Dennis

21 Mar

“Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed, but not defeated,” ~Ernest Hemingway


Dennis

My wife and I were on our way
To breakfast this past morn
And at a set of lights we saw
A man who gets much scorn

A homeless person stood holding
A sign asking for aid
It said he had been hurt at work
And now could not get paid

We pulled over and gave him what
Little change that we had
He thanked us very much but I
Did not feel very glad

Because I knew that I could do
Much better than just change
I turned the car around and then
Did what most would think strange

I asked this man to let us treat him
To a breakfast meal
He said thanks but declined my offer
Though it did appeal

I told him that too few do walk
The extra mile for
Others, and the few that do
Don’t get let through the door

He did concede and grabbed his bag
And hopped in car and told
All about what had led him
To standing in the cold

He had been an electrician
And one day volts did burn
All throughout his body, leaving
Him with great concern

Many doctors had said that
He should not have survived
Even though he lived, his arms
Of feeling were deprived

His legs as well, they’d fall asleep
For hours upon hours
He’d had many a surgery
To restore his limb’s powers

He’d also lost his wife when she
Had found another man
She’d taken his son and his home
And disrupted the plan

Of adhering to wedding vows
“Through sickness and in health”
This man had lost his well-being
And now all of his wealth

This might have seemed like a sad tale
But Dennis was unique
Despite all that he had been through
His outlook wasn’t bleak

He talked about how we all have
The choice to frown or smile
And that’d he’d learned that the things in
Life that were most worthwhile

Had nothing to do with money
Or things that it can buy
It wasn’t about getting drunk
Or about getting high

He talked about how he would tell
The other homeless men
To treat their bodies as temples
And find their inner Zen

A Warrior who’d lost comfort
In the body he owned
But didn’t try to deal with it
By getting drunk or stoned

A man who dealt with his pain through
His focus and resolve
Who rather than reaching for pills
Instead chose to evolve

Whose body had been destroyed but
Had grown stronger in mind
Who had every right to lament
But misery declined

He lives under a highway bridge
Beside some old train tracks
He called it “God’s Land” because he
Can legally relax

And sleep there ‘cause it’s not owned by
The country or the state
He talked about how cops had once
Arrived and did dictate

That he should leave, but he informed
The law was on his side
The cops researched and found that he
Could on “God’s Land” reside

We spent a couple hours chatting
And were so inspired
When he spoke about how little
That he still required

He only needed forty dollars
Each day to survive
Only forty dollars kept
This homeless man alive

He spoke how people were more kind
When approached in the morn
Rather than at end of day
When tired and all worn

He spoke of operations on
His arms and on his legs
He spoke of allergies he had
While poking at his eggs

He had some sores across his face
That were from an attack
He’d had from food at soup kitchen
That contained pepper black

He spoke how people called him names
And said he was a liar
He said how he once gave a dollar
That he did acquire

To someone who thought it was funny
To ask him for change
While waiting in their car and wished
To give smart-ass exchange

He spoke of an old millionaire
Who meets with him each week
To give him twenty dollars to
Make himself feel less bleak

A millionaire who earned his dough
By caring for no one
Other than himself and now
His conscience weighs a tonne

It is amazing what we learn
And how our notions fall
If we will just walk to up folks
Who normally appall

Or scare or make us lose comfort
If only we would make
The effort to learn, understand
And those old notions shake

I did not offer Dennis luck
As we both parted ways
Instead I told him I was glad
That nothing seems to phase

I told him I was inspired
To know out here he walked
Endured with a smile on his face
Although he had been shocked

Although his body had been burned
And scars were left all over
I’m glad to know somewhere out there
Is a Warrior rover

A man with nothing who has strength
To give to those who care
Who make the effort to connect
Instead of simply stare

                                     ~Miro

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27 Responses to “Dennis”

  1. fiercebuddhist March 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    A sad times we live in when those that are hurt are not cared for. I see this daily at the VA hospital. In fact 1/3 of all homeless are Veterans that is shameful.

