(My work brings me in contact with people who have suffered devastating tragedies in some way in their life. This poem is ‘inspired’ – am not sure that’s an appropriate word – by one such tragedy.)


He stood shivering

wet skin and dry eyes;

He jingled

jangled tunes

breaking through

torn pocket



He lived rough

and pretended to be

oh so tough;

Meagre possessions

in a broken cart

a blanket, cigarettes

and a burnt out heart.


Where will he

sleep tonight?

Underneath the

plastic sheet

behind the

garbage bin

fiddlin’ with

her frayed picture

he’d gambled

with life



didn’t win.



Filed under Life, People Portraits, Poetry

14 responses to “THE LOST

  1. Robert

    Dear Anjali,

    Thank you very much this wonderful poem which, for me, conveys truths which many people would like to ignore. We see the man you describe every day. One day, he is holding a sign. Another day she is sitting alone on a bench, as traffic speeds by.

    It conveys something of how we all desire respect. We wish for it from others, and perhaps even act as if they’re giving it, when secretly we may fear they’re not.

    This could also be the CEO whose life, though materially affluent, is utterly empty of meaning.

    So much meaning…thank you for this!

    All good wishes,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Robert for your visit. I am very touched by your sensitive and thought-provoking comment. Indeed, we see these ‘invisibles’ everywhere but we avert our eyes and pretend they do not exist. I hope some day in this world compassion will overtake indifference and love overcomes hate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert

        Dear Anjali,

        Oh how I agree with your comments that “compassion will overtake indifference and love overcomes hate!”

        All good wishes,



    • Robert, thanks for pointing out this could be any of us..even those who appear happy. And yes, this poem points out do many truths. Heartbreaking.


  2. What a beautiful poem, written with a heart that can see past the exterior.


  3. Really enjoyed the poem. It’s wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. very strong and moving. real deep

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robert

    Dear Anjali,

    I am this morning meandering through your blog, revisiting places I’ve been before, and re-enjoying them again. I come to this poem which is one of my favorites.

    I was recently at a conference in Louisville, Kentucky on conflict resolution. While getting a coffee one morning, I saw a homeless young man, shivering in the cold, and twitching as he was trying to repeatedly light a cigar which actually had nothing else to light other than the plastic mouthpiece. He was not twitching because of the cold, but for other reasons having to do with his lifestyle, habits, addictions.

    It’s funny that, when I saw him, I thought of this poem. Suffering is all around us. I think it’s useful to open to it, even if it may seem painful.

    Your poem touches so nicely on this opening.

    All good wishes,



    • I am so touched by this comment – that you should remember my poem! Albeit that in such painful circumstances for that gentleman. Yes- suffering is all around us and sometimes it is easy to ignore it but for how long do we continue doing that? Thanks you once again for your sensitivity and for sharing your observations.


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