I See You - A poem about street homelessness and drug addiction.

Just written a poem, inspired from a tough time a few years ago.


I've spoken to many people just like you, throughout my life.
Day in, day out, as I pass through the city centers, or the long empty roads at the ends of small towns.

And you know what? You seen more about me than I did about you.
And despite thinking I'm lucky to have not been a fool, only now do I see it's never that simple at all.
Because despite all the appearances, and how people will judge you. Neither of us could for every moment keep our cool.

I've seen you at night, slumped on the ground and asking for change, or whilst you've been walking around. 
And it's obvious you're on the gear, I see that, but still remains that smile when we share a human laugh.
But despite all that, did I really see you and did I really think about the things you might be going through, and how we were just the same.

But it's taken this for me to see, that I am not alone in this reality, I scream and shout on my own whilst walking up to New Street.
I've kicked my bags, I've punched my head, I've cried a thousand tears, just wondering why my life has been like this for years, and any human being can one day just break down.
And so I'm there with head in hands, now sitting on a wall, I'm inside my head, my heart feels broken, I can't see much at all.
And then I lift my head up, and take a look around, and see three homeless drug addicts, chilling on the ground.

These tears I've cried, have opened my eyes to what I didn't see before, that there are other people close around that know just what I'm going through, and likely more than me.
I know they're off to score soon, but as I'm sitting there, I think I've finally just realised that we share the same despair. 

I know that I'll be one of the few that can see how hard you've tried, and all the things you've battled through just so you survive. A life without no guidance just learning as you go, it's too easy for us to look down on the lives that we don't know. 

With so many of us feeling so disconnected, and puzzled at why we're so rejected by those closest, the truth is is takes so many mistakes to get anywhere at all.
But as I'm sat still on that wall, my face still salty-wet from the tears, I think respect when I see you smiling, despite your life throughout these years.

And you don't even know that you've saved my life do you? Just this mere moment, knowing that despite your mistakes and feeling completely alone, that you didn't choose to end it, like I was doing just. 

A dark road I know, and a slow death for many, but a temporary relief from finally feeling those feelings is what many had been looking for.
Some just young and made mistakes, and some of those had no-one there to help them through dark times. 

I know what it's like, to hear people claim they made it out just by themselves but no-one really did. Everyone needs good forms of guidance, and that's just how it goes.

"There's plenty of hostels" people say, and when you reply they're full of smack they tell you beggars can't be choosers.
"Something is better than nothing at all" they'll reply, so where is the hope for the seventeen year old young man with zero family support that absorbs the world around him.

Because if you still haven't thought about the truth that's there, just think about how that at most Christmas times this kid is going nowhere. 
And I along with many others can tell you right now, it's not because he's on the gear, it's just because his world his broken, and it was the same before.

Perhaps he weren't a perfect kid, or his folks had troubled mental health, but throughout this persons life, few were there to tell him that it really weren't his fault.
I don't even smoke the gear and can tell you how hard a fight it is, to have to break your own way in, 
to a life that just doesn't quite understand you, apart from the caring few.

It's no one faults, and people do care, it's just that many never thought or knew
That all these years, all your problems, you've been through on your own.
So I can think 'oh I aren't I clever' for never having fallen prey, but those estranged from their own families always seek another way, I guess I was lucky to be taught anything, as playing guitar is my release. 

So when people judge and say you're weak, please my friend remember that,
There's others out there just like me, that kinda know just where you're at.
It's bloomin hard and hurts like heck, and even though you're on the gear,
I hope you beat this massive fight, cuz after all you're standing here.

Copyright Ben Westwood 2018

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