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Cardboard Poetry

Author: Rainwater
Elite Ratio:    2.25 - 7 /29 /19
Words: 78
Class/Type: Poetry /Misc
Total Views: 836
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 614


Cardboard Poetry

Standing at the corner
of the freeway entrance
He's thin, has greasy madman hair
And a scraggly beard
His body quakes
The cold penetrates
His dirty, sagging skin
Despite the scant protection
Offered by shabby, tattered clothes

His gaunt, shaking hands
Hold up his cardboard poetry
To passing cars
In hopes of spare change

People avert their eyes
Pretend not to see
Pretend to be conversing
With their passenger

"Need money
For food
God bless"

Submitted on 2011-07-27 22:58:46     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  It may be an act, and it may not. But any way you stack it, anyone who would stand on a street corner begging, if even (and especially) by way of acting, is a desperate soul.

I particularly liked the ending.

There seem to be three very separate perspectives here; that of the observer of the scene, that of the eye-averters, and that which the small poem offers.

We really do not see, or are we introduced, to the true perspective of the subject of this poem; the man himself.

Perhaps he truly means what he says. Maybe he honestly needs money for food and wishes blessings on others despite his disparity. Or maybe he's an alcoholic or addict who can think no farther than the next drink or fix. We do not know, and I like that.

The way people view the ugliness in our society is telling. We see it in all the "political correctness" that has become the standard of late, and in the euphemisms we use in speech, as though we all need to be handled with kid gloves, or can't stomach the truth. Sad.

Enjoyed your piece.

Take Care,

| Posted on 2011-07-31 00:00:00 | by Soul-Hugger | [ Reply to This ]
  This is a nicely written piece....all of us, at one time or another, have seen this poor soul along the side of the road or outside a store. The images you create are very powerful and real. I love how you refer to his messages as "poetry". It's how he communicates with the world and lets his "readers" know who he is and what he needs. Too bad his muse takes the form of poverty....

Good write. Welcome to the site!
| Posted on 2011-07-28 00:00:00 | by rubie | [ Reply to This ]
  I don't know, I don't mean this to come off as patronizing but this doesn't evoke any sympathy from me at all; I don't feel pity for the man who you describe as 'greasy, scraggly, madman-hair, gaunt' etc. The first half of the poem is just describing him; and we've all seen him or someone like him, stood on the corner with a sign.

The second half gives us his sign's message, and tell us that people ignore him or try to look busy, almost as if they are embarassed to be ignoring him but ignore him nonetheless.

My first impression was that this was more a commentary on how because so many of these people with these signs who are begging could actually go and work, or earn money, or are not legitimately in need, etc. that nobody pays them any mind anymore - just another street-person-con-artist to walk on by. The excessive description of how gaunt and pathetic he looks seemed to be, to me, intentionally overstated - as if he tried to make himself look that way as part of the 'act' - if you see where I'm going with this.

After I read it once, I read it again and realized that I think this is supposed to be a legitimate 'view' into the poverty of street life, rather than an ironical/satirical piece as was my first impression of it. Or maybe not. I guess I just mean that it isn't clear to me what you're trying to convey with this piece, unless the duality/ambiguity is part of the point? In which case its cleverly done ;P
| Posted on 2011-07-28 00:00:00 | by ziska | [ Reply to This ]
  This is sad but true unfortunately, I like the ending, this poem is filled with imagery.

His gaunt, shaking hands
Hold up his cardboard poetry
To passing cars
In hopes of spare change

"Need money
For food
God bless"

I like these lines~

| Posted on 2011-07-28 00:00:00 | by AltheaLaochra | [ Reply to This ]
  yes, it is a sad site..and often [people do do that ..just turn away pretending not to see...

although there are times...this does remind me of a couple people i saw by a local wal-mart...

they had signs saying they would work for food...i stopped (at the time being restaurant manager) and offered them work...
they told me to "move on"!


this poem creates a visual...and puts me on that street corner in front of the wal-mart...wanting to look the other way. sometimes the past can make us so cynical.

| Posted on 2011-07-27 00:00:00 | by jacoberin | [ Reply to This ]

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