Timothy Michaelmas-Daisy sat, rather forlorn, on the river steps which lead down to the Thames from the Houses of Parliament, a bottle of sparkling water in his hands, sipping occasionally and reflecting on the second worst day of his life, when he heard a cough behind him and looked up to see an elderly vagabond, tottering a few steps higher: "evenin' squire," said the tramp, "is that step taken?" at which Tim jumped to his feet and daded the old man down until he was safely seated beside him, when Tim offered him his bottle: "water! ferfucksake, squire, what do ye think I am? tee-total?" and he produced a half bottle of a decent Irish whiskey from one of his many pockets, removed the cap and offered the bottle to Tim: "d'ye have a phone, squire?" asked the other, regarding Tim carefully and Tim wondered if he was about to be mugged, but the tramp sensed his hesitation and laughed: "don't be worryin' yersel, squire, sure an' how on earth could I charge wan o they things, if I could even fathom out how tae work it?" and Tim returning the bottle, he took a good slug and wiped his mouth with the back of a grubby hand: "aaah, sure an' it's the Holy Water right enough; no I wondered if ye'd like tae tak a selfie wi' me?" and Tim asked: "why?" and remonstrated internally at his own crass rudeness, adding hurriedly: "why of course, if you don't mind, Mister?" at which his new friend waved the question away: "no names, no pack drill, think of me as Everyman, following the rolling English road the English drunkard made!" and Tim regarded him more closely: "G K Chesterton?" and received a nod in return: "I knew him well, laddie, me, him an' Yeats often passed a pleasant afternoon in a pub, whose name escapes me, but you're lookin' awful down in the dumps fer one so young, are the cares o the world pressin' down on ye?" and Tim replied: "you could say that, well, you see I had an important job and I failed, the thing I was working on has been scrapped because of me and my boss is in an awful mood – she desperately wanted it to succeed, I didn't ask for the job and to be honest, I'd been opposed to the whole thing, but tried my very best, and now she's become a laughing stock and she's blaming me and I can't say I blame her and I don't know if it's worth carrying on, at all!" and the tramp slid closer and put an arm round Tim's shoulders and said: "let me delate a little story, lad, it's about two men sittin on the steps above a coal black, cold black river on a windswept, rainswept night when the stars were all abed and the moon had given up the ghost and gone home; an' the first fellah, let's call him Dick and the other is Harry, anyway Dick is cryin' an' Harry asks him why, an' says: aren't you a poet? at which Dick looks down at his clothes and says: isn't it obvious? so Harry asks Dick to tell him a poem and Dick thinks and says, here's one: From Carrickmacross to Crossmaglen, There's more rogues than honest men; and Harry says, I read that in a book and Dick says, yes, lots of my poetry has been published, are you an artist? and Harry says I wanted to be one, but I had no talent, so I became a house-painter, like my aged father, and Dick says do me a picture, and Harry says I don't have any paints, or even pencils, chalks or charcoal, so I can't do a picture for you, even if I wanted to, it's impossible, so Dick says, describe it to me, and Harry asks, what with? and Dick says, words, and Harry says: well, there's a small house in a dappled glade in a forest, the house is thatched and the walls are cob, dried hard and painted in a white-ish wash, which sometimes looks green-ish, or grey-ish, or yellow-ish, or pink-ish, depending on the light, and in the house live an old man and his elderly wife and their only child, their daughter Magda, who sits outside the house, shelling peas, dropping the shells in a bucket and the peas n a bowl; the bucket is rusty iron and the bowl is cream enamel; Magda is wearing a dark dress, with an apron that was once blue but is faded from washing and stained from working, her blonde hair is tied back in a plait and her head covered with a blue headscarf, her wooden clogs are brown, and on her ring-finger is a thin gold ring that her boyfriend Wenzel gave to her before he went to the War two years ago, since when she has heard nothing of him; the War is far away, and neither Magda nor her parents know who their King is fighting, nor why, all they can do is hope that Wenzel will survive the War with his arms and legs still able, for when he and Magda marry, he will come and take over the small farm which is just to the right of the picture; the farm has a number of fields, in two they grow corn and rye, in another two, potatoes, turnips, carrots and other vegetables, and in the fifth, they keep three cows, a dozen sheep, two pigs and twenty hens; twice a day, Magda feeds the animals and checks the hen-houses for eggs, the rest of the day she helps her mother in the house or her father in the fields; she worries about what will become of herself and the farm when her parents die, and if Wenzel doesn't return, and so, as she shells the peas, tears flow from her eyes and drip onto her apron and her hands; why, says Dick, that's a lovely picture, because it tells all there is to know, or need to know, you are a true artist, but you suffer from impostor syndrome! and Harry says, I am not an impostor, I am who I am; but, says Dick, you don't believe in yourself, you impersonate someone who cannot visualise the picture you painted with words; and in the silence, Tim asks the old man: "which were you, in the story," and he replies: "ah, you have spotted it – well, I am Dick, the poet," and Tim asks: "who was Harry, what became of him?" and the old man replies: "why you, you are Harry, and it's up to you to decide what becomes of your life!"