Friday, 3 August 2012

Winners and losers

Nothing changes

The beggar is in the Penniless Porch.
Where else would he be?
Our young man, sitting on the stone,
With his little hat in front of him,
Humbly asks for alms in 2012, in
England’s smallest fairest city.

All the long day,
His open honest face looks up
At you … and you … and you
... And me.  At
all the many hundreds who
pass through this archway.
Who looks at him?
Who looks out for him?

People look the other way,
If they see him at all.
 While the country has eyes
Only for medals - for
Gold, silver and bronze, and
‘valuable’ Olympic corporate sponsorship.

Spare a few coppers, mate?
The beneficent Bishop built
This Beggar’s Gate 600 years ago.
To give some shelter to the poor.

And now, still,we walk by
And look the other way,
As we rush to catch the latest winner,
And see the tears fall at
the medal ceremony.

Can we learn to pause now?
To wait, to stop, for just a moment?
To really see our man,
who waits in the Penniless Porch?

1/8/2012. Wells, Somerset.

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