Sidewalk Talk {Sans Chalk}

I am stumbling around these city streets; I
have nowhere to lay my weary head,
no slice of ground to call home. My
affinity for loneliness and loss has me one
with the rumble of silence,
the holy heart of brick and mortar, sand sans

I call myself Ish(mael). I
hold the weight of the world in my pocket,
no place to look for guidance or grace, especially not this empty



Victoria has us pondering first person (and perhaps a bit of fiction within) over at dVerse. Come play! 



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20 Responses to Sidewalk Talk {Sans Chalk}

  1. kanzensakura says:

    Wow…and again I say…wow. No other words will suffice.

  2. kim881 says:

    I like the image of the weight of the world in a pocket which I imagine is empty, like the sky.

  3. You’ve crawled inside the heart of a homeless person and shown it to us.

  4. blogoratti says:

    Very vivid piece, nice of you to share.

  5. This gob-smacked me, De. I have a special concern for homelessness and write about it often. In this, you entered right inside the whole experience, allowed us to share. Evocative poetry.

  6. The voice of the homeless is such a strong one.. And I think if ever Christ would return it would be like this.

  7. Mary says:

    Some days a person feels like they have the weight of the world in their pocket, for sure. And some days there seem to be no answers!

  8. … I like oxymoron of the “rumble of silence” and the tone created for loneliness and loss as a “holy heart of brick and mortar” coupled with the image of “sand sans sea.” And again the oxymoron of “the weight of the world” as if it could be “held in a pocket.” And a sky, which is normally filled with colors either blue or gray or sunset red, lavender and so on, a chiaroscuro of clouds or a clear vision, or warm sun or rain filled, being empty of any guidance or grace.

  9. Glenn Buttkus says:

    The lines Randy quoted were my favorite as well. Wow, two poems in one. I don’t know the name of the form, where the first words of every line constitute another poem, but it hits me like a strong senyru or haiku–would like to try it sometime. Maybe write the haiku, then construct the poem after; cool.

  10. Candy says:

    you do the perform the most amazing magic with words

  11. lillian says:

    The title is so very true to the heart of this piece. The homeless walk the streets, their voices never heard…unable to write or voice their thoughts and abilities. And then the image of sand sans sea….when the sea — those waters — are the force of life. Excellent getting at the heart of an issue that we should all give voice to.

  12. Kathy Reed says:

    I like that his name is Ismael…you have struck a nerve here speaking from the homeless person’s perspectiive..well done!

  13. Goodness this poem aches with loneliness and the opportunity for healing. ♥

  14. Rommy says:

    The cleverness of the gray words opening each line to reinforce the idea of emptiness and isolation is just brilliant.

  15. Shawna says:

    I love this:
    affinity for loneliness and loss has me one
    with the rumble of silence”

    And “I call my selfish …” because who else would he/she call without friends, family, home, or security? (God, duh. But He seems to be the last One listed in the Rolodex.)

    Not connecting with the sea or sky makes me think of the desert … the Israelites wandering, falling away from God, condemning themselves to take WAY longer to get where they were going and to have to take a ridiculously un-straight path from Point A to Point B … just because they couldn’t/wouldn’t be obedient.

    I think we are presently turning cities and neighborhoods into “deserts.” I am, anyway. And for no good reason at all — other than being a naturally wayward human being (a.k.a., dumbass).

  16. Bryan Ens says:

    Interesting Moby Dick reference. Powerful image of desiring a place to belong, but having no place that is truly his.

  17. Wow! You have truly given the homeless a voice in this piece. The last line is heartbreaking…”no place to look for guidance or grace, especially not this empty sky.” Society leaves them very little options (in my opinion). Your extra message within your poem really spells out the hopelessness of their situation.

  18. whimsygizmo says:

    Thank you all so much for your generous comments. When Victoria mentioned we might write in first person, but NOT about ourselves, I wrote the grayed words first…something that is the complete opposite of me. Then I wrote the rest around it. 😉

  19. Words say
    little when
    saNd iN FlAMe..:)

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