Tent City Poem

By WESPAC Board member Geoff Smith:

TENT CITY
Welcome
To our Tent City
We need your help
More than publicity
You’ve seen our village
On your TV
You can do more
Than just look at me.

You know my fate
But not my name
Got no solutions
Got no time for blame
Please turn your eyes
From my Tent City
Feel bad enough
Without your pity

End of the Line
Street with no name
Fragile fabric
To house my shame
Can’t tell my kids
I live in Tent City
Can’t tell my friends
My new address …
Tent City

In my Tent City
No tax to pay
Surprised how little
I need for my day
Carry my whole world
In my Guicci sack
But I’d pay almost anything
To never have to move back
To my end of the line,
To my Tent City

Don’t watch the Dow
Can’t watch TV
Don’t think of stocks
When you talk about "equity"
Speculate in futures
That’s my wife and me
I’m hunting for a job
With no shower before I go
No beauty parlor
No make-over show
In my Tent City.

Tent City neighbors
Scared and lonely like me
Tears come to my eyes
Each time I see
Kids forced to deal
With adversity
Learning to make do
And do without
But they really know now
What work’s about.

My cell’s got no charge
It’s just like me
Can’t make appointments
Don’t know who to see
Could it be you
Who hears what I’ve said
Give me the human touch
Asking for my daily bread
Send me a letter
IM won’t get through
To find me waiting
For whatever you can do
For this Tent City, Tent City
At the edge of town
Tent City, Tent City
Politicians and bankers
They don’t come round
Tent City, Tent City
My end of the line.
Tent City, Tent City
Looking for a sign
That will take me out
Of my Tent City

Working with my hands
I’ll get back on my feet
Eyes set on where I’m going
Won’t accept defeat
But the Grapes of Wrath
Have grown in my mind
Its not a dust bowl
That I fear this time
If this happened to me
Can you be far behind
Lets all join hands
To build Tent City.

Tent City, Tent City
Where I learned to see
Tent city, Tent city
Found Community
Found what I care about
Know what I really need
Grace in the wilderness
How can that be?
Not much distance
Between you and me
Living in Tent City

Grace in the Wilderness
Amazing Grace
Believe I found heaven
In another’s face
And what I found there
Was love and need
And the strength to carry on
Til I succeed

And now I hear
The numbers growing fast
Of those with questions
Just who’s first? Who’s last
But don’t you get it
We all can win
If we care enough
For the world we’re in
And for that neighbor
Who falls behind
In our Tent City
They’re never out of mind.

Tent City, Tent City
Wilderness for my soul
Tent City, Tent City
Where I grew to be whole
Tent City, Tent City
Learned not to be alone
Tent City, Tent City
Found direction home
So open wide
Those City Gates
Brothers and sisters
Its not too late
For Tent City

 

Posted in Director's Blog