The almost-forgotten and ancient tradition of the troubadour is alive on the streets of Santa Barbara. His name is Tim Hale, 29, and he’s a traveling poet. He recites his poetry and sells his self-published book at the Farmer’s Market, and has lately been doing motivational speaking at a local high school. His poetry not only helps him survive on the streets from one city to the next, but it’s also a way to give back.

“It’s about putting something out to get something,” Hale said.

He left his home of Rembrandt, Iowa, a small town of two hundred people, where as a child, he had a cow and would bail hay. He said he left because the environment didn’t support his intellect, or creativity, and the people would try and break his will.

“No culture, a lot of methamphetamine, a lot of depression,” he said. “People watch six hours of TV every night, get home, watch TV, and go to jobs they hate. The complete opposite of who I am.”

Hale describes himself as a traveling poet, not as homeless, even though he doesn’t have a house and sleeps outside with just his large, ghost white wolf dog, named Puppy Wuppy.

The word “homeless” has so many definitions, it’s like the words “God” and “love.” In Hale’s years of homelessness, he’s never begged or asked for anything for free, he said. To read more, see .


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