Saturday, October 25, 2014

Homeless in Cork City

Between the Jury’s and the Clarion Hotels,
at a side street, old industrial, no window building,
the men who cannot go home, ever again,
queue with the setting sun to their backs.

Observed by cameras, managed by gatekeepers,
they wait for any hand to reach its appointed time,
the doors to open, the building to swallow them up,
gratefully removing them from sight, after another day.

In Francis Street they wait with patience,
many bearded and grey,
wait for a headcup on pillows
'in my bed', they cannot say.

Under the summer sun,
a picture of tanned health,
-cosmetic deception-
is the reality of days spent on corners,
and with elbows on knees, 
poised always to, ‘Move on, move on.
You've got to move on from here!’

‘Hello there,’ I offer bravely, 
looking for the human, not the typecast, 
the preconceived.

‘Fuck off!’ 
With lilting disdain,
comes the long considered and determined response.

Inside the squat granite block of St Patrick’s,
where I hide,
the baptismal font is as dry as my faith,
and I grieve in silence for the
little pink fleshy things, that in nakedness,
are still sacrificed there.

                                                                   ©niall oconnor 2014


  1. Been there, done that, though in another City. +Niall O'connor tells it like it is. Bravo Niall

  2. Fantastic poem Niall. I love the last stanza. Bravo!


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