Tag Archives: poem

They are still out there

They Are Still Out There

Original by Jim Tabb/Oldtimer

It’s just past midnight in January, it’s well below 20 degrees and they are still out there.

Under the bridges on South Cobb at Atlanta Road,

up in the steel under the noisy tracks,

around the perimeter of Larry Bell Park,

in the woods off Manget,

along the creek south of Gramling,

all around the Elizebeth area,

in the wooded areas west of the Hospital,

across and behind the bus station on the South Loop,

in the woods between Franklin and I-85,

along rottonwood creek wherever it goes,

and in all the wooded areas along Powder Springs Road

whereever there is a secluded place out of sight,

individuals, groups, families with children and it is so very cold.

They are still out there.

Are you warm tonight? Count your blessings.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2007/2008 by James A. Tabb

(May be reproduced freely with credits.  The areas mentioned are in Marietta, Georgia)  

Cold to the Bone

I wrote this last January 29, 2007.  I didn’t want to wait until it got that cold to publish it again. There are too many men, women and children in the woods as I write this.  Too many of the adults are veterans – Heroes, but the cold doesn’t care.  Everyone hurts.  All need help. 

 I hope that this helps inspire someone to help at least one homeless person find shelter, find warmth and find a way out of the mess they find themselves in before it gets unbearably cold again. 


It was 16 degrees F. when I got up this morning, 67 inside.

Cold to the bone

What was it like around the campfire…

When the embers went out?

What was it like under the train trestle…

Where no fire could be built?

What was it like in the bushes…

When the old man had to go?

What was it like in the tent…

When it was really just a box?

What was it like to be outside…

Where it is… Cold to the Bone?

Were you warm last night? ,,,,,  Count your blessings.

They are still out there

Grace and Peace,
by Jim Tabb/Oldtimer

Won’t you volunteer somewhere today?

My Rights

My Rights

by Jim Tabb

I have a right to work

    But I have no ID,
    No phone,
    No residence,
    No transportation,
    No references,
    No clean clothes,
    No place to wash or shave
    .And if I do find work,
    I can’t cash my check.

I have a right to sleep

But no shelter is available,
and someone stole my bedding.

I have a right to eat

    But I have no food or money.

I have a right to rest

    But not in public places.

I have a right to use a bathroom

    But no public toilets are available.

I have a right to vote

    But I can’t register without an address.

I have a right to sing

    But when I do I’m cited for public disturbance.

I have a right to use a library

    But I can’t get a card,
    Can’t check out a book,
    Can’t go on the Internet,
    Without an ID and Address.

I’m Homeless

    At least I still have that Right!

They are still out there

What the homeless need most

What the homeless need most 

Most of us need a little help now and then.  Help painting, doing the dishes, with homework, looking after a pet, changing a tire, or maybe with a financial problem.   Very seldom do we fall into a situation that requires help to survive.   You read about people that are stranded on mountains, lost in a wilderness, stuck in a cave, or more commonly, involved in near deadly accidents and need help getting out or getting well.  Thankfully they are still rare occurances.

When it comes to the homeless, needing help is an every day occurrence.  Yet the most often heard phrase is “Get a Job!”.   Some help that is.   This country will spend millions to get someone off a mountain that had been warned of the danger.  We will send dozens of men with heavy equipment to get a horse out of a mud hole and every news outlet will feature it.  We will organize fleets of ships and planes to hunt for a stricken boat with a missing man on the high seas.   

Yet, when it comes to the homeless, other than those who engage in the homeless service industry and the homeless activists among us, there is little or no help when a homeless person is found laying in a doorway near death from freezing, or beaten half to death in an alley where he had been trying to sleep.   Hospitals are even being accused of “dumping” homeless patients on streets near shelters.  I can point you to many notable cases. 

Four homeless men near Must.

(Picture by Oldtimer.)  Can you tell which one was not homeless?

Homeless people need help.  They need our help and they need it almost continuously.   Consider this:  If you have lost a job recently and as a result lost your home, you probably have friends and family to fall back on for much needed help.  You probably have a cell phone and a relationship with a doctor for medical care and probably still have a car.   You are probably not homeless long.

Most homeless have none of those things.  Without a car they are stuck walking and that in turn reduces the range of where they can get help or a job.  Without a phone, they have to rely on stores and the goodness of a clerk to make a call.  When was the last time you saw a payphone?   Many times the homeless can’t even pay to use one if they could find one.

Without a phone and a fixed address, most people could not get a job as those things are at the top of any application.  No way to get a callback for another appointment – opportunity lost.  No fixed address – no job.   Some libraries deny a card to anyone without a fixed address.  No library card, no Internet access.   No clean clothes, poorly nourished, unshaven.  How does that work – get a job indeed!

Tell me friend, when you say “Get a job” how do you do that?

I have a need to work…

But I have no ID,
No phone,
No residence,
No transportation,
No references,
No clean clothes,
No place to wash or shave.

And if I do find work,
I can’t cash my check

I’m Homeless

More on this later.   I have a poem that I want to illustrate this with.  I call it a poem but maybe it doesn’t fit the framework.  It really doesn’t rhyme but I think it at least tells the story.  I call it My Rights – coming next.

If you were looking for a list of supplies I have it right here – Try the link blow!

Click for link:  Help the Homeless – List of Supplies

(photo credit:  Oldtimer taken near MUST in Marietta, GA.

(“I’m Homeless” written by Oldtimer)