By jfarrell


I got no real concept of what really bloody cold is;

I’ve lived in London all my life;

Moscow, the Artic, Alaska…

They know what cold is.


Couple of weeks ago,

Washington had a windchill of -73….

So cold people died from heart attack,

Just because it was cold.


Here, in London,

I haven’t felt “warm” in months…

In thermal vest and long-johns,

Since October.


I’ve heard, often, Washington/New York weather comes our way,

6 weeks, 2 months later?

I don’t know if that’s true

But, I’m scared the coldest of our winter is still to come.


I’m scared of the cold to come,

I’ve no idea how I’ll cope with it;

But, at least I’m lucky enough to have a roof over my head;

Many have not, and I still remember my days homeless, long ago.


On the bright side…

It seems some councils have found a way to end homelessness;

By making it a criminal offence to sleep on the street in a sleeping bag;

And private residents, by putting spikes in doorways, to stop sleepers.


Hot cup of tea, safe hostels for the homeless…

Not ones full of gangs and drugs…

Might be more helpful…

But, what do I know, I’m a drunk.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

i hate the cold, sorry

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By jfarrell


Me, I’m lucky;

I still gotta roof over my head (just);

Unlike the several poor souls I passed;

Wrapped in cardboard, in shop doorways


On my way home from work;

At 3am;

With last night being so cold and wet as it was;

I may forget it often, but I am




Even luckier than the chief executive,

Who’s getting £90 million bonus, this year;

So much responsibility;

All that money.


Seriously; I’d drink it, maybe buy a toy, and get bored with it;

The dude who is getting it… why…

He’ll use the money - new house, cars, holidays;

He’ll spread it around, recirculate it.




I do what I can; couple quid here, cup of coffee there;

On £7.50 an hour (£8.50, if I get a ‘rich’ booking)

There’s too many for me to feed.

But, I do what I can.


The difference between me and that executive?

He’ll buy things, spread it around; more people would benefit;

I’d drink it, and still only give a few quid here and cup of coffee there;

I may have a ‘good’ heart, but I’m a drunk.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

i've kknown sleeping on the streets - i'm lucky and i don't wanna go back there, and my heart cries out to those who have to sleep out tomight, in this weather

Proper homelessness

Proper homelessness

By jfarrell


As I go about, I see two faces of homelessness;

My local area, Walworth Road…

Man with accordion; 20 metres on, old woman with scarf;

Another twenty metres man with accordion again;

That’s gotta be gangs, right?


Three o’clock in the morning;

Rain, sleet, minus three degrees;

Wrapped in cardboard boxes

In shop doorways;

They gotta be proper homeless, right?


I’ve been homeless a few times;

Slept in doorways, subways, park benches;

Sleeping bag my coat and blanket;

Can’t stay dry, can’t stay warm;

All I possess in one bag.


And I never want to be homeless again, that’s for sure;

If you are homeless, you won’t be reading this, but….

Please stay warm and survive! Things can get better;

Folks reading this… please spare a thought;

And old blanket and a warm cup of tea would be a lifesaver, too.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

i keep hearing this winter will be the coldest for a long while, it's literally gonna be murder on the streets this winter

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By JFarrell


Like Mercer, pushing that rock up that hill again,

Arise from you the ashes, like the phoenix burning within you;

Scream, let it out, let it free, let it, you, live again.


so, your life is in ruins, again;

Penniless, facing homlessness, again;

You failed, again.


So, again, you must stand, dust off the debris of your former life

And, once again, arise and don’t look down.

Arise anew, reborn, reformed, redeemed.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

reading Philip K Dick's 'Do Androids Dream...?' at the moment :)


Homeless Summer Song

The midnight alley cats sing harmony 
The fire and police 
Lay down the backbone and the beat 
to summon music from the street 
The ambulance then takes the lead 
they drive Daly away 
They could have just called up a hearse 
the stench of death will stay 
The dogs are barking 
Howling wolves can hear it far away 
No need to light a river fire 
was ninety-eight today 
too many homeless died last winter 
too many homeless in the seat today

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Your Devedlopment is Our Demolition

Your condos are unmarked headstones above the mass graves of old dreams, old lives, and memories of joy and struggle. I saw your remorsless glances at the homeless man you displaced. I passed your expensive coffee shop on the way to work that used to be my favorite bodega. I heard entitlement in your voice when you called 311 to complain about the homeless encapment and soup kitchen. I know you see yourself as more human than those of us with darker shades of skin, different accents, and smaller bank accounts. You act as if you are saintly because you think you made the niegborhood nicer but I see that the road the homeless shelter is paved in your good intentions.

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Cant vote wont vote

Cant vote wont vote

I wont be voting Mr politician
Because I've got no fixed abode
Once a proud British soldier
Now I walk a lonely road
I swapped the medals on my chest
For a blanket and some food
I no longer guard the Queen
She will not think I'm rude
I don’t have a TV set
Politicians I despise
My own film is in my head
I can still hear those men’s cries
Of comrades long gone now
They will be with me to the end
We once made a vow
This Country we would defend
Some say that not to vote
Would be an awful shame
Be we veterans no the truth
Your all the bloody same.


© Tony McNally
Author's Notes/Comments: 

There is a general election next week in the UK, this is why I wrote this poem.

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The Union flag comes down once more
Another job done in a foreign War
Lets salute and march and take home or dead
As the enemy leaves theirs for the vultures instead
Young men missing legs and arms and friends
Come home to Britain to start again
Some go straight to jail
Others languish on the streets
One takes his life coz he is missing his feet
Fake Veterans parade on Remembrance day
Lying about how it was in `Their` Day
Their War was e-bay and a last minute bid
For ten medals and a beret
He hopes it will fit
The dead are still dead
The Fakes still cheat
A Royal Marines toes still itch on his missing feet.

© Tony McNally

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