Invisible, or: People

Poetry Partners #88

‘Green Park Benches’, a poem by J. P. of ‘The Poetry Of J.P.’

Old bearded men drifting
in the alleys of night
have died with the sunset
and as I have overlooked
their bodies beneath
green park benches and bridges
they too have overlooked my feet
passing quietly by
as the waitress slips silently
into her second or third
miserable job.

I can see that she is no longer
with the romance of kids
and a husband to love,
she long ago packed away the luggage
that she so desperately wanted.

The coils of her golden hair,
disheveled and muted,
surely hide what was once
her bubbly persona
as she steps into her nice little car.

I see it all the time
the look of mountains of debt
and the pressed smile
that struggles from the lips,
and I see the children
who’d trade their toys for her
glorious smile.

I see the husband and wife,
who despite
all of their earthly love
are no longer in it.
The joy just jumped
out of their bed,
and it is not to say they don’t
still jump in the covers
and take that car for a spin,
but between the work hours
and the wages
and three wonderful kids
it’s a miracle that
more of the people don’t
end up under green park benches.

A cadralor in five kimos by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

Inspired by ‘Invisible People’

I.

Terminated, penniless and friendless
Thankfully, still has her car
But cannot afford gas

II.

Abusive father beats boy black & blue
Sleeping on the street's safer
Now he's thirty-seven

III.

Nervous breakdown after beloved wife died
Couldn't leave his apartment
Until they kicked him out

IV.

Methamphetamines barely dull the pain
No protection from rapists
Once again, she's pregnant

V.

Days pass 'tween watching interviews online
My heart aches at the words of
'Invisible People'

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!


23 thoughts on “Invisible, or: People”

  1. Abusive father beats boy black & blue Sleeping on the street’s safer Now he’s thirty-seven

    The burden of childhood, little boys age and become old overnight, still a little child; wounded and broken at the tender age, beaten into submission and rejection.
    One glance across the globe this picture is so apparent, with no idea what it means to live and how to become a man. Invisible and visibly homeless for the rest of their lives.
    Some little boys make it through the cracks left by the whips of the fathers, but hardly though.

    Utter despair
    The stories narrated in the two poems are so painful,
    Including the one which followed
    Thank you for writing, bravehearts.

    All three poems rendered here

          1. I can’t David
            It is so raw
            If the father rejects
            The one she births him
            That child must go

  2. I felt these poems in my bones. There but for the grace of God go I. There is so little that separated the haves from the have nots. and the awareness of that thin line is what spurs me to be better and kinder and more forgiving…

  3. This is a very poignant poem and it really resonates with me as we see a lot of street people here and a lot of them are children. I wrote this poem which is in a similar vein:
    The beggar’s child

    At the traffic light she stands;
    On her back, a small boy;
    His eyes round; deep black;
    In a wizen face, bereft of joy.

    What thoughts cross his mind?
    As he observes in his childish way;
    The endless traffic that passes by;
    Throughout each and every long day.

    Their well-fed occupants flash by;
    Their faces just at his line of sight;
    What feelings in him are aroused?
    As they ignore his desperate plight.

    Does it make him feel invisible?
    Unwelcome in this troublesome life;
    Does it develop into feelings of despair?
    As their complacency cuts like a knife.

    The cards he has been dealt, provide;
    few opportunities to improve and learn;
    How frustrating to watch the world pass by;
    Knowing it will never be your turn.

    If we want to see real change and difference;
    We must start to recognise and right;
    The casualties of poverty and indifference;
    Even if our individual contribution is slight.

    1. The cards he has been dealt, provide;
      few opportunities to improve and learn;
      How frustrating to watch the world pass by;
      Knowing it will never be your turn.

      Roberta, this is so well written. Thank you for sharing.

      I feel like that penultimate stanza is the worst part of it all – the sheer hopelessness – especially when it comes to the children 😦

      💔
      David

      1. Hi David, this was based on a real mother and child. I tried to help them by giving her food three times a week when I travelled that way. One day they disappeared and I never saw them again.

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