Thursday, July 18, 2013

What the sign said: Pennies are ok!



Vancouver, BC
Grace @ Everyday Amazing


By the beach bench, they huddle close
He, unshaven & matted hair -
She, sand-stained shorts, a wilted rose- 
Holding to plastic cups (& sign), sun 

Setting slowly, mirrored in gold (dust)   
By the beach bench, they huddle close
Like swept up shells in grainy shores
Gutted by wind & bitten by 

Uncertainty for tomorrow
is a steam-chimed clock,  boat adrift (empty)  
By the beach bench, they huddle close
As weary trees after a storm

Blackening their feet & fingers 
For a scrap, or puff, they beg for coins
This city, their drug & eden (lost) 
By the beach bench, they huddle closer 




Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - I was going around Vancouver City yesterday and saw homeless young (and able bodied) Canadians begging for coins.         They, along with the other homeless people, stay around the beach area and popular tourists spots.     I also mentioned Gastown steam-run clock, because it's one of the attractions in this city.     


Poetry form:  Quaterns - Playing with the form a bit but following the refrain line pattern.
Meeting the Bar:  Writing Characters 

35 comments:

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    1. Love how you played the refrain... Repetitions and refrains can be so strong, and I really like how the meaning change with the position of the refrain.. A sad state when people feel the need to beg. There are so many reasons. Here in Sweden we have an influx of Romani people from eastern Europe, apparently it's better to beg for coins in Sweden than the state of their living back home.

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    2. Thank you Bjorn ~ I was just dismayed with the youth begging, something I don't see often in Toronto (mostly old people) ~

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  2. I like the refrain as well. I like that it changes to 'closer' in the final stanza. You have captured these two well I find myself thinking they must use their 'coins' for drugs. (Marijuana is legal there, I know.....or perhaps they are into something harder than that.) I have experienced areas like this too; and I hope somehow these people eventually find their way. I have been in some tourist areas (not speaking about there) where it has been frightening to walk through as a woman in an unfamiliar area and alone.

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    1. Thank you Mary ~ You got a keen eye for my change in the last line ~ As in any expensive city, there are places known where drugs abound indiscriminately ~ I hope they find their way back home though ~

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  3. Uncertainty for tomorrow
    is a steam-chimed clock, boat adrift (empty) ...very cool description in that grace...you capture them well...the city their drug & eden is another cool line for me in this....ah you know me i have a heart for the homeless regardless of reason...they all have stories...

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    1. I am sure they have their stories ~ Thanks Brian ~

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  4. What drugs can do, or just being stuck on the street. Sucks indeed, hopefully a new path finds them one day soon.

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  5. I always struggle to accept that in our world's wealthiest countries, people still have to live on the streets, often through no fault of their own. There but for the grace of God ...

    Your refrain is really strong here - and the subtle change at the end moves this from being a general observation to one that is quite specific to two people - a lovely touch.

    And kudos on combining two of the past year's prompts ... smiles.

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  6. Nicely done, Grace. The reality of homelessness haunts me. My 2nd novel dips into it. Vancouver City is so beautiful. I would love to visit again. I would love to take a driving trip through your beautiful country, in fact, but my husband doesn't like to drive. I love it, but he's an insufferable backseat driver. It could signal the end of a good thing. :0)

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  7. As weary trees after a storm....just this one line would've been totally enough to really make me see them...

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  8. Quatrains are among my tied favourite forms...love this Grace, could very much see them huddled.

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  9. Oh, sad, and somehow you have made this beautiful at the same time.

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  10. You really pulled off the prompts with panache; homeless folks, able-bodied but not able-minded always freak out the "dealwithit" voices in my right brain. Like Brian, I do feel they all have a story, and heartbreak awaits the tellings. Just spent over a week coming & going through BC on way to, and return from Alaska. We love Barkerville, Ft. Steele, & Revelstoke. When I lived in Seattle, I used to weekend in Vancouver, which seemed exotic and cleaner than Seattle to me.

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  11. Beautiful, Grace. Mine is about the beach, too... but quite different. ;)

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  12. Grace, you captured interesting scene,youngsters,who physically could work...let's hope their difficulty - temporary one.... ths for sharing

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  13. I so respect these higher forms of poetry which you wrote so beautifully, Grace. You paint a clear and sad picture of that little piece of world you noticed.

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  14. Huddled close as weary trees after a storm--accurate and vivid simile. Sometimes Eden turns out to be not so pleasant. Great work here!

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  15. Well done Grace...I felt my heart break a little for them.

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  16. This is a nicely written poem, I enjoyed reading this.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  17. A fascinating piece, Grace. The recurring refrain gives it a "blues" feel - audibly breaking the stanzas into different line lengths. The reference to the clock makes it a bit steampunk, time-travelly. The quatern fades from being a set form to merely a foundation for your vivid portrayal of people at the beach in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. I know you're enjoying it.

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  18. Really enjoyed this poem!! Quite a story here!! :-)

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  19. A powerful poem--the refrain works well--unobtrusive as it fits so nicely in all the stanzas--excellent imagery here as I can see the people you are describing--you've put me at the scene.

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  20. You really captured their sad situation well... like swept up shells in grainy shores... so descriptive. I feel all the elements and the picture comes across so vividly. Wonderful poem. :)

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  21. their drug & eden (lost) -- Brilliant, but the poem had me as a fan long before that!

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  22. Grace, this is not the Canada I remember…in adversity, it is great comfort to huddle CLOSER together.

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  23. You executed this form to perfection, Grace. I love the weave of the repeated lines. Impactful, your line about their lost Eden.

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  24. I love these lines:
    "Like swept up shells in grainy shores
    Gutted by wind & bitten by

    Uncertainty for tomorrow"

    What a great turn of phrase, Grace! Lovely. And gorgeous photos too.

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  25. A powerful depiction of lost youth--your refrain is spot-on, with the last line emphasizing the cold, lonely onset of night. Very well done.

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  26. Intelligent use of refrain.. and it is an intense creation. And one more thing- impressive imagery.. :-)

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  27. Well depicted - eden lost for sure. Too bad. k. (Manicddaily)

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~