What would the Homeless say?

One thing about the Trump/Clinton Election is that I feel it made the world more cognitive of their Country and the People. The unfortunate part was and continues to be the negativity, violent behavior and well all around , inappropriate responses from our Society that has left and continues to leave a bad reflection on we, as the people, and every part of our well being.

I have been involved in more, than I cared to be, conversations about this topic and so I decided to give up the ghost and take it to the streets. At that time I had made the decision to go to a nearby park in my neighborhood that I knew a lot of the homeless people would gather. I wanted to hear what they had to say.

One weekend afternoon I took a 15 minute walk down to a park, that is adjacent to tennis courts for the rich, lemon & orange trees , an old swimming pool, emptied, with a dog park nearby, small hills, and beautiful trees that provide the much needed shade for those who pass through on a hot Phoenix day. This is the place where I spoke to the homeless folks who frequent and reside in this area.

As I walked around, dressed down, with my backpack and water bottle, I approached my very first male, with his torn plastic bag of hidden needs, unknown to all those who passed by. A very educated speaking man, middle aged, talks about the pros and cons of either choice for presidency. With rationale, he was actually the first sensible adult I had a conversation with as to the whole presidency and this country’s needs and improvements. Much to my surprise, with not having watched television , due to no availability in his life , he was up on the recent issues going on in this country. His selection of words were of a positive manner, nothing negative or derogatory, for having slept in a park the night before. When asked about the Women’s March that had been going on in downtown Phoenix, he was unaware of and asked about the information surrounding this. He questioned this, however, once again was very positive about this and felt that its quite alright for people to exercise their rights provided it does not lead to violence.

I then came upon a female, with her dog, facial piercings, dirty hands, hair unclean, wrapped in an old torn , thinning blanket. She smiles as I walk by. I turned around and walked up to her, stooped down and struck up a conversation. She had an alarming attitude in a positive manner. This lady had so much to talk about, was very pleased in her tone that someone took the initiative to stop and speak with her. She had a great outlook on life and stated that things will come around for her. She feels she hit a bad spot but that its only temporary. She too was grateful for the time spent, where she could speak her feelings, voice her minimal concerns of this world and its leaders and be recognized for it.

A scruffy type looking male was my next visit. Barefoot, dirty feet, matted hair, torn pants at the knees, oversized long sleeve shirt but full of smiles and very focused. He feels that America is strong and can overcome any President. He suggests I look at overall history and how we went through tough times in the past, and we pull through stronger than ever. When asked what generates his positive energy, he tells me to look around, look up at the sky, the trees, life, and then he proceeds to tell me something I have been telling people all along…”someone somewhere has it worse”.

Three testimonies of seven from that day. Three positives from three people whos only home is where they lay their body at the end of their day, their worldly possessions are but a small plastic bag, a weathered blanket and a shopping cart full of , well, I cant even say, because none of the items in it were identifiable to me. Maybe, just maybe, we , as the people, need to look around, look up at the sky, the trees, life, then maybe the current events & incident wont be as bad as society, our very own, tend to make them out to be.

 

 

 

 

 

“Ballad of a Friend”

” You are my own, I hold you close. Come when you wish, I want the most. You are as the sun shines, and I don’t mind. You are my own, I hold you close. I make a wish, my wish comes true. You dream for me, everything we do. We care and pray. It all comes as a shine. You are always near, my dream is clear. You are a star, I’m always a tear, And we share our days, my love is there, for you always. And I don’t mind. We are as one, you hold me close. You dream a dream. I make it true. I hold you close, because I love you. You are as a deep blue sea. It’s all we ever wanted to be. You are my own, I hold you tight. It all comes down to me , everything you say. I always wanted you, you’re there in every way. You are as a love grows, but I don’t mind. You are my own, I hold you close.”

