Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Cold Weight

Image Source:

As we move in to the colder months my thoughts turn to the many homeless people that live rough on the streets and in the hedgerows of Britain. It is estimated that in the UK about 10% of these people are veterans, a figure which has, unbelievably, risen by about 6% during the last 5 years.

The fact that in these ‘modern times’ people are forced, often by circumstance, to live on the streets is unacceptable. In order to help raise awareness of their plight I wrote this poem. The title reflects the fact that too many communities regard the homeless as an unwanted burden and fail to support them.

The Cold Weight

He lies in a doorway
out of the wind,
a cold nose companion
snuggled right in.

Cardboard blanket,
patched overcoat,
stuffed with paper,
knotted with rope.

He remembers the time
snow ripped past,
when in sodden clothes
they gave their last.

They were immortal,
or so they’d thought.
As through that hell
they bravely fought.

Now, here, in this doorway,
racked by a guilt,
lies a veteran
in a cardboard quilt.

John Carré Buchanan
05 December 2013

5 comments:

  1. Well this reply is from the Equator where there are many in similar situations. You wonder what events lead up to a householder leaving his past behind to hit the streets. Also what will it take to get them back on 'track'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perfect poem: no awkward phrasing to get a rhyme, it flows well and it conveys the meaning and intent poignantly. It really is a travesty the way veterans are treated. In the United States, it is estimated that as many as 22 veterans a day commit suicide because they can't cope with the memories of what they've seen and participated in – and they don't get adequate help to deal with post traumatic stress. The situation is apparently even worse in Britain and Canada. (And always has been it seems – I remember when the streets of Canadian cities were filled with so-called rubby-dubs: homeless veterans of two world wars trying to numb themselves and erase their awful memories with cheap alcohol. It was a massive failure on the part of Canadian society that they even existed at all, never mind in such huge numbers. Even today, our government, despite spewing our hoardes of rah rah patriotic rhetoric, ignores our veterans. Three committed suicide just last week. It angers me, even though I don't agree with the wars they have ben sent to fight, to see them treated this way.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy, thank you for your kind comment and your concern. What winds me up is that the numbers have increased in recent years.

      Delete
  3. Have you thought of sending this to any of the charities working with homeless people, for their publicity? It's very clear and succint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mama Mpira, Thank you for your kind comment, I had not thought of doing this, to be honest I would not know where to start. If someone thought my work could help I would be delighted for them to use it, as long as I am credited.

      Delete

I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.

Visitors






Free counters!



Popular Posts

Blogs I Enjoy Following

  • Crooked - Tony Gardner - A crooked little man with his crooked little wife Lived a little crooked but a happy sort of life Laughing at the troubles that his crooked life threw up I...
    22 hours ago
  • Kentucky Racial Tension - No racial tension In Lexington Kentucky Just tense & intense races Black & white race Cat & rat race Foot Ford train & plane race I am lost amidst this
    5 days ago
  • The Soothsayer - I’m a gypsy roaming turquoise sunsets Fixing pots and pans with artisan hands, A troubadours quill with poems to scribe Wandering psychedelic mystic lands: ...
    1 week ago
  • The Answer - "Am i scared to die?" You ask me Well, I am i must confess In answer to your question then A honest answer "Yes" But ask me "Am i scared to live?" Then this ...
    1 week ago
  • NIGHT OF THE HUNTER - Some years ago, before moving to the coast at Bordeaux Bay, I lived in the Parish of St Peters, one of the few remaining rural parishes. I had, then, two yo...
    1 week ago
  • International Women's Day - A few wee lines to celebrate being a woman in a modern world. At least, here....not every woman is quite so lucky.
    3 weeks ago
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll - *I didn't realize how long it has been since I have been here to write* *Change often seems to create a sense of suspended animation* *where the outer wor...
    3 months ago
  • The soul... - Photo - Barbara Allen 2016 The soul starts out on high, in a peaceful place, and then at birth it comes down, to inhabit a body, and is swept into a ragin...
    4 months ago
  • This Job, Not That Job - *What I'm reading: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon* *What I'm listening to: Incomplete by James Bay* Isn't it fun to spend your birthday ...
    9 months ago
  • ... gloriously exciting! - There is something gloriously exciting about anticipating ones next Chad assignment, sitting in the back of the relative comfort of seat 34J, the the dron...
    2 years ago
  • Time-Out - Every now and again in life we come across a bump or hurdle. It can come in our relationships, our finances or as in my case, health. Right now I've been...
    3 years ago
  • thumbs up - it was a battle. looking back i don't think we ever had a chance, but you don't just give up on a young man in the prime of his life. we had to try. he ...
    3 years ago