there’s no refuge there now for the desperate poor
nor the masses huddled by their fuck-off golden door
nor wretched refuse dashed upon America’s shore
homeless still ‘neath Liberty, with freedom no more
in the ending of days enshrined within the colossus
the lady turns to shun the tempest-tost homeless
adopts the mantle of the immoral and the callous
inhumanity writ upon the bones of the hopeless
I don’t know where I’m going,
I just know I’m arriving there soon.
I feel the journey all over my bones
While I’m whistling a familiar tune.
Some of these days are forever,
And some days are yesterday’s news,
Like a barefoot stroll in the sunshine
Or like wearing an old pair of shoes.
I’m going, I’m coming, I’ve lost it,
Like a shit, Friday night juggling act.
Stand clear, stand fast, but stand by me
My bullshit’s about to be unpacked.
Are you a pointer? A giggler?
Do you put on your faux plastic frown?
Head shaker? Face maker?
Is your smartphone recording the “clown”?
YouTube the “nutter”?
A “funny” video?
Let the world enjoy, the High Street attraction.
Do you know of them?
Or care about them?
For you to place ridicule, above your compassion.
They could easily be you,
You, easily them.
A broken world spinning around in your head,
Needing of care
More, the compassion of society instead.
Care for the person inside,
Traversing their mind,
Turning corners and resorting to the dance.
Take your soft hands to theirs,
To impart your care,
To understand, and then ignore their circumstance.
No, I’ve never been mis-sold PPI
I don’t need advice on debt
No, I don’t want to do your survey
And no, I’m not retiring yet.
Windows don’t need replacing
I’m not changing fuel supplier
I’m insured for death, insured for theft,
And I’m insured in case of fire.
Yes, I do mind the lateness of your call
No, your apologies are not accepted
Yes, this is me saying “No thank you”
And yes, you have just been rejected.
Do I see what lies outside
Life within the lines, defined
Confined by society?
Is it me, or is it we that decide
Where conformance falls?
I help to set that line, so
Isn’t responsibility mine?
I turn away from where
The detritus resides beside
Their favourite door,
Then hate my provinciality
For hating their reality.
This isn’t me, I say to myself,
My conscience is intact,
While, in fact, it is my act
Of diffidence that
Makes the difference
It means so little to moneyville denizens
Tapping their toes to their tunes
Treating society like their colouring book
Laughing at the poverty cartoons
They know, dignity decays to poverty squared
It’s their protection in the round
Dependence begotten within the sinking holes
While they hold their higher ground
So they build their shrines to a servile society
Upon the toil of the obeisant poor
Yet on, and on, the social fodder subscribes
To their master and slave metaphor
Around them lie the feasts of Christmas
like ghosts upon a stage,
beyond the hand of the huddled listless,
displaced and disengaged.
About them and without them, their society
rises to toast the day,
preening and shining their lives brightly,
like shiny children at play.
People of a lower world descend to mire,
the table of the least,
absent the outrageously glittering choir
of the lavishly bloated feast.
Collection of the fallen, lesser chosen-ones,
seeking scant deliverance,
raw and painful hunger in their frozen bones,
are treated with indifference.
They’re fading beneath the bejewelled lights
like ghosts upon a stage,
with nothing beyond their Noel midnights
but the bars of an absent cage.