The Day 6 prompt was to write a poem inspired by Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” looking at the same thing from various points of view. It didn’t need to have thirteen ways of looking at it though! I’ve written my poem about something which is sadly a common sight on many British streets including Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and London. The recent rapid increase in people sleeping on the streets is one of the saddest issues facing us right now and very little seems to be being done, and what is being done often seems to be ineffective in the long-term for whatever reason. Everyone seems to have an opinion about homeless people. The points of view expressed in this poem are all (at least loosely) based on stories and opinions I have heard expressed in real life. It is dedicated to everyone who doesn’t have their own bed to sleep in tonight and I hope, as always, that rough sleeping will soon be relegated to the past.
“Every day 150 families in Britain become homeless.” Shelter
Spare Change your Point of View
This street is lined with them
Begging continuously for money
For drugs, for drink
Their stink fills the air
Did you see the one with dirt under his nails?
Hello, yes honestly we’ve asked them
I walk around every night
And ask every single one
They don’t want to come to the shelter
Don’t you see we can’t make them do anything?
I gave one a crisp ten pound note on Christmas Eve
It was a little I guess, or a lot for that person
Perhaps, maybe, possibly, something
I wish I could do more and help them all
Did you see the one with blue tinged fingers?
Millennial snowflakes, that’s the problem mark my words
Think they’re entitled to everything without working for it
Think that we’re just supposed to do it for them
Throwing a tantrum, running away, sleeping outside
Did you see the one with the bump? Cheap tart
The government needs to do something about it
What can we do to fix it?
Nothing that’s what. You just have to ignore it
And walk on by, or spend a fortune daily
Did you see the one with Nike trainers? Really?
The rain came down hard earlier and filled my shoes
I can’t walk in them now, nowhere to go anyway
I have a story, of course I do
But you don’t want to hear it really, no-one does
Because after all, we’re all the same
Did you see me wake up with frost sparkling in my hair?
Did you see me at my most desperate? Begging for money, for help
Did you see me gulping down the coffee someone bought me?
Did you see me trying to get out the way when the drunk guy pissed on me?
Did you see me cry?
Did you see me?
Copyright, D M Day, 2017