If I drop a dollar bill into every homeless hand

My time here would surely soon expire

My budget blown on generosity

For every sidewalk sleeper

Vietnam vet and shopping bag lady

Not forgetting the drunk crazy old folk

And needle scarred losers

Those shopping cart pushers

With their scant crusty possessions

Crashing out in sight of Obama’s windows

Where there’s no Air B&B availability

Or Couchsurfing opportunities

In the corridors of power

In the White House of Wonders


This has the feel of a Gil Scott-Heron ramble

A rapping ranting unstoppable revolution

Televised but never quite happening

Viewed through poverty’s dehumanised eyes

On every park bench and busy street corner

It’s tiring for us well-heeled jet-setting tourists

To step around and blindside this flotsam

That gets in our way and prays on our pockets


I eat my breakfast in air-cooled self-conscious

And take a stroll down R St NW

Past diplomatic cars and embassy immunity

The gentrified town houses stand in muted affability

No sign of the dearly unwanted here

No rumblings under filthy cardboard mutterings

There’s nothing here for them


So I sit by a disused canal in upmarket Georgetown

With flocks of sparrows flying back and forth

And passenger planes from Reagan International

A double decker bus on the bridge incongruous

I could be back home if it wasn’t for this humidity

And the subtle touches that tell me

This is the land of the free

for those of you who can but afford it.




4 thoughts on “Unstoppable

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