;
    “Him and the system,” I reply.
Then my hand to my pocket goes
    For all my coins - sixteen pesos.
Enough for three meals - beans and rice -
    But, for a home, it won’t suffice.

Yet, to all it is plain to see,
This pauper dwells in poverty.
But, like one fifth of humankind,
Small help this sick hombre will find.
‘Cause too competitive most fare
To change the scheme - to care and share.

In Bangkok and Barcelona,
    Bombay, Melbourne and Manila -
Such woes exist all round the globe:
    Poor food, poor clothes, and no abode.
These are Maslow’s essential needs,
    And they can be met - with good deeds.
The beggars all could leave the street -
    With some kit for body and feet.
But voted leaders cut the aid
    From which much housing could be made.

Yet, to all it is plain to see,
Too many live in poverty.
But, from the rest of humankind,
A lack of help they tend to find.
For too greedy most snug-ones fare
To fix the need - to care and share.

(C) David Franks 2003
Hear here -

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Poem 34 of 230:  FOR KIN - LAMENTED TO ME

She squats down and rests her head on her knee:
    Stretching her muscles - so tired is she.
A quick glance at her watch...time takes so long:
    Still three minutes left - must be one more song.

It’s her very last turn upon the stage,
    But men are eyeing her - wanting to rage.
She finishes her dance, picks up her things;
    To the hope of home and a rest she clings.

But the doorman-cum-pimp has other news,
    For two customers have money to use.
Wearily she follows to their hotel -
    Sometimes she thinks: “Might be better in hell.”

As vain men take turns on the rented bed,
    She consoles herself: “I could starve instead.”
Plus the pay for sex is more than for dance,
    And it much improves her kin’s circumstance.

(C) David Franks 2003

Saturday, 10 September 2011


Poem 35 of 230:  GROWING UP

During my early twenties,
    At one of Europe’s cities,
I was walking late at night
    When I came upon this sight:
A street woman seemed dying,
    But viewers just kept eyeing.
And, in my often regret,
    I, too, did no more than fret.

Then, in my early thirties,
    At one of Baja’s cities,
I was walking late at night
    When I came upon this sight:
A young hombre was bleeding,
    But viewers just kept leaving.
This time, I made the grown bet,
    And soon his strong needs were met.

(C) David Franks 2003

Friday, 9 September 2011


Poem 36 of 230:  WALKABOUT MEXICO

In late December,
I can remember
    Being in a fix -
For time and pesos -
    And, thus, unable
To see Mexico’s
    Sights commendable.

So, in Tijuana,
    I enjoyed the show
At a miniature
    Model Mexico.

(C) David Franks 2003

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Poem 37 of 230:  RODEO DRIVE

On visiting Los Angeles,
    I thought I’d walk Rodeo Drive;
I’d passed a few up-market shops
    When an hombre said:  “Take one please.”

‘Twas info. on exploitation,
    Which I read that night in my room;
It mentioned of the unfair gap -
    Sweatshop-wages to profit-on.

I left him to visit the john,
    Which was all clad in marble stone;
Then I walked, past more fortune-frocks,
    To lunch:  four bucks - fair profit-on.

(C) David Franks 2003

Wednesday, 7 September 2011



Having, mostly, enjoyed my visit:
    Walking and busing along the coast,
A Hollywood film in Hollywood,
    And plenty of friendliness with it...

During my last morning in L.A.,
    I watched, on a hotel-room T.V.,
Live from the town of Pasadena,
    The Tournament of Roses display.

Perfectionism was on the go,
    And it seemed little expense was spared,
As floats covered in flowers went by -
    Giving a neat but fleeting show.

Yet, catching the bus to the airport,
    I saw the homeless dragging their sacks,
Or begging for cash on street corners,
    And thought: “Housing could have been bought.”

(C) David Franks 2003

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Poem 39 of 230:  FOR A MATE

When about to move again,
    I went down to a shop
Where one can go and bargain
    Away, for not much chop,
Used goods that are, in the main,
    No longer worth the cop.

But, from that day, I recall
    (Just ahead in the line)
Two young guys - one big, one small -
    Cashing goods that looked just fine.
After reckoning them all,
    The shop clerk said, in resign:

“Why the hell you sellin’ these -
    Don’t you need ‘em no more?”
Neither happy with the fees,
    The reply sure sounded sore:
“Our mate is down on his knees -
    He’s been kicked-right out the door.”

(C) David Franks 2003

Monday, 5 September 2011


Poem 40 of 230:  EFFICIENCY

On a flight from 'Cisco to New York,
    One hour our plane did balk,
As on full taxiways we dallied
    While competing-planes were freed.

Yet, as I looked around the cabin,
    Sometime during all this stalling,
It was sadly evident to me
    That far too many seats were free.

Then, after a late takeaway tea,
    I turned on the New York T.V.,
And saw some adults acting like stars,
    About landing a probe on Mars.

Yet, walking Manhattan the next day,
    I saw tens with nowhere to stay,
And I wondered just how much housing,
    For the poor, that space-wealth could bring.

(C) David Franks 2003