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kayla morrison Apr 2014
I saw a homeless man,
and like most people,
I rolled up the window.

I saw a homeless man,
and like most people,
I locked my doors.

I saw a homeless man,
and like most people,
I drove right by,
I saw a homeless man,
and like most people,
thought “I have nothing to give.

I thought I saw a homeless man,
but like most people,
I diverted my eyes.

I thought I saw a homeless man,
but like most people, I can’t tell you
what His cardboard sign said.

I thought I saw a homeless man,
He held a piece of cardboard,
it said “need…” but I don’t know what.

I wonder, did He need,

Money
Work
Food
Love?
I saw a homeless man,
and I wonder
how long had it been since He showered?

I saw a homeless man,
and I can’t help but question
how long He’s been that way.
I saw a homeless man,
and I didn’t make a difference,
even though a bill burned my pocket.

I saw a homeless man,
and I realized,
I’m still a poor college student.

I saw a homeless man,
and He didn’t receive my sympathy,
I gave Him fear, distrust, and invisibility.
I saw a homeless man,
on the way home,
in my old truck.

I saw a homeless man
He found a backpack
and was given $100,000.

I saw a homeless man,
and thought maybe he’ll be lucky too,
but then I realized it takes someone like me
to make someone like Him
Lucky.
I know I will see the homeless man
again and again and again.
Maybe I’ll read His sign.

I know I will see the homeless man,
on my drive home in the evening,
I know I won’t change.
But, I wonder, who will?

I’m the girl who saw a homeless man,
and like most people,
I did a few things,

Locked the door
Rolled up the window
Looked away
Kept driving.
I’m the girl who saw a homeless man,
with twenty dollars in her pocket,
and I didn’t help one bit.
Edward Coles Jul 2014
“You know the worst thing I ever saw?” He asked.

I sighed to myself, took another gulp of beer and fixed him with a look of half-interest. He was drunk. A complete ****-up and a bore when he's drunk. I don't know why I drink with him. That said, he probably thinks the same.

“What's that?”
“Bedsheets over the benches in the church yard.”
“Ye-what?”
“Bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.”
“The homeless. Right.”
“I'll get us another drink.” he says, “then I'll start where I left off.”
“Oh, good.”

He comes back with two bottles. We drink and we start talking about football. We're just about getting by before he raises his palm to his face.
“Aw, ****. I forgot, yeah. The worst thing I ever saw. I never told you.”
“You did. Bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.”
“Yeah yeah, but that doesn't really say much, does it? You're probably wondering to yourself why that would **** me off so much?”

Not really. He's the type of no-action, all-caring, bleeding heart that sits on his fattening **** every day, 'liking' rhetorical captions over pictures, and signing petitions to axe some ***** politician or other.
“I guess. Shoot.”

He shoots.
“I wanna burn down the churches. Seriously. Stupid ******* religious folk. I bet they go home and post pictures up of themselves, all busy in the soup kitchen, ladling minestrone into some poor *******'s styrofoam bowl.
“They'll never touch them. Always at arm's length. You don't wanna breathe in the pathogens of the anti-people...”
He slurred a little, went to carry on, but took another gulp of beer instead.
“What does that have to do with bedsheets over the benches in the church yard?” I took a gulp myself, this time watching him with a little more interest. Probably just because he looks like he could spew at any moment.
“You're not letting me finish...”
He finishes his beer, gets up, almost bumping into his piano-***-keyboard. He's off to the fridge again. I have a look around while he's out of the room. I can hear him ******* in the kitchen sink.

I've seen the place a million times before but it always has a whole bunch of new **** tacked up on the wall or else bundled in the corner. He's no hoarder, just gets bored and throws out all the stuff he bought the year before.
There's a framed picture of himself on the wall, cradling his Fender as if he's a master of the arts. It's signed, too.
I've seen him play. Probably will tonight. Wouldn't be surprised if he's written a protest song called: bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. The old **** can't even hit an F major with regularity.
He'd decided to put up his vinyl sleeves on the wall like a 17 year old would with an array of **** pop-punk band posters.
Blink and you might think he's the new John Peel or Phil Spector. Stare, and you'll realise he's twice as crazy, yet half as talented and half as interesting to listen to.
His room is like a CV to show to interesting, young indie women. Shame he's hitting forty now,and hasn't been to a club in about 3 months.
Last time we went he just sulked in the corner and got too drunk. He cried in the smoking area about his job before going round and asking attractive girls whether they think he's too old to be out. Most didn't even bother to give an answer. Probably best.

He comes back in with more beer.
“A-anyway...” He says, groaning a little like an old man as he settles back into the chair. “As I was saying...” he sloshes beer on the carpet, rubs it in with the heel of his shoe. He spits on the mark and then rubs again.
“What I was saying was that the church would be a whole lot more useful to the homeless if it was burned down. A condemned building is a whole lot more useful than being looked down on by holier-than-thou, middle-class, white Christians.
“They go home after an hour, bolt the church doors, and then watch TV in their brand new conservatories that they spend several thousands on. Just give the losers a place to shoot up and sleep in safety. That makes sense, right?”
“I guess so.”
I couldn't think of a change of conversation. So I just drank some more and pulled out a cigarette. It's nice to smoke inside for a change.

“It's a ****** ******* awful thing. If people were actually religious, they'd throw open their ******* doors for everyone. It's what Jesus would do, right?”
“Right.”
“He'd have all the **** in his bedsit, piled in like sardines, spreading TB like wildfire.”
“And that's a good thing?”
“Well, it can't be any worse, right? Sleep's important. I learned that the hard way.”

He didn't learn it the hard way. Not really. He's a self-motivated, self-harming insomniac. He spent his teenage years listening to bad music and staying up too late ******* over his French teacher. I should know, I mostly did the same.
He hit the **** pretty hard during college. Never really looked back until recently. ****** him up worse than you'd reckon. He couldn't sleep without the stuff. Man, if you'd have seen the poor guy whenever he couldn't get hold of some for the night. Eesh.

“...you know what I mean though? I'm sick of charity. Those fun-runs you get. A load of women in pink pretending that they care about breast cancer, before posting a million and one pictures up of them in ankle warmers and a kooky hat...”
“**** of the Earth.”
“Yup. Right up there with the women who have 'mummy' as their middle name on Facebook.”
“Yeah.”
“Honestly though, it's the laziest form of charity. Throwing a couple old, mouldy bedsheets out on some bird-**** bench made of wood and ancient farts...”
“It is pretty lazy.” I drank some more.

It was getting late. We swallowed three temazepams each, moved onto the cheap shiraz once we ran out of beer. We leant back in our chairs, barely talking and letting Tame Impala supply the conversation for us.

