23 march

they saw him riding his pink bicycle toward the redemption center

a quartet of bags slung over the back tire like an old-time cowboy

are filled with empty Heinekens he picked out of the trash on the better side of town

the irony of his good taste does not escape us and the green glass

clinks together as he rides

toasting the land of plenty they are headed into -a nickel a bottle -

his odor au-natural a warning for anyone who might consider getting too close

his hands sting in the cold march winds

breaks grind to a slow stop as he approaches the edge of a busy street

this does not rival any other city

-the addition of government programs not with-standing

broken people line the pot-holed streets

and, of course, the response is quick and blunt

get a job

sunday whirl


  1. If only it were that simple! There is a beauty in the way you describe this man..the colours , the smells (not so pretty)..the light on the bottles..like the very essence of him captured and respected in some way?

  2. I rather like this guy, despite his odor! ;)

    Raven Quartet

  3. Beautifully written - I worked with the homeless & addicted for many years. It brought me back.

  4. Original and written with flair - it makes its point very well and with style - enjoyed it very much... With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

  5. Replies
    1. I am not sure I would call it a job...but it is a meager supplemental income. He gets to work outside and set his own hours...he's his own boss.

  6. beautiful poem in it's own way. Get a job! yea right.

  7. At least he was making some effort rather than wait for the benefits to come to him. Smell? Hell's bells, at least he has something of his own! How easy it is to look down on others.

    1. my goal in writing this way was to point out how quickly we are to judge. I agree with you in that it is so easy to look down on others without knowing or understanding the bigger picture.

  8. Thanks for pointing out this guy for me. When I lived in the states, there were far too many people who were judgemental of people living in the street. I have always thought, "There but for the grace of you go I". We never know someone else's story.



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