What Lies On Distant Shores

What lies on distant shores,

Buckets, pigeon holes, troughs for segregation.

Language, dress, birthplace do not an enemy make.

Where came this bitter misdirection?

Religion, culture, song, dance,

These are things of man’s creation.

Strip naked man and woman–

Lay them bare of their mortal inventions.

Confiscate their language, dress, birthplace,

Expropriate their religion, culture, song, dance,

Take all they have of this world;

What have they left?

Blood and skin and bone;

That which crumbles with inevitable death.

Hopes and dreams, emotions;

intangibles that define humanness.

Air, food, water, shelter;

That which sustains us.

Boundaries of man hold no sway over these.

We are but one species,

Born and consumed in life,

Until the day we return home

To the dust from whence we came.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

Will Work For Food (Sonnet)

Will work for food, the sign they show

Please help a vet down on his luck

Diverting their eyes the passersby go

Life on the street a vicious cycle they’re stuck

~

Hey there mister can you spare a dime

Or maybe a buck to try to get home

Would it be possible to give me some time

We’re so tired of being in the cold all alone

~

We could be your sisters and your brothers

We used to have jobs, families and homes

We could be your fathers and your mothers

Hungry and weary, nothing but skin and bones

~

Obligated as humans should we be one to another

Practicing what we preach by seeing to the needs of the other

.

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

The Vultures (A Dark Poem)

The Vulture

The Vulture

Those birds, those horrid blood sucking birds

Circling overhead, their red collared necks deep crimson in the setting sun.

Sensing the departure of spirit and will,

Waiting for the living to become lifeless,

Relishing the coming of death.

What morbid creatures are these, heartless and soulless.

Lying here, is this to be my last vision,

This hideous species of fowl

Bent of emptying my sockets, disemboweling me,

A meal for the taking.

Impaled by the prey I so stealthily sought,

Victim of my own arrogance.

Alone and lonely, shielded in blood soaked clothes

Most certainly this is not the end I envisioned.

What of my loving wife,

What will become of my children,

What of?

They circle…

Lower now, they smell the end is near,

Smell of death is in the air, death is inevitable.

Cold is setting in, the end is close.

Swooping low, these maggots, they torture me,

Flapping of their wings, stench of rotting flesh.

Daylight is fading,

I am so tired, so cold, so at peace.

Do what you will my relentless tormentors;

My family will remember me as I was not as I am,

A poor wretch soon to be torn and scattered,

Nothing but a whisper on the four winds.

Take me O’ winged beasts, take me now!

My time has come,

…Farewell.

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Life on the Off-ramp

Hot summer days,

A/C blasting cold and refreshing,

Music blaring from the car radio,

Cardboard signs,

“Will work for food”,

Litter the freeway off-ramps,

Held by vagrants and transients,

Dirty and broken,

Looking for food,

Looking for a better life,

Hoping to survive another day,

You pass by averting your eyes,

Pretending…no wishing they were not there,

Not because of sadness for their condition,

But out of deep seated embarrassment,

Red faced by lack of action,

Of compassion,

Of sympathy,

Seeing them as less than human,

A drain on society,

Would some spare change put you out,

Not likely,

But then you would have to face reality.

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~

Silent Cries

Image Credit - thinkprogress.org

Image Credit – thinkprogress.org

An infant’s cry shatters another sleepless night

A mother, devoid of life sustaining nectar clutches her baby to her breast

A father weeps silently, drinking in his plight as if hemlock

Sadness shelters the family under its ramshackle peak

Hopelessness feeds their malnourished appetites

What excuse can be waged in this modern year

Brown or white, skin is of no significance

It is not a barrier to the ravages of hunger and poverty

Saying it does not exist does not make it so

As ignorance is not an excuse for blindness

Is there not enough for all

Are not sunken eyes and bloated bellies reason to intervene

Reason to give voice to the cries that no one hears

To tears shed that no one sees

To dreams dreamt that no one believes

Compassion and empathy must foster change

The sighted must open the eyes of the blind

The deaf must be compelled to hear

This is humanities charge

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~

Buddy Can You Spare A Dime

By D. R. DiFrancesco

The alarm rings,

Pastie mouthed, joints aching,

Swinging my legs off the bed,

Damn arthritis,

The cold is killing me.

I rub my eyes to wipe away the blur,

Standing in line to use the bathroom,

It wasn’t always this way.

Looking over my shoulder,

Bedroll, pair of pants and a shirt,

All I have left to my name,

Insignificant to most,

Something to fight for.

A hot meal,

Maybe the last for the day,

An assembly line of the wretched,

Like dogs fighting over scraps of meat,

Degrading and demoralizing.

Back to the street,

Bedroll under my arm,

Wearing everything I own.

More stares,

People pass by,

Eye contact would make me human,

I was an accountant for God’s sake,

I had a wife,

Left when times got tough,

I have kids,

They think Daddy’s gone away.

No surprise work is hard to come by,

One set of cloths,

Infrequent showers,

Unshaven,

Politicians want us to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps,

What bootstraps,

I wouldn’t hire me?

Panhandling,

For money, food, drink, and the occasional odd job,

Pennies, rocks, and insults are thrown my way,

I’m not a bum,

I’m you, one hospital bill away,

One hospital bill and you are me.

Maybe I’ll get a hot meal tonight,

Shelter,

A warm bed,

Maybe I won’t,

Look in the mirror,

Who do you see?