My Vagabond Heart, a Poem

Updated on July 3, 2018
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

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My Vagabond Heart

I'm often called a wanderer,

A hobo, or a tramp.

A nomad with no fixed abode,

Where I stop is where I camp.


Sometimes I thumb it for a ride,

No transport of my own.

My only real possession,

A two-year old cell phone.

Source

I have the clothes I'm wearing,

And a bag upon my back.

For me, life's an adventure,

There is no turning back.


I eat when I am hungry,

And sleep when I am tired.

I'm not tied down by protocol,

A freedom that's admired.

Source

I don't covet possessions

Or want what others have.

I'm happy on the road and free,

There's no room in the grave.


I run beside a freight train,

My legs are pumping fast,

And jump into a carriage

As it rattles slowly past.

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Freight Train Carriage
Freight Train Carriage
Freight Train Carriage | Source
Source

I'll share the clothes from off my back

Or give a bum a meal.

No one knows that ten years past

I was a Navy Seal.


Why do I live my life this way?

People ask me, acting smart.

I shrug and say, "It suits me fine,

Bow to my vagabond heart."

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Li-Jen, glad you enjoyed this poem and the accompanying music.Cheers

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        7 days ago

        Hey Jodah or John haha...I enjoyed your poem. I like the simplicity and carefree attitude of the poem. My favourite lines are two-year old cell phone and vagabond heart. Nice taste of music too. Thanks for sharing.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Genna, you are right, it does take courage and a true heart to live that life voluntarily. Thank you so much for the generous comment.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        8 days ago from Massachusetts, USA

        I've always thought that the wanderer who roams our freewheeling paths has courage and a true heart. You have expressed that so beautifully, here John. I think this is one of your best poems.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        10 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Many of us tried to escape and live a free lifestyle for a few years when young before getting tied down to responsibilities Shauna. Very few are brave enough to do it deliberately later in life. I am sure you will always retain your free spirit though. Thanks for reading.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        10 days ago from Central Florida

        Love it, John! Oh to be young and carefree again! I pretty much had a vagabond heart and lifestyle when I was in my twenties and I don't regret a day of it, especially now that I'm settled down and tied to financial obligations. But I'll always be a free spirit at heart!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        11 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Frank, I greatly appreciate that comment. I was pleased with this piece and glad it appealed to you as well.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        11 days ago from Shelton

        Jodah at his best... shaking poetry up and we know who is on top...Loved it John....:)

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        12 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Wow, PS, you really did live this lifestyle? Way to go. I am sure it was idyllic. Thanks for the angels.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        12 days ago from sunny Florida

        There was a time when I lived that kind of life believe it or not...and I am not so sure it wasn't a truly idyllic way to live. Well said Jodah. Angels are headed your way this evening ps pinned

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        13 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you so much, John Ray

      • JR Cuevas profile image

        John Ray 

        13 days ago from Philippines

        A very meaningful poem. I love it so much!!!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        No, Ann, it is a big move to embrace the vagabond life - unless maybe if you were born into it and never got attached to possessions and tied down by responsibilities. Some people do tend to spend most of their time travelling however...grey nomads and the like, which is one version of freedom.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 weeks ago from SW England

        Love this, John! It has the freedom of spirit which you're writing about. I do find when I'm travelling that it gives one a sense of history, adventure and connection with a new landscape and I love that feeling. Don't think I could live like a vagabond though, though I do admire that spirit.

        Ann

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Venkatachari, I always appreciate your comments on my writing. It really can be a wonderful life, many if us are just not brave enough to throw away our so called security to pursue it.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Chris. I thought I had already replied to your comment but must have missed it somehow. Better late than never. Thank you for reading as always. Your opinion is always greatly appreciated.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Dana, your comment is so true. Most homeless people are very humble and expect very little. They cannot be all tarred with the one brush and treated like beggars and vagrants. Some also choose a life with little and no responsibility and are no burden on society. Thanks for reading.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading, Shena. I am glad you enjoyed this poem.

      • Shena Bomowey profile image

        Roshena 

        2 weeks ago from Baguio City, Philippines

        I love this poem :D ❤❤

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

        A very appealing story of the traveler with a vagabond heart. No obligations, no care at what other's might be thinking. Really a wonderful life. Enjoyed the nice description of those adventures.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Eric. Yes, some really do choose that. As hard as it is for most of us to believe.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        So very cool. With a great social message. And a good reminder that some just choose that life.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Hari, yes not many of us are free or brave enough to make that choice.

      • shprd74 profile image

        Hari Prasad S 

        2 weeks ago from Bangalore

        Life choice that is a rarity now a days. Great poem.

        - hari

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Glad you enjoyed this poem and the twist at the end, Lori. Thanks for reading.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

        What an interesting and unanticipated twist at the end. I was loving it anyway but was wondering why he wasn't hungry and looking for meals. I really loved this.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        That is a great truth, Shaloo, it is the ultimate freedom but it takes a brave soul to live that kind of life. Thank you.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        You make some valid points Glen. How long one can live this way remains to be seen, especially if suffering PTSD. We do also need love. Thanks for the great comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        You are right Mary, it is the life of ultimate freedom, but most people aren't brave enough to choose it preferring stability. Thanks for reading.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Linda. Glad you enjoyed the poem and that the ending was a surprise.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks for the kind comment, Delilah. Most people feel sympathy or repulsion for the homeless but very few consider that some do actually choose to live that way for the price of freedom.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Bill, people were resourceful during hard times like the Great Depression, and did what they had to to survive and get around. My dad had similar tales to tell. Glad you loved the poem.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 

        2 weeks ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        That is awesome John. Well written and very well thought out.

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        2 weeks ago from LOS ANGELES

        People have lots of opinions about the homeless, but I have met some of the best people who live on the street. They are not running the race of life but just living life. Most are so humble. They look out for one another , share their meager belongings, this is vastly different from the regular folks who only care about image, success and material possessions.

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 

        2 weeks ago from United States

        Did you base this on someone you know? It would make a great song along the lines of Mary Gautier’s hobo king.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        2 weeks ago from India

        Ultimate freedom...Many of us yearn for that kind of freedom but few have the courage to pursue it. Loved the poem!

      • Glenis Rix profile image

        GlenR 

        2 weeks ago from UK

        I find the sentiments of the voice in this poem quite poignant because I wonder how people who live this sort of life, often suffering from PTSD if they are ex-forces, will survive.If they do survive, what sort of life they will have ten years down the line. At the end of the day we all need love in our lives.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        I love the way you tell in a poem the story of this guy. Your portrayal makes a vivid picture. His life is one of ultimate freedom, one I can only dream about but will be afraid of choosing.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        I loved this poem. I thought it was written of someone 80 years ago; your revelation of the traveler's background was a surprise ending (and I know you intended that). Good job.

      • Delilah R profile image

        Delilah 

        2 weeks ago from Kentucky

        Loved your poem. Reading your comment from earlier, I have to admit I was one of those that never thought maybe that's a life someone had chosen instead of it being circumstantial. Thanks for pointing that out

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        My dad actually rode the rails when he was a teen during the Great Depression....searching for work, he would send money back home to his mom and dad....loved this poem.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Rinita, thanks for being first to read this and also for you insightful comment. We are often quick to judge people living this type of life and maybe feel sorry for them, not realising it is an actual choice they made.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        2 weeks ago

        This is an excellent point of view. To each his own, as they say. Accept and respect the ways in which people live their lives, as long as they are happy, and not knowingly hurt another. Written in your natural flow of rhymes, this may raise many topics, or just let them pass by.

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