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Friday, 18 January 2013

The Semi-Homeless of Our Day


Have you heard where youngsters go
when they should be home in bed?
how they ride the night away
on many a small hours bus?
How no one wants to know?

Have they told you why they ride
as they did once for their play,
before pretend ran into status,
camaraderie and cred'--
that their oyster cards provide?

Have they told you who they are,
these youngsters deemed as surplus
to our culture, the severely underfed?
They are the semi-homeless of the day --
who with their oyster passports travel far.

Did they tell you - quite downbeat -
did you hear all that they said,
how to bus it to next day
while dodging all the hassle, all the fuss
of a night spent on the street?

..................................................................................
Written in this form (The Karousel) for Gay Reiser Cannon's inspirational prompt at dVerse Poets (Form for All). The subject matter, though, was already on my mind after reading an article about these youngsers in yesterday's (Thursday's) Independent Newspaper.

The Karousel is distinguished by the manner in which the middle three rhymes rotate in each of the stanzas. For more info' please follow the link above.

27 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

What a marvellous poem. The form suits your style perfectly. I read it three or four times. This rang so true:

Have they told you who they are, these youngsters deemed as surplus to our culture, the severely underfed?

Many thanks. That was superb.

Greetings from (snowy) London.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

A truly sad state of affairs. But the affairs of state do not seem to care about the outcasts and offcasts.

manicddaily said...

The revolving lines work super well here, Dave. A very sad story.
k.

Mary said...

Better to be on a bus than on the street cold winter nights. Indeed sad though, but could be sadder in the chill of winter.

Brian Miller said...

anyone deamed as surplus is not a good thing at all...you worked the form well and it accentuates the round and round bus ride...opening up questions we have need to ponder....gotta stay warm some how...

Grace said...

So beautifully written to the form that I didn't noticed the pattern Dave ~ As to the subject, its heart breaking to see these young ones adrift and semi-homeless in the streets ~

rumoursofrhyme said...

So much potential is being wasted to preserve the privilege of the few. As recent events in India have served to remind us, the bus may be a better option than the street, but only just....

Love the way you have used the form to express your thoughts - and those of people whose voices we so often don't - or won't - listen to.

Wolfsrosebud said...

David standing applause on your topic... it fit nicely into this new form we're all discovering

Wolfsrosebud said...

David standing applause on your topic... it fit nicely into this new form we're all discovering

Cressida de Nova said...

Great use of the form...works very well!The carousel round and round feeling of travelling on endless bus trips to avoid danger...terrible iniquitous world we live in.

Ygraine said...

How dreadful it must be for those poor youngsters on a day like today.
Such freezing temperatures and heavy snow must be so hard to bear.
How my heart goes out to them...

Ygraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...

This style is easy to read Dave. Lovely poem.

Claudia said...

when the street seems to be a better place than home..the severely underfed.. we should feed them love me thinks...probably would make them settle down..great work on the form david

kkkkaty said...

...glad you touched on this...well done poem reminding us how our priorities in this country are so out of whack ;)

Beachanny said...

I love your poetry and this is another winner! I actually have an oyster card. It holds my dreams of refill once again in London. I have met some of my most memorable people, had inspiring conversation on the tube and buses there. It may not have been planned but having a warm seat on a bus or train at night has to be better than "sleeping rough" on the streets where even in London danger waits. Excellent use of the form!

Tigerbrite said...

An excellent use of the form to highlight the plight of some of the young. Well done.

Helen said...

Fascinating poem, fascinating form and subject matter.

Years ago I saw 'Blood Brothers' on the London stage ... your poem reminds me of the narrator who has a huge story telling role in the production.

Happy weekend!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

How true, it's a real condition.
I enjoyed it and it reminded me of great novel I read on a young homeless boy "Ripley Bogle" by the West Belfast novelist Robert MacLiam Wilson in 1989.
By the way what is an oyster passport?

Cloudia said...

you would have eyes to notice, Dave



Aloha from Honolulu,
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Gretchen Leary said...

Such a sad truth put into a beautiful form. This is an amazing poem

pandamoniumcat said...

Very sad, thinking of people keeping warm sleeping on buses. well done with the form with this conscience piece.

zongrik said...

all the fuss of spending night on the street, but the questions is, who is making the fuss? some mean it, and some are making the fuss just for show and won't do anything about it.

quantum kisses

Kelvin S.M. said...

...not a surplus though....just not well directed & understood...and yes completely ignored...the more the world think of 'em as surplus...the more we don't provide solution/s... excellent sir... hits a great impact...smiles...

Dave King said...

As always, much thanks and gratitude to all for an exceptional bunch of replies. The subject was serious and sad and therefor I did think carefully about using what was for me an experimental form, but I am now pleased that I did. Your responses were pretty much in accord and nothing controversial came up that I could see. One aspect I did fail to get across, though, was that an important advantage that the bus has over just walking the streets or sleeping in a shop doorway is the legitimacy that the bus gives. On the street they can be harassed and moved on. They have no rights. That changes on the bus, though, they have a modicum of status thanks to their oyster cards. They are on the bus by right.

RMP said...

this flows so perfectly. a sad, but lovely piece.