You’ve Taken the Hand of a Homeless Man

You wonder as you wander the streets
Where to go as you hear the hard beats
Of your heart like some roadside band
And you find some stranger in this land

He says he knows every twist and turn
And so his words make your heart burn
Because you’re lost and tempest-tossed
So you trust him and gladly thrust ahead

You’ve taken the hand of a homeless man
Hoping this vagabond has the right plan
Praying this vagabond has the right plan

He takes you over hills and thru valleys
Down alleys and onto great sea galleys
And you begin to question if he knows
As the wind blows through all he shows

You’ve taken the hand of a homeless man
Hoping this vagabond has the right plan
Praying this vagabond has the right plan

He leads you to the mountains so high
And never leaves, never says ‘goodbye’
And he promises streets made of gold
Are in store for you if you remain bold

This man without any home . . .

You’ve taken the hand of a homeless man
(Yeah, taken the hand of a homeless man)
Hoping this vagabond has the right plan
Praying this vagabond has the right plan

And he promises streets made of gold
Are in store for you if you remain bold

But you’ve taken the hand of a homeless man
Yeah, taken the hand of this homeless man . . .
Taken the hand . . . of the homeless man


Note: Once a man came to Jesus of Nazareth and said, “I will follow you.” And Jesus replied, “Foxes have their holes, and birds their nests, but the Son of Man (speaking of himself) has nowhere to lay his head.” He was the homeless man. First published in January of this year. Illustration by Leonard Franckowiak.

Singing Hallelujah

Razor sharp edge cuts clean through the pledge
And alleges love while I lie bloodied on the floor
With the door wide open as an overt invitation
To leave without mention or excessive attention
While you bring white dove to sing ‘hallelujah’

Traveling at the speed of light love takes flight
In dead of night with nowhere to lay my head
But nothing is said about what we once shared
And how we bared our two hearts, part by part
I only know the black crow that sings ‘hallelujah’

And grace sways above me like some mighty tree
And I can see the glow but can’t touch the flow
So low I lay from the blow struck from far below
And I know this is the end and bend in humility
As my soul burns as I learn to sing ‘hallelujah’

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Looking to the Streets

Now I really am in trouble,
Tempest tossed and lost,
And I can nearly feel the frost
Of an uncertain future on the streets:
Stranger-vagabond to everyone I meet,
Feet frozen, hands numb, mouth dumb,
Deserted by family and friends,
Ravenous wolves round every bend . . .
And how does it feel to be destitute?
Shall I turn this aging body into a prostitute?
But, O God, have I ever turned away
From someone in need?
Failed to feed the hungry?
Have I been too comfortable in my hole?
Have I been a miser without a soul?
Ah! But thousands ask the same questions,
Do they not? And wonder how it is they got
Where they got and why? And they try
To figure some way out and off vacant lots,
And they scheme and plot because that’s
What they have left, so bereft are they
Of family and friends who care,
And whoever said life is fair?
Then why should I be the privileged one?
Why should I not walk the streets
To the beats of every other homeless heart?
Oh, but I am frightened, my chest tightened;
Lord, can I make it? Can I take it?
Will you walk with me the miles?
Will I still feel the warmth of your smiles?
. . .
One pleading hand reaching for the sky
One cracked voice finally saying ‘goodbye’
. . .
And, after all, will I have a home on high?

As the Cold Wind Blows. . .

As the cold wind blows and far flies the snow
For winter’s grand freezing show, do we know
How the blood slows for so many in low places,
Without blankets, socks, coats or moccasins
As they sleep on blocks of ice? Isn’t it nice
To have warm home, safe from storm of chill,
With the thrill of toasting our toes by the
Crackling fire; many are ready for funeral pyre.
Do you know the show’s not so grand for band
Of wandering poor, who see only death in store?
Perhaps, then, we could spare some few layers
To save lives, rather than being thick knaves?

After all, what is in store for those who ignore the poor?
Surely there’s a place to show your face and donate, too?