Two Poems in tribute to HOMELESS VETS — May we never forget what they have done for us!

Homeless man in Anchorage, Alaska

Image via Wikipedia

Formerly with the Royal Signals, British veteran John Quinn, contributed these two poignant poems he discovered about homeless vets. BONNIE


Through My Eyes

By Brian Chenier

You don’t know me or what I’ve done
You don’t care where I’m from
So I have a question for you
Why do you judge me the way you do

I wonder what it is you see
Every day as you pass by me
What’s on your mind, and in you head
Looking at me on my cardboard bed

All I have left in this world is here
But all you see are the cans of beer
You try not to look or stare
But I see your eyes, I see the glare

The disgust I see it in your face
As if it’s me that’s a disgrace
But if you knew what I’d done
That look might be a different one

You go to work all clean and shaved
On a street of gold that’s nicely paved
But you have sent me off to fight
Without a care for my future plight

The drugs and beer, the homelessness
The disheveled look and the tiredness
None of that is a choice I’ve made
I was a soldier of the highest grade

You don’t see that, you don’t care
Why should you, life isn’t fair
I don’t want pity, especially yours
But spare a thought for those that fight your wars

English: Homeless man in New York 2008, Credit...

Image via Wikipedia




Sleeping Out at Christmas

Nigel Marshall
Belfast, Ireland
2nd December 2008

Winter has descended white on the hills above the town,
And below, are streets where shoppers browse, hunting bargains down,
Preparing for a Christmas time of food and drink and fun,
Forgetting those less fortunate, whom society will shun.
Neglected and alone he sleeps, wrapped up against the cold,
His belly filled with acidic beer or whiskey’s fiery gold.
He remembers years when he too trod that route around the shops,
Buying up the trinkets and the tunes by next year’s flops.

Those days are gone, so long ago; he lost them bit by bit,
He struggles with a world in which he feels he does not fit.
He saw so many things at war, which people should not see,
They stayed there in his mind, still now; they will not set him free,
How could he speak to those he loved and those he would protect,
Of his trauma and his helplessness as his mind was slowly wrecked?
Instead he sank into himself, withdrawn, so scared and tired.
Until eventually he lost it all and began his life outside.

He lost his wife, their kids, his job, because he couldn’t cope,
He felt he had nowhere to turn; his mind destroyed his hope,
If you could only see the scenes which play inside his head,
Then you would understand sometimes he wishes he was dead.
It consumes all his energy and leaves him hollowed out,
And the silence of the freezing night is punctured by his shouts,
He wakes in shock, completely lost; not knowing what he’s done,
But very quickly realizes the old enemy has won.

This is how his mind has been for years and years and years,
It stalks him all through day and night and preys upon his fears,
Inside he craves understanding from those who hurry past,
But they just see a begging drunk, not worthy of their cash.
He’ll drink it, sure. He has to do, to keep the cold at bay,
But he wishes that his mind would let him earn a good day’s pay.
Instead it takes him back to war and shows his mates being killed,
This isn’t what’s supposed to be; it’s not how it was billed.

A soldier’s pride will hold him back from asking for a hand,
From those he paid his subs to, while marching to the band.
He gave his money willingly for the ‘Boys of the Old Brigade’
But it’s he who now needs charity, he now needs that aid.
Do not forget that this begging drunk, you pass on the other side,
Was once your willing protector, for you he would have died.
His mind was ripped to pieces by a war fought in your name,
Too many die on freezing streets, don’t make him do the same.


About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan vets, Canadian Armed Forces, federal government, Homecoming Vets, post traumatic stress disorder, veterans' affairs, veterans' assistance programs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two Poems in tribute to HOMELESS VETS — May we never forget what they have done for us!

  1. Burton says:

    I like this site and have absolutely bookmarked it. I am going to expect to go through in details on my journey


    A Heroe Dies

    A Heroe Dies
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    A woman falls upon the casket of her late husband upon the flag of this his country. He was a soldier strained, trained no doubt to win his fight. I have no worries that he could reach his weapons upon his person of destruction to ascertain that EVERYTHING they afforded him was his to have to win his fight. Howsomever, we can discover and MOST of you will agree, He did NOT survive. A Heroe dies. It takes a different sort of man a kind of man made to survive. A civilian christian, forming weapons

    out of wind, and holding on to his religion, when the fun begins. A man who walks with confidence and not a quiver in his liver, as his lungs never suffer because he never lights a cigarette. Not over fond of anything, yet possessing everything. Mye abundance comes from LOVE.

    A heroe dies. While some of us still try to live and love.

    While Marine makes the final sacrifice.

    Semper Fie.

    A Heroe Dies.

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