Hi Charlie, hope things are going well for you and the family.

It seems such a long time now.

I had to find a new spot to kip down last week

as there are some dodgy types taking over,.

I thought my luck couldn't last.

Still on the scrounge at the moment,

but the hostels were doing my  head in.

Once you get used to the streets

it's like an anaesthetic, plus the odd cider

every little helps.

Anyway I'm enclosing a few sprigs of lavender

I picked , they smell lovely.

Isn't nature wonderful.




Big Sal

Thu 27th Dec 2018 16:13

Beauty in the little things, Ray.?

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 27th Dec 2018 15:54

Take an emotive subject and add to the mix...and it's likely to attract
a variety of views. But the basic premise has to be faced and the
views expressed tend to range from the "terrible that it should exist"
(who can disagree with that?) to the "how can it happen?" (more
reasons and views available) and the almost impossible solution
that each generation faces according to its time and its problems.
If, as I mentioned previously, the 2000 year old bible includes the
observation that "the poor (e.g. poverty) are always with us" then
we must accept that it is hardly a new situation in human existence
and try to deal with the practicalities as we find them in our own time. And that involves the need to address not only the problem
per se but also the attitudes of the individuals who become its
victims. Not always easy and often intractable if my own street
experience was/is any guide. Each man is an island - the poet
wrote - and this is never more obvious when trying to point some
people towards the relief of their own immediate position of
Right - that's my lot on this blog. An interesting involvement..

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Brian Maryon

Thu 27th Dec 2018 08:26

I was right...it's started.

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John Marks

Wed 26th Dec 2018 23:25

1. Rhetoric is not an add-on to poetry; it is poetry. It is a vital, persuasive element in any successful speech or piece of writing, whether a passing remark or a heart-stopping poem.

2. First of all," he said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." (3.85-87). Atticus' advice to his daughter Scout in the seminal American novel of compassion 'To kill a mocking bird'.

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Brian Maryon

Wed 26th Dec 2018 18:15

So to sum up, putting aside all the rhetoric... he had a place in a hostel, the first step to getting back to some sort of normality, but he chose to give it up in favour of the street and cider, where the chance of getting back to normality are quite slim I understand. Not only can't I feel empathy, I also struggle to feel any sympathy with this particular individual.

I dare say I'll be villified for this.

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Wed 26th Dec 2018 15:13

Mark, I know you never steer clear of controversy and your comment is an example of it. Your first comment was salient and to the point to which I responded. To have another has me wondering if there is an agenda that needs that second voice. Do the homeless have a defensive voice, and if so, which I doubt, do we hear it properly? Poetry can raise issues, but I am not a political animal. and have no desire to have sensibilities thus expressed buried under dogma.

It is Christmas, a time of goodwill, and as the streets make no such distinction - the hand of friendship and understanding could be extended - even to immigrants. Do we need the media to alert us when a trip to most towns these days will reveal the problem.
Nevertheless, I appreciate any view on my work, sincerely felt. I reserve the right to robustly defend mine too.

Thanks Jennifer and Taylor for the likes.


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M.C. Newberry

Wed 26th Dec 2018 15:01

To Wolfgar/David - or whoever...
thank you for the sermon...appropriate for the time of year.
I will respond by saying you choose to misinterpret my use of
words like "perceived". The word is entirely accurate as it is the
perception of wealth as much as its reality that draws people to this
(and other) great cities. As for poverty, even the bible tells us that
the poor are always with us - and, if is a word that is heard much these days it chimes with its use to the preacher. It is relative to the
situation of the people it affects - as is most certainly the case in countries beyond these shores. .I enjoy your use of the "damn with faint praise" syndrome that pops up in your missives...a bit of
sugar with the vinegar. But having actually put my person to
practical use with the question of homelessness here in the UK, I
can live with your comments from the pulpit of righteous resort.
Happy New Year.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 25th Dec 2018 21:36

It was against the law for a rough sleeper to fail to comply with the
instructions given to go to a place of refuge when I was dealing with
this problem on London's streets. The ongoing problem is that a
city like London - with its huge mobile population and perceived
wealth - is a magnet for those who might not feel the same pull to a
less appealing destination and consequently they are found far more
often in its central brightly lit streets and not in the less salubrious
areas of old. This also makes them a useful media story and keeps
the situation in the news. Mix in the additions from the ongoing
immigrant incomers and it is little wonder that the numbers appear to
be increasing and remain a topical social news subject. It is a
centuries-old problem and shows no sign of disappearing for a
variety of reasons, more's the pity.

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Tue 25th Dec 2018 15:22

Thanks Hannah. It's a problem we are keenly aware of - I shall now always think of the royal wedding in Windsor when the street sleepers were removed . I think that speaks volumes.

Ray Have a lovely Xmas.

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Hannah Collins

Sat 22nd Dec 2018 19:02

A strong poem from someone trying to survive.
Unfortunately so many sleep in the streets now.
It's sad and shameful.


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Thu 20th Dec 2018 22:40

Thanks you all: Randy, Jon, Jennifer, Anya and Po for your likes.

Nice to have your thoughts Martin. I think the innocence factor is something I injected into it to highlight the helplessness. An interesting point that - arguably the least innocent have the most options in life, and this guy has so few. Thanks for that. Really brings out a good point!

Another fine point David about the protection, to ameliorate the effects on someone other than the rough sleeper. I didn't want to crash in and overplay the obvious, so the letter idea seemed like a sort of get out. I didn't really think it through consciously, but that might bring out more thoughts that way. I actually thought of the lavender as a sort of Chaplinesque gesture. Plus it is my sense of humour creeping in. Thanks mate.

That's point has obviously come across ok Taylor, thanks for expressing it.

This is of course an emotive issues Mark, and you do point out a lot of facets of it. You know your history, and the whole sorry categorising of people as falling below the acceptable norms is an indictment in itself. If we take the opposite extreme of rich celebrity lifestyle, that should give us pause. Of course, ultimately, there is no real true answer, only the striving for it, which is the human condition. Thanks for your trouble.

Ray enjoy your Xmases, and may they be white(in our dreams).

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 20th Dec 2018 15:15

Those who deal - or have dealt - with the homeless on the streets
will know the word "Merrydown". Popular with the street-dwellers
in my own memory. Maybe still? The problem e.g. the reasons
and causes for living this way - never goes away, somehow
continually existing and "changing shape" according to individual
circumstances. There are those who actually prefer the street to
the shelter of a hostel despite the advantages offered by the latter
and it's interesting to remember that the Vagrancy Act 1824 was
introduced in response to the problem of that time of numbers
of servicemen who found themselves on civvy street without the
chance of employment. The Act even included categories - idle and disorderly persons, incorrigible rogues/vagabonds - exposing
wounds to obtain "alms". So, there's nothing new about the problem - just that no society seems to have managed to find a
solution that meets the needs and demands it presents...even now.

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Taylor Crowshaw

Thu 20th Dec 2018 06:51

I agree with David it is as tho the writer is protecting the recipient from the harsh reality of their life.
Thought provoking poem.
How fortunate we all are..❤

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Martin Elder

Wed 19th Dec 2018 23:00

Well I love it Ray it has a certain earthy street quality to it with a strange kind of innocence. Not sure whether I am conveying any sense her Ray. But I like it a lot.
Nice one

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Wed 19th Dec 2018 16:17

HI folks. I decided to rehash my poem from yesterday as my thoughts were tangled and perhaps too "poetic." I hope this may serve a purpose in its place.


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