Paint them in gold by Jackie Biggs

If we could worship the homeless people,
because they are strong,
because they have learned to live without walls,
because they have no boundaries to contain them,
and can exist on almost nothing,
because they can carry life in a bag,
with few possessions, because they are free,
if we worshipped them, how would the world be?

Their swept up lives exist in doorways
spiked with danger and zero tolerance,
relics in the dust and debris of our days.
If we could venerate them, revere them,
cover them in gold,
break out of the mantra of meanness,
if we were truly bold,
how would the world be?

If we worshipped the homeless people,
if we painted their portraits and decorated their images with jewels,
as the old icons were adorned,
and placed them so we could look upon them with reverence,
if we exalted them and made them saints,
if we gave them beautiful blankets to keep them warm,
if we lauded all the roaming people,
how would the world be?

Man with a plaid blanket

Written after seeing ‘Man with a plaid blanket’,

by Thomas Ganter.

(first prize BP Portrait Awards 2014)

Jackie Biggs is a freelance writer, editor and poet. She has had work published on websites and in a number of magazines and anthologies. Her first collection of poetry, The Spaces in Between will be published in autumn 2015 by Pinewood Press. Some of her poetry (and other work) appears on her blog:

One thought on “Paint them in gold by Jackie Biggs

  1. According to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, it all went downhill once we stopped being hunter gatherers and created agricultural settlements with permanent homes we got attached to. So, nomads and the homeless should be respected for keeping alive an alternative vision. Lovely and thought-provoking poem that addresses this historical / moral / philosophical point well.

    Liked by 1 person

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