Tag Archive | Shelter

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

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Private Property 

On the day the UK is plunged in to political uncertainty and Prime Minister Theresa May decided to go the country and call a General Election despite claiming there would be no such election till 2020 you may be surprised to know that my poem for day 18 of NaPoWriMo is not about my thoughts on the upcoming election but on something which I see as far worse and degrading to women and that’s the sex for rent scandal which has come to my attention through the work of National columnist Vonnie Moyes. I have to admit I was genuinely repulsed when I heard of this practice and the fact is happening in the early 21st century in a so-called developed country is something I find both bewildering and sickening. Indeed such was my anger at this act of Victorian style barberism that I had to write a poem on it to make my feelings clear on the issue. I have given the poem the title Private Property I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read.

Private Property

 

It shouldn’t be allowed 

not in a civilised society 

but this is the horrible reality 

for young women in Scotland and Britain today 

we can’t just wish it away 

it’s happening and it’s happening now 

as women struggle to get on to the housing ladder 

unscrupulous males are acting as  landlords 

offering sex for rent

accepting only girls who show pictures 

maybe a flash of leg 

 or a page three shot in  bra’s and knickers 

they and only they will be given a bed for the night 

they will gain this reward 

in  return for satisfying 

their owners pleasures and demands

this is a picture too disgusting to paint  

yet these men ask us to understand 

that they are doing women favours

I disagree,

 you see, I believe every women has the right to shelter 

it is a basic human need 

we cannot condone those who use greed 

to exploit the housing crisis 

for their own immoral ends

we can’t  let this go on 
if we do how long will it be 

before someone is killed by this madness

my sadness on hearing this story 

has given way to anger 

and those who believe

 they can have their own private dancers 

must be shown the error of their ways 

this is not a business arrangement

it’s human trafficking 

 and it needs to be called out for what it is 

we need to tell the guilty 

you can’t get away with this

no man has the right to take 

a women’s kisses 

we do not live in caves 

we will never be slaves 

this crime has to end and end now 

no woman will ever be a cash cow 

we should never be rented out 

our bodies are private property

© Gayle Smith 2017 

The Dead Of Night (Not Waving, But Drowning,)

Hey everyone This poem is my response to the Syrian refugee crisis and my plea to the British Government to improve our efforts to help in this humanitarian crisis I’ve titled it The Dead Of Night I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read

The Dead Of Night

A human catastrophe

Millions flee

The land they once called home

They are not terrorists, nor migrants

They are refugees seeking asylum

Shelter, from barbaric brutality

Thinking only of protecting their familes

They flee to countries many miles from home

In the dead of night they risk all even death

Anything is better than the war torn land

In which they see no future

My heart cries on seeing the images

Fed to us by our press and TV

We have a government which shows

how uncivilised Britain can actually be

As it turns deaf ears and blind eyes

To a problem which so called leaders insist

is not of our making

Faking humanity with well delivered speeches

To reassure both the masses

and the chattering classes

Whilst dealing in death

and selling weapons to both sides

to use in the line of fire

Liars will be exposed in the cold light of morning

Meanwhile countries send out trigger warnings

To the suffering of those trapped by circumstance

as leaders fake humanity I think of those who will use any means of escape

No matter what odds they face

As I do so I remember a lesson from school

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes

As fake concern fades in to a distance safe enough to numb the sensibilities

Of those who need to be calmed

A nation and a world can go back to sleep

Till next time

@ Gayle Smith 2015

Left In The Cold

Hey everyone It’s a wet and windy night here in Glasgow and I hear the storms of winter from the comfort of my living room I can’t help but think back to January 1968 the last time serious gales battered my city. With this in mind I have written a poem entitled Left In The Cold which I dedicate to those less fortunate than myself who don’t have the shelter of a flat. I hope you enjoy the read.

Left In The Cold

As storms batter my window and my city
I sit in the comfort of my flat giving thanks I am not outside tonight
as winter serves up her coldest meal
how must it feel to be homeless and alone
on nights like such as this
I shudder to think
bins recycle rubbish to the pavement
trees branches break
I think back to being six
in January 1968
when storms showed their power and half of Glasgow was rehoused because of it
this Included my family
though in reality we only moved
ten minutes up the road
I can’t really picture my old flat
all I know is what I was told by my parents
mum bemoaned the lack of community
dad that he had to walk
to the pub he called his local
still the exercise would have done him good
it didn’t matter to me
all I wanted was a hot meal
and a nice warm bed
food and shelter the most basic of all human needs
now a home owner I worry for my property
I am no longer six
but the memory of that January night
is still fresh in my mind
as if it were yesterday
rather than many yesterday’s ago
It is cold enough for snow
but the bitter winds scare snowflakes
tell them to go and lie on someone else’s ground
meanwhile gales dance around the sky
and I think of those less fortunate
swept away by celestial ceilidhs
I make myself a coffee and remember to pray
for the ones who are left in the cold

@ Gayle Smith 2015