    Thank you for putting this down for us to read.

    • Miro March 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      Thanks for taking the time to read.
      Peace & grace,
      ~Miro

  2. bipolarmuse March 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    My father was a homeless man though i wish I could say it was for better reasons. I like how you touched on this though because we truly should not judge that man or woman out there who needs help. That woman could be me in a month with the tiny amount of money I receive monthly. We can all be one step from homeless.
    Wonderful poem Miro, your grace shines through.

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      A good thing to keep in mind and shake us out of complacency. And yes, too many judge without doing the work required in order to make an educated judgement. Some egos don’t like the idea of having their pre-conceived notions turn out to be incorrect.

  3. mountainmae March 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    What a gift for you to take Dennis to breakfast and listen to his story. There are so many homeless and it is the families with children that tug at me most. Having been threw some severe financial challenges I do have some concept of how quickly the house of cards can collapse. When asked what am I doing to make it a better world- one of my answers is that I smile at strangers. Particularly the “invisable” folks need to feel seen.

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Thank you. As I told Dennis, it isn’t just about people handing over money to help. We need to nurture each other’s human spirit with hope, love and encouragement. Many of these people feel less than everyone else. They need to be reminded that there is no less, just as there is no better.

      • mountainmae March 22, 2012 at 11:02 am #

        I used to work in a public library with one of the only bathrooms in downtown. I often shared an elevator ride with homeless folk and usually commented about something often the weather. One bedragled man registered surprise on his face and said I was the first person to speak to him like a person in a long time. That stuck with me.

  4. Asif March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I thank you so much for sharing this truth and strength of reality with us..

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      Thank you for reading.

  5. Cat Forsley March 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    AMAZING MIRO ………
    MY FAVE BIT …..

    “He talked about how we all have
    The choice to frown or smile
    And that’d he’d learned that the things in
    Life that were most worthwhile”

    AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING
    THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS TRULY ABOUT …….
    IT’S SO EASY TO BE KIND AND RESPOND
    IT’S SO WORTHWHILE TO LISTEN WITH HEART WIDE OPEN

    YOU ARE A SUCH A GIFT TO THIS WORLD MIRO …..
    I HAVE NOT READ YOU FOR THAT LONG –
    BUT I WOULD SAY THIS IS YOUR MOST SERENELY POWERFUL WORK ….

    I KNOW I DON’T REALLY CENSOR MY THOUGHTS BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO LIVE OUT LOUD – SO FORGIVE FOR BEING TOO FORWARD OR DIRECT SOMETIMES .
    YOU ARE SUCH AN INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEING – BECAUSE YOU SEE WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN LIFE ……WITH HEART WIDE OPEN ……
    GRACE ALWAYS –
    YOU ARE FILLED WITH GRACE .
    I AM IN AWW ……
    BLESSINGS AND WHAT AN INSPIRED HEART I HAVE BECAUSE OF THESE WORDS –
    YOU WORDS …..
    MUCH LOVE
    X
    CAT

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Thank you Cat. No need to ask forgiveness, I greatly admire your openness, honesty and forwardness. If only all were so courageous and selfless with their compliments! But as we know, it’s only 1-in-100 that are like that… 🙂

      • Cat Forsley March 22, 2012 at 10:42 am #

        GOODMORNING !!!!!!
        AWW THANK YOU
        HUMBLED ……
        “DENNIS ” ……
        WOW ………
        SOMETIMES YOU JUST WANT TO REACH INTO THE COMPUTER AND SHAKE THE PERSONS HAND THAT WROTE SOMETHING THAT MADE YOUR HEART SO HAPPY ….
        THAT WAS KINDA THE EMOTION …..!

