Bud is Bummin’

Bud is Bummin’

Bud’s buttressing his building,
same as yesterday and forever.
Paper cup kept jingling:
The classic ask.

I’m boy I’m embarrassingly I’m
so damned late,
I buzz by him without blinking;
must rumble through
the crowded sidewalk,

Almost to the conference door.
My heart screams;
conscience bubbles through my bloodstream,
hits my medulla “obligata.”

Turning tail to the nearest café.
Two large coffees, a cup of milk,
a banana (potassium) and bran muffin.
Sugar, yellow, pink, blue packets.
I don’t take sweet, but he might.

Back at the bastion,
Bud’s taking a break, huddled under a blanket
I offer him the tray;
he looks up and mumbles, “What’s this?”

“All for you, sir, except the second cup.”
I blush, grab my portion, bend to share a hug.
I run off.

Blessings abound.
Angels around.
Dependence is a two-way street.

If we want to connect with them,
let’s show respect for them

Let’s interrupt our previously scheduled lives
for a moment of grace.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday: Dependence, Kept, Rumble; for dverse Open Mic Night; and as always, for Poets United, my poetic hotspot!

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheilagh Lee
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 12:52:38

    beautifully said and so true give them respect.


  2. vivinfrance
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 12:57:56

    That is so cheering. Thank you, Amy.


  3. Larry
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 13:44:41

    interrupting for Grace is good…


  4. Angel Sharum
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 14:39:10

    Beautiful sentiment in this wonderfully crafted piece.


  5. booguloo
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 14:48:28

    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love…


  6. Di Eats the Elephant
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 15:06:45

    Definitely need to show respect. There but for . . . . Lovely poem about a tough subject. Blessings!


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 16:55:54

      Di, you said it. I was homeless once, briefly, and the idea of sleeping on a park bench, wondering where you are or not knowing where your next meal is coming from… not happy at all. Thanks so much. Peace, Amy


  7. Debbie
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 15:15:43

    Oh to stop and listen and bend myself to Him . . .to all the Buds I find each day. Thank you Amy! You are zizzling here, your pen is so hot!


  8. Steve E
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 15:16:55

    Sorry…already forgot how I arrived here. Glad though, to read “my kinda story”. Except you relate so well yours–grin! I could feel that man’s fingers and feet warm up, as his heart was warmed, by your willingness to focus on THIS moment, not thinking about the future–being late, etc.

    Gotta be honest, I searched for a post to send you to read. One I chose is from an abandoned blog of mine, “steveroni’s blog” c2010. IF you read, please understand that I’m not a ‘real’ poet. Violin player, yes. Sober alcoholic, yes. Not well-read or writer-trained.

    AND–I’ll return here, gonna keep your address


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 17:08:21

      Steve, welcome to the world of openness and no shame. I’m a manic depressive, PTSD survivor of childhood incest. My mom was alcoholic, and I’m all over Al-Anon, so pull up a chair and make yourself at home.

      Violin player? My mom made me quit because the screeching interfered with her drinking, ha ha ha. (Dark sense of humor runs in our kinds of families) Will look for that post you’re talking about, or we can hook up later via email. Thanks for commenting and so glad you are here today. Peace, Amy


  9. Janice (@mommyslounge)
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 15:33:09

    What a wonderful poem. Did you really do this? If only people can do this more frequently – to be so generous with their time!

    I recently posted: http://mommyslounge.com/2012/04/17/share-your-love-of-poetry/


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 17:12:33

      Janice, it’s always the truth unless I specify otherwise in the process notes. So you can imagine how truly thrilling my poems about childhood molestation are… oy. Glad you stopped by, and I’m coming over to your side of the fence now! Amy


  10. John Evans
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 15:48:12

    I have loved my visit to your blog Amy! Very benevolent spirit you are and humble as well. You made a magnanimous gesture towards your friend and this makes me happy; as well as all your readership. I am already a fan of yours. Must join your blog! Thank you for some incredible reads!


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 17:18:18

      Geez, John, I’m blushing here! Thank you for your support and kindness. I’m so glad you are pleased with my offerings. And you and I both know, more kind hearts in the world can create peace, if we really want it! Amy


  11. Patti
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 16:47:21

    I like this a lot, especially the first paragraph. It is so easy for us to be blind to the Buds of the world, or even resentful, The expansiveness of heart in this is uplifting.


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 17:23:18

      The heart is ever expanding, if we find peace. Also, our noses never stop growing, but that’s a story for another day! (Sorry, a bit manic here…!)
      You are right – it’s easy to ignore the streetcorner guys and women, too, but once you find a way to help, it’s easier to engage in the dialog that, for some lonely folks, may be the difference between connection and suicide. Peace, Amy


  12. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 17:10:03

    Very well said, Amy, in every way.


