Saturday, 18 July 2015

Paint them in gold


If we could worship the homeless people,
because they are strong,
because they have learned to live without walls,
because they have no boundaries to contain them,
and can exist on almost nothing,
because they can carry life in a bag,
with few possessions, because they are free,
if we worshipped them, how would the world be?

Their swept up lives exist in doorways
spiked with danger and zero tolerance,
relics in the dust and debris of our days.
If we could venerate them, revere them,
cover them in gold,
break out of the mantra of meanness,
if we were truly bold,
how would the world be?

If we worshipped the homeless people,
if we painted their portraits and decorated their images with jewels,
as the old icons were adorned,
and placed them so we could look upon them with reverence,
if we exalted them and made them saints,
if we gave them beautiful blankets to keep them warm,
if we lauded all the roaming people,
how would the world be?


Written after seeing ‘Man with a plaid blanket’,
by Thomas Ganter, right.
(first prize BP Portrait Awards 2014)