Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

The Homeless Man

by Travis Day

Bright star in the sky; a beacon of light to bring in all boats and ships on the crashing waves,
confused and wandering in all directions.

A homeless man will calm the waves and storms; he will become a lighthouse to show them
The stars, to lead them home - the place where they will rest their heads while he has nowhere to
rest his.

The homeless man doesn't speak in board rooms, arenas, or stadiums; instead from hillsides and
boats putting forth the message of love.

He goes from town to town mending broken bones, hearts, minds, even giving life back to the
lifeless with just the touch of his hands and a few spoken words.

Knowing what his end will be he tells his friends don’t worry about me I will rise again and give
you a new life in this world and forever and with the blink of an eye the homeless man is
cornered and betrayed with a kiss. He is tried and tried but there is no fault found in him. Like
finger nails grinding down a chalk board the screams and shouting voices all say crucify him.
Their voices rage in agony and desperation saying the same thing over and over again, crucify

In the end the crowd is given what they have desired to see and slavered over: the homeless
Man, beaten and broken down by the cat that has nine tails, each tail dripping with his
Innocence and hopes.  Then to be thrown against wood because he wants all men free, he is
shot with three nails, one in each hand and one in both feet, with the tree lifted up and held
high - a place of contempt. He whispers his prayer Father forgive them they know not what
they do.

Now gone from earth but not forgotten, worshipped and adored for centuries in homes where
The water never goes dry, where peace, love, and his hopes are a way of life.

A place where the mightiest of beasts and the wisest of elders cry out without ceasing because
They live off every breath he breathes and every word he speaks and infinite Angels sing and
Repeat only one word to describe him: Holy.

Thank you, homeless man.

Added: 20.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


I love how it begins modernised and becomes more 'Christianese' as it goes on; this is how to communicate the story to all. Well done.


The layout distracted from the excellent lines and images.