The Homeless: Weekly Discover Challenge

In response to a video about the work of a girl Veronika who had been homeless but was empowering the homeless and being very aware of the homeless problem in Sydney  I wrote this poem. I have published it before but it seemed to fit this challenge set by the Weekly Discover challenge team where they ask us to do something different such as add photos, or words. Graphically displaying the words is not something that I often do. The V at the end of the poem is for victory at the renewal that occurs as a result of Veronika’s work.



On knees

head on ground

Proud supplicants

Abandoned by the state

Shunned by those who used to care

Once, they were sons and daughters, mothers and fathers

Days end, these sons and daughters, mothers and fathers

Head home to their tiny public cardboard rooms

Public verandahs protect from rain 

grimy, slimy sleeping bags

Possessions few

Chinese bags



A homeless girl                                                             Giving renewal

  A scholarship she won                                           Empowering homeless

              Yet still she knows                                   She trains

                               Cold kills                               She employs

                          Coats needed                        is not a fix.

                                 S0 she sews               this bandaid

                                                  Yet she knows

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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10 Responses to The Homeless: Weekly Discover Challenge

  1. angieoakley1 says:

    Great poem. Says a great deal about the way our society operates.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very powerful and touching poem, Irene. Sadly the homeless problem exists all over the world and they seem little able to climb from their abyss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful and sad. I don’t remember reading this poem before. Thank you for sharing.

    And what an amazing young woman. Love this, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

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