The Abyss is Closer than you Think

Stevie Turner

While walking through the London streets at the weekend we could see there were many more homeless people sleeping rough than the last time we’d visited the capital.  One old boy caught my eye as we walked from the South Bank back to the Strand.  Rain had just started to fall, and the first lines of this poem below came into my head.  I couldn’t help but think back to Jack London’s ‘The People of the Abyss’, which I have just finished reading.  A hundred and sixteen years’ later and with the years of austerity cuts, it seems that today Jack might have still found something to write about:

Down and Out, by Stevie Turner

A broken umbrella

In one gnarled hand he holds,

Three cardboard walls

Keep out the cold.

There he sits

On Waterloo Bridge,

His breakfast table

Is the pavement’s edge.

Ten pence and a banana

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