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Passions in Poetry

Have You Ever Seen Poverty?

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Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


0 posted 02-03-2000 04:14 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Have You Ever Seen Poverty?

Have you ever been lonely
Have you ever felt heart-sick
Have you ever shivered alone in the night
Have you ever seen youngsters
Down there in the ghetto
Jumping to music in utter delight

Have you ever seen sunrise
Casting a shadow
Onto the faces confronting the day
Gathering water
Gathering sunbeams
Saying a prayer that's not easy to pray

Have you ever been happy
Clapping to rhythm
Looking poverty straight in the face
Have you ever wondered
What is the answer
What is the purpose for all this disgrace

Have you ever seen nudity
Walk in the streets
And not ever knowing the feel of a shoe
With soles of the flesh
Thickened like leather
A changing voice of a teen as he's talking to you

Have you ever said something
Something of beauty
Something to light up the face of a child
Bringing a smile
Making her giggle
Making her revel in joy for a while

Have you ever noticed
All of the young ones
Floating on moonbeams that blanket the earth
Stripped of inherent
Innocent feelings
Innocence taken the day of their birth

Have you ever known one
A twelve year old child
Going into the shadows to sell what he can
Taken in hunger
And cold desperation
By men who would force him the mold of a man

Have you ever waited
For something to happen
Down there in the darkening streets of the slum
Holding a little one
Tight in your arms
Wondering if this be until kingdom come

Elizabeth Santos




[This message has been edited by Elizabeth Santos (edited 02-03-2000).]
© Copyright 2000 Elizabeth Santos - All Rights Reserved
suthern
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Seraphic
since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


1 posted 02-03-2000 04:25 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

Elizabeth: You've shown so well that poverty isn't really about finances... I grew up very very POOR but with a wealth of love... in a community where hugs and discipline were distributed without regard for whose kid did what.... you couldn't get away with much but you were always aware that you and your actions MATTERED to many. *S* Poverty carries with it a despair and hopelessness that goes deeper than an empty wallet.
Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


2 posted 02-03-2000 05:09 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Dear Suthrn, I wasn't even going to post this poem because I didn't think anybody would understand it. And you not only understood but lived it. I was only a visiter to poverty, and although it was a terrible poverty, there was music, dancing, birthdays, laughter, though many young people had absolutely no clothing to wear, and young boys so often sold their bodies in exchange for food, and later danced in the street. Your respose was wonderful! Thank you for sharing those insights.
Liz
RainbowGirl
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since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom


3 posted 02-03-2000 05:24 PM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

Elizabeth: yes, is the answer...both sides of the coin...not much love but a warm house and the other side where I was homeless and on the streets for quite some time...I was a teenager then though and somehow survival becomes an art form...thankfully I blocked much of it out so don't remember much or if I do, I try not to remember it...the sacriest part was when my daughter was born, I had to make myself homeless to get us a home and that was frightening, the places we were sent belong in a nightmare...so yes..I kind of understand what you're writing here but I wish I didn't.

HUSG

 The grape passes through the press to yield wine.
Your life must pass through the press of passion and pain to yield the wine of wisdom..

Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


4 posted 02-03-2000 05:33 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Rainbow, I knew there was something very special about your spirit, and now I know why. I understand exactly what you went through, and yes, with years many memories, fade, but what remains are the emotions of it, the feeling of pain, that is very distinct. Thank you for opening this part of your life. I can't believe these responses. They are overwhelming in content
Liz

[This message has been edited by Elizabeth Santos (edited 02-03-2000).]
Martie
Moderator
Member Empyrean
since 09-21-1999
Posts 28608
California


5 posted 02-03-2000 06:56 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

I have seen poverty in the children in my care, with mothers on wellfare and fathers that have disappeared.  I have seen the poverty of neglect in toddlers and infants faces where care has been stomped on by bitter dispair, and a slap is not discipline, but anger at another mouth to feed and no money, no life, no dreams left and no hope, and the need for someone to blame.  Poverty is a vicious cicle that perpetuates itself.  But, I have also seen children so brave in its face that you know they will make it.  I have seen one teenage mother of two gather strength from somewhere and in determination win, with love for herself and her children.
Denise
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Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


6 posted 02-03-2000 07:17 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I am one of the fortunate ones. I never experienced poverty of love or money....a few rough spots in the money department from time to time but I have what is needful. I think the best frame of mind to adopt is to learn to be content in lack or in abundance.
Your poem is very powerful and thought provoking. I'm glad you posted it.

