- Books, Literature, and Writing
Jerusalem: a poem inspired by the plight of street people.
Dimwit streetperson baggy bagged baggage
Garbage sad article
On a city sidewalk tonight
And thought “One more thing we won’t have
In the New Jerusalem”
But do we have to wait till then?
Surely somewhere on this planet
Someone has figured out
How to manage the mentally handicapped
Somewhere on this planet
There are no dirty beggars
But clean connected
Special dwellers in the human circle of life
There was a sitcom with Balty Bartakamos
Who came from a country with no prisons
Hey! Such things are possible
Just imagine a country with no lunatic asylum as well
Alas! This city is not that place
This hungry thing
Grubby grubbing grabbing
Digging tearing foraging for scraps
His kind multiplies like pathogens
Such a shrouded burden on the treasury
And a virtue for the good
To show some Jerusalem in this island
The Story of the Poem
I still wonder if the street was dimly lit or if it was the tint, but I could barely make out the beggar on the sidewalk at around 9:30 p.m. when all the world was heading home or to some nightspot. The prostitutes have moved to Port Henderson Road, coke heads have dwindled in numbers somewhat, but the beggars still roam the refuse heaps and garbage bins of New Kingston, the hip commercial district of the capital city.
I glanced at the sad solitary figure in the lamplight and had a moment of reflection. "Just suppose we could solve this problem of the mentally unstable and the indigent by true community therapy and reintegration. The utopia of social scientists. But certainly there are countries where such a thing is taking place."
The poem "Jerusalem" was inspired by the train of thought.