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The earth, separated from my body by a paving slab,

received me and kept me. I felt safe and still.

High above stretched the inky-black sky, with no visible stars,

that told me there was no more to this day.

Night had come and I must find a way to sleep.


Soon I felt the coldness penetrate my sleeping bag

and the small of my back chilled.

My face felt the cold, cold breeze tantalisingly dance over it.

Never one to cover my face, now I had to, to survive.

The night and the cold were here and I had to make the best of it.


I lay as deeply into my sleeping bag as I could, to hide from the reality,

focusing my thoughts on how I was feeling and what I was noticing so that the experience would not be lost.

Then the voice – anyone got a problem with the noise? – it yapped, forcing me to rise out of my deeper comfort.

Those around me shuffled at the disturbance.


So often, I thought it’s a voice that announces the next harsh, insensitive ruling.

A voice that distracts us from our purposes

A voice that causes our pavements to become beds,

A voice that jars with ours.

A faceless, nameless voice, like this one, that disturbs, disappoints, intrudes.


Humanity slept on the pavement last Friday night,

All of us – some for entertainment, a Friday thrill

Some to be alongside those who know the pavement as their only home,

Some to discover a new relationship with the earth, the trees and the skies

All of us because we have found humanity and know that we have to care for it.



                                                                                                            Margaret Sawyer 12 10.15