In the gutter, looking for stars

In the gutter, looking for stars

A Poem by gram linski
"

" There, but for the Grace of God, go I " John Bradford

"
scared alone hungry frightened
sleeping in piss stained doorways
looked on in disgust and disdain
no-one cares
scum on the streets
s**t on the shoe
a crime against humanity/
                                       sensitivity
--
hungry angry alone scared
of the coming night/
                              fright
no-one gives a f**k
the Government, you
the rain people discarded
left to drown in the detritus of life
eyesore/
             repulsive/
                            society rejected
--
freezing crying alone hungry
f*****g hate life/
                          upsetting liberal values
no-one cares what twisted fate
left you stranded and scarred, parasite
dreaming of eternal sleep
in fitful bursts of anxiety/
                                       fear
in the b*****d black night
--
hungry alone hungry alone
a con a ruse a f**k you and a f**k you
a tattered book of poetry , the only friend
"can you spare some coin, sir, "
f**k you alckie smackhead w***e
get a f*****g job, invader of space/
                                                     my comfort zone
invisible ghost hungry alone
--
the Art of begging is a terrifying thing
try it some time
judge not, lest ye be judged too

© 2020 gram linski


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Some people are in the gutter because their life is on the skids. Others are hiding in the gutter from life and from that mundane normality we call reality. I was homeless myself once. This brought to mind the thousands on Skid Row living in abject poverty less than fifteen miles from Beverly Hills. Where do they shelter in place when there is hardly any shelter at all? A good write. Also, typo in the last word in line three (disdain).

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks, Fabian, there are many reasons why people end up on the streets, and it is a harsh life, tha.. read more



Reviews

People wind up on the street for different reasons. Nobody wants to be there. It's a scary way to live. You wrote this well

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks Ana glad you enjoyed and understood appreciate the read
There is one night I vividly remember. Sleeping under a canopy in cold weather with no coat and the rain just outside dripping down the flimsy roof and slowly soaking me through the night. It wasn't something I had to do for an extended period, but that experience along with a few others lent me a healthy appreciation for the small gifts that I have.

And also, a sympathy for those who don't have the same comforts or securities or access to love or food or a warm bed that I have been fortunate to have. There are so many factors that affect the current state of our lives. Complacency with our present reality does not ever guarantee us a continued stay within the luxurious walls of a well-heated home. We are never told we will always have, and so even if for the reason that any of us could be on the streets at anytime, I feel it is our duty to have compassion for others.

You offer us such a strong voice for the voiceless here, Gram. Many in this world are seen and derided but seldom heard. There is the notion that only certain people deserve a voice or access to the things that we often take for granted. The notion that the basics of life like food and shelter are not basic human rights is callous and unconscionable in a world where there is so much wealth. The food that is thrown out by farmers and restaurants could in itself probably feed a large percentage of those who go without because they have to choose between two necessities. Yet this is not the way a capitalist society operates. And it becomes easy to forget that the 'invisible ghost hungry alone' are just as entitled to comfort and safety as the millionaire. Quite often it is the millionaires whose policies lead to the hardships of the lonely and destitute.

Your poem stirs compassion and reminds us how important it is to stop and think of the person on the street as a human being with the same feelings and needs as we have. In spite of our perceptions or preconceived notions of what is deserved or socially acceptable, it is the human element that should touch us first. This is what your poem says to me. And I thank you for offering us this intimate and sensitive view of a human problem. Excellent work by you.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

hey, Eilis, aye you got all the salient points about compassion and complacency, and it could be any.. read more
My goodness, read once, should read again, slowly but.. but know how it is via various occasions in life, not personally but saw - was horrified; heard and was terrified. Too many people suffer the indignity of having nothing, not even an existence.. life being something only those who have a crust of bread know of. Can find how our world is by standing with a charity tin and a few stickers on a street corner.. and watch the world rush by. Suits and ties are worst, they go past, adjusting their reading glasses or patting a pocket! And such is the way with the wheelers and dealers of all types.. not those working all night to make rather than earn a loaf of bread. Go to a food bank and watch the queues; dare to go under a bridge near a railway station; see rough sleepers walk out of overnight shelters in all weathers at a time dictated by bureaucracy; watch the various samaritans walking the night, looking in doorways well aware they could find a body instead of old Bill or young Marie. And then wonder about the old woman who lives around the corner, rarely seen.. is she still alive in this wretched wotsit life we're having to live through right NOW.

Meantime, do you really need an eight bedroom with en suite when there's only two of you living there????

I could go on instead of saying thank you for reminding me yet more of how divided our world is. And you, the one looking away, please, don't give me ' anyone can do anything if he or she wants it'. Oh yeah?

