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Regis Auffray

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Hobo Heaven
by Regis Auffray
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Regis Auffray
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           >> View all 359

There are days when the hobo lifestyle beckons; that's most likely because I've never been a hobo; at least, not in this life.

Hobo Heaven

It's hobo heaven
On the way out of town,
Near the railway trestle
Where wandering men will while away the night.
On the river bank
The campfire crackles,
Sending erratic shooting stars into the night sky,
Highlighting the wrinkled faces
Of these usually sombre, homeless men.
But there is no gloom within their hearts tonight,
No, for tonight is hobo heaven:
There's a big convention in town
And the law will be too busy to bother the bums.
What's more, "Applejack" O'Hare's come into a little cash.
No one here knows how and you don't meddle into another man's affairs;
But he's got family in town,
And every now and then, when they've heard that he's around,
Someone feels guilty,
Although "Applejack" doesn't know why.
Sometimes it comes in handy;
Like tonight,
When he can share his namesake
And help to warm the hearts of his nomadic friends,
And give them a hint of hobo heaven.
The river sings,
A night bird calls,
A light breeze carries scents from the river and the cooling land.
The night is perfect:
Fine wine (any wine is fine, thank you),
A toothless grin from "Gumsy" Jake,
Between bursts of memory-stirring melodies from his harmonica.
Too bad it will all have to end with dawn;
But for now,
It's hobo heaven.
Copyright 2006 Regis Auffray

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Reviewed by lois christensen 8/19/2014
hobos- still can be found in towns today - I salute you for this Poem Regis, it makes one realize not all have it so good as me, and that their are folks living alone and on the streets.
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 10/25/2012
Your knack for descriptive reality is amazing. Patrick
Reviewed by Kacie Rahm 2/21/2009
I had to read this! I loved the title so much!

I really like it, I too have never been homeless, but I think I would feel honored to have this kind of "in my shoes" work of art if I was. Homelessness is a sad and somber thing, but you've shed a campfire light on the possible positives.
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 12/5/2007
Your poem really brings the picture to life. I feel like I was in the bushes, spying on this troop of friends! Love the description of the fire and the folk surrounding it. Well penned! Hugs:) Sheila
Reviewed by Mary Grace Patterson 5/9/2007
A great write Regis! I could see them sitting around the campfire, enjoying wine and good convesation about days gone by as the lilting sounds of the harmonica echoed through the woods........M
Reviewed by K. Mulroney 8/13/2006
This would be great expanded into a short story. Great piece!
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 6/4/2006
Wow! This is going to be one of my favourites. Outdoors, meaty and all. Fine wine I like a lot as much as "Gumsy". Cheers and luck with this one.
Reviewed by S H (Reader) 6/3/2006
Regis the only thing I don't like about this is that you call them bums. You know I'm your friend and I have a personal take on the subject for obvious reasons and it is never cool to call them bums. Most of them are mentally ill, so it's something to re think. Naturally it is up to you in the end.
Reviewed by Kay P Devenish 5/29/2006
A heavenly write,I enjoyed it very much!
Reviewed by Lolly Peele 5/28/2006
I really like this poem. I'v been working on a poem about "men of the streets", but I can't quite put it together. This is great. Thanks for sharing
Reviewed by Muhammad Al Mahdi 5/28/2006
Lyrical prose... Very interesting... A very interesting and lively description of hobo life which is as old as what you call the American dream and which is the other side to it and which is, conversely, where it backfires. A good decision to elaborate on this topic. It would certainly be interesting to further experiment with this style and topics like this...
Reviewed by Crystal Silver Angel (Reader) 5/21/2006
Loved this magnificant masterpiece, Reg

Love & Light, Dove
Reviewed by Janet Bellinger 5/19/2006
This poem paints a picture of the camaradarie of the drifters. Such a kinder life the hoboes had of old than the wretched esistence of the present day street person who is homeless not from choice but fate. Well done, Regis.

Reviewed by Regina Pounds 5/17/2006
Just like all of life...there can be a moment of bliss shared by all... cool concept, Regis, and vivid writing.

