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Lawrence Hall Nov 2023
Lawrence Hall, HSG

                              Homeless Man Found Murdered

He had nothing
And even that nothing
Was stolen from him
Michael R Burch Jun 2023

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

What is it about that elusive word?
I will throw my arms around it,

          --if it could only  become
                   tangible  to me.

             Children sit in families..
(and there was bonding from the beginning)

I don't know what that means

I don't know  how that feels..

I   don't..


                              I ...   don't...



                  I ..


Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Long way from my home

Sometimes I wish I could fly
Like a bird up in the sky
Oh, sometimes I wish I could fly
Fly like a bird up in the sky
Sometimes I wish I could fly
Like a bird up in the sky
Closer to my home

Motherless children have a hard time
Motherless children have-a such a hard time
Motherless children
have such a really  hard time
A long way from home

Sometimes I feel like freedom is near
Sometimes I feel like freedom is here
Sometimes I feel like freedom is so near

But we're so far from home

#owies   :(
Heidi Franke Jul 2022
Everywhere you go
Every where you are promised
Every where you land
Is not for a slab of steel
But are places you imagined to be
Only in your mind

You are where you want to go
You are where you lead
You are all the broken plans
Intended to lift you high above the land
You are air, as light as your intentions
As strong a wind, as your heart can stand

For there you are
Three times over
Where you must be
As you wait on this drifting sand
There may be another path
Just wait long enough
To take a stand
Homeless Addiction Mental Illness
You give one man a home address and that my friend is not addressing homelessness but it's a beginning and we have to start there, don't we?
but this piece is about anxiety and the way it affects your chemistry,
suddenly you're shaking, feeling dreadful, scared of daylight and more so of nightfall
you sit and drink and have a skinful,
wishful thinking doesn't cure you,
and you still need to get through
the gnawing feeling that you're dealing
with the devil or his disciples,
the home you've got becomes a hell
and you, the prisoner sat inside a room
which to all intents and purposes is just
another prison cell
do not feel well

they'll tell you it will be alright
even as the day and night conspire
against you
and you're still wishful thinking
hoping that will cure you,

good luck with that.
E Nov 2021
The tree bears that fickle fruit;
slouched figures swaying in the midnight wind
like its leaves above the garden.

Ripe and sweet to the core;
never satisfied, and wanting more
as the sordid souls ignore
the elements beyond the door.

Hellfire ignites
and sandy scripture lies upon the bay,
like plastic bits of dogma
with infected red resin in its tray.
Rotting fingers of snakeskin
grasp at survival throughout the day.
Make the apple last
in cardboard crematories, they pray
the temptations of Eden away.
Thomas W Case Jul 2021
I just have to write.
**** everything else.
I've suffered for my art,
and there's no doubt that
I will suffer more.
We all have our agony,
that's life and I accept
my plight.
I am what I am
(as Popeye would say.)
And I couldn't change
it if I wanted to.
I remember one night,
staying in an abandoned
I wrote some poems on
the walls.
I saw the words in
the moonlight through
a broken window.
Even though I was famished,
I hadn't eaten in
three days,
at that moment, I became
full and complete.
I knew right then,
as long as I had the words;
my words, I would never
feel empty again.
My black satchel full of
writing and the clothes
on my back were all
I owned.
I had no idea where I
was going at dawn,
but I sure the **** knew
who I was.
Mr E Writer Mar 2021
shopping mall charging
hope silent in a corner
windows empty souls
Being homeless makes everything difficult, finding a place to sleep, missing family, friends and loved ones, asking for spare change for food and drink is tougher than it looks, initially at least anyhow,   windows have become empty reflections of their usual selves hauntingly enhanced by Covid19. Charging my phone is awkward and strange, I get it done in a quiet corner of a local mall until I'm spotted and asked to leave. Tomorrow is another day...
Amy Perry Mar 2021
My dad taught me
that placement in society
is ultimately irrelevant.
He taught me you can find
your eager slice of happy
anywhere, not just in between
four familiar walls.
I used to think
that if only he had access
to a mattress and a ceiling
he'd find his happiness.
But, I realized -
Who am I
to dictate what makes
another feel complete?
Here, by the park benches,
His heart blooms like
a grandmother's rose bush.
He lives moment to moment.
Cares not for possessions,
Has no schedule,
No place to be.
Has no bills, no debts,
no credit, no ID.
Scrounges the ground
and kind strangers' gestures
for everything he owns.
But oh, his cold, tired bones!
I worry how long a journey lasts
for a lone vagabond.
Envigorated by the sounds
of the sea
and chance encounters
whether they be familiar
friends or family
or the palpable presence
of all that's imaginary.
It all lurches to him
in a grand symphonic dance,
Linking his hours to days,
and days to weeks,
extending outward and upward
to take the heavens
in his grasp.
A pigeon dove lands
on his tattooed finger.
He laughs, and it flocks
to another's perch.
A tree branch this time.
The animals and children
look into his eyes
and wonder about the stranger.
Alone, raggedy, down on luck
but up in spirits,
and they recognize
a body brimming with
My dad taught me you can be
nobody and still have everything.
Thomas W Case Feb 2021
I'm back in the psyche ward again.
It's my home away from home,
next to jail and the emergency room.
I sat under the bridge the other night.
It was January, and extremely cold.
I was jonesing for a drink—I knew what I had to do.
I had only been out of jail for a
couple of days for another public intox.
I narrowly avoided going back to the can today.
My nut-job girlfriend said,
"Why don't you get us some wine? " "Sure, " I said.
Shaking and sick, I walked a mile to
my favorite store that I steal ***** from.
I arrived, and had a bad feeling, but I
don't pay much attention to feelings anymore.
In and out is always the plan.
A bottle of chardonnay down the front
of the pants, and one in the coat.
I thought I had it. I was wrong.
A customer saw me and snitched me off.
I went with the manager to his office.
A cop showed up shortly afterwards.
I engaged the store-guy with talk of literature.
It turned out he was an
English major.
I wrote down the title of my book,
and slipped it to him. He put the paper
in his wallet. He told the cop that I was very cooperative.
Instead of taking me to jail,
the cop gave me a citation with a
court date on it, and let me go.
Sometimes, providence smiles on me.
On my way back to the apartment,
I was already planning the next store to hit,
I needed a drink.
The cop, from the store, pulled up along side of me,
and said,
"Your girlfriend called, she said she didn't
want you at her place anymore.
All your stuff is in front of her door."
I felt like I'd been run over by a rhino.
The cop said,
"I'll give you a lift, jump in."
When I arrived, there were two loosely
packed bags of clothes weighing around 100 pounds.
There was no way in hell that I could
have carried all that crap eight miles to Iowa City.
I grabbed a back pack, and stuffed it with a pair
of jeans, two shirts, my writing, and a copy of Don Quixote.
I went outside and waved to the cop, then headed towards town.
I finally made it back to the bridge.
I waited to get the nerve to make
my next move—steal wine.
I did it, and with no cork *****,
I opened it with a broken ink pen.
I'm not complaining, it was the needed elixir
and it went down like nectar of the gods.
I drank it quick, it was three degrees out.
Life had to change.
This was getting real old.
Here's an older one revamped.
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