Poem -

How Can This Be?

How Can This Be?

Bony, artistic renderings, skeletons in your face
Cowering
No pleading, just bleeding out, right there on the street
Giving up
No one stops on the way to their latest banquet
Three hundred dollars a plate
Damn it, not even a spare dime, or a happy smile
Or a sit and talk
We're ALL guilty of not stopping, not talking
Not offering a dime,
They're dying right in front of us
And we justify it
By thinking
"We can't help them all!!"
----------------------------------------------------------
We talk about it, more often in the cities
Because it's there
A backdrop to our walk to work
It becomes our daily graffiti
Just a splattering on the walls
But still
The ugliness is there
Everywhere, all the time
Starvation, in your face
Bleeding into the soul of the cities
Stripping, our compassion
Limiting, our reactions
Like a traffic light
You see it, but you don't
Not really
-------------------------------------------
Just as a spare dime
Could feed the children
Like the TV commercials late at night
We think someone's doing something
So we don't have to look
Or feel them dying inside
Like they're a motel room carpet
And we're all just pimps
Rushing in the Johns
Stepping all over them
Never noticing
That the carpet's getting worn
Frayed,
Why the hell
Won't management mend it, replace it
And where the hell is God
I just can't understand it
Aren't we all free
And if we are
Then,
How can this be?.....

Tony Taylor
* I wrote this when I was 17 years old
after talking to a homeless man
At the Lincoln Memorial
Washington DC

 

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Comments

author
Cherie Leigh

Hi Sweet T....It is hard for me to believe that you wrote this when you were only 17, but then again, you were always writing.....I know you changed this up to make it fit your perfectionism today....lol....It really hits the gut to read, making me feel my own guilt and responsibility to my fellow man.  It is true that we think someone else is taking care of the problems of homelessness and we look away to prevent pain...Hits the heart...as it should!  Great job...High fives Love!  xo xxx C

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Twilla Carpenter

The general public seems to see ICP as this horrible band that encorages violence...
but if you actually listen to their lyrics...
"What you consider drama ain't all that.
it's just that your wacked. With your intergalactic satellite data compressed.
but we can't feed the homeless.
then OJ's back storey unfolded
and everyone watched that while Oklahoma exploded
9000 good reasons why this world really don't care
thats what it cost for a wheelchair" 

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author
Tony Taylor

Wow TWILLA!!......that is one crazy-kickass-quote!!.....the fact that this particular lyric came to mind says a lot about your own versatility as a thinker.....I appreciate your taking the time with this one........ means a lot to me!!..... thank you for sharing this dear poet sister!!.......ttyl.......smiles......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤ ✌😊

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Dean Kuch

When I visited Washington, D.C. several years ago, I had never seen so many homeless veterans in one place in my life—and that includes Chicago and New York City.
What do visiting dignitaries from other countries think about our government when we have so many men and women who have fought for this country just trying to survive on the streets?
Apathy?
Shame?
That this USA ain't quite as hospitable as she appears to be from the outside looking in?
We should be ashamed of ourselves!
There, but for the grace of God, go I...
Well penned, "T".
~Dean

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author
Tony Taylor

You said a mouthful there my friend...... my family still has a home in Arlington Va.... about a 5 minute drive across Memorial Bridge into DC..... when I was a teenager I used to work at The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts..... after work a friend and I would go sit at the Memorials and write poetry..... It was,and still is, CRAZY how many homeless vets are around and being ushered away by cops so that the general public doesn't see half of the problem..... but in talking with a few of them my friend and I got to a point where we had to go to the cafés in Georgetown because it was TOO freakin' hard to handle..... when you're a teenager and there's nothing you can do to help..... you get creative.... we wound up doing magic shows for Senior Centers and Veterans homes...... but even that was not enough..... we wrote a LOT of poems and left them for waitresses all over Georgetown....... crazy days brother...... crazy days!!.....Thanx for this..... sorry about the rambling..... it all just came pouring out in memories!!...... stay groovy.....ttyl......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤✴✴😊 ✌

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author
Dean Kuch

No worries, mate.
Rambling just happens to be one of my favorite past times, heh-heh.
The pleasure's all mine as usual, "T".
~Dean

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Richard Waters

A decisive powerful write of conviction which conveys a message in a professional manner designed to create interest.
Perceptive piece swathed in higher value.
One to be proud of.
Take care my friend.  :)

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author
Tony Taylor

Thanx so much SIR WATERS!!..... you ALWAYS make my day with your perceptive insights..... that so often open my eyes to things that I didn't even realize I was doing...... it's spooky.... in a VERY cool way! (smiles).....thanx again brother poet!!......TTYL!......and ......Kings to you!!......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤✴✴😊

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Gerard McGowan

Hello 17 year old Tony, have you found God or did he find you, was he lying in the gutter with no one to talk to, no one to love, did you see him and write about him, did he change your life, did you become more loving and caring, did he touch your soul and tell you its OK?.