Reviewed by Patrice D'Ambra Burdette --Pataliyah 5/17/2006
I think I like this one the best so far, Reg...Wonderfully picturesque. It speaks to the vagabond in me. Excellent write.
Reviewed by Rhonda Galizia 5/17/2006
Regis, this is marvelously presented! It took me back 50+ years, to the tracks nearby our home, where hobos gathered regularly to hop trains, or beg food...I hope to post that memory someday, especially now, that you have so vividly ~ and surreptitiously ~ stirred that palette deep in me! Write on, my Brother, write on! love ~ rhonda
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 5/16/2006
This is the stuff of dreams of all those of us who sleep softly in the depths of material comfort, Regis. We can tabulate "wealth" but we are only truly blessed and "rich" if we live our dreams, no? Reminds me of the beauty of Dale's shoeless bohemians write... A beautiful glimpse, thank you. Kate xx
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 5/16/2006
Ah Regis, the imagery in this poem is outstanding. You put us right there in the middle of hobo heaven! Loved this.

Reviewed by richard cederberg 5/15/2006
Liked this piece Mr. Auffray.
It kept feeling, as I read, as if I was listening to the prologue for a movie. I believe "personalizing" the vision using character driven names, Allplejack, Gumsy, made it feel as if you were actually there feeling the heat of the fire, smelling the BO, and sharing the booze.
Your phrase: "sending erratic shooting stars into the night sky" was as good a description of the fire as any I've ever heard.
Best Regards
Reviewed by Safi Abdi 5/15/2006
Excellent poem! Loved the quick movement of the lines. You're a genius, Regis!
Reviewed by Meredith Dixon 5/14/2006
This makes me think of "Huckleberry Finn"!!! Oh, the adventures a man can really have though. A guy I went to school with actually became a hobo as a very young man and we really missed him! He is back in town now and I would love to hear the stories he could tell! Thanks for this write, Regis. Love and God bless, Meredith
Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher 5/14/2006
It sounds like a wonderful, carefree place, if only for the moment. Very much enjoyed this poem.
Birgit and Roger
Reviewed by A. Santo 5/14/2006
This verse is a side of life most people over look altogether. Friendship and community live everywhere in this world. Even in the most unexpected places. This was a very enlightening write dear friend.
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 5/14/2006
Amazing picture and wonderful write. Thank you for sharing!

Sandie May Angel a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Deborah Frontiera 5/13/2006
A very interesting piece, very visual and full of symbolism. There is a new kind of "hobo" about, the street people of cities who live beneath freeway overpasses. Sometimes one could "envy" their "freedom and simple lifestyle," while glad not to be in their position. Great work.
Reviewed by Phillip William Allen 5/13/2006
You've penned the life of a hobo with excellance
Reviewed by Sherry Heim 5/13/2006
I share your intrigue with the hobo lifestyle. As children my brother and I would sneak down to the train tracks and chat with the hobos, bringing wanderlust to my soul. They would tell us about all the cities that they traveled to and how this line was now theirs, they would say "I run the line" meaning that they would be back sometime soon to spend a few nights in this cozy spot before once again "taking the hop" and heading out. If my mother caught wind of us being "down at the tracks" we were in for a tanning of our behinds and additional punishments since we had been warned before; but something called us to the rails and to this day, I often wish I had taken that ride at least once. I absolutely love the rhythm of the rails. Wonderful images in this poem Regis, that truly took me back so many years.
Take care,
Reviewed by Pierre Ortega 5/12/2006
"Too bad it will all have to end with dawn" So profound! and isn't that the way it is with so many of life's good times. enjoyed this. Pierre.
Reviewed by William Bonilla 5/12/2006
Regis this is a fantastic piece
loaded with artistic imagery
I can see your poem clearly
within my thoughts as I read on.

Reviewed by Karen Cino 5/12/2006
After reading Hobo Heaven, it makes me think of Battery Park in Manhattan. The imagery is awesome. I can definitely feel a short story coming out of the write for you. Once again a phenominal job.

Reviewed by Gloria Buono Daly 5/12/2006
After reading your inspiring prose, I'm a believer that there's "hobo" in everyone. Very good. My best, Gloria
Reviewed by Nordette Adams 5/12/2006
Vivid imagery, Regis, that unfolds a traveler's tale in the reader's mind. :-) Nordette
Reviewed by Linda Ames 5/12/2006
oah! regis... how well you capture their joy and their sense of who they are, not to mention the beauty of the night. lovely. linda
Reviewed by Eddie Thompson 5/12/2006
Great images, Regis.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 5/12/2006
Brilliant nailed this one!!

