I’m just a common snipe skulking in the gutter
With my short legs, filthy face, squint and stutter,
Cowering from the chorus of curses that they mutter,
Outcast, urchin, ragamuffin, nutter.

They want to trap this guttersnipe inside a birdcage,
Break my thirst for brawls and wrangle with my rage,
Button up my cheeky lip and record me on a page
In a ledger in a workhouse in a new Victorian age.

The inertia of my life was served up by fate,
A spectral existence means I stay up late,
Then I sleep until dusk to procrastinate
Stealing down the crow’s mile to miss my date

With life’s book keeper,
The night creeper,
The pied piper,
The grim reaper.

© Kim M. Russell, 2016

The following url links to my reading of the poem (with a bit of a Cockney accent!).!Am32hiIAHhufrFZpYh7zy4RJFc4x

nippers pages final2.indd

Image found on

My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #123 “October 3rd, 2016”



32 thoughts on “Guttersnipe

  1. I love the way you used the synonyms of guttersnipe and how he is portrayed as wanting to be a free spirit rather than caged, but his life is still sort of mundane. The poetry is flawless and should be read out a loud, I really enjoyed reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, homeless children get trapped in a cycle, even though they often believe they are free, usually from abuse. In Victorian times it was even worse. I’d like to think we’ve moved on from that kind of poverty but it still exists.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, that’s still the case in many parts of the world. I think everyone should keep in mind, we are all accidents of birth. When I was a child on the streets of south London, I was pretty much a guttersnipe but my grandparents had hopes and aspirations…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was raised in the country side of NJ….was a guttersnipe on the river and woods. there were no children to play with. And I had no grandparents. Just two parents with their own demons to attend to. not me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d like to say great poem, but it is and was more of a biography for many children then and now. Your comments are spot on. Such a bleak existence makes a mockery of society. It is a great poem Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

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