The Beggars And Street Prophets Of London

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
3 min readNov 2, 2022


On the train into London, I see EAT DA RICH scrawled on the wall. It cheers my heart. On Oxford Street a man is preaching “we can’t go on on this planet like this!” And I agree with him. I see a beggar holding a sign saying ‘I’M VERY HUNGRY’, and my heart breaks for him, and everyone going hungry.

London is a weird post-apocalyptic space right now. Even the advertising is depressing. Everybody knows the papers and the politicians are lying, and the manic street preachers make sense, but everybody just ignores them. As Simon and Garfunkel said:

And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence”

The truth is written on the walls and spoken on street corners and no one cares. I am a manic street preacher myself, on the Internet, and I know how it feels. I am a beggar before the gods, and I know that the Buddha lived as a beggar, eating whatever he was given and wearing the robes of the dead. I know that Jesus said “Give to every man that asketh of thee,” but I didn’t because they didn’t have Apple Pay. I am truly cursed, as he continued:

Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation.
Woe unto you that are full, for ye shall hunger.
Woe unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mourn and weep.
Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you,
for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

All of us so comfortable in our Apple Pay, whipping our Bentley Spurs up Park Lane, stepping over the barefoot prophets of the apocalypse in our streets; gods forgive us. As the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recited:

Did He not find you as an orphan then sheltered you?
Did He not find you unguided then guided you?
And did He not find you needy then satisfied your needs?
So do not oppress the orphan,
nor repulse the beggar.
And proclaim the blessings of your Lord.

As I said, we are all beggars before the gods. We should all worship our ancestors. Hell, we owe a lot to plankton and trees. Homelessness is literally a policy choice. Every nation could simply eliminate homelessness, it doesn’t cost that…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at