City Life


His youth lies back some threescore years or more
and now he lives in city parks or dives,
surviving as he can, all worry-free.

His clothes are from the local Sally Ann,
like new – no holes! He’s grateful for them all.
They suit his ragged beard and ungroomed hair
that haven’t seen shampoo since late last fall.

Somewhere, someone tossed off a blue cloth bag;
it holds his few possessions when he walks
down alleyways, up lanes and streets.
Amazing what he finds along this beat.

It’s lunchtime,
…..there’s a soup kitchen nearby,
…..a meeting hub for young and old
… him, and women, too.

He’s branded “homeless”, yet he’s always home.


© 2014 Eric Linden


Bravo! Richly descriptive, solid blank verse with added metrical zing (S4), empathetic social commentary with human interest to boot. Just about my favorite kind of poetry. I’m envious.

Not in any way to diminish the plight of  the many who are not homeless by choice, I’m also intrigued (and maybe a little envious) to contemplate the courage of those who willfully buck the social system based on upside-down values in choosing to live without possessions.  A collective consciousness shift in the perception of homelessness is sorely needed in the world.   Thank you for bringing this thought-provoking topic to the forefront.

Mary Boren