Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My homeless friend is a poet.

I have a homeless friend, he is a poet. The first time you meet him you would never know such a thing. He has broad shoulders, muscles on his arms the size of tree trunks & a "I dare you to look at me wrong" look in his eye. He is always shaved and wearing clean clothing. He has a deep raspy voice and is easy with a joke; once he knows you.

The first conversation I had with him he told me about his bad habit. His bad habit? He has a habit of getting thrown in jail. Not for anything "serious", just placing his fist in the face of people who run off at the mouth.

We have become friends. We text each other every day or so and bump into each other around Durham once or twice a week. He even has a face book page. Probably one or two of your face book friends are homeless if you knew their whole story.

He spent the last two years in a tent in a secluded patch of woods in East Durham. He is a "professional" urban outdoorsmen and can teach you how to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer using a 12 volt car battery.

Two weeks ago he asked me for a pen and a piece of paper. He sat down and penned this poem. He told me he had had it in his brains for a few days. His penmanship was legible and spelling correct. More than a few homeless have talents and skills that are amazing.

Whether you are Christian or not I hope you will enjoy the beauty of the words he penned. This is like and Christmas to him. I hope and pray 2011 brings him much joy and an extra bucket of coal for the fire ;)


Twas the night before Christmas

And all along the streets

No warmth for the homeless

Nor anything to eat

I with my sleeping bag

And an old homeless cat

Went behind the bush for a cold winter’s nap.

Then all of a sudden

I heard a wonderful sound

I jumped from the bush

In one single bound

And what did my wondering eyes did see,

A soft spoken stranger looking at me.

He spoke very softly, passing out blankets as he went

I knew in my hear he was heaven sent.

I asked the stranger, where are you from my dear friend?

He said even though I’m not there any more

I’m from Bethlehem.

May you experience a blessed, merry & warm Christmas!

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