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These are poems about the homeless and poems for the homeless.

Epitaph for a Homeless Child
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

Homeless Us
by Michael R. Burch

The coldest night I ever knew
the wind out of the arctic blew
long frigid blasts; and I was you.

We huddled close then: yes, we two.
For I had lost your house, to rue
such bitter weather, being you.

Our empty tin cup sang the Blues,
clanged—hollow, empty. Carols (few)
were sung to me, for being you.

For homeless us, all men eschew.
They beat us, roust us, jail us too.
It isn’t easy, being you.

Published by Street Smart, First Universalist Church of Denver, Mind Freedom Switzerland and on 20+ web pages supporting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

for homeless mothers and their children

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this—
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live two artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears ...

For a Homeless Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go ...
when lightning rails ...
when thunder howls ...
when hailstones scream ...
when winter scowls ...
when nights compound dark frosts with snow ...
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill,
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief’s a banked fire’s glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

by Michael R. Burch

What good are tears?
Will they spare the dying their anguish?
What use, our concern
to a child sick of living, waiting to perish?

What good, the warm benevolence of tears
without action?
What help, the eloquence of prayers,
or a pleasant benediction?

Before this day is over,
how many more will die
with bellies swollen, emaciate limbs,
and eyes too parched to cry?

I fear for our souls
as I hear the faint lament
of theirs departing ...
mournful, and distant.

How pitiful our “effort,”
yet how fatal its effect.
If they died, then surely we killed them,
if only with neglect.

The childless woman,
how tenderly she caresses
homeless dolls ...
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

to the plum tree:
one blossom's worth of warmth
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I'd leap into the torrent!
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

What would Mother Teresa do?
Do it too!
—Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags: homeless poetry, homeless poems, homelessness, street life, child, children, mom, mother, mothers, America, neglect, starving, dying, perishing, famine, illness, disease, tears, anguish, concern, prayers, inaction, death, charity, love, compassion, kindness, altruism
Carlo C Gomez Mar 22
Ragged mist of stalled horizon,
from dry dock
to disadvantage point

second hand shops
of sackcloth and ash,
they contain multitudes

treading the outside edge
of perception,
rehearsing disaster
in fistfuls of earth,
and the immaterial:
the stuff of pure shadow

a bevy of dead buildings
resemble a fallen actress
in the throes of dance,
with emaciated figurines leaning
forward in the temple,
listening for clues
too far to whisper

work will never resume
on the tower,
and it will remain painfully scanty,
a place to bury strangers
or raise up cholera

the third world summer
sun on sacred walls,
red before orange,
let the rays burn away our sins,
we contain multitudes

but one step inside doesn't mean
we understand anything

David Hilburn Mar 14
And a told rise of climate
Special speed to them, the more we then
The greater the fate...

Whits in unison, time is a reach...
Powers of unction or lucre
Time is a shadow of whether, we insist
Paces of control, and the help of the future...

The watched for inertia, here
Is a fear in total live, and lets share due
Given the age of need, are you redoubt or near?

Patience is such a walking nightmare...
Presence for a friend, is a whole order to tame a thought...
Powers that be, seek a question nobody has forgot, where...
Passion is for a fool's errand, to remember what is not...

The look of callousness...
Turning for simpler silences to deal with
Adding a habit, in gray sources and duly the imagination lest
With a knowing hand, the reasons of valor, to intone is...
Submission is a grand view on the devil's real estate...
neth jones Sep 2022
distress men
distress women     the children follow suit
rooted        to their calculation
                             bore-hole n' punction
         functional ?   they ponder the fault   idling in their programs din

rescue them ?
their fearsome egos     will gum you up
tup and rupture your goodwill

despair man
despair woman    the children groping at their heels
sealed and merry mated     to the manner     spools that habit
rabbits and fools back into the boil

make a meal
  displace them ?
   their otherworldly longings ?
    wrong them welcome      into your loving bloom

this is how its done
here's a catalogue
  how big you've won
   better gig    than landing on the moon

distrust man
deface woman       the children drink from the wound
battle         become the saviour
behaviour shot against the mood
food to greet     the newly batched    cultural result
worthy of mention
the soiled spell
         going to drown though the generations
just trust   the serpent eye
and the lens of peddling assault   holds everything to its station
                                    for a jittering moment
                                    for a breakable moment
                                          a disgraced monument    
                                bereft         fidgeting in its place
MARK - last verse
The supple Grace of her body moves about melodically throughout my mindscape
How ever so often must I battle with impatience undevelope complacency and endure with perseverance, battle lust and wait for God to
bring forth her spirit that doesn't breathe death rather life and prosperity for her love is his charity in bloom and her kindness will help guide me to conquer and quell all around me
Johnson Oyeniran Apr 2021
Earth flows with such a rich abundance of important necessities,

To ensure the surival of all life, including humanity.

But the less fortunate struggle every single day to make ends meet,

Because greed continues to posion the minds of the powers that be.
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