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It is quiet in these doorways - a prime West End site.

A percussion of raindrops patterns the night.

It is cold, and the murmuring city is still,

Whilst the box houses shelter their homeless within.


It is dark and occasional footsteps are heard.

The stroll of the policeman who stops to observe,

Or the pattering rat on his rodent patrol,

Whilst within the box houses we pray for our souls.


It is dawn and it summons commuter brigades.

A suburban tide floods the city in waves!

It is hard when we watch them averting their eyes.

Can their consciences see what their senses deny?


It is day and the tramp for survival begins.

The search for the scraps in hotel kitchen bins

And at noon, when the parks are a social display

We must watch from the sidelines - no lepers may play.


It is dusk and the theatres glitter their stars

And the restaurants fill up and so do the bars.

It is strange, we're so close to escapists and dreams,

Yet galaxy far from a part in the scene.


It is night. We, the homeless, are left to our thoughts,

Some nourished by soup that the Sally Ann brought.

Yet who are the homeless? Perhaps one of you

Might be cast for that role by a Catch 22,

Or be dropped through a Social Security net.

The box houses await you, they're free, not to let.

For as long as your guilt-ridden eyes remain closed!

©Richard Hill

The Box Houses [3:00] - soundscape composed by Richard Hill


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