Homeless Campers – Five Sentence Challenge (Prose Poem) – February 5, 2015


Walking along the city streets, wandering and wondering, at the many improvised beds I see of the homeless campers in the streets.

A flattened cardboard box used as a mat, paper and plastic bags to keep out the damp, and layers and layers of old clothes, these for the improvised beds of the homeless campers in the streets.

Ignoring the incessant traffic that rolls by, the midnight partiers who weave through their improvised dormitory, like drunken warders in a private school or those who take their dogs for their last evening spin, but not the police who sometimes round-up the homeless campers in the streets.

In the silence I watch the faces of those who’ve made it as they look on with disgust society’s human failures, who didn’t quite make the grade in our consumer heaven of bubble and bust economy and I see barely hidden fear, that one day they too might become homeless campers in the streets.

It’s bedtime … and I have a bed and home waiting for me, with a mattress and feathered duvet, no traffic, no dogs, no police nor drunks will disturb my rest, but maybe in my dreams I’ll see homeless campers in the streets.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Lillie McFerrin Writes

This prose poem was written for:  Five Sentence Fiction – Bedtime

16 thoughts on “Homeless Campers – Five Sentence Challenge (Prose Poem) – February 5, 2015

  1. Beautiful, cara…if only people knew that many homeless persons were in business, educated and life happened…a PhD does not keep you warm winter nights on the wet snowy pavement.


    • Too true … I’ve read of families … being turned out of their homes because they could no longer make payments on their homes … and they’d been “laid off” because of the economical crisis … life just happens sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. When I lived in Toronto I used to see so many homeless persons on my way to work and I would think in my mind, “I’m just one paycheck away from you.” Cost of living was so much higher there.


        • I think that’s a thought that has gone through many people’s minds … some don’t admit it .. I think that in the end, that could create a terrible state of anxiety!


          • His is the original version — he wrote it 🙂

            He’s my favorite “protest” songwriter — though he’d call himself a “topical” writer. He wrote about Civil Rights, societal problems, Vietnam … even a few really sweet love songs. Sadly though he had bipolar disorder — and because all they had for treatment then was lithium – he ended up killing himself. A huge loss for his family and for the world, really — because I see stuff on the news and think, “wow … Phil’d REALLY have something to say about THIS.”

            He enjoyed a resurgence during the days of “W” — when Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam) updated his “Here’s to the State of Mississippi.”

            But this one is oddly appropriate for today.

            Relates to your post —- “and before you walk out on your job and answer to the call – just think about the millions who have no job at all – and the men who wait for handouts with their eyes upon the floor – Oh, I know you’re set for fighting, but what’re you fighting for?”

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s certainly a huge loss —
            Strange how Dylan’s been immortalized — after straying so completely from his folk/protest roots — but Phil is barely known. Sad.


  2. Very powerfully reflective 5 Sentence Fiction piece this. Definitely gives one pause for many thoughts – about how, why, it could be me, it isn’t me, gratitude, compassion etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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