“You know what?” I ask, pretty much out of nowhere. His eyes have narrowed. He's not sleepy, just ****** on ***** and tranquillizers. He takes a moment.
“Huh?”
“From what you were saying earlier... you know, about the bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.”
“Yeah?”
“Well, why don't you?”
“Why don't I what?”
“Burn it down.”
“The church?”
“Well, you go on about being lazy and ****. Here's your chance. Help the homeless. Break the locks, pour the petrol, take out a few bottles of wine if you find any...”
“Now?”
“I guess so. Homeless folk are dying of pneumonia out there. Not a second can be wasted.”
“I dunno. I didn't mean I had to do it. I was just saying...”
“I guess they were just saying too.” I felt like I was being a ****, so I changed the subject to women I haven't laid.

I stumbled home leaning on my bicycle all the way. Daylight was just about visible off in the distance. I passed two homeless guys on the way back, gave one of them a fiver, the other one my big mac and the last of my cigarettes (well, leaving a couple for myself).
They said thanks, god bless you, etc, etc. I carried on walking.

I woke up the next afternoon with a mouthful of sand and in desperate need of a hangover ****. I hadn't shaved in about two weeks and there were dark circles under my eyes. I thought about going out to the diner for a full breakfast, but strange people were beyond me.
I ordered a pizza full of meat and grease and garlic sauce instead. I text him to see if he wanted to come over and nurse the hangover with a little ****. Watch a film. Get drunk again. He still smokes it on special occasions, and this ******* of a hangover was pretty **** special.
No reply, and I end up rolling up a joint for myself, smoking it by the window and watching the magpies peck around the grass. It's nice out.

The pizza guy comes. He's holding the pizza up like a map, calls out in a bored sort of voice: “Hello sir. I've got a large Palermo Pizza here, with a side of chicken strips and a can of Dandelion and Burdock?”
I say yes and he hands it over.

I tip him with the coins still left in my wallet from the night before, and he sheepishly says he picked up my post for me as well.
I look down at the pizza I'm holding, and there's a few envelopes that look suspiciously like bills, rival takeaway leaflets, and the local paper. I say thanks, give him the best sort of smile I could, and then close the door.
I turn on the TV. I forgot the England match was on. I turn over to something more interesting. There's nothing, so I switch back over. Before I open up the pizza, I take the paper. A small-town existence, nothing ever happens, but I could do with a new job.

The front page is on fire. A church has been burned down in the early morning. A forty-something man has been arrested and then taken to hospital for severe burns to the face. A load of children's art has been lost, along with countless Bibles, prayer cushions, and vaults of cash.
“****.”
I read through the article. The whole place was gutted. Nothing could be salvaged. Nothing could be redeemed. In the corner of the picture, through the red, green, and blue dots, I could just make out some bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.
I apologise profusely for posting up a short story instead of a poem. I wrote this in one go tonight and haven't proofread it. I had no plan, I just wrote until there was -something- there. I just wanted to try something different.

C
ANYTHING FOR A HOME




THE GOVERNMENTS DON’T CARE FOR THE MENTALLY ILL

THEY DON’T GIVE A ****

YA SEE THIS HOMELESS MENTALLY ILL MAN WAS CAMPING ILLEGALLY

CAUSE HE HAS NO HOME TO GO TO

I THINK IT’S WRONG, WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TOO

SEEING ONE OF THE POOOR AND SUFFERING

GET INTO TROUBLE FOR ILLEGAL CAMPING


UMMMMMMMMMM MAKE THIS POLICE MAN LEARN UMMMMMMMMM

THAT DISCIPLINE LIKE THIS IS WRONG UMMMMMMM PLEASE

INSTEAD OF ARRESTING THEM, GIVE THIS GUY A HOME WITH ROUND THE CLOCK CARE


UMMMMMMMM SO NO PERSON CAN NICK HIS STUFF


UMMMMMMMMM HE SUFFERS MORE THAN THE COPS


UMMMMMMMMM  HE NEEDED TO BE LOOKED AFTER MORE

UMMMMMMMMM  HE DIDN’T DESERVE TO DIE



UMMMMMMMMM   THESE POLICE MEN WERE JUST DOING THEIR JOB, WELL YEAH MATE UMMMMMMMMMM

UMMMMMMMMMM HE HAD NOWHERE LEFT TO GO, UMMMMMMMMM I LIKE MENTAL PEOPLE UMMMMMM


THEY MIGHT LOOK DIFFERENT, UMMMMMMMM THEY ARE ALRIGHT AND FUNNY


UMMMMMMMMMM HE NEEDED TO BE CRIVEN TO A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS

UMMMMMMMMMMM RATHER THAN SHOT, NO THERE IS NO EXCUSE, FOR POLICE DOING THIS

UMMMMMMMMMMM THEY ARE HASSLING THE MENTALLY ILL, IT’S SO WRONG UMMMMMMMM

UMMMMMMMMMMM, I DON’T WANT TO SAY THINGS OUT OF TURN, BUT UMMMMMMM THESE POLICEMEN WERE IN THE WRONG

UMMMMMMMMMMM  THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR KILLING IN EVERY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION

UMMMMMMMMMMM IF HE REALLY CARES, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE SHOT HIM DEAD

UMMMMMMMMMMMM SORRY IF I AM TOO HARSH, BUT BUDDHA SAYS KILLING IS WRONG, UMMMMMMMMMM

UMMMMMMMMMMMM NO, BUDDHA, ATHENA, AND CRONUS, WHO IS ME, DOESN’T EXCEPT THIS

UMMMMMMMMMMMM GIVE THIS HOMELESS MAN A MICROPHONE, ON SATURN SO HE CAN RAT OFF THE POLICE THAT KILLED HIM

UMMMMMMMMMMMMM  SOMETIMES IT’S GOOD TO BE HARSH, UMMMMMMMMM IF YOU SEE THE KILLING OF THE HOMELESS


UMMMMMMMMMMMM IT’S JUST NOT ON, BUDDY, IT’S JUST NOT ON UMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMM UMMMMMMM UMMMMMM

I HOPE THE POLICE AREN’T PROUD OF WHAT THEY DID, IT’S WRONG TO ****, THE MENTALLY ILL

UMMMMMMMMMMM  DISPITE WHAT YOUR REASONS MAYBE UMMMMMMMMM I AM TOO NICE, FOR BEING A FIGHTER

UMMMMMMMMMMMM BUT THIS ******, CHILLS ME TO THE SPINE UMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMMM

UMMMMMMMMMMM PLEASE, GIVE THIS MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS MAN A PERFECT FAMILY IN HIS NEXT LIFE

