Monday, January 19, 2015


In the shelter where a bus occasionally stops
sleeps a man that life has passed by for lack of fare,
people who will not share the supposed stops small weather cover
for fear of his prone unwashed smell.

No one knows him only that he is not like them;
not drone dressed and he looks like hell.
Preferring to stand outside regardless the element
they’d rather their fear
of an unknown him rule a small but dry creature comfort,
resenting his use of something built for their support.

He wakens as more humans for their transport arrived,
gathers his few things,
vacates the space he’d overtaken.
As long as he was invisible,
fortune favored life
as another sparse night he survived.

© M Durfee

A man stands cardboard sign in hand
begging for a dollar or two.
Few ever question what to do,
So cynical have we become;
we are certain he has a greater tax free sum
lining his pockets than we,
the underpaid,
under employed
underappreciated workers
will ever see.

It’s unquestionably truly fact
We, the majority, have less to share
but in times past
that equaled
even more reasons to help, to care.

What is it we have become,
now that we are so uncertain
whether a beggar really is a hungry junkie,
or a better businessman
than any of us drones could ever become?

© M Durfee

In the homeless shelter sleeps a family of four
but add another and they can’t even get in the door.
As if feeding the down on its luck tribe is not hard enough,
we the beneficent turn our backs on them in the ruff.
so we don’t have to look at the lacks built into a system
that is growing smaller for the enlarging homeless populations.

Oh the lips that speak “no child left behind” or “lives, all lives matter”
are generally them looking askance at the guy asleep on the bench ,
the hands holding the cardboard sign.
Them whose greatest fear is that their upper class friends
don’t see them running first, number one, in the race
to determine just who are enablers of them
 whom society has disabled.

What is it that sends families to shelters?
Most would work even the youngest of them helter skelter
to have a home they could own. Call upon the corporate masters
of the past hundred forty years for an answer.
Low wages for them building the wealth of the rich,
building wealth they did not share in.
Ask any black lung miner or limb missing train worker.

That was the start, men hurt easily tossed aside
for another waiting to take a chance on a coal car ride.
Everyone had a sense of pride no matter the job it would appear,
the pay packet well-earned was held dear,
until a cabal collapsed the economy
to take away all that had been saved.
Then the family started over again because work
was all they knew about the way
to have family, home and harmony.

Next up to the plate was technology, diodes, transistors,
and all the rest that was done to make a robot
to do the work of ten men for the lifetime price of one.
We still educated people back then,
allowed equal opportunity for all men to strive,
to grow in knowledge, some out of and some in college.
Yet some as always got left behind for reasons extent
we should be ashamed of but never are
for we never want to remind ourselves they existed.
Race, religion and nepotism.

All curses on a growing population
that left one fifth in stagnation
on welfare benefits given out because life
had to be maintained in peace
for wealth to increase. That was then this is now;
they are termed lazy ungrateful breeding cows
who wouldn’t work even if free everything was one great perk.

So that same corporate master benign to him and his,
who started the whole mess, said to himself “fuck this”
started reclaiming loans and property.
First from them who had not a dime they could claim,
then even those with work lost the house they bought with meager pay.
But the take back and take away was not fast enough.
And all the while the giving stopped, shelters shrunk
until they could not provide more
than a drop in a bucket worth of skunk shit.

So now in this modern age of future glory
we are building again wealth on the backs
of them underpaid loaded with debt
to banks and governments
who do not care a whit
about the survival or health of a man;
for if a job kills him,
there is once again one waiting prestaged
just as qualified to replace him in this modern slavery age.

© M Durfee

In my mind we have come full circle from the factory town where a human was owned by his labor for his labor and are coming to a larger circle where them who have nothing will be left with even less, because they are eating into oligarchs profits. what once was called the middle class, the working class, has been under assault for 6 decades now, and the war is just about lost. Soon if you are not on the top, you will be enslaved, not by chains of iron but by chains of place and debt. These 3 pieces took me about a month to finish to a satisfactory completion, but in no way do I consider them strong enough, there must be a revolution against government and corporations but it has to be done not in mobs and masses, rather it has to be done by individuals. Refuse to spend. do not buy anything that is not a necessity AND WHEN YOU MUST SPEND SPEND ONLY IN YOUR COMMUNITY no more chain, big box stores. Humble the Oligarchs by not purchasing their goods until them who produce them can afford to buy them. NOT ONE MORE CHINESE SUICIDE IS ACCEPTABLE over working conditions, that make the rich richer. I am not calling for the collapse of capitalism, I am saying that we have let greed become oUr God and it's angels of stuff, our lords.

Mark Durfee
Martin Luther Kings Birthday Holiday 2015


  1. pretty sad that there are con artist out there pretending to be homeless...i have a pretty big heart for the downtrodden and homeless...i have worked with them in some capacity in every city that i have lived...they all have stories man....

    1. Brian, while i understand you position in my mind once a dollar is given it is a gone as a gift. No more thought to it. I refuse to give to "charitable organizations" because it is easy to see what they keep for themselves. Rather help a scrounge beat the taxman than a "charity" beat them they're tasked with helping.

  2. Makes me think of a video I saw of a homeless man who was given some pizza, and immediately shared it with another homeless guy who asked (only that guy wasn't truly homeless)

    1. I saw that video too, it was an experiment in generosity. A worker was given one and wouldn't share a homeless guy was so grateful that he could do nothing but share. Conscience is built through hard times Charles.

  3. OTOH there are people like my son who feel no need to look for a job because the economy doesn't offer much and strangers really are very generous to people like him.

    1. Alice, I can see that bugs you. But what he doesn't know yet is that as he ages and is unable to shower or shave or find accommodation, people will only give him shit and most likely someone 20 years his junior will twice a week kick the crap out of him for the dimes he was able to beg up. That is the path of the homeless.

  4. Back to the Gilded Age (of assholes)

    1. Yeah Sista' i am a Renascence pundit of their foraging among the scraps.

  5. I admire the passion beneath your words ~ I see the same things here but I would like to believe our city is more merciful and caring than others ~ And I try to buy only what I need & not let the marketing hype get into me ~

    1. Grace,
      Mercy and caring are strictly forbidden in Detroit, hell just about the entire state. All of the homeless and truly impoverished i have known in my life i care & cared for. Until society changed and made passionate thinking and action a negative.

      Seriously lack of consumption is you're only weapon, even in Canada you're finding out that your political gentry are for sale.

  6. I will dance for you ... feel better now? Love, cat,.


So Walking Man I was thinking...