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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Crime and Punishment (not about the book) (07/21/11)

TITLE: No Fixed Abode
By Kelvin Fowler
07/27/11


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Born into a poor wanting family
beaten senseless as a kid
lived on the streets
found warmth in the embrace of a heating vent

Did some bad stuff
sniffed glue
broke in and entered, robbed a shop
was punished with home detention

Hit the wall, volunteered for
rehab, and stomach pumping
returned to your orphanage
to discover your siblings had been adopted abroad

Didn't grieve, didn't know how
held it together
for the longest time
almost served your punishment

Unprepared for adulthood, you turned eighteen
birthday present was a government payout
the leaving of your supposed home
and way too much freedom for an unparented child

Registered your detention at a friends flat
squandered your money
blew your friends
and sank fast

With options running out
you crashed at your mum's
curled up in the arms of her addictions
and fought for survival

Authorities rejected your new address
had rescued you once, didn't want to do it again
so with no dwelling to call your home
your were forced to break your home detention

Police came knocking
as you went into hiding
running from homelessness and past crimes
straight into the cradle of old habits

Old crimes
an incomplete punishment
for no fixed abode
earned you two years

Rescued
in another institution
to serve the punishment
of a lovelorn life.


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This article has been read 257 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Phee Paradise 07/29/11
Heartwrenching. The emotion in this poem is very strong, but I don't sense any hope.
Colin Swann07/30/11
Wow! A very disturbing piece. My heart goes out to those who lose it and suffer so - and it does happen that's for sure!
Noel Mitaxa 07/30/11
You've captured the bleak reality of ongoing tragedy for so many people unless we reach in and stick around witn the comapssion and the patience of God's grace. Well done.
Amica Joy 08/02/11
This is very well written. Hopelessness cannot be described better. Would like to see God's grace at work in this story - in sequal No. 2. :-)
diana kay08/04/11
good poem the simplictity and the dissonance particularly in the final lines of each "verse" are very telling. I think it is all the more powerful for NOT having a trite happy ending to the story.
I actually think the hope is in the poem more from the recognition of the PERSON that you are writing about as an individual and telling the story, which is the story of many.
Cheryl von Drehle 08/04/11
well written and good choice to write in the 2nd person -- that can be difficult to do but I think it works well here; adds a certain sense of drama and poignancy