UMMMMMMMMMMM IF THERE IS ANY SUCH THING AS A PERFECT FAMILY

UMMMMMMMMMMM LET THIS DEATH, MAKE THESE POLICEMEN SQUIRM LIKE I DID, BUT I NEVER KILLED NOBODY

UMMMMMMMMMMM  HOMELESS, HOMELESS HOMELESS, I SAID IT 3 TIMES, TO STATE THE REASON WHY HE WAS CAMPING

UMMMMMMMMMMM IT’S BECAUSE HE WAS SUFFERING, HE WAS HOMELESS, HE WAS HOMELESS HE WAS HOMELESS UMMMMMMM


UMMMMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMMMMM KILLING SHOULD BE WRONG UMMMMMMMM PEOPLE SHOULD BE GIVEN PROPER GUN TRAINING

UMMMMMMMM IT’S WRONG TO ****, IT’SC WRONG TO **** UMMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMMM
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2018
.the fireworks are still going off, Guy Fawkes 2.0, and sitting there thinking... big bang... so there was a sound in vacuum? i see a firework go off, the bright explosive light, and then the thunderous balloon burst! boom! i tap my finger... i'm guessing a 1.2 second delay from seeing the light from the firework, and hearing the BOOM! so... in light of all this... are we 1.2 seconds ahead of the big bang, or 1.2 seconds behind it, actually having happened, as in: still happening... i mean... it's not like sound precursors light... and we are not exactly illuminating creatures for most part, but sure as ****, we're loud.

well...
   i might have been looking for
a needle in a haystack,
or whatever it was i was looking
for,
  but i have spoken to a few homeless
people...
i remember about four congregated
around me in Trafalgar Sq.
one sunny afternoon,
    and that was the point where i knew
i was losing it, detaching myself
from the conventionality of "reality":
having meaningless conversations
with people wearing NPC-masks...
the voice inside my head started
thin out... until it fizzled out and i turned
into a writing machine...
if i had the same internal-monologue
with myself, i wouldn't be writing this,
a gaping abyss agitated by whatever
interacts with it,
and subsequently prompts such writing...
i put my hand around one of
the homeless men,
he didn't like it, i comforted him,
we'll just talk...
   then he started explaining to me about
his spot in the Sq.,
  he stood up, and indexed the spot,
the spot where i sat next to him,
another came and sat akimbo
like a child, listening to me intently,
two teenage girls passed
and he asked them:
      what do you see in his (my) eyes?
they replied nothing...
still somehow mesmerized like a child
in a primary school, listening intently...
red as a beetroot from all the *****...
i ended up giving him a book
i just bought in an indie bookshop...
christopher marlowes Dr. Faustus...
i stood up and abstracted a square,
drew both my index fingers
   around a slab of pavement
asking the stupid question:
                     do you think it's there?
or inside your mind?
                  then the homeless man
sitting in akimbo introduced me
to a northern irish veteran with PTSD...
drunk like a skunk...
         and then we walked into
the homeless shelter together,
   they didn't let me in,
because i didn't remember my national
insurance number, or had the card
for that matter...
          weeks pass...
   imagine the chances of this happening,
in central London...
i bump into the same man who sat in
akimbo in Trafalgar Sq. on the streets
of Soho... the chances... or meeting someone,
randomly, a second time, in London?
******* slim... slimmer than size 0
catwalk models... more like size -1...
and he told me that a spider crawled
      into his ear...
    he said that he was going deaf...
                   so i walked into a shop
bought a few beers and we sat in
a church courtyard talking with his friend
who showed off his buddha tattoo
and said: i'm going to walk to India...
subsequently we were ushered out...
because we were breaking the law...
and i thought: but you serve wine in
the church, don't you?
    there was no argument...
then there was the instance in Leytonstone
with the homeless talking about
pneumonia of some woman they
were friends with...
               many pleasantries hugging
what not...
   but...
          the most profound instance i had
was just outside Romford train station...
the same man i would later sit down with
and offer a cigarette to in Seven Kings,
just outside the O'Grady's Irish pub...
       i've seen how people interact with
homeless people... that snarky attitude...
they stand and bend over while talking
to someone sitting on the pavement on cardboard...
a toned down version of paddy bateman...
this ridiculing with intimidation...
ugliest crap imaginable...
   so i sat with this man...
     gave him my spare fiver...
       rolled up a joint...
   we went around the corner to smoke it...
some kid with a football ran up to us,
we passed... and then we asked each other questions...
the kid said he wanted to become a footballer,
me and the homeless man encouraged
him to take his dream seriously...
quickly the marijuana high smirk
left his face...
    apparently i had a diamond on my forehead,
claimed the homeless man...
but then i asked the very touchy question...
so... what made you homeless...
  i'll never forget what he retorted with...
my mother told me to never tell a lie.
what?!
  so the only reason he was homeless was
because he was an honest man, prior?
   oh... so this is what makes men homeless...
honesty, for one,
   and along with honesty,
   other traits that elevate valor,
    alongside the many other virtues...
well... "who would have thought"?
               like that wasn't painfully obvious
to begin with... namely...
how the rats, the skivvy, the immoral,
the sadomasochistic overlords of
institutions become rewarded exponentially...
while the man who replies
to the homeless question with:
    my mother told me to never tell a lie.
preservationman Jul 2018
Some people pretend they are homeless on hard times
But the detail is not fine
Some people will beg for Financial help to the public
It is fraud homeless being a test
So a be used becomes an automatic refuse
Where do fraud homeless come off in wanting the public to support their Survival Case
It is nothing but than a time waste
Fraud Fraud Fraud
Oh my Lord
Homeless Fraud expect s money to come from your pocket at the public’s expense
The public’s money is earned and not Heaven sent
Homeless Fraud wants their request to be your response
We are supposed to comply
But the question is always why?
A Homeless Fraud needs to try too help themselves
There is no like everybody else
As it stands, Homeless Fraud and True Homeless person issue demands on the public in their stride
No matter what we cannot always provide
Yet this isn’t a suppose
This is just annoying being consistence in arose
Homeless Fraud needs to end
A new horizon that needs to begin
Homeless alternatives with a solution
The answer is on the Homeless Fraud with their own resolutions
Draw your own conclusion.
preservationman Jan 2016
Homelessness can strike anyone at any given time
It could be due to any situation that is combined
No one wants to live on the streets
It is often written about within tweets
Mental illness a sickness that most homeless have
It was not some gift
Don’t look down on homeless like they are a drift
We are not far away
There are many words I could say
Homelessness from city to city that has spread all around
We are all just seconds from being homeless bound
One day noises being unknown, but continuous echoes not having any sounds
Scenery being nothing more than subway rides
Walking and talking to one’s self being strides
Having no place with a home to eat
Movement after continuous movement being a retreat
Homeless living in cardboard boxes being home
Having no family, but feeling alone
Homeless are citizens too
Solutions to homeless problems is what is truly due
Forcing homeless into shelters is not the action to take
No one has an answer because they can’t relate
A more marketable approach would be the motivation needed
It’s the only way to proceed
Homelessness is dark ages of dungeons of the unknown
An open heart that needs to be shown
Remember homeless didn’t put this act on themselves
They were rejected by means of somebody else
Society has labeled them having no social place
My thoughts this needs to be erased
Also added that homeless are a waste
But society must have compassion and not be haste
A homeless town being still around
What would it take to hear the homeless voices justice sounds?
Julie Grenness Sep 2015
History of the homeless,
Society does not bless,
So unlike birds homeless,
Flying afar and so free,
Nestling into any tree,
Waking up so chirpy.
Not like humans homeless,
Society does not bless,
All these homeless young,
Did they get enough hugs?
Or was it too many drugs?
Or ****** abuse of their youth?
What's the history of the homeless--
Society does not always bless.......
Feedback welcome.
Belle Dec 2017
Did you know there are more than 500,000 homeless people in America?
A quarter of them children.
Boston has one of the highest homeless populations in this country.
1 in 8 Americans live on an income that put them at risk for hunger.
Do you know how hard it is out there? Do you know how easy it is to be homeless? And how people look at them with shameful eyes?
You're 47 and you just got fired from your job cause it's overstuffed you missed rent for two months, momma isn't gonna help you! You don't have any money in your savings because you had to pay off college loans and debt.
You're 19 and you get pregnant and you want the baby, you want to have this beautiful child. But your boyfriend leaves you and your parents won't accept it.
Life doesn't give a **** what your situation is, this world doesn't give a **** how you got homeless because if you're homeless you're seen as less than. Why are you seen as less than? I bet some of those people know more than you or I or he or she do. I bet they can offer you words that would blow your mind. And because they got fired, or made a mistake that they couldn't come back from we look at them and turn our heads as we walk by them, we donate money at Christmas to show we "cared but do we really?
Yesterday at my work we threw away 16 pounds of food waste and I seriously felt some type of pain ring through my body
Because I knew that could've fed ONE homeless person for weeks or multiple homeless people for the evening.
I just wanted to take it and stuff it into one of our **** salad bowls and go dish it out to anyone I saw who needed it.
Can you imagine not being able to eat for days because you can't even afford the $1.00 honey buns in the starz markets?
And people pretend they don't hear you when you ask them to help with food.
Why do we look at these people, who just want food, who just want warmth, and need a home, as if they're someone who ruined our country.
Rather then giving them the a look of embarrassment, give them a look of kindness.
The Calm Dec 2016
Dear Homeless man
I see you standing there alone
Empty and probably hopeless with no place to call home

