the unkind toll of the bells

the unkind toll of the bells

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto
"

inspired by Marcie Shepherd's "the self is as self does"

"


the unkind toll of the bells

 

 

 

 

benevolent mistrust,

the pleading hand slapped---

rebuked, 

money weeping in a pocket of shame

 

those few dollars that could fill a stomach

retracted with thoughts of empty wine bottles

or the next fix

 

Christmas in the alleyway,

the present of a cigarette,

a morsel of food wrapped in waste paper

no ribbons, no pretty bows,  

 

just slow souls dying

long before the body gives way

and that old trench coat is the home

of a heart seen in the eyes of a beggar

 

And all he wanted for Christmas,

was to survive one more day,

with a bit of dignity.

 

 

erin-cilberto

12/20/15

© 2015 jacob erin-cilberto


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Reviews

Very poignant, and an important angle to consider at christmas time. I like the way the ribbons and pretty bows represent frivolity, our vacuous christmases, that contrasts the harsh, raw reality that others live. Ending the poem with 'dignity' also very good, dignity and the desire to maintain it through hard times is often something we forget, people can often be patronising and superior when they give charity, when charity ought to be about empathy, understanding and a helping hand. Very nice poem.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your very kind words, Alias...

j.
Generosity, kindness, sympathy all wrapped in year after year of people like you, like others, like me sensing a time when poems such as yours will simply fade into dust and carry memories into a fossilized rock.

Thank you for your compassion Jacob!

Regards,
Al

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your kind review, Al...

j.
Despite the plenty in this world, the gulf widens between the laden table and the wondering where the next meal might come from.

A sad and timely reminder that we are all guilty of looking the other way.

Beccy.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your words, Beccy...

j.
Your compassion shines here, my friend. Indeed, many are wrapped up in the materialistic side of the holiday. I believe everyone needs to see the other side of the tracks, the other side of humanity. You know my views on this. Wonderful!

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

yes, i do, Lydi...
thank you for your words,

j.
All we want for Christmas... Was there ever such an innocence? Need brings simplicity.
Sometimes our cup is so full we cannot feel our need for Christmas so we just have a happy holiday instead.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your words, David.

j.
A beautiful melody in its melancholy and soothing sadness. I missed stopping by dear author.

Ana B.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your kind words, Ana.

so good to see you again.

j.
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V
I like the darkness about this one. And how you wrap a merry, glistening, happy whatever topic like Christmas into sth ugly like the truth-the ugly truth about this world.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your words, mimi

j.
yes, have had one or two spells of such a life, not far from such places even now, I like the glimpses you portray here, its hard to reach the one's who need it most, you don't find them in line for the shelters. Far from finding comfort in fellow homeless, many are vulnerable to exploitation from the stronger even there. Contrary to popular belief...they aren't all drunks and addicts, their stories are worth their weight in gold, if only they were the sort to let it out. I remember reading Supertramp by Smith...I forget his initials, he was a poet and writer, his book was a classic. If only it wasn't just Christmas that stirred us to remember them. Your poem is a good portrayal especially on the importance of dignity. Thankyou.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

yes, like you said, some of us have been one paycheck away from this life...for most of our lives..... read more
Christmas is a rough time to see homeless on the streets. We gather around our families and they beg for food. To go through life is to see things like this, no one escapes it, especially in the city. Anyone with a heart can feel sorrow at the sight of them.

Good poem Jacob.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you, Tim...it is obvious you have a big heart.

j.
And we are back to the forgotten, those invisible or too dirty to bear. And so people pass them by when a hot meal and a pair of warm socks or shoes would be a cherished gift. "What if God was one of us.." a bit of kindness of all it takes to touch a life for good.

Posted 5 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

thank you for your kind words, Jaycee...and yes, joan osborne said it all didn't she? what if he wa.. read more

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Added on December 20, 2015
Last Updated on December 20, 2015

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

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