“It Mattered”

She just sits in her rocking chair, feeling alone. Broken down and shattered, as if to anyone , it mattered. – It was only a little piece, But to her, it mattered. And now it’s broken. just a small token. – It doesn’t matter, and who cares? She just sits, alone, in her rocking chair, without a care.- Maybe someday soon, it’ll be over. Time will tell. She’s broken and shattered, Because to her, it mattered.

As the Sun goes Down

Neil Young wrote “every junkie’s like a setting sun”.

I’ve watched what society calls “the homeless people” walk with what little they possess, down the streets as the day fades away and the sun begins to set. And I wonder where they go, where they sleep, if they gather up with other people that society has forgotten. What becomes of these people, these children of the street???

For approximately half a of a year’s time, while I would drive to work down on 7th Street near the I-10 Freeway, there was a man, shaggy dark brown hair, never really saw his face however I always seemed to notice his dirty old brown backpack that he would either have draped over his back or on the ground. He would generally just stand alone , or at times with another homeless unclean man, just “hanging out” so to speak. It was over the passing months to where he became someone familiar to me, a stranger that I had no name to match, no personality, no history, no reasoning as to why he was in this place in life where nobody cared. But then there was myself, driving to work, always noticing him, on that corner, as if he was a friend of mine or someone I could relate to just because I saw him so much, until…One hot Summer afternoon as I pulled up by the stop light, I noticed an ambulance, a stretcher, several EMT’s and the brown backpack, sitting on the sidewalk by the ambulance. I knew it was him. The body laid on the stretcher, covered from head to toe with a blanket. And although I never actually saw the body, the backpack was my identification. For that moment, as I drove by and continued on my way to work, I felt a feeling of sadness. I wasn’t sure why I felt this, if it was because of the situation, or that nobody cared, I mean where was his family? Everyone has a family member somewhere in this world. How would his family know he had passed? Would they even care? What if he had no identification as to whom he was, no identifying marks or tattoos? What if no investigation was completed on his deceased body? Who would know he was gone? Did he die in vain? I felt like I was the only one who cared, even just a little to know that he existed on that corner. What have we become as a whole?

And one Midnight’s summer , I watched as a homeless man pushed his cart across the street, slowly, worn shoes, over-sized pants, as he faded into the darkness, not to be seen again.

“and every junkie’s like a setting sun”….for some never to return.

Visions of Sugar Plums are gonna dance in my head.

The 60’s…a generation long gone now, the peace , love, brotherhood, unity, all came back to me last night, with a tear, when Melanie, an underrated folk artist performed at The Rhythm Room in Phoenix , Arizona. Her compassion, love, & peace, poured out in her song as we relived a time long ago.

We lost many rock and roll lives to circumstances , sometimes, beyond our control. Living this life, “on the sidelines”as I call it, showed me time and time again, that if it wasn’t for the passion of performing, it wouldn’t be worth it all. I have always found that music brings together, unites a community to heal, to shout out what’s important in this life. Music identifies with all things in all that we do. We identify “a time”, “pain” , “all that is good” with song. Melanie’s performing a generation of song brought back all the was good, free, innocent, in this life, which is now faded, and/or fading too fast.

“I’ll spend my whole life making the time rhyme”…and Melanie has done just that. When I was young, singing this song, little did I realize, which she had as well, that well into our later years, we continue to do so. If we cant find song, harmony in our daily living, what do we supply it with?

“Some came to sing, some came to pray, some came to keep the dark away” ….Woodstock….a time long gone…. During my father’s aging, I tried to learn what he experienced all those challenging years. Up to his passing, with much ponder, I realized this is now me. All the experiences, daily challenges, struggles, fears, accomplishments, knowledge, what shall I do with this? And I asked God to grace me with longevity, to give me at least 87 some years on this Earth (more if He so chooses). Listening to the music Melanie sang last night brought tears because this is now me, today, living this life, traveling through this world of woe. Its a great life despite all the “sickness, toil and danger”.

Stay blessed, remember to find, always, the good in this world.

A line from a poem of my childhood has said, That visions of sugarplums were gonna dance in my head.”….PEACE