The winter cold breathe's on you it's icy kiss
It adds to the pain doesnt it?
To the voice of hoplessness beckoning you to death's dark abyss

Dear homeless man, why do you make me so afraid ?
You're one of God's children and I should be lending you aid
Dear homeless man I don't even know your name
As I wait for a green light feeling selfish,  uncaring and ashamed.

Dear homeless man, don't give up hope
Don't ever become a hopeless man
You probably wonder, if God is so good why doesn't he answer me ?
The birds of the air and the fish of the sea he takes care of
But what about me?

Dear Homeless man, I can't describe to you the emptiness I feel
As I look at you and imagine what you go through, your struggle your world so...real.

My immediate response is to raise my hand and for you say a prayer
My physical response is for you to shed a tear
God said that I would do for the least of I do the same thing to Jesus and for you I did not take care of
Is this what I do to the Lord above ?
To his creation? That's the only question on my imagiation, as I drive home it's a steady fixation as I think, wow me, a christian , certainly this will lead to damnation....

Dear Homeless man I'm sorry,
I wish I could drive you to my home and take you in.
Tell you about Jesus, I know you know that life is tough but I'll tell you how through him you can win
How the cause for your dilemna is through man and his sin but death didn't win
I wish I could show you a new day right now but hopefully through my prayer at that traffic light , hope will reach in.
To the homeless man standing on Orleans street in Baltimore Maryland right after Johns Hopkins Hospital, God bless and I'm sorry I can't help. I hope God blesses you
The poor are suffering mate
In the city of Canberra
You see they sit there with hats
Waiting for someone to give 'em cash
You see it is cold in winter
And every day they will suffer
Yeah while the rich are drinking
Wine and talking
I know it is there perogative
To go out to people's houses
While the homeless are suffering every day then
The rich will take their skis
Down the snow
Which is fun but the poor are colder than them
You see they have hot soup
Cause it is a necessity
But the homeless only get it
Once a week
And fat people eat up their sugar
While the homeless are
Having problems every day
They want to have heaps of food
But they have to find a open shelter
I think people are fools ya see
Because they don't give a ****
For the poor
They sit in their rich houses
Saying **** the poor 3 times very fast just to show us
They don't give a ****
You see on Anzac Day
As all the diggers march
Saying the war was a bad place to be
But each homeless person
Suffers every day and night
And as they march they feel like yelling out hey diggers aren't suffering mate like we are suffering now
You don't care for our welfare at all
You see as we walk in the streets of this cold city
We see suffering in the hands of the poor
Nobody really cares unless
They are wanting these people to leave them alone
I always give money to the homeless because wheni I
Go to my nice warm house
There are loads of people without
The right wing government doesn't really care and
The rich who have everything
Really don't care despite taking
5 cents out of 1 million each week
You see the homeless are suffering mate
And we need to help them
Even if they buy ***** with it
Who flaming well cares
Just as long as they get what
They want
You see the people who
Complain drink as well
So why do they complain about
The homeless doing it
No let's help each homeless person 1 at a time
Because they deserve more than people with houses
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
think about the homeless theres no place to go
living in box in the rain and snow
living in the ruff  no where they can hide
no where to keep warm from the cold outside
think about there life and how it used to be
before they all became a homeless tragedy
think about homeless there are quite a few
and thank the lord above the homeless is not you
Vaishali May 2018
The stars hung low that night
To hail the girl who sat on the rooftop
Of a filthy run down cottage
At the end of the 'Homeless Women' lane

Her knees were scraped with callused fingernails
That bled against the chips on the wall she had climbed
To watch those pretty little things shine
And sigh with wonder against the solitary night

The emptiness in her stomach growled
But her wild eyes devoured the moon
Maybe the night resembled her tattered black dress
And stars were just despicable holes in the fabric of sky

Greasy auburn hair hung limp against her skimpy frame
Not many would find beauty on that haunted face
But there was a prepossessing in her pain
The way she never truly had things to lose
So she loved everything we seldom bother to.

