Tag Archive | Homelessness

Jesus Would Weep If He Could See The New Jerusalem Where People Are Dying For A Meal 

Read the words on this poster and weep for common decency. In a world where the rich boast obscene amounts of wealth there will be people dying as we tuck in to our Christmas Dinner And Jesus Will Weep.

As someone who has a home I know how lucky I am even if making ends meet can be difficult at times. Living in a United Kingdom in which greed is seen as good and  culture of selfishness is worshipped with almost god like reverence, I know that many people will die over the festive season and the real tragedy is that the great and the good of British society will only pretend to care for as long as gets them a headline in the press or an interview on the TV News or some other current affairs programme hosted by a fellow member of the comfortable classes. 

In his poem Jerusalem the poet William Blake who would if he were alive now be interviewed by the chattering classes, asked if Jesus walked ‘On England’s pleasant pastures green’ and put forward the idea that a new Jerusalem should be built in his country. 

Noble Sentiments, but sentiments is all they are as the gap between rich and poor grows wider by the day.  It is my opinion that if Jesus ever did walk on England’s pleasent pastures green or for that matter on Scotland’s and came back to check things out I think he would weep if he saw the New Jerusalem Blake wanted to inspire us to create. Well let’s be honest we are still light years from building it. If you don’t believe me this  one fact may change your mind. 

On Christmas Day 2017 There will be people dying for a dinner.  They’ll be dying because of the meal they didn’t get. 

Till next time 

Gayle X

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Mince Pies 

This poem may appear to be written on a favourite festive food, but look beyond the title and you’ll find it’s really about the greed and self satisfaction that Christmas can sometimes bring and the cold hearted indifference in our attitudes to others and especially to those most in need of our help. I’ve given it the title Mince Pies I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read. 

Mince Pies

Mince pies 

a festive favourite 

with custard or on their own 

hot or cold 

perfect with coffee 

or even Irn Bru

comfort food until twelfth night 

then they disapeer from view

till mid November

when suddenly we remember 

that Santa will soon be coming to town 

thanks to adverts and christmas songs 

which are played non stop

on TV screens and shopping centres

in an effort to get us 

to part with our money 

as consumerism runs riot

masquerading as the feel good factor 

we are all told we need 

in a land where greed is sold as good 

is it any wonder we need comfort food

we need mince pies 

to survive the harsh realities 

of the bleakest mid winters 

where those with cold hearts 

walk past shop doorways 

where the dispossessed lie sleeping

as Jack Frost haunts their dreams 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

Christmas Cheer 

In my latest post I share my newly written poem on what I believe to be the greatest Christmas sin of the modern age namely the kind of contentment which could be easily be seen as smugness. This is something my friend Samantha will never have as leading from the front she lets her faith speak for her rather than her speaking for her faith. It is due to her positive example of a real faith based life I have written this poem which I have given the title Christmas Cheer. I hope you enjoy the read.

Christmas Cheer

We pretend to laugh at cracker jokes

though we know there not that funny 

we wear ridiculous party hats 

whilst stuffing our faces with a never ending turkey 

we watch the Strictly Christmas special 

after the queen and the Wizard of Oz

every year it’s same old traditions 

with lots of talk of Santa Claus 

We’re winding down on Christmas evening 

feeling happy and contented 

but somewhere far too close to home 

lies the abandoned, the abused, and neglected 

they received no treats or Christmas jumpers 

no invitations came their way

but insulated from their hardship 

at least we had cheer on Christmas Day .

© Gayle Smith 2017 

Bonfire Of Promises 

On a night when some people celebrate the capture of Guy Fawkes with celebrations and firework displays I take a slightly different look at bonfire night. I do this by  taking an alternative look  at the issues of austerity and the homelessness it can and does to lead to. In this poem I explain why I believe the I’m alright Jack mentality has resulted in a culture of apathy in which people are content for others to suffer so long as the suffering doesn’t reach their door and this allows the more reactionary Conservative forces within the UK establishment to have a bonfire of promises. It is with this in mind I have titled my poem Bonfire Of Promises I hope you enjoy the read. 

