Big Issue

by Mark Rawlins   Sep 25, 2013

Big Issue!
Help the homeless, Sir?
Big Issue, Madam?
Even though you don't know me from Adam.
Ease your conscience in your big warm flat?
Do your bit for the poor, and say, 'well that's that'?
Or just walk on by, pretend not to see me.
Don't catch my eye if you find it too creepy.
Have you got your own problems?
Does charity begin at home?
Will I spend it all on drugs?
Did I leave my merc at home?
What's your big issue, Sir, can you tell me that?
What's your big issue< Sir, you judgemental ....

No meney, no work, nowhere to sleep...
Big Issue!
It doesn't give me enough for my keep.
I was a hero at one time you know.
Fought for my country at one time you know.
Fought for your freedoms at one time you know.
19 years old, and a national hero...
Now look at me ... .

I joined thew army when I left school, 'cause I couldn't get another job.
'Join the professionals' 'Learn a trade' 'Don't waste your life like a slob.
But it was just marching.

Marching and war games, it was always the same,
But this time we realised it wasn't a game....
Not for us ... for us it was the real thing

Thousands of people were lining the quayside
Singing and waving flags ...
'Rule Brittania, Brittania rules the waves'.....
And we boarded the ship with our bags.
We still thought it was a game, so we were waving back,
Until we saw the planes, and we were under attack.

'Action Stations!' 'Action Stations!'
Running running running.
A loud bang. A huge crash.
The noise was simply stunning.
First, panic, panic, shouting and screaming ....
Then quiet .... quiet ....
I thought I was dreaming.
I shouted, 'Kevin! Kevin!'
The smoke was really thick.
His big fat fist clobbered me in the mouth,
I tried to get him out quick.
He was hysterical, losing control,
I was suffocating.
I whispered, 'I'll go and get help'
And I left him there, hating and waiting.
I managed to crawl to the upper deck,
Thinking only about my own neck .....
And there we all sat, like the living dead,
Badly burned people, some stoned off their heads,
Some with no arms, some with no legs ...
Many had suffocated ...
And we all sat quietly on that deck
And waited, waited, waited.

Back in England, people kept shaking my hand,
'You're a hero, Mate, you did just grand.'
It didn't last, they soon forgot their congratulatory rendition,
And the army dropped me due to my psychiatric condition.
I couldn't get a job, so I soon ended in the gutter
'Cause after all, who in the world wants to employ a nutter?
I wanted to talk to people, about what happened over there,
But they just got embarrassed, and could only stand and stare.
What's your big issue, Sir, can you tell me that?
What's your big issue ,Sir? You judgemental ....

I still see Kevin in my dreams.
'This should have been you, he screams,
'This should have been you.'
And I wish it had been.

Big Issue!
Help the homeless, Sir?
Big Issue, Madam?
Even though you don't know me ... from Adam.


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by mossgirl19

    I am completely blown away. The story and the way you have penned this, for me it is exceptional, very very exceptional. I feel the grudge...and it makes great sense...when a lot of people, including me, think we have big issues but hey, others on the other side of the world are fighting for their lives and experiencing so much emotional trauma. People should read this...really. I don't know the right words to describe this piece...I greatly appreciate the content, the form and rhythm. Added to favorites cause I will definitely read this again.