Ronovan Writes Weekly Poetry Challenge#133: Flow and Tear (Haibun)

(Grateful acknowledgement to Ona Kingdon for her wonderful, watercolor artistry)

In the autumn season of my life, I’m on a personal journey to understand certain inequities I’ve seen personally since my recent move to the big city life.

As a small town girl that went to university in Toronto in the 70’s and returned home, homelessness was not in my vocabulary. I experienced living on meager means, some struggle and having to make wise grocery choices. I worked as a waitress for extra money, but always had the monetary support of my parents for my schooling. I was privileged and blessed to have enough. I still have enough.

I only saw homelessness as reported in the media, but not in person, until now. It shook me to the core of my humanity and my belief in government.

Waiting can be difficult for anyone; waiting for a dream, waiting for an answer, just the uncertainty of waiting, but waiting for a meal or a bed to sleep on is unfathomable. My heart goes out to them.

Flowing tear for them

Nameless, voiceless, forgotten

Waiting for solace

(Image of homelessness by Lee Jeffries)

I’ve twined my piece with Ron’s Challenge  and  dVerse Haibun Monday #29:Waiting

About Olga

I have always had an affinity for artistic endeavors and the beauties of nature. The power of the word combined with photography have become my creative spark.
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38 Responses to Ronovan Writes Weekly Poetry Challenge#133: Flow and Tear (Haibun)

  1. cindy knoke says:

    So sad and so unacceptable~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It can really take you for a loop…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael says:

    You are right Olga, homelessness up close can be very confronting…thanks for sharing your haibun haiku..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Homelessness comes in many shades, but when it’s close you see the jaws below. It sounds like a terrible situation

    Liked by 1 person

    • Olga says:

      To see signs for help on multiple street corners is disconcerting. To walk into a coffee shop and see poverty in the washroom is chilling. It’s new to me.


  5. I share your sentiment – homelessness is totally unacceptable – one of the results of capitalism I suspect.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. frankhubeny says:

    I suppose one could more easily find a place to sleep as long as one gets out of the way of foot traffic, but “waiting for a meal” is not as easy to resolve.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kim881 says:

    There but for the grace… not long before my daughter’s fourth birthday, her father walked out on us for another woman. It only lasted a few weeks but he didn’t come back and we were left in a rented flat that I paid for but the lease was in his name. The landlord wanted to evict us and I didn’t have a leg to stand on apparently. We were offered B&B accommodation by the council but that wasn’t a route I wanted to take as I had seen what it did to families. Luckily I found a housing association that could help and we got a little flat and survived. But I know how easy it is to fall into the abyss of homelessness. And it is mainly in cities – I don’t see it in the countryside.
    I totally agree with your words: ‘Waiting can be difficult for anyone; waiting for a dream, waiting for an answer, just the uncertainty of waiting, but waiting for a meal or a bed to sleep on is unfathomable. My heart goes out to them.’

    Liked by 3 people

    • Olga says:

      Thank-you, Kim, for sharing your story. I agree that it seems to be a city phenomenon. I posted a valuable link with my reply to Frank’s comment to this piece that offers hope in city initiatives to end homelessness. Good to see. There is hope. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A very poignant haibun Olga and I have seen a lot of this when living in cities and I have particularly been supporting campaigns for homeless people with dogs. They are often offered accommodation were dogs are not allowed and they turn it down because they do not want to abandon their dog. It is often the dog for whom they have given up drugs or alcohol and they form a lifeline for these people. There are now special outreach teams who provide veterinary care on the streets and more and more homeless shelters are beginning to offer places where dogs are welcome too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ladynyo says:

    Your haibun speaks volumes, Olga. Why in our western world today is homeless so predominate? Many theories, but still….it is unacceptable…barbaric.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grace says:

    Since I work in Toronto City, I see a lot of homeless people around the streets and train. It is a terrible situation specially during winter. The wait for the meal and the warm bed can be very long and agonizing. Thanks for joining us~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Olga says:

      When I lived in Toronto years ago, I walked on Yonge St. many times and never saw one homeless person. There were musicians in the subways and some street corners, but no one with a sign saying, “I’m homeless and hungry. Please help.” Sad!


  11. kanzensakura says:

    True homeless is heartbreaking. Lovely senryu at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. For me, homelessness is a cause that we have a duty to address in our poetry and I turn to it now and again. This is so sensitive, important.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. wolfsrosebud says:

    This is so sad. Thank you for this insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It just shouldn’t be so.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Denis1950 says:

    An amazing haiku response to the challenge and a wonderful story Olga. Sadly homelessness is a direct result of economic rationalism in developed societies and until countries like Canada and Australia reject this evil social problem at the ballot box it will get worse. As for the USA under Trump who knows what he plans to do about homeless people, I shudder to think!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aww, that’s so beautiful and touching. I love the images too. ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. magarisa says:


    Liked by 1 person

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