Bonfire Of Promises 

As I stand in the cold

watching fireworks explode

 a cavalcade of colours

light up the evening sky

like a rainbow

but with no pots of gold at the end

I am lucky when the evening concludes

I will return to the shelter of my flat

after time spent with friends

enjoying the warmth of their company

as the weather turns colder

I walk past a homeless girl

checking my pockets to see if change can be spared 

on this occasion only goodwill can be shared 

and that won’t fill empty stomachs

or remove hunger pains 

in a world where nobody listens

and politicians feed the public a diet of slogans 

designed to blame others for our problems

scapegoating is the road to ignorance

and acceptance of rules

made by others to tighten their grip 

on us and our circumstances

till we believe change is no longer possible

and as long as we’re alright everything is going to be fine 

all we need to do is shut the door

on the outside world

and pretend it doesn’t exist 

but there is a warning in my words 

if we do take this road it will be the vulnerable who suffer 

as we start to view minorities as others 

and allow governments to make

a bonfire of promises

 © Gayle Smith 2017

The Coldest Season 

On day 10 of Blogmas I share a poem where I look at the the commercial side of our so-called festive season and why when we are wandering round the shops we should stop for a moment and think on others who may not be as fortunate as we are and what if anything we can do to help those abandoned by a society which is becoming more individualistic by the day as Conservative values take hold of western democracies and demonise those in need of genuine help I’ve given it the title The Coldest season I hope enjoy the read.

The Coldest Season

Winter, the coldest season 

where those discarded by a society 

in which winner takes all 

are refused access to the festive cheer 

whilst the rest of us spend 

more than we can afford 

on relatives we’ve ignored 

since last Christmas when we had that argument 

and brought up things best left unsaid 

or if we’re still not talking to them 

we’ll spend  our cash on  new friends 

get in to more debt that a small country 

all because that advert was lovely 

and filled us with the joys of the season 

it is after all time for glad tidings

silver linings of comfort and joy 

we’ll be in good voice singing carols 

at the church we attend once a year 

It’s Santa not Jesus in whom we place our trust 

to meet our needs in the season of goodwill 

but what about the old, the homeless, the ill

thrown to the wolves so others can jingle tills 

in the name of profit 

 of which they will see just enough 

to pay the bills and not a penny extra

this is the not so secret agenda 

of those who would kill the Christmas spirit 

by taking others to the brink

watching them sink from a world 

so immune to their pain 

we don’t see the irony 

when we hurry through shopping malls 

in this the coldest season of the year 

and the song we hear is do they know it’s Christmas. 

@ Gayle Smith 2016 

Playing The Game

Hey Readers

In my second poem in my series of the Homeless World Cup I look back on chats I had with players from many nations on the pride they had in playing for their country. Now as I relax at home in the still of an autumn evening I only hope their countries are treating them with the same respect and they will gain a better life having worn their national colours than they did before they were honoured. I have given it the title Playing The Game I hope you enjoy the read.

Playing The Game

As I mixed and mingled with players of all nations
Poles, Romanians, Irish, Norwegians
in the gentle heat of a Glaswegian summer
I discovered their ambitions and dreams
they knew the value of being part of a team
the friendship the sense of belonging
the pride in the jersey
and more importantly in themselves
I hope they’ve kept the belief they had for that week in July
when playing the game brought smiles from the faces of strangers
I pray they are safe from danger
have been given opportunities
valued as part of their communities
in the countries whose colours they wore with pride
I hope they were kept onside
with no flag happy uncivil servants to stop them
and their goals were allowed to stand

Two of the team from Team Romania
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@ Gayle Smith 2016

Samba In The Square

Hey Readers

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This is the first of a series of poems on football with a difference and the football I’ll be writing about is the Homeless World Cup which took place in my home city of Glasgow this summer and brought a carnival atmosphere to our city centre as 64 teams from 52 countries took part in a footballing fiesta which was one of my highlights of what was a very busy and enjoyable summer. This poem tells the story of my first game of this street soccer tournament a nine goal thriller between Brazil and Bulgaria. I’ve given it the title Samba In The Square I hope you enjoy the read.

Samba In The Square

On a sunny summer Wednesday
I saw my first game of the Homeless World Cup
Brazil and Bulgaria the teams
in a miniature theatre of dreams
It kicked off on a Sunday afternoon when I was otherwise engaged
but as I watched the world in Glasgow
there was a carnival atmosphere when Brazil took the stage
and samba came to the square
just like their big team
they had the same artistic flair
and similar frailties at the back
attack was their only form of defence
nothing else made sense
to the masters of the beautiful game
whose yellow strips matched the warmth
of the early evening sun
It was my first game
at this global football fiesta
Brazil won 7-2
despite their dodgy defenders
I wanted them to win the title
if Scotland didn’t get to the final
but somehow I sensed
after just one game the title wouldn’t be theirs to claim
and another team would take the trophy

@ Gayle Smith 2016