Daily Trauma

The fragments of shattered homes
pick up static from the
friction of the streets
and each story clings
to the walls of a fully-laden heart.

If this is how I feel
how much more must
you suffer at the sound of this
shivering breath
and at the silence between
estranged family.

A plethora of poisons
burn the pockets to rags
and coins leak like blood from a severed artery,
searching for the phantom of hope
that lies beyond the recovery-relapse cycle.

As much as you
are my motivation,
When all ears are plugged with crime and drugs
I ask that you become the hope
that changes the perception of dependancy
into a self-giving freedom.

Circumstance can tap the heels
of honest men and make them fall.

Pseudo escape of killing braincells
can drain every aspect of life.

A misdiagnosis can dilapidate the mind
and leave one submerged in the chaos of over-responsibility.

An upbringing of violence can crash kaleidoscope crime
and dehydrate any opportunity.

We must stand with our own stains on our skin
and feed judgement to compassion until
it is devoured,
And we can only see the sacrifice that
saved my life, our lives
compared to which, and without which
my own giving is nothing

I was asked at work to write a poem of what it is like to work with the homeless especially from an Christian perspective, to be read out at a presentation at a church service in Watford.
So I wrote this on Sunday 28/05/11. The bits in italics are kind of a prayer.


  1. As ever, you have a wonderful ability to form and shatter images, always taking language to that point where it has no choice but to take on the extra weight of your meanings. The first stanza is a case in point.

    This poem has a wonderful clarity to it, yet in no way is it simplistic. The stanzas in italics lend a new depth to the whole thing, a different tone which suggests a different level of thinking and engaging. I've had a glimpse into some of this lately, and so for me the poem really resonates. It's also given words to things I couldn't name. So thank you.


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