Longing Red Lights

The homeless populate our street corners during the day.
The city councilors’ cosmetic solutions fail.
The gated communities wall their fears inside.
The soup kitchen volunteers fortify food with bible verses.
The hospital emergency rooms tend the frost bite of apathy.

There is an art to cardboard sign construction and literature
that should be studied, organized, categorized
and open to the public in university galleries.

No matter the weather, Robin disrobes
and runs one lap around the banking district.

He no longer begs or steals, but performs slam poetry,
though most people think he pontificates incoherently
and place a bill or two in the passed mitre
thus maintain their year-long absence
from the confessional.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


The sight of homeless people panhandling at stoplights is common in Albuquerque. Often they hold their cardboard signs under metal street signs that tell them where to get help with a city department phone number to contact. I figure if you are homeless, you are phone-less as well.

It is rare that I give money to the homeless directly. I give my money to the foodbank instead that claims they have the ability to stretch my dollars to seven times the grocery store value of those same dollars. It is not a lack of compassion, but my attempt to get the biggest value for my donated money.

Regularly the city comes and removes all the makeshift tents between the dog park and highway. They city scoops every thing into a dump truck and cart it away as trash. Imagine if everything you owned, including shelter, was just scooped up and dumped.

It seems too me that the high paid CEOs should cut their pay in half, so more folks can be employed by the CEOs’ companies. I think it would be good if we judged CEOs by how many people they employ combined with profit margin. Example: If a CEO’s company is profitable only because he/she laid off 10,000 workers, social pressure should snap the CEO’s spinelessness and incompetence.

The best way I know to help the homeless, is to get them a home and a phone. It is impossible to get a job without an address or a contact number. So the government (greater community) has to step in and supply those essentials. I would see it as my tax dollars being well spent.

I am realizing I could go on for several pages on this topic, but I wish to get my morning moving to the great outdoors, so I stop this postscript.

Love & Light


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