It was a cold night on a full moon
The homeless girl breathed her last atop a red roof
No one remembers a slovenly girl with wild eyes
A homeless girl who died in her true home,
Her personal paradise.

Maybe she was only fifteen
But not many can claim
They've worn constellations on their body
Maybe she found her peace
And landed the stars while we were asleep
Maybe the way she died
Is the way most of us fail to live
Maybe we should love the way
A homeless girl once did.
Kevin Mar 2017
is he homeless or on a mental health hunger strike?
is she homeless or addicted to feeling more than her existence?
is he homeless or a veteran that fought an unrequired war?
is she homeless or a forgotten child from a long line of abusers?
is he homeless or an item thrown away from within a pyramid scheme?
is she homeless or someone kicked out of her home because she
can't decide whose mouth she's going to feed?
is he homeless or looking for God amongst us?
is she homeless or trying to keep herself together?

we only know they're homeless
and that's good enough for most of us.
behind all of our appearances lie an unimaginable amount of unheard stories. they've been told, but people, en masse, refuse to listen; or at least refuse to act. be kind to all. show them love like you would your valued tribesman. it's amazing what only a little love can do.
Danny Valdez Dec 2011
As a child
I had a fear that one could
become homeless
fairly easily.
I'd see a homeless man on the corner
and wonder how he got that way.
"Mom?"
"What Daniel?"
"What if I grow up to be homeless? Like that man on the corner?"
"Mijo...I'd never let that happen..."
She did put my mind at ease,
but at the same time
I wondered
is that what the homeless man's Mom
told him
when he was a little boy?
Irate Watcher Jul 2014
Pants hang from my tree;
so please knock —
before bothering me.

I'm not homeless.

The park is my shelter
The grass, my bed.
The wind, my comforter
and sunny California,
my adopted mother.
the house next door makes me
sad.
both man and wife rise early and
go to work.
they arrive home in early evening.
they have a young boy and a girl.
by 9 p.m. all the lights in the house
are out.
the next morning both man and
wife rise early again and go to
work.
they return in early evening.
By 9 p.m. all the lights are
out.

the house next door makes me
sad.
the people are nice people, I
like them.

but I feel them drowning.
and I can't save them.

they are surviving.
they are not
homeless.

but the price is
terrible.

sometimes during the day
I will look at the house
and the house will look at
me
and the house will
weep, yes, it does, I
feel it.
Hannah W Oct 2014
We don’t talk so often anymore
and you are miles away
but I hope you know
that you remain my home

and lately I've been feeling homeless

-h.w.
I just really miss you
lina S Aug 2014
I've got this bag on my back
and no where to unpack
Homeless
I've got this bag filled with problems webbed by my confusion of emotions
Homeless
begging on the streets for a notice
There's so many people walkin'
they help out often
But they never gave me a home to unpack
cause I got a troubling track
On my back
in my bag
No where to unpack
these emotions
cause I'm living homeless
In this poem I was trying to explain the feeling of not being able to rely or open up to someone completely and trust them and be able to speak all your troubles and emotions to ..
Axle Avatari Apr 2016
Don't look into,
Homeless eyes.
Because,
You know their lives,
Are one big mess.

Don't look into,
Homeless eyes.
Don't look into,
Madness,
Despair,
And anxiety.
Don't look into,
Homeless eyes.
You'll only see,
The pain,
And agony,
They face,
Everyday.
Stay away,
From,
Homeless eyes.

Pushing their,
Shopping cart lives,
To the sidewalk's edge.
Hear them mumble.
Hear them mutter.
Endless paths of concrete.
Where they step off the ledge,
An' tumble into the gutter.
Wednesday May 2014
They say home is wherever you lay your head at night
That must be true
because my former house has a lock on the door now;
a lock to keep me out.

I never realized this is how it is to be homeless,
the endless wandering of a place to rest at night
the endless cycle of hunger and
thirst and
protection

I walk out of work with not a place to be in the world
and if I’m being honest it should frighten me.

I am a wanderer.

I have no sense of direction,
no moral pull,
nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I have this endless feeling of discomfort and
an airy breeze where the good in my heart and soul should be.

I am a girl, not a very beautiful or talented one.

I belong to anyone who belongs to everyone.

Home is where I rest my head for a night.

Home is a backseat
Home is a smoke filled room at 2 am
Home is a parking garage
Home is a strangers bedroom

Home is a feeling rather than a location,
but those who have a lock and key and
a mortgage fee will never understand.
I am homeless, but I am free.
KA Mar 2014
I run downtown with the homeless on some Saturdays

Angelo and I ran together one sunny Saturday
He talked about the days when he ran track in high school
It was his high water mark of his life
top of the world then
the next year his mom moved to a different neighborhood
different set of friends going no where good
he never went anywhere good after that
running from the cops ditching the drugs on the ground

Angelo was a person trying to figure out how to get to a better place
to a new cycle, a new system
no good role model, bad friends, no support system and bad choices
he said the shelter is similar to prison, "the food they serve makes you fat at both places"

I don't know how to get out and no one listens to me he told me

If anything, I listened.
rain May 2015
I wonder how a homeless feels.
Does he belong everywhere?
or nowhere at all?
When I was borne
my mother passed away and
one day father also
left the hut leaving me alone
and my destiny was now
homeless, helpless and orphan
vagabond I was now
roaming around the road and streets
in search of food and shelter

But I also have some dreams
I wish if I were competent enough
I could have opened
an amazing school
where free education would
be right of every poor and needy child
and now no more poor child
would be deprived of education

I wish I could have built a dream home
for every homeless and destitute child
now no more child would
spend dark nights in the open sky

I wish I could have made
a beautiful garden where
every homeless child would play
and run after colorful butterflies
and beautiful flowers of all colors
would bloom in the garden

I wish I could have opened
a big kitchen near the dream home
where every hunger child
could eat to his fill and hence
no more child would be esurient,
unfed and indigent

I wish I could have opened a factory
where clothes could be stitched
for poor and naked children
and no more child
would be devoid of clothes
I pray to God that
my dreams come true one day

