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Rose L

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Member Since: Nov, 2003

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Will Work For Food....
by Rose L
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Recent poems by Rose L
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           >> View all 39

*7/11* Hard to believe that this work has more relevance now than it did when I first posted it a number of years ago. Yet, with so many of my friends losing jobs, facing foreclosure, and homelessness, it seems that this work MUST be brought back to the forefront once again. Please give it a read.***

I have been writing this poem for a long while. The impetus for this write came from my conversations with the "disenfranchised" homeless people and those who try to preserve the humanity of these women, children and men.

Their voices, more than any others, begged to be heard. Their souls cried out for justice. I simply have the luxury of the means necessary to bring them to a wider audience of humanity.

This is perhaps the most daring write I have ever attempted. My only hope is that THEIR voices echo loud and clear through my humble words.

Who am I?
 

I am me; humble and alone
 

I am your son, your daughter, and your ex-
 

I am your friend, your lover, and a skeleton
 

I am a woman, a mother, and a child
 

I am a former CEO, a POW, disabled
 

I am a genius, an ex-convict, and prostitute
 

I am a druggie, an alcoholic, mentally ill
 

I am an annoyance, an embarrassment, and a cheat
 

I am filthy, robbed of my humanity, beaten down
 

I am playing the system, faking it (or am I?)
 

I am choosing to live this way – I could work if I wanted
 

I am living under bridges, in libraries, dumpsters and cars
 

I am an angel, a threat, a danger, and a pitiful reminder of failure
 

I am demanding – begging for leftovers and money
 

I am despicable for smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol
 

I am not responsible enough to love others, so you say
 

I am the person you judge each and every day
 

I am me; humble and alone
 

 
 

How many times will people judge me – naked and exposed?
 

My life and all my worldly goods contained in a sack
 

My shopping cart filled with your disposable consumer goods
 

My dining experience is your garbage, dumpster for 1 please
 

My healthcare is non-existent unless I’m left for dead
 

My conversations with people are from a distance
 

My mind aches from watching the haves tip the scales
 

My soul, no longer intact, has been scorched with hatred
 

I am me; humble and alone
 

 
 

You don’t want to see me, you hate me, and you despise me
 

You pity me, judge me, curse me, you wish I would go away
 

You throw money at me in disgust; shout obscenities and sneer
 

You nearly run me over – justifying the act in your mind
 

You head to toe me with disgusted eyes then make me invisible
 

You fear getting too close for smell or threat of crime
 

You lock your doors; take the safety off your gun beside you
 

You tell me to “get a fucking job you loser”
 

You ban me from earning any money on roads
 

You ban me from public places you enjoy
 

You deny me my basic civil rights because I lack a home
 

I am me; humble and alone
 

 
 

What you don’t realize is this
 

What I once was and who I have become are irrelevant
 

What I need matters far more ultimately
 

Buy me a meal at a fast food restaurant; then sit with me
 

Talk to me; get to know my story
 

Keep some easily opened, non-perishable foods in your car
 

Give me the greatest gift of all - a smile
 

Remember that I am human, with wants, needs, and desires
 

Never forget that you too, are one or two paychecks away
 

From the life you now sit in judgment of
 

Remember that it is only with each other that we all survive
 

Alone and apart – we die from spiritual starvation
 

Souls executed for being nothing more than fallible, human
 

Extend the hand of love and friendship – invest in me again
 

Retrieve me from the vast wasteland of solitude and depression
 

Fertilize my mind with ideas and hope once more
 

Don’t abandon me when I fail, or fall back on bad habits
 

Be firm, yet fair – for I am you in one or two paychecks
 

I am me; humble and alone.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Copyright Ó 2004 Rose Limongi

 
 

 

 

  

 



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Reviewed by Dark Knight
One can never pass a homeless person and not feel the need to help and get involved
Reviewed by Thomas Mutchler
All I can say is: God bless you. Outstanding write.

Tom
Reviewed by John Domino
Timeless poetry that reads like a prayer!
Reviewed by Reginald Johnson
A timely masterpiece. Your words frighten me with their poignancy.

Regards ...

Reginald V. Johnson
Reviewed by Joey Lawsin
This is a very touching masterpiece. People tends to label other people without realizing that we belong to a common ancestor.It is true that we need to give a smile always to anyone we meet, afterall it is free...AOUIE
Reviewed by Lavendar Jazz
I agree with you and the readers, we all are closer to being homeless than we sometimes think. I write about this subject also because it needs to be discussed. Keep writing ...
Reviewed by L. Figgins
You are only one step away from being homeless. A loss of your job. A divorce. A medical crisis. One day safe in suburbia and then your world falls apart. I know. I've been there. I lost my home and security through divorce and raised two children in poverty. Nothing is black and white. Think twice before you judge another. Thank you for this Rose...Lin
Reviewed by Janet Bellinger
Thank you for writing this poem, Rose. You have hit the nail on the head. Many homeless people are homeless because they ran into bad luck,not through fault of their own. There but for the grace of God, go I.
Reviewed by Mark Rockeymoore
i am impressed. i am a fan. i am glad that you responded to one of my poems, bringing me here, to read you. as ian said, it is WONDERFUL to see poets adressing issues that actually mean something. it is good to meet you, and i will be back.
Reviewed by Ian Thorpe
Be careful Rose. If you continue to write controversial stuff like this people might think you are European. Its great to see an American writer at AD addressing problems in American society. I hate it when people here tell me off for pointing out bad things about Brtiain. Honesty is the true patriotism, I guess we both ask in different ways "do you love your country enough to try and make it a better place?"
Reviewed by jude forese
an exceptional poem exploring the social implications and the human experience of being homeless through some powerful imagery!
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie
This was excellent, a powerful voice which speaks to my heart, and much needed!

