Saturday, August 1, 2009

Early Morning Thoughts

It’s early in the morning. I couldn’t sleep, but not because I was hungry. These poems need very little explanation. I’m so very fortunate to have shelves of books, a good home, three meals a day, and people who know where I’ll be sleeping tonight. It’s not just the poor that need you today. Somebody you know is lonely, or just needs to hear your voice. Take a minute, and we’ll talk more next time.

Get Up

Get Up
GET...... UP, you’re thinking about the game anyway.
You’re looking sideways at Janet Thompson’s legs

Get Up
Walk back the aisle. Don’t think about
the stares, the whispers, or the preacher.
Push open the double doors at the back of the sanctuary,
run down the limestone steps, across the flagstone walk,
past the parking lot full of shiny cars, and up the street.

Run to the corner where the old woman
sits on the grate, wipes the snot from her nose,
cracks the snow from her hair.
Walk up to her and beg her forgiveness,
rip your pocket off, and give her all the
money you have.

Just maybe then, you’ll really know what
to pray for, and what the truth is.

Hollow People
Cincinnati 1972

The hollow people of the city are kept north of 13th street by police batons and threats, where they wont spoil the store windows and the suits can walk to lunch without seeing reminders of the real world.

Up there above the parkway where the canal used to be they wait for lunch at the Catholic Church and sleep on cots in the mission. Others who know the secret, walk along the Race Street wall and fade from view into the shadows where the transformer vault is hidden beneath the sidewalk.

Under cardboard they are warmed by the green boxes and sleep to the hum of electricity flowing through copper coils. A few blocks away the office workers, cubical sitters, and bank presidents are giving them comfort by just turning on the lights.


  1. These poems are food for thought, Robert. I like them both.

  2. Great poems. Poverty is really such a drag more so when you realise it needn't be this way.