Let the News be your Muse. Send your news-inspired poems to poetry24ed@gmail.com

Friday, 18 October 2013

Negative Impact

What is the ‘negative impact’
of a few hungry souls sleeping rough?
Why should we care, when we’re tucked in our beds,
that they’re out in the cold and not eating enough?
What is the point of such cruelty?
Can it be, really, to ‘clean up’ our streets?
How can it help to take blankets and clothes
from a man with no shoes on his feet?
And what is the ‘negative impact’ on us
of this power that crushes the poor,
when Duty excuses oppression
and love finds no place in the Law?
‘Negative impact’: what does it mean?
And who is that bloke for whom the bell rings?
Woopedy-doo: today, it’s not you.
Who knows, though, what set-backs
tomorrow might bring?

© Abigail Wyatt

Police 'reduce negative impact of rough sleepers'

Abigail Wyatt is one of the editors of 'Poetry24' and the co-editor, with Duncan Yeates, of two anthologies of new Cornish voices, 'Murder of Krows 1 and 2'.  Otherwise, she writes poetry and short fiction and does what she can to foster and encourage the development of poetry in her home area.


  1. Excellent words on a worrying subject matter Abigail.
    I had not read the newspaper article and how having done so am amazed by the stupidity and cruelty of the police actions. What a sad world we live.
    Anna :o]

  2. You do right to ask that question Abigail, and more should be asked about this shocking news item. I hadn't heard about it and your poem has raised awareness in a skillful way.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It is, I fear, just another example of the weak and vulnerable being targeted as useful scapegoats.