(By Kishan Negi)
A Homeless child wishes that his dreams would come true for unfulfilled dreams of destitute and poor children
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
All these kids are homeless with dead parents from all these ignorant wars, the ghetto, tragedy and famine and you're complaining about how you hate your parents that are there for you?
What in blue blazes has gotten into you?
People who are good to you
Should never be rejected
I'm sorry, but i cannot accept those words as a fact
Because they're filth painted with temporary coat
Am i supposed to be impressed?
Because i'm not
You did far worse than that
My parents couldn't do everything for me, but it wasn't due to the lack of wanting
It was the lack of everything that prevented them from doing so.
I want to tell the homeless help is on the way
I will be your guide today
But they forgot the language of caring
Due to all their previous mistreatment from other souls
They now almost forgot how to feel
I'm not going to put them on a reel
To give them bait so i could just throw them back into the river
I'm understanding of your pain
And i want something to guarantee you constant gain
Because they deserve it the most
I want to cry every time i see them digging for food out of the garbage can
But i need to stay in my poker face
And stay strong
But i'm not sure it might be for long..
I had to write this.
There are so many homeless people, living out on the Streets.  They do not have clean clothes to wear, or decent shoes for their feet.
There are so many homeless people, who have nowhere to go.  They are surrounded by all types of people, they don't even know.
There are so many homeless people, who have to sleep with their children in a car.  Because of the lack of money, they are not allowed to travel far.
There are so many homeless people, to proud to ask for help.  All the things that may be of value, no one knows where they are kept.
By, Author & Poet, Sandra Juanita Nailing
Hewasminemoon Jul 2014
It was almost February and winter still hadn’t hit. I was beginning to
think that it wouldn’t arrive, and that spring was here. One evening as I was walking down the streets of the city I looked up to see a single snowflake falling down to meet my face. It was tiny and looked lonely, but a few moments later, it was followed by several more snowflakes. Sooner than later, the ground was covered in a white sheet of snow. and I was stuffing my hands in my coat pockets and pulling my hood on to brace myself against the bone-chilling wind. I made my way into a small coffee shop that was still open and was greeted by a short stocky man in his mid thirties with a dark, curly mustache and sleeves of faded tattoos.
“Hello” he said, his voice sounding deep and smooth. I pulled out my headphones that were burning in my ears, pressed pause on my phone and shoved them carelessly in my messenger bag.
“Hello”, I replied back with a slight smile, pulling my hands out of my
pockets and making my way to the counter.
The shop was small, but it had a staircase leading upstairs with more room for seating. The man who stood behind the counter continued to unpack small plastic covered packages, putting them away in cupboards and freezers. I pulled out my wallet from my bag and plopped it on the counter, feebly attempting to pull out my card with my hands shaking violently from the cold.
“What a night”, the man said, his eyes still focused on his duties.
“Hmm.” I said, nodding. “Can I get a 12oz mocha, please?” The man looked up from his package, and giggled coyly.
“Sure you can, sweetheart." He put the package that he was holding down below him, and began making the drink I had just ordered. My credit card held tightly in my hand, still shaking. There was awkward silence between us and I got the feeling the man understood I didn’t feel like talking. He finished my order, filling a small, white ceramic mug, and pushed it across the counter towards me.
“Anything else?”
I shook my head, implying no and handed him the cold card. He swiped it and handed it back to me, along with a receipt and a pen to sign. I signed the receipt, grabbed my coffee and headed up the stairs to my right. Upstairs, there was a large room with a dining room looking table and several chairs, and to the left, and a small hole in the wall with several cushions. I smiled at the welcoming spot, and took a seat. Pulling a small table up next to me, I set my coffee down, and rested my bag on the floor below me. The upstairs was completely empty. In fact; the entire shop was empty besides the man working downstairs. I took a deep breath in and let my head rest on some of the cushions behind me. Closing my eyes, I let out my breath and felt the warmth and the vast history of the shop run envelop me. I grabbed at the cup beside me and sipped at my coffee. It was still too hot to drink comfortably, so I set it down. Out of my bag, I pulled out my phone with the headphones still attached and scrunched into a tight tangled ball.
Untangling them, I placed each bud in my ear, and pressed play, continuing the song I had stopped when I had entered the coffee shop. I felt my eyelids grow heavy and I sunk deeper and deeper into the pillows around me, the smell of old books seeping into my skin. Finally, I closed my eyes, and after a few moments, was sound asleep.
When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a man’s face, unfamiliar but comforting.
“Excuse me…” he said, with a wide grin.
I jumped with embarrassment; ripping my headphones out of my ears, although they were no longer playing anything. How long had I been asleep? And who was this young man? An employee of the shop? A customer?
“Sorry!” I yelped.
The man chuckled as I swung my feet around to the floor and pulled out my phone to check the time. Realizing it was dead, I scanned the room for a clock and with no success I asked the stranger “What time is it?”
He rolled up his sleep, and checked what to be a rather expensive watch. The man was dressed nicely, but nothing too formal. A clean pair of black jeans, a plaid shirt and a sweater over it. His hair, a dark brown looked thick and slightly curled. He ran his fingers through it as he responded. “It’s quarter past.”
“Past what?”
He blinked at me. “Eight…” he paused at my confused look. “A.M”
I gasped at the time. It was just past nine at night when I had dozed off.
Why did the short stalky man not wake me? Did he forget I was upstairs?
Maybe he assumed I had left, and just missed me doing so.
“I…I…” I stumbled upon my words. I wasn’t quite sure what to say, still
unsure who this man was.
“My boss told me you’d be up here.” He lifted my cup of cold coffee and
handed it to me. “I can get you a warm cup if you’d like. We don’t open for another half hour.”
I nodded, and with the cup in hand, the man turned and headed down the stairs. I gathered my things, smoothed out my shirt, tossed my hair to one side and followed the man down the stairs.
“My names Elliot” he shouted from behind the counter and the noises of the coffee machine.
“Ellie.” I shouted back.
A door swung open and in Elliot’s hand was a new cup of coffee.
“That’s a coincidence.”
I smiled nervously and took the cup from the man.
“Sit.” he said, nodded to a table.
I followed his instructions and set my cup down and pulled out a chair.
He stared at me for a moment as I stared at my coffee. After a long moment of silence, I started.
“I am so sorr-”
He stopped me and reached out, resting his hand on top of mine.
“It’s alright Ellie…really.”
I had a few questions but didn’t know where to start. So I let the silence
continue.
“My boss figured you needed a place to stay.”
I wasn’t homeless. Did I look homeless?
“Do you...have somewhere to go…?”
I nodded. “I’m not homeless…” I proclaimed. I couldn’t help but stare at
his hands. There was something different about them from the rest of the
man.
“I figured. You’re too well dressed to be homeless.” He smiled, and his
hands moved up and through his hair again.
“So, if you’re not homeless then what’s your story?”
My story? I didn’t have a story. I was a young single girl. Lonely. Living
on her own in the city. On her way home when a snow storm hit. I just stopped into the coffee shop to get warm, not to spend the night like some refugee.
“My story?”
“Yeah, your story.” he continued to grin at me.
I paused to think of an answer.
“I was just on my way home. Stopped in for a cup of coffee. Guess I didn’t
drink enough of it.”
He laughed at the comment, showing a set of pearly white teeth.
“Maybe it wasn’t a very good cup of coffee.” He glanced at the cup in front of me. I lifted it and took a sip.
“This cup’s better.” We both laughed softly, then found each other staring
for long while at one another.
“I’ll make sure not to tell my boss you said that.”
I took another sip. “I should probably go…” I said, standing up.
“Go where?”
“Home.”
He shook his head chuckling slightly. “Hang out. I’ll open late.”
“I don’t want to be more of an inconvenience than I already have been.”
Elliot reached out and took my hand in his, squeezing it softly.
“Ellie.”
My eyes grew wide, and I felt my heart beat quickly within my chest.
“Let’s not play games with one another. Stay.”
I pulled my hand away, and bit my lip.
“I can’t. I’m sorry Elliot.” I grabbed my bag from under the table, and thew
it across my shoulder. “Thank you…” I said, thinking of his hands but
staring at the blue in his eyes. I turned around, and pushed the door open.


