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Stop Mass Homelessness

Poetry for change

This National Poetry Day – let’s #StopMassHomelessness

This national poetry day, we asked out community champion campaigners to submit poems in support of our campaign to Stop Mass Homelessness. Read the poems below!

The poems:

The View from the Packet Inn – by Mark

See you – by Sonny

Adjectives – by John

A stillborn moon – by Paman

Kaleidoscope World – by Mary

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The View from the Packet Inn

Wi’ the looks of Vic n’ Bob’s Uncle Peter,

He’s the social-fucking-baro-meter,

matted hair, pins walk past his

dog’s-eye view, one pair, reminds him of

Donna, before this blitz, on frozen pavers, can

no longer sitzen, where the strange ignore and

sometimes spitzen, while dreams are raw.

So stop. Take time and f***ing listen.

“It’s cold” we cry, It’s cold, she cries.

Dispaired of these Samaritime Museum 

mannequins, gawping reflectively in their

Gap-windowed mind-the-gap in their

humanitarian gap-year-educated

boat races, untill rain turns them to

duck and cover from the cries

of someone’s mother.

He often wishes his patchy fare could be

groomed like geezer’s there, but

this fixed wheel of life allows, none of

these pleasantries and platitudes, he 

angers-up, with their attitudes, as

one in a thousand does allude, to 

thrust a coin of a ten-bob hue…

but fails. Plays busy. Comes in for a pint.

Off the floor to walk around, past the

old football ground, warm the feet,

keep them moving, before they are

involuntarily so. Occasionally, he hears the roar of

victory or lucky draw. His old man once did

tell him about rental-shop-window tv crowds,

he ponders upon nostaligia briefly, when

life was beaten out him weekly,

in each round of the sweet FA cup.

Thrust into the gilded street,

lily-white without the pictures,

a free-papered glimpse at the

weekend fixtures, he’ll

keep today’s, might just need it, although,

he already knows the score:

Capital one – Him f*** all.

See you

When I was a kid

I used to wish I had the power

to make myself invisible.

Turn it on whenever I wanted

and roam the streets

like a superhero.

This feels different though.

Like you see me

but don’t want to see me.

Which means my power to disappear

is entirely in your hands.

I don’t wish for invisibility anymore.

A bowl of soup would be better.

Or maybe a look

next time you pass by

that says you’ll do more

than write a poem or formal letter.

Adjectives

I put that window in myself;

the house was blind to its garden.

Cycle home, bedtime stories, food,

mucky clothes, bolster, lump hammer.

Smack smack smack

the bricks stack

on the kitchen floor.

It’s a mess, but who cares? It’s

my house.

Now there’s a window I can see

my garden.

White house

Beautiful garden

Bleak street

Damp cardboard

Man with a home

Man with nowhere to live.

Homeless is not a word.

A stillborn moon

A homeless man’s sky miscarried a blue moon,

I stumbled upon his raw pain on a London street this afternoon.

Christmas eve could have wrapped up a present for him:

                     a heart-warming address,

                                                              at 2b road, in a box room

                                                              with a card signed by the angel of love,

before he feasted on a cocktail of diazepam pills mixed with

leftover booze in bottles,

                     a heart-warming remedy,

                                                              gifted to him by an anonymous rubbish bin

                                                              for his ice-cold shivers.                                                

Christmas eve could have wrapped up a present for him

before he overdosed        on     his       last     feast    of    hopelessness.

As he takes his last breath                                       b    r     e     a     t h,

I see the solid earth of his existence, with invisible frozen hands, reaching

                                                              reaching the depth of his despair                                                                                                                     to hug his stillborn moon.

I see the blood that could have flowed in his veins, from his blue moon,

I see  the golden wings of his stillborn moon’s soul

I see            I                                       s     e      e

                     but my warm hands can’t      r e      r e           r    e    a    c h                                                                 can’t reach the depth of his despair

                                                                                  to hug his stillborn moon.

I see a shaft of light rising to cough up his last miscarried dream of a

                     a new dawn that could have seen          the light          of the           day.

His stillborn moon’s shadow is buried in the lake of what           could have been.

Clouds          like procession of mourners                throw           rain dust

                     over stillborn moon’s shadow grave

                                                                                  and soon, over his ashes.

Tonight        a new crescent moon                             begotten by a cloudless sky,           

                     will tear the flesh of darkness   apart over the chest of

                     a London street,

as humans rush,               

each   walks back to a warm home        and               an                 esteemed identity,

many with smart phones   that don’t recognise as worthy news

the death of an invisible  homeless                nameless                           non-entity

but this afternoon           I stumbled upon his raw pain               

                     on a London street,

his miscarried dream of a new dawn could’ve seen the light of the      day.

New dawn rises,               as humans in their rat race          rush

                     on a London street,

while in my sky,               from the dawn of endings           e n d    i    n    g    s,

a startled sun                             will be                     rising           r    i    s     i    n    g,

that won’t warm up          his ice-cold shivers    left sheltering    in my mind

                                                                                  left sheltering in my     heart.

Rushing humans won’t      notice           their street ever housed an invisible man

but this afternoon I stumbled upon his raw pain               

                     on a London street

and my warm hands couldn’t        reach re                 r    e    a      ch                          

                     couldn’t reach the depth of his despair

                                                                                             to hug his stillborn moon.

The wind is wailing for a blue moon      that could have

been born with a cry                                                                                 tonight

Christmas eve        could have    wrapped up a present for him     tonight

before he overdosed        on      his      last   feast of                 hopelessness.

Kaleidoscope World

There’s new pictures beckoning

In my kaleidoscope world.

Look, there’s kids playing shop
With chocolate coins and laughter.

They sell seaside rock with ‘Be Fair’

Imprinted all the way through;
The grown-ups join in
Till their welcoming homes

Draw them all back to
Where optimism grows like sunflowers.

I look again but
The focus has shifted and now

And the hallowed ground is barren.

Sickness and injustice haunts a desolate landscape
Of missed connections and disconnections,

 Where the cold streets offer no respite

To those who have lost a place to call home

And the weight of human tears
Threatens to drag the earth from its orbit.

I don’t want to look anymore
But incurable curiosity
Wins in the end.


Now both visions are overlaid
And vying for attention.
Tired but tinged with hope, I slip into sleep
With Midas gold
Melting in the sunshine And sunflowers beckoning us home once more.

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