Sunday, 18 December 2011

I Know This

You don’t even know me
I know this
You don’t wanna know me
I know this
I ain’t much to look at
You don’t wanna hear me
You certainly don’t owe me
I know this

I’m hungry.

Bit rude
Comin’ out the tube
Bit cold
This is getting old news
Some guy
Tryin’ a sell me Big Issue
Tryin’ a get it sold

I’m tired.

Haven’t slept a wink
But you just did your bag zip
What a hassle
To open it again
Gloves’ll beat the nip
What a hassle
To take them off again
Purse right at the bottom

Jack Frost at your hip
Jack Frost on your lip
Well Jack Frost has consumed me
He’s my arch enemy
Like it was meant to be
I can’t remember warm
Your can’t imagine the trauma
It’s like a living hell
But a frozen one
I cough not from the bottom of my lungs
But from the bottom of my body
Bottom of my heart and soul
Crying out
Screaming out
I just wanna shout out

But then you’d see my teeth
Smell my breath
I’d put you off
You’d run away
I used to have a dentist
I used to have a doctor
I used to have a job
And a wife
I had a life

I feel dizzy.

But you are busy
I know this
In a rush
To the office
To a meeting
With seating
And heating!
Got that London walk
Got that i-phone talk
Thinkin’ ‘bout your Christmas list
Things to do
People to see
Presents to wrap
What about me?

You know where I stand
Well actually I sit
I’ve been here since yesterday
And the day before
Apart from the times I had
To pee behind that tree
You know where I stand
Well you can guess

“When I’m speaking to you
Look me in the eye!”
That’s what my father used to say
When I was a child
It’s not my place
To say that to you
No one looks at me
It’s not my place
Not my space
I know this

What a hassle
“I’m sorry to trouble you Miss”
What a hassle
I’m sorry I have to get in your way
Disturb your day
Wasn’t meant to be this way
But now I’m asking you to pay
Can’t offer you much
But we can do a trade today
I’m a business man
In my own way
Just like the men you meet every day
Something to read
When you’re on the tube
On the way home


But now it’s survival
Fighting your rivals
Your own patch
The horrors of the night
You don’t see this
I know this
You don’t know this
I know this
Just know this
I fell off track
But I’m trying to make amends
I’m a decent guy
Or they wouldn’t let me sell this

I hope to buy a sandwich
You don’t have any change
I hope for next time

Have a nice day Miss
You will
I know this


Christmas is a time of giving and thinking about what we are doing. It’s a great time to start getting involved with the homeless cause, for one. Even if you buy one Big Issue, you are contributing.

I am really pleased to hear that the Big Issue seller, who I saw almost every day for my four years at Bristol University, has been nominated to carry the Olympic torch. Others’comments in this article reminded me of my similar feelings- when moaning about walking to lectures in the rain, Jeff would be stood there in the rain grinning, and he always said ‘hello there my angel, how about you buy the Big Issue today?’ He really does cheer people up and deserves this.

I wrote the above poem as I see many homeless people in London and one or two very regularly in the same place. It is told from the perspective of a fictional character who has only just made the step to start selling The Big Issue. The Big Issue is a social enterprise that had its 20th birthday this year. It offers homeless people the chance to legitimately make their own money, whilst The Big Issue Foundation also offers them advice on where to go for help and services like basic healthcare.  So with the help of the Foundation it won’t be long before my man in the poem’s breath smells a bit better, cough gets a bit better. My guy wouldn’t have long before he is making some headway on the journey towards better living, providing that people buy his magazine. 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

This The Eco Age

Y’all wanna be seen in the magazine

Front cover mainstream beauty queen

Might not expect the green scene

Ain’t no reason to choke

Just stand up and take note

‘Bout the things that been wrote

Sexy strong gorgeous stars

6-page spread in Harper’s Bazaar

Even better than Lady Gaga

Livia Firth got her green carpet swagger

Bright spark Lily Cole she all glitz and glamour

Ali Hewson’s Edun ain’t no reason to slam her

Laura Bailey has Made some

Eco movement got its own run

These girls do their job done

Sourcing textiles

Million miles

Takes a while

To understand

The man

Who grow

The girl

Who sew

Just so

You know

Unimaginable reach: the fashion industry

Add human rights to the mix and that’s desirability

Oh, it’s ALL about the sustainability

That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout environmental justice

Super-luxe design, ain’t no reason to rush this

Even Stylist got it’s own ethical gift list

Even Marie Claire startin’ a talk to the masses

Even you a hoodlum baby, this for all classes

This the main event, you better watch this

Not heard of organic? Or maybe Fair Trade?

With fabulous fabrics pioneering this wave

With exciting upcycling, join the eco-age

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Zosienka & Rosie

Great name, even if I may say so myself, and it's a great game that they are playing. Zosienka & Rosie are illustrators based in London and given that now is the time I am searching for eco-friendly gifts for the festive season, I was pleased to stumble across their 100% recycled envelopes (I'm also a fan of Disco Pony and Lion In Pyjamas- the latter has great hair).