---------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------

It was Valentine’s Day (or as I like to call it “Singles Awareness Day” ) and my friend had dragged me out to this terrible bar in the suburbs  titled “Distraction” My friend, who was newly single and “ready to mingle” laughed when she saw the big blue sign with the name.
“That’s an ironic name” she said, snickering.
I nodded my head and groaned as we headed inside. She was right. What was this bar distracting me from? If anything, it was drawing more attention to the things I was supposed to be distracted from by just existing with such a name. My friend walked up to the bar, leaned against a stool and ordered something sweet. She asked me if I wanted anything, but I shook my head no. After a few minutes of small talking with her, and watching her sip at her watered down drink, I noticed a young man walking towards us. The bar was dimly lit, and I couldn’t quite make him out but I sighed and turned towards the bartender.
“*** and coke” I hollered out to the man. “Pour heavy!”
I stayed facing the shelves of drinks, the different bottles organized by color and type. Whiskey, Tequila, *****. Suddenly, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and with a deep inhale, I turned; expecting some man with sleeked back hair and a bad tan to be facing me.
Instead, it was Elliot. Staring at me, standing inches from my face. I took a step back into a bar stool, and fell into a seat.
“Ellie” he said, smiling.
I couldn’t help but smile for a moment too, but then I quickly wiped it away as the bartender slid my drink to the right of me. Before I could do anything, Elliot placed a few dollars on the counter.
“You don’t have to -“
“It’s fine”  He continued to smile widely.
I looked around the room for my friend, she was across the room playing darts with some broad shouldered man. I took my glass, placed the straw on the counter and gulped down about half of it in one drink.  
“Happy Valentines Day” he said, almost sarcastically following the statement with a slight laugh.
I felt myself smiling again and took another gulp. The bartender definitely poured heavy. The liquid burned as it slid down my throat, and I clenched my teeth. I could tell Elliot was trying hard not to laugh.
“Would you like to dan-“
I bursted out laughing.
“Dance? Oh god, please. Don’t do this Elliot.”
He stared at me widely for a moment. “What are you so afraid of Ellie?”
I scoffed, and shook my head, taking another drink I responded
“I’m not afraid of anything”
He blinked at me, then ran through his fingers through his hair and breathed out loudly.
“Is it me?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer this, or what he was really even asking. I stumbled on my words, stuttering. I finished my drink, and set the glass down on the counter.
“Another?” he asked.
“No...” I paused. “Thank you”
He stared at me for a moment, his brows furrowed. He reached out to touch me, and I pulled away.
“Ellie...Let me-“
I interrupted him and shouted out “space!”
He looked puzzled, then chuckled.
“What?”
“I’m afraid of space”
“Space....? Please elaborate.”
“Like the sky, and the planets and the stars and ****”
He laughed softly. “And ****...”
“Think about it. We have no idea what’s out there. We have no idea what’s coming for us. We are so small, comparatively.”
“So you believe in aliens?”
“I believe in possibility”
“Anything could happen.”
“Exactly! Right now, as we speak, the sun could explode.”
“Or, aliens could invade!”
“You’re really stuck on the alien thing.”
“It’s a possibility”
We both sat in silence for a moment, his eyes felt heavy on me. I stood up from my stool, our bodies were almost touching.
“I’ve got to go see if my friends OK.” I said, glancing over at her. She was still playing darts with the broad shoulder man. He had his arms wrapped around her, ‘showing’ her how to hold the dart now.
“She looks like she’s doing ok to me” Elliot said with a snicker.
I didn’t argue.
“What’s your last name?” he asked.
I shook my head violently. “Look, Elliot. You seem-“ I stopped and thought of how I wanted to finish my sentence, but before I could, Elliot grabbed my hand and held it tightly.
“Ellie. I’m just a man. I’m not some comet coming down or some alien race a million light years away. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
I took a few shallow breaths, my heart was pounding. I tried pulling away, but Elliot just pulled himself closer to me.
“You said you believe in possibility. You can’t deny the possibility of you and me.”
“I...”
He reached up, and tucked a hair that was falling down my face behind my ear then stepped back, letting go of my hand.
“I have an idea.”
“What’s that?”
“I want to help you conquer your fear”
“Oh?”
He grabbed my hand again and pulled me towards the door, I looked over to my friend, but didn’t fight him.
“She’ll be okay.” he said, still tugging me.
I followed him out the door and down the street. We stopped and hailed a cab, as one pulled up, he opened the door for me.
“Get in.”
“I don’t even know you. You could be taking me to some wear house to **** and ****** me!”
“Ellie. Don’t be so dramatic. Get in”
“Where are we going?”
“To the moon.”
“And back again?”
“We’ll see. Maybe once you get there, you’ll never want to leave.”
“It’s a possibility”
I stepped inside the cab, and so did he.

