Raising Voices- Community Poetry Submissions

Can you relate to this?

Poverty comes in many guises,
those suffering do their best to disguise it;
the stigma; the shame; the whispering names;
always from behind, losing the game;
got no voice; even less choice;

day after day feels the same;
diet is poor; can barely afford;
health poorer,
often ignored;
stress levels high;
prices higher.
Christmas, ugh,
timing is flawed.
“Live ones best life” feels like a joke;
kids hungry; can’t have; because you are so broke.

(£16.69 bank balance, 11 days til payday; 3 kids, 3 cats,
a dog and myself to feed….3 days food in cupboards)… better get creative!

By Jenn

What hardship means to me

Waking in the morning,
To see vapor in the air,
Walking into the kitchen,
To see the cupboard almost bare.

The carpet that needs replacing,
Will have to remain threadbare.
The many times we’ve had to say no,
When the kids want to go here or there.

No, we can’t afford that,
You’ll just have to make do,
I know the other kids show off their shiny new toys,
But lots of expensive gifts,
Just won’t happen for you!

No holiday, again, this year,
The closest you will get to that,
Is the garden with a pool.

Walks to the park,
or to the lake,
Maybe a carnival,
But only if we pay the bills late!

Of course, they don’t know,
You’re just being mean,
When you say no.

I tell them they’re lucky,
There are those that have less,
We gave them the best we could,
But that put us into debt.

Hardship feels like playing catch-up,
Always a few steps behind,
Never having quite enough,
And always having to find,
Ways to cut corners,
A cheaper option.

By Tracy

Effect Change

Being open, leaves one’s feelings stripped bare;
a pall in the throat;
you’ve been rumbled;
You’re caught.
Is pity the stare
that you feel,
from others, or scorn,
or shame that you feel,
to hide the forlorn.

You’re under the spotlight;
time to be heard;
poor shouldn’t define You,
or, its effects be inferred.

Here is the power to speak;
have a voice,
join others alike;
weave our story;
seek choice;
rattle the power;
show them unity;
effect positive change within our community.

By Jenn

Spare a coin Guv?

You look at the guy upon the street,
Begging for coins, so that he can eat,
You stare in disgust at his unkempt demeanour,
Maybe he could get a job if he was a little cleaner!

But you never make eye contact
With the man you judge to be,
An alcoholic, drug addict,
The dregs of society,
Instead, you judge him less than,
If you gave him money, he’d just buy another can,
So, you avoid him like the plague.

Others give him coppers,
Their good deed for the day done,
But he sees the pity in their eyes,
That cuts him to the bone.

It’s not pity that he seeks or needs,
It’s a roof and a good feed,
Not for you to define Him by this moment in his life,
A guiding hand of support,
Services to help fix the trauma his world has wrought.

To, for once, have a voice,
People to understand it’s not a lifestyle choice,
But a way to numb his reality,
And block out all those memories.

Just one pay check,
That’s all it could take,
To put you in his shoes,
I wonder how much that would change your views?
We need a little less Judgment in this world,
Some empathy, a few kind words,
Then, maybe, it would not be,
Quite as much of a mess

By Tracy