Great writing, raw and angry.. as it should be.. and will be multiplied as things go on. Now's the time for people to help people. Some good folk are saying ' What can I do:'. Go ask.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks emmajoy you made some valid points, even standing with a charity box is helping someone somew.. read more
emmajoy

4 Months Ago

Maybe said too much, am fairly laid about most things but your poem, its content... lit an emotional.. read more
gram linski

4 Months Ago

glad to hear it emmajoy, thanks again for having compassion and understanding
The face of the homeless is the face of our shame nobody wants too see their shame for to have interaction or converse with it's reality is to admit culpability in our collective complicity of their existence. They don't look away because the homeless are repulsive they look away from the repulsion of how we allow them to exist today in the wealthiest nation in the world. It is a failing in our healthcare system in our mental health system in how we treat out combat veterans our pharmaceutical industry pumping out drugs that harm more than do good for the quick fix and no concern for the long term after affects. To me the homeless are the messengers and billboards of societies failures the very concept of their existence is a reflection of me and in this I am always ashamed. I jokingly say I was once "out of doors" to my closer friends but what I am really saying is once I was a failed hollow husk drifting in depression and self loathing I don't even remember how I got back off the ground anymore

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

hey, B, thanks for your comments, I know a little of the health care system over there, and basicall.. read more
There are some who do care. Some really do appreciate and understand the John Bradford quote. I'll throw in Joan Byers as well, "there but for fortune go you or I". Individuals can't solve the problem themselves but I hope they can make a small difference to a fellow human being whose luck is down. A friendly face and a chat. Not walking past with your nose in the air. I think about Scott who was thrown on to the streets when his relationship of three years ended. My family, including my sister and two of my grandchildren would keep him going with coffee and sandwiches. He was an avid reader, so we provided him with books to read. This went on for about nine months and then he wasn't there anymore. He was missing for about six weeks. Turned out he had been in hospital with pneumonia, recovered and then sent back on to the streets. Life is so tough for some. There are thousands of Scott's out there. He never complained. Was happy for the interest we showed him, but reading your lines I can imagine he felt all the raw emotion you have conveyed so brilliantly in your words. Fear, hunger, cold and loneliness. Sheer desperation. I could read it in his eyes. There is no excuse in a civilised society for anyone to be living on the streets. Reminds me about my Daisy poem. She moved me to tears. Local councils have a duty in my opinion to provide shelter and services. We provide billions in foreign aid and we can't even look after our own. How utterly pathetic is that.

Chris

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks, for sharing those stories ,Chris, sometimes the simplest gesture of kindness or acknowledgem.. read more
Got a feeling in the next few months space on the streets will be at a premium.
No one should be begging in Britain, and anyone who has spent weeks outside in the cold would tell you it is not a nice experience. Will things change, probably not.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks, Paul, not sure how this stay at home thing is working for those poor guys, but they do manag.. read more
Paul Bell

4 Months Ago

A lot of cities have got the homeless in hotels just now, but we know that will change when things g.. read more
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A very strongly written piece, dear gram. Raw and emotional and obviously written from experience. That title is very appropriate and wonderfully chosen, too. I guess we never really know the individual reasons why people are homeless. Many just fall on hard times while there are obviously many that have issues with mental health, domestic violence and various addictions, and still others that tend to stray to the unlawful side of the spectrum. Its a very grey area and one that needs more attention and empathy from those of us who are more fortunate. I appreciate this effort, gram. Its very hard hitting and strongly emotive. Much appreciated. :))

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks for your kind words Jamila, there are many reasons, indeed, some by choice most by circumstan.. read more
Some people are in the gutter because their life is on the skids. Others are hiding in the gutter from life and from that mundane normality we call reality. I was homeless myself once. This brought to mind the thousands on Skid Row living in abject poverty less than fifteen miles from Beverly Hills. Where do they shelter in place when there is hardly any shelter at all? A good write. Also, typo in the last word in line three (disdain).

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks, Fabian, there are many reasons why people end up on the streets, and it is a harsh life, tha.. read more
this is an amazingly raw look at what we often turn away from...
and that book of poetry? Hard to read when the stomach aches are so damn strong, concentration is not possible.
am reminded of that part in The Exorcist by the subway..."Hey Fadder, got a dime for an old altar boy?"
j.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks, j., great quote, aye hunger does diminish the concentration some what, always appreciate yo.. read more
This is a strong poem
You include dialogue.
I like dialogue raw edgy real poems
This is one ☝️

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gram linski

4 Months Ago

thanks so much, Julie, appreciate the read

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Added on May 18, 2020
Last Updated on May 19, 2020

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gram linski
gram linski

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" If I lose the light of Sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light, if I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls, I will write, always " H. Rollins more..

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