Love TinkaSweets
Reviewed by Denise Edwards 5/11/2006
Excellent story telling as usual, Regis! Even without the picture, I could have seen this scene in my mind's eye, thanks to your vivid descriptions!
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 5/11/2006
Sounds like my time on the streets of Philadelphia...we used to gather down under the Ben Franklin bridge and watch the cars go to and from NJ, dreaming of owning one, dreaming of living, dreaming of a real life...ed
Reviewed by Lori Moore 5/11/2006
The dawn comes too soon. Enjoyed.
Reviewed by Susan de Vegter 5/11/2006
This is Americana and the folklore that isn't folklore but truth. My dad worked for the Seaboatd Coastline RR and would say that the hoboes went south to Florida during the winter months and hitched a ride in the freight cars. This renibded me of his stories.

Love the poem with the character it shares.

Reviewed by Sara Coslett 5/11/2006
This made me think of Arlo Guthrie, or more precisely, his dad - Woody. Nice mood piece. ~ Sara
Reviewed by jude forese 5/11/2006
thoughtfully constructed descriptions, Regis ...
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 5/11/2006
well done
Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK 5/11/2006
Come Visit Our Hobos Homeless In Los Angelese Sleazy_

Credit For Write...

Reviewed by Suzie Palmer 5/11/2006
Dearest Regis,
"The night is perfect:
Fellowship..." & yum, fine red wine would be divine (a bit fussy that way)!!
A great write depicting life!
Love, Suzie :-D
Reviewed by E T Waldron 5/11/2006
Regis, you had me there! Your depictions are so graphic! This is a fine poem on this topic!Thanks for sharing!
Reviewed by Felix Perry 5/11/2006
Ah this makes being homeless almost romantic and perhaps in it's day it was too bad they also have to freezed to death laying in cardbaora boxes come winter but that is another story. Great job here Regis

Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 5/11/2006
This poem goes well with those train songs, Reg. I can see the hobos with coffee-ground specked unshaven stubbly faces, with a stick with a red bandana bundle tied on the end wrapped up inside, a harmonica and a bottle of good ol' Thunderbird or Muscatel thrown over the hobos shoulders, walkin' down the line to share a story, a tune, and a nip! Pass around the brown paper bag! I hear the train acomin''s comin' round the bend.....

Reviewed by Constance Gotsch 5/11/2006
Never been a hobo, but have done my share of being on the road. Sometimes it's great fun. other times when you're sick or tired it's hell. but the fun outweighs the bad. I remember one night in Midland Texas coming into the hotel bar before dinner to have a brew and being surrounded by petrolium engineers. They tried to teach me the texas 2 step, but I'm an ox on the dance floor. They'd been all over the place drilling If they'd been on Mars I wouldn't have been surprised.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 5/11/2006
Ain't a bad life, Reg. I followed that open road for many years. Don't know if I would advise it in today's climate of violence, however, but yeah, even now I recall the good times and dismiss the bad ones as paying my dues. I was a linotype operator, (I doubt you know what that is) and really had no trouble "bumming" around. Washed dishes and swept up cafe's for meals, a lot of different things, stole once or twice, been there, buddy. I have yet to write that novel about those years, but I still have breath in me, I might yet.
Reviewed by Ann Marquette 5/11/2006
Beautifully written Reg.
Reviewed by Peter Paton 5/11/2006
When you are a " King of the Road ", you take shelter and refreshment wherever you can...
A happy go lucky write Reg from your magnanimous heart
Reviewed by George Carroll 5/11/2006
Camaraderie changes the circumstances one finds themselves in. Well done Regis
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 5/11/2006
Thank you for sharing the positive side of the Hobo's life.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 5/11/2006
Wonderful tribute to the hobo way of life! Well done, mon ami, very well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, ton ami, Karen Lynn in Texas. :D

Paix et amour a toi!
Reviewed by Connie Hinnen Cook 5/11/2006
Makes one realize that some can find joy, no matter what their circumstances. Very interesting write, Regis!
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 5/11/2006

A beautifully moving write; very well done! As Inked Wings below said, it is a pleasure and a privilege to read this. Thank you!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Huda Orfali 5/11/2006
To be with true friends is to be in heaven
thanks for sharing this offering my friend
love and peace
Reviewed by Inked Wings 5/11/2006
I really liked this. I never thought about hobo heaven before. Seen a few before in passing. Yes, I thought this was very well written. Thank you for the privilege to read this.
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