Denise
Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


7 posted 02-03-2000 07:21 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Martie, Another ineresting response, it seems lately I'm learning so much about my poet friends. The responses are astounding. Thanks, Martie

Denise, thanks for your response, I'm so glad you liked the poem
Liz
RainbowGirl
Member Elite
since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom


8 posted 02-03-2000 07:22 PM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

Sorry Elizabeth but I've sort of been watching and reading this post...sometimes it's good to be serious and debate and be thankful but most importantly - to share because from sharing we grow.....excellent responses here but that's a tribute to the poet.

HUSG

 The grape passes through the press to yield wine.
Your life must pass through the press of passion and pain to yield the wine of wisdom..

hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


9 posted 02-03-2000 07:48 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

"The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have, the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom." ~Mother Teresa

I grew up in a family of 7 kids, my father struggled to make ends meet while we were growing up. We never had new clothes or all the new toys other kids had...but I never, ever considered myself poor. We had wealth that money could not buy
Martie
Moderator
Member Empyrean
since 09-21-1999
Posts 28608
California


10 posted 02-03-2000 07:49 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Yes, it is a tribute to the poet Rainbow.  I got so caught up, I neglected the poet who caused all that thinking.  Great poem Liz, from a thoughtful, caring and wise poet.
Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


11 posted 02-03-2000 07:58 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

I am so thankful for learning so much about the people I've so admired. These responses have been wonderful and so enlightening. Thank you all very much. Hoot, my background is kind of like yours. But I never knew povery like what I saw overseas. I can't really describe it. But the point is , it's all relative. In the darkest of corners there is still love and laughter, and some of the ugliest aspects of poverty to them are a normal and valid part of their lives.Thanks Rainbow, Hoot and Martie for your kind remarks
Liz
Tara Simms
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 1285
Honea Path, SC USA


12 posted 02-03-2000 10:11 PM       View Profile for Tara Simms   Email Tara Simms   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Tara Simms's Home Page   View IP for Tara Simms

Elizabeth, what a wonderful thought provoking poem.  I am amazed by your talents.  On the flip side of this, I have seen and worked with many teens whose families have more money than you can shake a stick at and yet the kids are so neglected, there is no happiness in the home, disharmony is the norm.  Kids who CHOOSE to go to the streets, because at least there, they will find someone who will accept them and love them as they are.

 It matters not how strait the gate;
How charged with punishments the scroll;
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
--W.E. Henley


Soleil
Member
since 06-12-99
Posts 114


13 posted 02-03-2000 10:28 PM       View Profile for Soleil   Email Soleil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Soleil

I have passed this way...
Marge Tindal
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 11-06-1999
Posts 43042
Florida's Foreverly Shores


14 posted 02-03-2000 10:53 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Elizabeth, my friend-
You know me, I love someone who touches
the realities of life.  
You've done this remarkably in this piece.

I've not been subject to what I've come to know as poverty.  But I've reached out and touched it, held it in my arms, tried to leave a smile and prayed God, I could do more.  And cried because I knew I couldn't.

The look on the face of poverty is a look that hurts my heart.  I try but cannot change it ... but if only in one little corner of this world ... I try.

~*Marge*~




 ~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
noles1@totcon.com

Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405
Pennsylvania


15 posted 02-04-2000 01:22 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Tara, Another interesting responce, Thank you.

Soleil, Me to, Thanks

Marge, You are one of the most compassionate people I have aver met, Marge, Don't ever chamge. Thank you for this loving response
Liz
 
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