Christmas in paradise

James finds his way through dark icy roads

Deep in his thoughts of long lost happiness

Two years on the streets, his birthday approaches

Soon to be fifteen on a lonely Christmas Day

Older in mind than he will ever become

He has seen the darkness in too many eyes

The peace that he seeks avoids his path

He finds his quarry in a desolate doorway

A desperate man with a loathsome need

In a brief five minutes that seems like an hour

The boy walks away with silent tears

Clutching the money so tight in his hand

His young shoulders carrying the world

How much longer can he bear the weight?

Near the hostel where the light shines bright

Two wait in silence like vultures of the dark

They sense his presence before he appears

And in his weakened state he has no fight

They flee the scene with just 5 golden coins

Torn from his hand as his life drains away

He becomes a statistic on an ER file

Another runaway for the inside pages

A forgotten name in a forgetful world

We will never remember him

Happy Christmas?

I met her there ►


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Chris Dawson

Sun 7th Dec 2008 12:07

Similar story here. And reading a lot of the poetry on this site, listening to song lyrics (do you know Phil Ochs - I'm tired?) etc - how many people are locked in little bubbles of sadness that we consider unique? and when we start sharing it - we find we're not.

<Deleted User> (4854)

Sun 7th Dec 2008 12:01

The thing is poetry has been the release or the pressure guage. As a kid with baggage and a lot of bruises (the usual drunken father story) I was withdrawn and always thinking too much. If I had not had poetry I would be even more messed up than I am!!

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Chris Dawson

Sun 7th Dec 2008 11:52

I haven't ever spent time on the streets, but I have done some work with (mostly female) adults who were abused as children - it is easy to have sympathy with tv or newspaper images of abused children, but generally people have a lot less sympathy with the fucked up adults they become. Guilt is a waste of energy - if you've done something wrong - try and put it right; if you haven't - then give that guilt back to the people it belongs to. (I know - all easier said than done!)

<Deleted User> (4854)

Sun 7th Dec 2008 11:38

Around 9 years ago I left home as a 16 year old and spent just a couple of weeks on the streets. I met many of those kids like James and at Christmas the memories always come back. Probably this is the way to purge the guilt I feel because I 'escaped'. Although maybe I am just coming from St Ives!


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Sun 7th Dec 2008 00:48

This is the weightiest best poem I have heard in eaons.

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Chris Dawson

Sun 7th Dec 2008 00:24

Very moving piece - raised lots of questions in my mind, mostly about how our society allows children to get in to these vulnerable positions; but also I couldn't help wondering where you were coming from with this? (I once asked a woman where she was coming from with her piece and she told me - Droylsden.)

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