banner image, text, prompted poetry

Unsheltered (haibun poem)

Haibun style (a favorite) and topic inspired by Mish @dVerse Poet’s Pub

Shelter – safe haven, refuge, protection. I can understand why people give it up. At some unknown point of sale near the dubbed “living” wage, it becomes impossible to keep it up.

Living wages are just that: they’ll buy groceries, so the People can live. But the People can’t necessarily expect a shower or restroom, much less proper shelter: and when ‘opportunity’ finds out they couldn’t keep their house . . . well, let’s just acknowledge that even companies don’t keep their plumbing in check and over-rely on porta privies to serve what is essentially a rapidly increasing population which cannot be properly financially supported (if nothing changes).

Such insight has accumulated amongst us: the problem of lack of home shelter affects an increasing percentage of us, threatening ultimately (again, if nothing changes) to dehome 99% of us. I don’t know why The People tend to politic like this scenario isn’t plaguing us, blaming the victims of our supposed values.

wet nylon litters
streets once clean / homes disarrayed
spring showers stripped them


I chose to keep theme around the spirit of the prompt’s origin, contemplative of the plight of those who cannot sustain a sheltered lifestyle due to the myriad of uncontrolled issues of the world currently. The haibun autobiographic requirement is met through identification as a person with insight into issues specific to living in my home country.

Little bits of what some may consider hyperbole refer to a minimum of known issues experienced on the whole since some time before and then culminating in the Great Recession ca 2008 (and since exacerbated). These are addressed in such brevity that may interfere with consensus of appreciation to specific mentions; nonetheless, there are numerous base issues that exist which cause homelessness.  

“Unsheltered”, an American haiku, describes the distinct reality of the rising problem of homelessness:

It rains, and the few belongings that a homeless community collects are soaked—including their tents. After all, only seasoned campers know that tents must be waterproofed, and charity tents don’t necessarily come with instructions. Not even the hope of spring offers much but rain, and showers here don’t bring flowers (pretty things, valued things) but destroy them.

10 thoughts on “Unsheltered (haibun poem)”

  1. It is devastating that a “rich” country cannot…umm, does not share the wealth, put caps on the ridiculous housing costs, rental rates, and get their act together to prevent and FIX the issues of homelessness. It is anyone and everyone’s problem. Thank you for bringing attention to it in your haibun.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that I see the backstory, I think I remember this true journalist–started with the photographs, got supported for a book . . . well, regardless if same person, these journalists are the sparks that ignite our awareness. Thank you so much again, David! I’ll add one of these to the post.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, this was a good thing: I added one from Invisible People which details the “sweeps”, in progression:
        1. reference to the poem, 2. what appears to be an allowance of rest, and 3. the dreaded sweeps


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