“Use your time wisely – Do what you love” – Hymn
He calls himself “Hymn”. A staple in Camden Town in London, his off-the-cuff poetry lines the sidewalk in multi-colored chalk, filled with inspirational and meditative messages. Live, love, reflect and slow down.
He doesn’t mind stopping for a chat and wipes the chalk dust from his hands onto his pants. Efforts by police and council to move him along have failed. His lifestyle is alternative but he doesn’t consider himself a beggar. He’s an artist, content with the life he’s chosen. He often speaks in rhyme and as we shared a package of raspberries, he begins rhyming about the fruit and the moment.
This is his only means of income. He is not much different than today’s bloggers who attempt to eke out a living with articles, poetry and photos on-line. Like today’s bloggers, he’s created a book of his poetry, written in multi-coloured pencils, that he offers for 5 pounds to anyone who wants to take his verses home with them.
He told me he had a good job back in Liverpool, where he’s from, but he is happier doing this. As we talk, a friend comes by with some fruit for him. He asks for a little extra for a friend feeling under the weather. He tells me he’s worried about her. The friend hands over a little more with best wishes.
He has ambitions, hoping one day to buy a canal boat so that he can float down the canals to other places, sharing his poems and philosophy.
The raspberries gone, he picks up his chalk and gets back to his work. I buy a copy of his brown paper covered collection. I like the simplicity of his verses and his message. “Do what you love,” he writes. In that we have something in common.