Who am I to Judge?

Rainstorms remind me to be more thankful
When caught in this disappointed handful
For the time that I spent alone on the streets
Now inside my home when it snows or sleets

Grateful to God giving praise when I pray
Behind locked doors where the wolves are at bay
Having a new roof and a warm cozy bed
With good hot meals and a place for my head

Some are still standing in the long soup line
Smelling like wet dogs and cheap screw cap wine
It’s choices they made of their own choosing
Most are smart men who’d rather be boozing

There are new families with kids in soup lines
Victims of lost jobs or the banks some combined
With a clean conscience, not judging, only examine
Is it a lack of faith, sin, trials or predetermined

We are the instruments of His ordained works
If we don’t help who’ll do the framework?
Offer aid and assistance when you can
We are all saved by grace and His plan
©2012 Michael Yost 3/18

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45 responses to “Who am I to Judge?

  1. This beautiful poem, about the poverty in the crisis, reminds us of the heartbreaking situation people are in. I hope times will be changing soon.

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  2. Indeed if we are to live our life to the fullest we must follow the Master’s plan.

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  3. This is a wonderful poem Booguloo. It has touched my heart real deep. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of poetry.

    Shalom

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  4. I dont find any grand plans working anywhere…but I liked the poem.so amen.

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  5. A fine and uplifting words…I think we should not judge, and let our small hands help whatever we can do to ease the burdens of others ~

    Happy day to you~

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  6. Very effective contrast between being warm and cozy – and grateful – inside, with the plight of those on the streets and in the lines at soup kitchens. Makes one think.

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  7. booguloo,

    An absolutely true reflection of real life in any city right now. I witnessed those very lines of humans, with their worldy possessions held under their arms, in The Mission and Tenderloin areas of San Francisco, just over a week ago. I had never witnessed so many people begging in the streets. Sad faces of all ages and all colours. Male and female. Children too.
    Having one’s own door to close and a bed under a roof, has become a luxury. We must be truly thankful….
    Great words.

    Eileen

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    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. AmericanPoverty.org is a project of In Our Own Backyard, an organization of photojournalists committed to poverty alleviation in the United States. This will give others an opportunity to see poverty in rural areas and cities. A story about this was just aired on CBS national news this evening here in the states. Hopefully this will allow others around the world who are shielded from seeing people living like this a chance to get closer to the problem.

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  8. Your last stanza shares a powerful message, Michael. Love this one!

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    • This is a message that needs more attention in today’s world. I’m happy you liked it. I would encourage others to reblog this to help get the message out. I haven’t suddenly become a soap boxer for this cause, but it only takes a few minutes to help make others aware.

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  9. Excellent poem. I especially love the title.

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  10. Nicely done! Gives a person something to chew on, too, past the end. 🙂

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  11. Lovely. Lovely. Appreciation and compassion are the hallmark of a soul who knows itself. And reaching out to others is so important, letting Spirit work through us.

    Very well done, Michael. Thank you!

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  12. Growing up in a very small town and never really going to the city much I always thought people like this didn’t exist. I burst into tears the first time I went to the city and actually saw a homeless person. Broke my heart. Wonderful poem.

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  13. Good poem…I actually like to stand out in the rain sometimes…

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  14. I love this, Michael. It’s a beautiful poem.

    In this line: It’s choices they made of their own choosing

    would you consider changing “choices” to decisions? Sometimes I write things and see that I have use a word or form of the word several times.

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    • I considered it and I don’t mind the suggestion and even encourage people to critique my work; but let me explain why I did it this way. I looked at it as two separate events and I liked the alliteration but if you and others feel it really distracts from the poem I might change it. I consider these challenges a way to improve my work and encourage a team like atmosphere.

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  15. but don’t do it on my account . . it’s beautiful as is.

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  16. Wow! Great writing. Poignant, right down to the “cheap screw cap wine.” A thoughtful poem indeed.

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  17. I do not know about the formalities of poems and such, but I like the rhythm and the message of this poem. Lovely,poignant, timely, or better yet, timeless. 🙂

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  18. Powerful. “Smelling like wet dogs and cheap screw cap wine” makes me feel like I’m there (and grateful I don’t have to be). Thanks for sharing.

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  19. This is all too common all over this country. I agree that choices are made which results in where we are and in what kind of line.

    The last stanza is the one that tugs at me. How do you write poems? So hard for me to be that clever but you are.

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    • As for my writing, it’s like I have to live my life one day at a time; I write one line at a time. It just comes to me; sometimes I have to wait a while and try and write something on my own but eventually it just is there. Probably just like others write but that’s how it works for myself. Being patient is the hard part.

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  20. I like the imagery in “this disappointed handful”

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  21. This is really very good. I spent two years as a young woman homeless. Sleep in an abandoned van in the winter, afraid of getting caught, soaking wet for weeks at a time. It was due to my choices. I don’t want to say bad choices or mistakes because I am proud that I made my way out of it. I skip to the mailbox every month to pay my rent now. My landlord has never had such a tenant, excited to give him money. I feel for the children who have no choices in these matters. Anyway I really liked this piece there is so much truth in it.

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    • I too was homeless,getting a divorce, using and drinking. There’s nothing like having a cardboard mattress outside in the winter. Boo hoo for me. I finally was able to get off the drugs and drink and got the medication I needed to cope with bipolar, depression and low self esteem. Most of my lifestyle required decisions to be that way and living that way. Here’s 2 of us who finally made some better decisions not to be out there. There are others out there in the same condition that can make educated decisions about changing there lifestyle and getting help from dwindling services (another story) right now. The new influx of homeless people (losing everything outside of their control) are in a state of depression and shock they’ve never had to deal with before. Most of us are one paycheck away from the same plight of these new homeless. Most people want less taxes, so government programs are getting less funding. I don’t know the answers to these issues outside of donating some of ourselves to help instead of the money that we really can’t spare by volunteering. There are more and more suburban outreach facilities coming into existence if you feel you can’t get into the trenches of the urban consider suburban (for the “new” homeless) or for the veterans that are coming back in the V.A. Hospitals. Consider 4 hours of your time every 2 weeks or a month to make a difference. You’ll be repaid.

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  22. Thank you for linking up to Trifecta this week. What a powerful, moving piece. I have been fortunate enough to only know homelessness as a social worker and volunteer, not as someone without a roof over my head. I cannot imagine the difficult, as my home is one of the greatest comforts I have. Thanks for giving us a moment to reflect. Hope to see you back on Friday.

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