Reindeer
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper
rose you certainly touched on a little bit of everything in this nice piece. Of course I don't judge these type people and I certainly feel sorry for them. Life beats the hell out of all of us. I use to give them money until they showed on tv how some of them were just scamming people. This one guy drove a cadillac and lived in a nice condo apartment. Someone followed him one day and displayed his story on tv.

Anyway the ones with limbs missing and who are really messed up physically I will still donate a few dollars to. l&p G
Reviewed by J. Allen Wilson
This is a superb heartbreaking write that speaks a thousand truths. I have an absolute understanding of this piece, for I have walked in both sets of shoes. Outstandingly done.
Allen
Reviewed by Regis Auffray
This is profoundly moving and meaningful, Rose. It is filled to the brim of your heart with compassion. It speaks from the love in your soul. Thank you for sharing this offering. Love and peace. Regis
Reviewed by Thomas Lanechanger
Absolutely incredible write, Poet. It saddens me deeply whenever I see anyone in this situation. I have always tried and will continue my best to help when I can. You have done a magnificent job with this subject. It has been a long day, and I hope all is well with you and yours. May the good Lord keep you safe.
Reviewed by John Banasiewicz Jr
Rose,
I have always said we must walk in a person's footpath to understand where they have been and where they want to go. You have put me there with this poem and taken me along with them. Guilty I have been at not taking time to listen or understand what they want. Money nor material things can totally cure it only starts the heeling. Caring, compassion and offering it to them can bring a total cure.
You have hit a grandslam here with this and for sure frame on your Hall of Fame
Tommy
~~~&&&***
Reviewed by Mr. Ed
Well done, Rose. A powerful message that needs to be heard - by all. There are far too many homeless in this country - a country filled with abundance - yet we care not for those of our own who need a helping hand and some encouragement.

One appalling site to me is our nation's Capital. While politicians wine and dine in the White House and other historic buildings in DC, hundreds of homeless hover on the exhaust vents just outside the gates, starving, cold, and so alone.

We need more spokespersons like yourself to speak out on behalf of these fellow human beings.
Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero
I too have been on the edge of being homeless. I too have a child. I know what that edge feels like, and about the two paychecks away. Survived only by faith, and sheer willpower -- with little or no help from anyone I know -- suffered a stroke because of the stress I lived under. I received lots of handouts, and food at Christmas time, but no human contact, and no encouragement. Even though I've kept myself employed, and a roof over my, and my child's head, I am in no one's 'pride' list. No one, has visited my house in six years until just recently. Thus I learned not to judge.

This poem is very well written. By putting the words in the mouth of a homeless person, instead of the narrators voice, you made a direct, and hard hitting statement. You gave a voice to the voiceless, and a presence to the invisible. I thank you.

Carmen
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Deeply moving write Rose!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Debashish Haar (Reader)
POWERFUL telling of a sad tale, Rose! This hit me hard, and drove me to open my mind/eyes...Thanks for posting...

Debs
Reviewed by Ed Matlack
Honestly Rose, I did not read this one, I couldnt see after the picture, and I don't cry often but when I do I got to just give up on everything else for awhile, so your poem, while I am certain from the other reviews, is perfect, I cannot bring myself to read it! My past time on the streets of PHiladelphia still haunt me hounding me to return, or saying I will eventually...but I still got Rufuz, LOL!

Peace thru self-knowledge, Ed & Rufuz
Reviewed by Kate Clifford
This touched me very deeply, because I know what it is like to be on the edge of this and only through the love of friends have I been spared so far.
Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader)
I found my wife commiting adultry, she had nothing at the start, except a dress or two, and shoes. She now has everything of mine from childhood, and 22 yrs of working all hours, and home.

I walked away with only my clothes i had on, and a small bible.

She had taken over $22000, by fraud.

All I had was the falling march snow, and a car i sold so i could live in a hostel fire escape, with a soiled bed and a sink, no heating, paying over $1000 per month, ppl on drugs, drink, had guns knives, homeless for almost two years, a brain aneurism i suffered and was writen for gone.

By prayer, faith, dogged determination, I have a great home, with medication, keeping my heart normal. Memory is still bad.

Which is why I attempted poetry, to use the right side of my brain, a yr and half ago I tryed my first.

Although I was down I was not out, believing I was worth more, reading my bible.

How differently you are treated, is so true.

But it builds character, gives great insight, now if someone says they want money for a train or food, i won't give a penny, but take them for a meal or pay the fare.

Very well written, when your down only one way to go....
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
(((rose)))

as one who was there, you speak eloquently for those on the streets. thank God i've risen above it...this needs to be posted on all shelter entrances and in the hallowed halls of our government buildings. powerful, heartwrending write--thank you

(((HUGS))) and love, karla. :(
Reviewed by E T Waldron
Superb write Rose,I agree with all of this , but having worked for 5 years in a St Vincent DePauls, among other help places, there is another side to this story. All the people who every day do exactly as you ask them to, care for others and give them a helping hand. I'm thankful to say I know many of them and places that give aid to those you write of. Just wanted to add some balance.;-)
Reviewed by Lori Moore
I worked with a program that fed the homeless for a couple of years, and from my experience, this captures the subject perfectly. Great write.
Reviewed by John Bidwell
This is profound and deeply moving.
Thank you for caring.
I won't stop caring.
I promise.
John
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