------------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------


Once we were in the cab, the rush of excitement I was feeling in the bar and in the street had faded. Elliot handed the man his phone, which had an address written on it. The cabbie put the address into his GPS and started the meter as he drove on.
“So are we taking the cab to the moon? Or are we just taking the cab to NASA and then a spaceship to the moon?” I said sarcastically, my voice breaking from nervousness. Elliot put his hand on my leg, and sat back into his seat without saying anything.
“Who’s paying for the cab Elliot?”
He continued to be silent. I turned at stared out the window, I noticed the cab was taking us out of the city and I began to get a little worried.
“Can you please tell me where we’re going?” I asked quickly. I looked back at Elliot, he was sweating.
“Elliot? Is everything OK?” His eyes were shut and his breathing was heavy.
“I’m afraid of things in motion.” he muttered softly.
“Isn’t everything in motion?” he opened his eyes, raised his brows and then smiled at me.
“I mean, the world is always turning and we’re walking, or breathing. So we’re moving, no matter what-“
“Can you be quiet please?”
I looked back out the window again for what felt like a long while. Finally, the cab stopped in front a large abandoned dome like building in a town I had never been in. Elliot was quick to exit the cab, and circle the car to open my door. I stepped out, Elliot paid the driver and the cab drove away.
“So you ARE going to **** and ****** me?”
Elliot looked at me, and took my hand.
“I’m sorry about in the car. What mean by things in motion is like, cars and trains and planes and...” he paused, “and ****...”
We both laughed.
“I knew what you meant. I’m sorry if I was being difficult.”
He gave me a look and I nodded at him. He took me by the hand and led me closer to the building. We reached a door that had been boarded up.
“This doesn’t look like the moon...Or NASA...”
“Ellie. Do you trust me?”
“I...I don’t really even know you so-“
Elliot pried back at the board, slipping into the building through a small space and pulled me inside with him. The room we stepped into was a circle, and in the center; a large telescope.
“Does that even work?”
He squeezed my hand, then let go. Approaching the telescope, he stepped up a small set of stairs to a control panel. He pushed a few buttons and a few moments later, I heard a whirring and a low rattle followed by a deep sound. I felt a slight vibration and suddenly the roof was opening above me, exposing the night sky. On this night, the stars were bright, and the moon was full.
“Come here” Elliot called out from near the telescope.
I started to shake only slightly at the sight of the sky above me, I felt frozen and tense, as if I couldn’t move. Elliot made his way down the stairs and towards me.
“It’s okay Ellie.” he said, reaching for my hand and guiding me towards the telescope. We stepped up the stairs, and he stood next to me, still holding my hand as he adjusted a few things, looking in the telescope, then at me, then back through the telescope. He turned towards me, nudging me.
“Go ahead.”
I looked at the giant metal telescope, and shook my head.
“I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here but-“
He put his hand on my lower back, and pushed me towards the telescope.
“Just look.”
I put my face close to the telescope, an
Tea Oct 2013
You cant tell that behind my red lipstick
And matching clothes I wear a secret
I live out of a bag, but not out of regrets
My life is a story that no one had the time to read yet
Its deep, long but filled to the brim in secrets
Someone sees me and wouldn’t believe me
When I say
I am
homeless
Life happens and that’s okay
I took a chance and it didn't go my way
And I walk through a autumn day and see homeless people
Just
Like
me

I walk through the wit past the deer head painting on the bridge
A homeless man who always sits says
Good morning
I give him a grin and I can tell it made his day
Some kinda sad bearing down, as it begins to rain

I remember when I was moving out into the world
Boxes packed,rain fell in sheets
I gave out boxes of coats, and hope for warm feet
And someone said it was nice of me
Something
died
in me

Would you not do the same for me?
What happened to humanity?
I wonder what would happen
if my friends were different
if a couch wasn't an option
I'll move on then
I see myself in an old mans crazed eyes
As he sits at the bus station voided and deprived
And something inside of me dies a little
When everyone sees
With cast away eyes
Difference in a little
lipstick
Age
Time
A little more life
That didn’t go right
Without this break I wouldn’t have got
The full time job
My way back on top

And they key to his heart
Is as simple as socks
You should look away
Feel some kind of shame
You can at least say good morning
Remember his name
or at least see him as human
I wonder what would happen
If I didn’t have red lipstick
Life had chewed me up a little longer
Would you walk past me
In your Cold steel armor?
homeless
or hopeless
you pick the title
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
. people are always left curious about the stories of homeless people... within the regards of why they became homeless... you want to hear my story? i sat down with one homeless person... you know what he told me? you want to know? he said: MY MOTHER TOLD ME TO NEVER TELL A LIE... wow... wow... so it became my ambition to never tell a lie... i became homeless because my mother advised me to never tell a lie... guess telling lies pays off... whatever it pays with or for... i became homeless because my mother told me to never tell  lie! wow! so much for poetry being written while sober... what is expected? unruly truths, falsifications, this that and the other... hell... i'm a drunk... chances of me involved in a relationship are the basic focus of: SLIM... but? HEDNINGARNA - VARGTIMMEN... Finnish folk music.

***** does my head in,
minus the thought-and-question:
do i have a head?
dunno....
   whenever the moon rises...
i get a tease of the giggles...
ha ha...
and my face contorts into
a posit of one if those faces from
an apex twin video...
funny as any royal ****,
turned into  ****...
flushed..

now i want you to remember:
never meddle with a madman...
he's been prescribed his
medication,
he's been diagnosed...
come near me and a cancer
sufferer...
                 dox me!
dox me!
dox me!
      i, dare, you!
but i know the person,
or rather, the type...
i won't be doxed,
because what i'm proposing
will not be matched
in execution....
   ****** parodies
of testicular cancer!
            
that quote for Albert from
the dark knight:

i am....
        some people just like to watch
the world, burn...
                              i am...

dies, ich bin:
  
        this, i am!
at least i have more constancy to
make comparison of
the Hebrew gott...

     ich bin das ich bin...

my alternative?
                      dies, ich bin!

now...
i am: now!

          and when i drink and turn
into a *******...
it's to salvage some fathom
or what remains to be
justified as:
                            resolve.
Dark n Beautiful Jan 2018
I leant upon the cold iron prop
On the subway flat form: suddenly,
my thought turn to this movie from the 80s
About a little boy name Alfie
Whose tongue got caught on the frozen lamp pole
During a daring rush trend:
Winter months can be so brutal

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Winter Depression, / a seasonal S.A.D
In the mist of all this: I saw a small bird
Rumbling through the garbage looking for food
His dotted feathers caught my attention
Perhaps not all birds fly south for the winter after all:
Homeless birds seek shelter with homeless humans
Without the small outdoor wood fires:

The beautiful landscape we once admired is blanket with snow
The roar of the winds and the surging of water;
It wasn’t a pretty sight to see with my watery eyes

We cried out to our God for a little relief
But most of all we keep praying for safety
I fell on my **** trying to step over a bank of snow
Luckily I didn’t land on my face
The humiliation and the botherations of dealing,
this kind of weather year after year:

we just have to bear in mind that
Winter begins on the winter solstice and ends on the spring equinox.
The roses will bloom again, the tulips with rise again in April
And we will determine which one is the morning dew
And which one is not the icicle dripping:

......................................................­...................................
Prayer for autumn and winter days
I’ve just rediscovered this beautiful prayer from belief.net. I know it’s now winter and the title is Prayer For Autumn Days, AND I’m not crazier than usual, it is still appropria…
sparklesandangels.wordpress.com

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