        I THINK MORE PEOPLE THAN WE SEE ARE OPEN -HEARTED ……
        MAYBE IT’S JUST THEY HAVEN’T FOUND THEIR TRUE VOICE OR PATH YET ?
        I DON’T KNOW . I DON’T JUDGE – I JUST EMBRACE ALL PEOPLE BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING ……
        AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE UNITY IN DIVERSITY – YOU KNOW ? ……
        🙂
        IT’S BEAUTIFUL – HERE AGAIN TODAY ……
        🙂
        AND I AM GOING TO HELP OUT WITH A KIDS CHOIR ….
        SO I WISH YOU SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY –

        AND MIRO THE MIRROR …..
        YOU ARE THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR ……
        SHAKING HANDS WITH YOU THROUGH THE COMPUTER SCREEN RIGHT NOW 🙂 LOL 🙂

        PEACE LOVE COMPASSION KINDNESS ALWAYS 🙂 C

  6. Spiral Dreamer (Francis) March 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Open your mind to those around and never judge before knowing and walked in their shoes for a lifetime. 🙂

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Many don’t even walk for a minute, let alone a lifetime. Even a couple of hours certainly helps change perspectives. 🙂

  7. rumpydog March 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I have been thinking about this lately. It seems that I’ve allowed myself to become trapped in the “fixtures” of the world. I don’t want to be miserable like that millionaire.

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Good boy! 🙂 True happiness only comes when we’re not thinking about or doing something for ourselves. When we are, it’s never followed by peace or tranquility, because deep down, no one can deny the truth that it’s not our purpose to only care about ourselves.

  8. Sunshine March 22, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    Thank you for sharing this powerful and moving moment in time. Many times fear cripples the person to shut out another human being who is simply asking for some change just to survive the day. I fear. Your example is helping to overcome this fear. Again, thank you.

    • Miro March 22, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Glad to hear it. Fear is a cancer, and is the cause of every ugly, selfish and deplorable act that has ever been committed in history. The ones we praise as heroes and inspirations are the ones who acted selflessly and with love in spite of that fear. Let their example resonate with the fearful until the fear is only a tiny whisper, drowned out by the roar of their own courage.

  9. Jemmy Farmer March 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Hello there,
    I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award.
    Follow the link to discover more – http://sonnetjournal.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/eight-fantastic-people/

    • Miro March 23, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks Jemmy, gratitude. 🙂

  10. granbee March 23, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Miro, what a truly blessed gift you have given us today in this wonderful verse story of Dennis! Such a wonderful example of how we who step out and reach out are rewarded many times over! I am praying for Dennis, for I feel this story here will attract just the right “angel” to be sent to him.

  11. Christy Birmingham March 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Miro, I am beyond words here. Your generosity to this man is outstanding. Dennis is so much more than the label of ‘homeless’. I learn so much each time I stop by here, thank-you for your gift of words.

  12. Jane Carroll March 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Such a powerful reminder of the humanity and dignity…in all human life…if we only take the time to see it!

  13. 1WattsGirl March 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    I’m motivated.

  14. lscotthoughts March 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Miro, this is a wonderful story of your gift to Dennis. It reminds me of our shelter we provide at our church for the homeless in our community. We provide 3 nights each week with volunteers from our church, to offer prayer, song, dinner and a warm night’s sleep. It’s very interesting talking to them and realizing they are just like us, but with unfortunate circumstances in their lives. It’s very rewarding and humbling to be a part of this ministry in helping them~

  15. Lopa April 1, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Whenever I used to complain about anything that went wrong in my life, my grandpa would just say, “think of them who suffer greater miseries in life, and yet smile and tread along.”
    My grandpa is no more, but while reading this it felt as if he is right next to me and is reading it aloud. I guess grandpa planned it for me to come here at warriorpoetwisdom.com –
    so full of truth, so full of life, and so full of strength that urges to live life as it comes.
    I encounter many warriors each day as I travel to work. I shall soon write about it. 🙂
    I liked this one a lot, Miro!

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