tents in the park by Dan Lenart

tents in the park
In the city without a soul
When misfits and outcasts were kicked out,
Banished to exile, even the ancients historically
Understood this sentence, this cruel decree, to be worse than the death penalty.
Is it any wonder, then, that some chase the dragon
To numb the pain?
Descending into sleepwalking zombies
In the City that Hates itself,
With this new realization, that a dying that is not yet death,
Where evil goes to multiply,
Is low quality, no life for the living.
Can a faint pulse produce a smile?
But who alone can understand the uprooted aching, lonely heart,
Recently estranged and disconnected from the private tribe,
Becoming slowly alienated,
Ending up as eccentric recluses?
Success at dreaming the vision,
But frustrated by failed expectations,
Having been rejected, now roaming about like urban nomads,
Friendless, no company,
Labeled as psycho junkies on Richmond Row by wealthy Pub,
And restaurant owners,
Seen as failures in their humiliation,
While a hundred buildings sit empty, boarded up, because stones smash empty Storefront windows looking out onto poverty strewn streets.
They forgot to forget,
Way back when they were included, part of the club and felt welcomed;
Successful in the end, contented.
In the mean time Labbats Pharmacy turns them to the bottle
In this City Without a Soul
The City that Hates Itself.
These days homesick and yearning, Nostalgic
Surely, if they lose their identity, their City Hall issued Dog Tags,
They are lost
Who do these excluded, uninvited homeless belong to, except themselves?
Shuffling along
You are you.
I am myself.
But who are we?
Are they not othered individuals,
Cut from the winning team, desiring fond affection, acceptance,
Lacking only love?
Successful and victorious when they think about the time
They will become who they are going to be?
Still, “To Be An Outcast In This World Is An Honour.”
And teaching the humiliated to dance,
Pulls them up.
Without sympathy, the aloof look down upon
A fellowship of vagabonds, hobos, urchins, and beggars.
Those detached others, in high expensive condos, who gaze deeply into mirrors,
Demanding perfect beauty,
Glance down, way, way down at these plain wanderers pronouncing them ugly in Their disfigurement
Painful sores leave beautiful scars.
That’s why those who sleep rough,
Are kept at an arm’s length,
Without empathy
The hard hearted overlook pleas of mercy without compassion,
In their vanity;
Bullying managers, belligerent City Hall obnoxious bureaucrats
The undeclared nameless and faceless rebuked by the sting
Of wicked tongues,
Whimpering moans of suffering are not well received by deaf ears.
In This City Without a Soul
The City that Hates Itself.
Inside, a party is thrown to congratulate the self-serving adulation seekers.
Outside, no useful help is offered,
To lift the sagging weight,
Weighing heavy upon the stooping knees,
To shift the burdening load.
Shat upon and stung with indifference,
In this way, apathy added in
Handsome losers, and perfect gentlemen migrate down along the river,
Where running, bubbling sweet water brings life.
Here, now, they can let out their wild hairy men in the bush,
Like so many uncivilized animals,
Only to make ramshackle hovels, like fantastic architects in the Magic Kingdom in their happy isolation
This Side of Joy.
No helping prayers offered from the church pews, comfortable saints squatting,
In This City Without a Soul
The City That Hates Itself.
Without a pot to piss in,
Finding themselves in oblivion,
Urgently asking themselves questions of truth,
Becoming defiant mockers in resignation,
Now quickly looking for meaning, in the stories from the death camps.
Why me?
But, here, to collect oneself, in this way, in quiet solitude,
Can eventually be healthy.
Even so, this, and these circumstances, are nothing more than the callous Abandonment by, not-so-close family – betrayed
And cultured citizens of a failed society write these thoughts, when the words of the Perplexed Transfixed
As civilization crumbles,
The gobsmacked unable to mutter the unspeakable,
The urban campers whisper.
Will anyone hear, and listen?


Back to Poetry Galley


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussionā€”broadly speakingā€”of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.