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How poetry can help us gain perspective this Christmas

Omar Miller is a street poet and says his work as a Big Issue vendor helps him to gain perspectives on the world

Christmas tree

Illustration by Matthew Brazier

Selling The Big Issue has taught me a lot of things; determination, how to connect with people. It helps you to be a better writer, from interacting with people you can learn from them and respect what they might have gone through. I’m not just a writer, I’m very good at listening too. If you don’t listen you won’t understand what’s going on around you.

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I wrote this poem because Christmas is a time when most people recognise the meaning of coming together and living more in harmony and unity to reflect Christ and kindness. I wish people viewed every day like Christmas in terms of being a caring person the majority of the times like Christ would do.

05_VendorExpert_Poem_Portrait
Omar Miller sells The Big Issue in Birmingham.

This year, because of the pandemic the meaning of Christmas does not have the same celebration but I did try to emphasise this. Hence I wrote in the present but the title reflects a reminiscence of Christmas.

So I am living this Christmas in a mental state of last Christmas to empower my mind and others of what Christmas really means.

Living in Last Christmas

By Omar Miller 

Christmas almost never came to pass
People are living under lockdown
Like souls in cemeteries that are already loss
World held hostage, I see and hear the cry
It happened in the twinkling of an eye

Brilliant folks busy as bees resetting the past
While the future is staring blindly and approaching fast
This is the “New Normal”
No likeness to how we knew life last
Generations not yet come is counting the cost

Congregating and singing of hymns is now a fable
Dining together is a luxury at each other’s table
It’s Christmas without roars, toasts and cheers
Our burdens this Christmas is heavier than lead
It’s Christmas only inside my head

Christmas almost never happen this year
The air with plagues suddenly got some clear
Restrictions lessens from tier to tier
Yet many continue to live and die in fear
This “Freedom Passport” in it written ALL MUST WEAR

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