Thursday nights are community dinner nights at my church, St Peter’s Mowbray in Cape Town.
Friends and strangers sit together around tables, those with beds to sleep in and those who sleep under bridges or by the train station. Strangers become friends. Community forms. And amidst the struggles and fights, people feel dignity and warmth. We hope.
One Thursday we decided to write poetry and draw with some of our friends and it went down surprisingly well.
I provided prompts for poems and paper and pens and people engaged and shared what they had written.
– by Maureen
I am a streetwise kid
I feel very sad because I sleep outside
I want a better life
I wonder what will happen to me
I fear death because I don’t know what will happen to my children
I hope to get a better life in the future
I try to become a better person
I believe I can come right
I dream real love will come my way
I am streetwise.
– by Tash
I am me
I feel like the world is my playground
I want peace for all
I wonder what life after death looks like
I fear loosing a loved one
I hope that God blesses all of mankind
I try to stay positive even when things and life seems impossible
I believe that I will reach my goal of making a difference in someone’s life for the better
I dream of a world without violence, hate, greed and destruction
I am someone who believes in change.
– by Hassiem
I am lost in the world
I feel happy
I want a good life
I wonder what will happen to me this winter
I fear God, no one in the world
I hope for a better life
I try to get me a home
– by anonymous
Cold and hungry,
Wet and tired,
Food, more food,
– by Zach Stewart, Aged 14, member of St Peter’s Mowbray
I’ve always liked to believe that
Life is like a rain storm.
And you can stand in the middle,
Shivering, and getting sick from the cold,
Or you can be that “weird” person,
That, in the rain, takes off their jersey,
Accepting the cold
While running on the banks of rivers,
Two options I thought, but,
A forgotten reality too.
That reality sits under the bridge, in the rain
While the swelling river bites at its feet.
It prays for an end
To the eternal cold, but
Or a smoke from it’s cigarette,
Between. Each. Word.
It’s heart beats slower
Bum… Bum… Bum…
A banging in the back of it’s head,
Or a voice,
Hollow, and reassuring.
“Drink, drink, drink. The cold will go away…”