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Tony Taylor

You're awesome Mr. McGowan !!......yes I did find him..... but it took many years of traveling the world .....and I did so with that specific goal in mind..... trying to find God... or people that could enlighten me to that which I yearned for, craved even...... What is, Where is, GOD!!???.....I went to many of the 'power places, ......The pyramids at Teotihuacan, Stonehenge, The Vatican, Ceremonies with the Indians in Oaxaca, Sensory Deprivation Chambers at The National Spiritual Science Center, Primal Scream, Tai Chi, ...ANYTHING that I thought would get me closer to Him..... to understanding Him....... It took me many years to understand that he was inside of me all along...... today I have lost my wanderlust... but not my desire to travel...... My faith is profound now..... with a close relationship with my third eye and the blessings that meditation provides.....I can sometimes feel Him at work in my life.......And I am MORE than grateful for His guidance and protection these many years!!..... Thank you for asking my friend..... Hope I didn't take it too far!!..... Seems lately, I can't stop talking about Him!!.......TTYL!!......hugs-n-smiles!!.....T xo 👍👍✴✴❤✴✴😊

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Larry Ran

Wow Tony!  You wrote this when you were seventeen?  Unfreaking believable!  
.
                                             Seventeen years old
                                     With skills far beyond his years   
                                               Childhood prodigy
     
.
The Great Depression is back upon us
More maudlin than nineteen twenty-nine
The Homeless rate alarming
"Brother can you spare a dime"

.
In these days of bulging billionaires
The poor must beg for Alms
Their make-shift tents offer no protection
Unless the weather is so calm

.
Many of them are Veterans
For their country they once fought
But now it has forgotten them
Their lives wretched and so wrought

Love,
Larry xxx
      

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author
Tony Taylor

YES ~ I DID!!..... but I edited it of course!!.....I mean "Writing IS re-writing!" (smiles)...... thank you SO MUCH for the poetic reply..... it's an excellent write in and of itself!! ~

            ~ "Brother can you spare a dime"
                                    &
               "In these days of bulging billionaires
                the poor must beg for alms"

Those lines in particular jumped out at me....... You're a blessing brother!!...... Thank you again.... for being you!!...... Love to Linda!!.....hugs-n-smiles!!.....T xo .....Kings to you!!.......👍👍✴❤✴😊❤❤

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Lori Mack

God bless your servant heart. I was homeless and hungry for a total of 12 years. From 12 to 19 years old and from 2011 to 2016 with 2 children. I couldn't believe how little people cared... my children and I were just trash on the sidewalk. I knew how to take care of myself on the streets but how do you raise your kids out there? I never thought in a million years that I would have to dig in dumpsters to find food and clothes for my children. God saved me and one on my sons. We have a house and been here for over a year and a half. But my heart aches for my other son who is still on the streets by choice. He's hook on heroin, in a gang and does unspeakable crimes to get his fix. Being homeless should not be look upon as a sin. God protect the lost, unwanted and broke. God bless you.

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Tony Taylor

WOW!! LORI!!..... that has to be one of the most amazing comments I've ever received......I am so sorry to hear of your troubles with your son, so often some of the homeless find that they cannot exist without being on the streets..... unfortunately their lives are often either cut short or land them in prison..... but with you as an example of what is possible perhaps there is a ray of hope.....thanx so much for sharing this..... must have been hard for you...... your struggle is to be admired dear poet sister...... major kudos to you ~ Bravo 👏👏.......not too often that success wins out in a story such as yours...... but like you so perfectly stated..... God protects the lost...... you're awesome.....thanx again for sharing this!!..... Kings to you!!......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤❤❤❤😊
Ps. Apologies for the late reply ....crazy days lately!! 😊

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Tehmina Usman

This piece really spoke to my soul, Tony. This is the reality of our world and how everyone is just too busy or too ignorant to another's problems or bad situations. It has made us cruel without even knowing it and is what I believe to be the greatest tragedy of the 21st Century. However, I am glad that there are individuals, such as yourself, that even at such a young age like myself, are people to have such empathy when those from other generations cannot do so. Thank you for writing this and god bless you, friend.

Tehmina xo

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Tony Taylor

YAY!!....TEHMINA!!.....I somehow intuited that you were of a young age..... and that makes it all the better to hear of your concern and caring where the homeless are concerned.......I also find it quite unusual that you read as much poetry as you do..... gives me hope that language will not fall away into some tangled mesh of slang and cliché expressions.... your phrase that ~ "....it has made us cruel without even knowing it.." deserves a place on the sides of buildings the world over..... you are an amazing young lady..... proud to know you dear poet sister....... my apologies for the late reply...... crazy days lately!!...... smiles......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤❤❤✴😊

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Wayne Stubbs

I absolutely love everything about this Tony!! pinned for the brilliant perspective and subject that should be challenged always, in my opinion 👏👏👏👏 fantastic!! ☮💓 brother! 😊

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Tony Taylor

I agree with you WAYNE..... it should be challenged ~ ALWAYS!....thanx so much for the PIN my friend...... Kings to you!!......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤

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Wayne Stubbs

Not a problem sir, thanks for your kind words last night ☮💓 brother! 

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deano

Beautiful 17 year Old heart filled with compassion and the strive to help others in need ❤️ love you bro

Sadly the situation hasn't changed
:( Breaks my heart

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Tony Taylor

Thanx DEANO!!.....how I miss the private conversations we used to have.... we'll have to catch up some time....... appreciate the 'way cool' comment girlfriend!!....hugs-n-smiles!!......T xo 👍👍✴✴❤❤❤

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sparrowsong

Hello Tony...

​​It seems a sight that only gets worse...

Something's definitely wrong...

People are building affordable housing in many cities and it helps but, while they're waiting they are still on the streets...

I would always try to help in any way I could and help them with resources...

But, many struggle with one thing or another and some really can't hold down a job...

Between lay offs or their own struggles...

It's not a new problem but, it seems like it's one of those that has been ignored...

Sad situation for too many...

Not everyone reaches out...

Some children take notice and some are taking action...

Great write!

Thank you for sharing...

Hugz and Smiles!
Love and Rockets!

Feathers

 

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Whispering Dream

This is truly a wonderful piece and so very honest is scrapes my heart. We could always do more for people and help them in some kind of way but we often don't either because we don't have time or we choose to ignore whats right in front of us. Beautiful write Tony !! 

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