World poetry day: writing hard hitting poems to inspire change

This world poetry day we spoke to Development Coach Jason who regularly writes poetry to draw attention to issues like homelessness. Jason has shared his story, what inspires him and also one of his poems Poverty Streets below.

Jason’s love for poetry began when he was experiencing homelessness and later detained in custody. He would use poetry therapeutically to write about his experiences and to send home to his loved ones.

After encountering homelessness, the care system, battles with his mental health and substance use, Jason decided to use this experience to help those going through similar things. He now works for Concrete helping young people address issues related with homelessness. Allowing customers to grow and create their own concrete futures.

Jason has now been commissioned to create spoken word poems that tackle important topics, like homelessness, to help create change. One poem, Poverty Streets, is a perfect example as Jason explains: “The inspiration for Poverty Streets came from attending meetings with the Get Talking Hardship research project.”

“Staffordshire University carried out research to find out what people really thought about hardship. And what can be done to make life easier for those people. I gained so much inspiration from the research that I created the poem.

“Because of my personal experience of homelessness, the care system and the justice system I wanted to try and change things. Poverty Streets was a way for me to express the hardship and to help those without lived experience to understand issues like social exclusion, equality, poverty and homelessness.”

Here’s Jason’s poem Poverty Streets:

Bags weigh heavily when walking through night, searching for warm places or at least warm light, because many meet their maker in night times cold, where even the youngest of bones feel old.

Some boldly try changing their lot, become more daring, take risks, and are caught within an all too real revolving door of an imprisoning matrix that exist, while others will beg a pound to buy biscuits or quick fix to not have to stop and sit and think of hardships millions are having to live, because the alternative is a dark hungry hole in which too many sink.

While trudging with struggles through days and nights like a wilting flower dreams begin fading, because of falling down ladders in life the populace stride past ignoring.

Maybe they don’t see the entirety of societies lack or little provision for millions displaced, just a pages daily snippets played on a device or TV as news feeds regurgitate,

But today as sleeping bag clouds rain perspiration down onto tenement yards without boundaries the belly of the treasury, far from empty is an industrious foundry belching such bounty, marginalised grumbling hunger rumbles with thundering feet to food banks loudly

Astoundingly world economies relentlessly flood the markets of minds with credit, obligations, gadgets and all the garbage they can find, which the impoverished below austerity’s line can’t even afford to buy, so closing their eyes they sigh and imagine tranquil lakes and shady trees, but reality sees rain fill rusty buckets and high tangling weeds, while food in working class cupboards is like society’s invisible people ghosting poverty street.