Thanks, Buddy.


“The poor will always be with us,”

Is what I thought, as I dropped

A fiver into his battered paper cup

“Thanks, buddy,” is what he said.

“Have a good day,” and I was on my way.

I’m not trying to big myself up.

Just point out the fear and dread

I feel as I contemplate his fate

And mine, should I fall on hard times.

‘I’ll be kind before it gets too late.’

As Larkin said.


So often, however, I walk on by,

Though hope is in such short supply

And fail this test of empathy.

My wallet was not much lighter

For this act of minor generosity

(I’ll acknowledge some pomposity!)

And yet, when all is said and done,

Why should I stop at only one?


We look right through our brothers

And sisters, sitting on the streets,

Instead of looking them in the eye.

The detritus of so much social chaos

Who could easily be any one of us,

As fellow members of the human race.

Should I judge them, or should I be kind?

What would I want if I were in his place?

And if he was in mine.




◄ On Me Phone

Nobody Told Me! ►


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Wed 19th Jan 2022 22:22

God help what I call ( with respect ) 'the collaterally damaged'

the too many poor souls on our streets.

Well written John-thanks.

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John Botterill

Mon 17th Jan 2022 14:24

Thanks for the like Aisha. 😊

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John Botterill

Sat 15th Jan 2022 13:55

Thanks for the likes, Stephen A and Julie 😀

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John Botterill

Sat 15th Jan 2022 09:25

Thanks so much Keith and Holden for the positive response to my poem. I agree that, as a civilised country we should be able to support people. I just think we are becoming inured to seeing others in crisis. Poem challenged me with :What could I do? Answer: not enough!

Holden Moncrieff

Sat 15th Jan 2022 01:55

A powerful, nuanced poem, John! 🌷

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keith jeffries

Fri 14th Jan 2022 23:17

"Should I judge, or should I be kind ?" Stephen sums it up well @There but for the grace of God go I' We have a moral responsibility when faced with such a situation. I try to give what I can but why should this be so? An affluent nation! Society needs to take stock of itself as we seem to have lost our moral compass.
Thank you for an excellent poem

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John Botterill

Fri 14th Jan 2022 20:28

Thanks, MC and Greg for your kind and thoughtful responses. It means a great deal to me 😊
Thanks also Adam for the like!

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 14th Jan 2022 20:17

Kindness is the best of human traits. I have just read that the
novelist Henry James was noted for his maxim: "Be kind, be kind,
be kind"! Kindness kindles faith and hope - in this case, very appropriately, through charity..

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Greg Freeman

Fri 14th Jan 2022 20:10

Well done, John, for sparing a dime. And for such a thoughtful and well-made poem.

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John Botterill

Fri 14th Jan 2022 19:35

Thanks Stephen. Positive, thoughtful and helpful comment, as ever, 😊 very much appreciated!

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 14th Jan 2022 18:05

I think this covers an important subject, John. In these situations, I often think 'There but for the grace of God...' but I still don't do as much as I should. The last two lines sum it up very well.

Like the rhyming and the flow as usual.

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