Our Vendors 

Poetry from Nashville’s street paper vendors of The Contributor

Wed, Feb 13, 2013

HOMELESS VETERANS
OF AMERICA

By Richard Urquhart
Richard is a Homeless Veteran who wrote this poem while sitting under
Nashville’s Gateway Bridge.

America prefers dead heroes
To make speeches about once a year
But those of us with broken lives
They really don’t want to hear
So between the wine, the drugs, the whiskey
And we can’t forget the beer
They ease our pains and deaden our brains
As we slide on through the years
The Veteran’s Administration
On that we’re told to depend
They take good care of retired generals
Their wives, their kids, their friends
But those of us with Other Discharge
To us they will not attend
God’s Word plainly states it
In 1 John 3 you see
There ain’t no haters in heaven
So we both know where they’ll be
But it sure does confound me
So it sure is a mystery to me
Why the downtown businessmen’s association
Keep dumping their hate on me
Nashville’s finest despise me
And love to beat me down
Call me the earth’s lowest scum
Tell me to get the hell out of town
Truth is, I can’t call them liars
Because I’m every man’s fear
Every time I draw near
So under the bridge I go hide
So don’t build me no dammed statues
To lay flowers at when I’m gone
I don’t want a mausoleum
To hold my rotting bones
All those dollars too dear to spare
Don’t spend on a marble stone
It’s not my fault I didn’t die over there
With the others that didn’t come home
Yes I’m a card-carrying member
Of the Homeless Veterans of America
Thousands strong from coast to coast
Under the bridges that we call home
So Lord I pray
Give me the strength
Don’t make me stay
Let me take the jump
From this bridge that I call home

STREET PAPER

By Chris Scott
Chris is formerly homeless poet/songwriter.

A dollar or two, not much to you
But it meant a lot to me
I bought a phone card
And called my family
Grabbed myself a bite to eat
Money to do my laundry
Spare change for someone in need
All because your path crossed me
For a paper sold on the street
So I said a prayer for you today
When you bought a paper God brought you my way
‘Thank you’ may be all you hear me say
But God bless your steps I pray

A simple act of charity what you get back
When you share with me
More than just a little something to read
It’s the something that’s missing
You know you need
It’s God watching out for you and me
Through a paper sold on the street
So I said a prayer for you today
When you bought a paper God brought you my way
‘Thank you’ may be all you hear me say
But God bless your steps I pray
Now it’s probably not a good get-rich-quick plan
Standing on a corner with papers in hand
Doing what we’re both supposed to do
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
We all want world peace and harmony
Let it start right here with you and me
And a paper sold on the street
So I said a prayer for you today
When you bought a paper God brought you my way
‘Thank you’ may be all you hear me say
But God bless your steps I pray

THOUGHTS ON LIVING IN A CHAIR

By Clark Cobb

To be set free from this chair I think about a lot of the time
To be able just to walk 100 yards would do my heart just fine
To have the choice to step up to a gate and simply walk on through
instead of trying to figure out alternatives of exactly what to do
To be able to walk on stage again behind a drum and simply sit
and knowing now how impossible it is-this chair it will never fit
Up and out and spin and sit into my bed I am once again
it’s a love/hate relationship with my chair-not wanted but my friend
If you could speak to me what would you say as we roll together
should I lose some weight or not take you out in rainy weather
George Strait he has a song and it is called “The Chair”
George you don’t know me for sure please take mine, “I don’t care.”
Roll and run and jump and swim with the fish in the bottom of the ocean
just maybe that door will appear and somehow it will be opened
To dream our dreams somehow do keep us alive
and yes I will roll on tomorrow-it’s hard but I will survive.

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