21 April 2013 – My Friends

Posted: April 21, 2013 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

21 April 2013

Today is Sunday, which means that I won’t be seeing my friends until tomorrow. Following  are some word portraits, so you can get to know them:

Joy and Me

Love is amazing —
when we give it freely
it doesn’t diminish,
it enriches our souls.

Joy, is a panhandler
(incapable of anything else),
she is also my friend.
Each morning
(on my way to work)
I eagerly anticipate
her greeting and warm smile.

I sit with her
on the sidewalk,
as witness
to her blackened eyes.
I listen to her stories
of beatings and abuse,
give comfort
when she cries.
“Tears are a sign of weakness”
her father used to say.

I bring her tea
(cream and three sugars),
a bagel with cream cheese,
on mornings when frost
is on the ground,
and on the hearts,
of most passers by.

She gives to me
her hand to hold,
an attentive ear
to my daily problems,
and a hug
(when a hug is needed).

With her love,
Joy has enriched my soul
and filled my heart with tenderness.
She has given me so much
that I didn’t know existed —
I am deeply in her debt.


My friend, Antonio,
greets me
with a salute and a bow
(it’s his way).
I am very glad to see him
and very honored.

I don’t see him very often,
he has his own schedule,
not necessarily
corresponding with mine.
He is a free spirit.

Through dark glasses
he sees the world
(so not to offend).
He is very conscious
that his appearance
may cause concern.
He wears a beard,
his clothes are ragged,
all his belongings
follow him
in a shopping cart.

He feels uncomfortable
in enclosed spaces,
so he sleeps outdoors,
summer and winter,
on a park bench
(with his friends
the squirrels),
when temperatures
are well below freezing.

He is not immune
from assault,
(having his teeth kicked out),
not because of what he does,
but what he is,
how he appears.

I usually see him
in front of the library,
one of his favorite places.
He likes to look at books
and see pictures
of kings and other people
he has studied
in school.

he joins me for coffee.
He tells me
the most wondrous stories.
I think he makes them up
for my benefit.
In any case
I am honored.

Through Shaded Eyes

A breathless beauty,
enchanting and fanciful,
where castles of ice abound —
if we didn’t know just where to look
they never would be found.

A wonderland of mystery
in a public park downtown.
The squirrels know what life’s about —
in Antonio’s sleeping bag
they tunnel in and out.

They scamper
over drifts of snow,
no boots upon their feet.
When he awakes, he’ll feed them
the little he has to eat.

Through shaded eyes
he views, the world passing by.
With gentleness and thoughts of kings
he tells me of his precious dreams.
A shopping cart, holds all his worldly things.


So, I’m panning
in my usual spot.
This suit walks by —
in passing he says,
“Get a job!”
“Hire me!” I say.
“Take a shower,” he says.
“I may sleep outside,
that doesn’t mean
I don’t wash —
I wash all over.”

“Hey,” I say,
“if you’re so successful,
why do you look
so unhappy?

“I’ve made the price
of my bottle.
I’ve got some smokes,
a little pot.

“Me, I’m the happiest guy alive.”


it’s nice
waking up
in the morning.

If I don’t,
I know

I don’t know
where I am,
or how I got here,
but, I’m here.

I got some wine,
some cigarettes
and some ‘mary jane’ —
I start walking,

ain’t looking
for trouble, but
it finds me.

how am I?
I’ll be doing fine
soon as I get
this drunk on.


I look into your eyes,
grey with tears and sorrow
from the Arctic Ocean.

I feel your hurt deep inside,
hear your thunder,
see your rain.

With your fist at your chest
you open your heart,
tell me of hardship,
betrayal and pain.

I listen
with my heart
as one who has been there.

With my arm around your shoulder,
as a brother,
I urge you, to act with patience
and with love —
to be Love.

A Lost Brave

a lost brave
leans against a building
(tho he is unwelcome)
beside a busy walk.
everything he owns
fills a pack
upon his back

he is far
from his fishing boat,
an ocean teeming with fish,
from the majestic forest,
from his children,
his clan

his eyes reveal
a story of hurt and pain –
the uncertainty of the city.
a sidewalk for a bed,
charity of strangers
his only grace

a challenge
every day –
a new beginning.
beyond the fire
that tames his demons
the only plan that matters
is to survive

far from home
he can scarce remember.
a lost brave, fighting back tears,
pride in the knowledge
of his ancestry,
his place –
his blood

  1. tornadoday says:

    Love this photo; only wish Mo were in it (but then again, she is I think). Sweetly done, Dennis. ~ Love, Bobbie


  2. kalabalu says:

    Far from a place called home
    Yet never are alone
    they got tears, abuses and hunger
    as company
    World as foes
    Passersby are many
    few listen to their woes
    I wait , greet them for more
    I believe that sad moments
    get less when shared with another
    so..why not me ?
    I give them my shoulder
    I give them some tea
    I give them kind words
    and empathy
    I know , they are my friends
    May not be as I am 🙂
    Sometimes, they got small joys
    tucked in smiles for me.


  3. Dove Seven Gold says:

    Your poetry is beautiful. Thankyou for sharing these people with us.


  4. Hi Dennis,
    I so appreciate your follow on my blog, especially because it led me to partake in your poetic sharing and reflections from the eye and heart of what is most often called the ‘Other.’ Your words break that pattern and bring the beingness that we all share to the fresh, to the forefront, just as you have opened ‘your’ self in communion with these dear ones. I look forward to reading more of your sharing. I don’t know why, but I haven’t followed many blogs, but I’d like to follow yours! So here’s to more dialog (love you have a category called that) and connection. I think there are insights coming for me through the whole heartedness of your offering!
    of Contemplative Fire


    • dcardiff says:

      Hi Janice, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I have spent the last three years opening myself to nature, animals and my homeless friends. I find your blog absolutely fascinating and want to learn more about accessing and living from my true nature. ~ Dennis


      • Hi Dennis,
        Thanks for checking out so much of my blog! I’m guessing you are in the very midst of more fully accessing and living from your true nature for you to so strongly express that. Perhaps we stay in dialogue around that, if it calls to you? Blessings, Janice


  5. You SIR are an absolute real life Angel. Thank the Lord for good folk like you Dennis. Your writing has me crying at times but also inspires me greatly. I was a special needs teacher for many years but ill health prevents me from working now.

    Reading your blog I thought for a while that you were from Cardiff in Wales UK! I’m Welsh, silly me lol.
    God bless I hope you have a lovely weekend.


    • Thanks for your kind words. As a special needs teacher you know about the value of gaining a person’s trust. These are very vulnerable people who see much abuse and discrimination. They just need to be shown love and caring.

      My ancestors were from Cardiff as far back as 1150. Some of my relatives are still there. My branch of the family were archers and left Wales with Strongbow, The Earl of Pembroke, when he invaded Ireland. I now live in Canada. ~ Dennis


  6. thespiritofpoetry says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. It very beautiful and sad. Thanks for sharing your poetry.


    • Thanks for your kind words. I shed many tears writing these accounts of real life. These are truly beautiful people who, because of circumstances, are bullied, beaten and verbally abused. They have no defence. Few will even acknowledge or look at them. ~ Dennis


  7. you are so right . . . people close a blind eye . . . to these people . . they also are human beings and have a sad story to tell . . .


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