  13. Sherry Blue Sky
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 17:38:55

    I LOVE this story, and the event it talks about. You’ll never know (but we can imagine) the effect that exchange of humanity had on him that day! Way to shine:)


  14. Steve E
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 17:40:09

    This is a note from DUMMY! I forgot (again?) to leave a link:


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:13:10

      Steve, the blog would not allow me to leave a comment, but let’s just say you are an inspirational writer. The chance meeting might have been with an angel, a human angel, and the fact that you climbed to a summit for the meeting only makes it richer. NO regrets when you are willing to give as well as take… even a picture. LOVED IT. Peace, Amy


  15. oldegg
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 17:56:05

    How brave are we to do this too? How do we distinguish the needy from the oportunist. It doesn’t matter, that we care is enough, even though they laugh at us at least they are laughing.


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:15:35

      I only give things, not money. That’s how I know someone is really in need. I’ll buy a train ticket, bus ticket, food, or coffee, and spend some time. Otherwise, they run off and I know it’s a scam, which is one way to live, albeit not very satisfying. There are so many who don’t need a simple cup of coffee, but human contact. Saw him again the other day, usual place. He remembered me – we have a “sidewalk coffee date” for next week. Thanks Robin! Amy


  16. Tracy Crenshaw
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 18:08:42

    I love this poem. I feel like I can actually touch Bud, he is that real to me. Beautifully written. As always, I am a fan.


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:17:07

      Tracy, thanks for this. Actually I don’t know his name yet – the illiteration came to me with “bummin” being either the classic idea of someone homeless, usually wanting to bum a cig, as well as the depression inherent in so many folks in his shoes. And Bud was my dad’s nickname, so there you go! Amy


  17. Roger Green
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 20:04:06

    I am always bummed out that people reduce people to titles, such as “bums”


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:18:32

      Roger, see previous comment. It was a sarcastic use, in the “bummin” is what most people call it – but also as in “bummed out,” depressed. Hope you didn’t think I was being insensitive… but would understand if you did, and hope this clears it up! Thanks for an insightful comment. Peace, Amy


  18. brian miller
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 21:21:29

    amen…love the compassion in this…you know i used to buy a sack of burgers and take them out to spend lunch with the homeless…sharing food and life….


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:20:07

      See, Brian, once again, my kind of guy. It the time spent that is every bit as valuable as the burgers purchases. Homeless folks are ashamed, discarded by “society.” The more we reach out and spend quality time, the more they feel good about themselves, a sense of purpose. Believe me, you have probably prevented more than one suicide… Peace, Amy


  19. kizmet
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 22:56:33

    Amy this tugs at my heart, I work at our local food bank on my day off and see many homeless young and old. Every day I wake up and have that moment of grace,of thoughtful thankfulness and I am happy to share what I can. Thank you so much for this


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:21:52

      Kizmet, as I wrote in a song, “On both sides of the bread line/There is room for grace.” You get as much spiritually as you give. And that is NOT why you do it. You do it because you are a good person. Believe me, they are helped so much by right-minded folks who don’t see it as calculated charity, and you are one of those special people, welcoming. Peace, Amy


  20. Misky
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 02:04:37

    Well done you for giving Bud some nourishment and friendship. And of course for a well crafted poem. :)


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:22:58

      I was going to write this in the third person, but the thoughts of “busyness” in my mind were important to the piece. Saw him again this week, same place, off my usual route but we will spend some quality time next week. Love, Amy


  21. Adrian Giannini
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 02:38:27

    Kewl scribe n tale


  22. M.A.S.
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:00:16

    “Conscience bubbles through my bloodstream.”
    That’s great!


  23. Jae Rose
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:24:02

    I imagine him building a buttress of cardboard – tools not fit for the job – and how we have concrete buttresses around ourselves which stop us from seeing – but then hope..because people such as you see..and give.. Jae


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:30:26

      Now you’re making me think he probably does have night arrangements, hoping it is one of the shelters here in Madison. The building he seems to be holding up is on University property. I’ll have to ask him next time I see him – he’s off my usual route but I will stop by next week, since he’s always in the same place. People notice him. They just don’t do anything much… Love, Amy


  24. kaykuala
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 10:40:33

    Yes, for a moment of grace! How very touching, Amy! Not many these days would lift a finger to help someone in need,let alone handing over goodies of a lifeline. Great write,Ma’am!



    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:31:26

      Hank, thank you for your kind words. I don’t imagine myself as a hero who will solve the problem = far from it, but the little I do, with the little the next person does, well, at least he has some human contact and help, right? A


  25. ihatepoetry
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:26:32

    You do our shared saviour proud. And you hugged him yet? You get front row seats in Heaven for that. You make me proud too, sistah! Love, el Mosk


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:33:14

      Oh Buddah, I don’t want front seats in Heaven. The peanut gallery is way more fun!! Besides, having been assured by my sister that I’m going to hell… ha ha ha. Remember when PA had us write about a city, and I chose “Hell,” with brothels and sweatshops and child porn… it’s all here, baby, not in the hereafter, right? Love you, brudda from anudda mudda! Ameleh


  26. purplepeninportland
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 16:13:53

    Love those last two lines!


  27. El Guapo
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 11:40:32

    Inspiring piece. Rock on, Amy!


  28. Trackback: featured poet ~ Amy Barlow Liberatore aka Sharp Little Pencil | my heart's love songs
  29. Trackback: encore presentation: 2012 featured poets ~ Amy Barlow Liberatore aka Sharp Little Pencil | my heart's love songs

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