PARADISE? I’M LOST by Valerie Hayes.


So Sad, So Hopeless,
trying so hard not to be homeless,
free-wheeling, from dealing,
never really feeling free,
free to be, free to rest, free to share,
free to care,
always hiding out,
always wondering off,
Traveler in me needs to move,
over and over,
Nomadic trances,
nomadic dreams,
free spirit, freedom’s fare,
Settler’s hopes and aspirations,
on notions
of standing still,
on my own two feet,
Travelers feet,
settler’s beat in my heart,
head in the clouds,
One extreme to another,
life’s a polar bear –
Poles apart.
Losing sight of all sensibilities
and realities,
losing grip on purpose,
sliding down in
the depths of darkness,
which keep me from
the heights of free
falling, reeling out of control.
Taking life’s blows and rolling
with its flows,
Just trying to get home,
just trying to
get home.

From a very young age I always saw my mother giving change to the homeless, always encouraging me to do the same and buy the ‘Big Issue’. As a consequence I have read and followed the publication for more than twenty years now. The articles are always interesting and informative but personally, I particularly enjoy the poetry column. For this reason I have chosen to share with you one of my favourite pieces ‘Paradise. I’m Lost’ by Valerie Hayes.

This piece of literature was first published in The Big Issue June 2013. Valerie’s poem was one among many that inspired the artworks that feature in ‘No Fixed Abode’. Talking to the young woman she explains how “At the time of writing this piece I was homeless and very vulnerable”. On a positive note Valerie stated that “I have since moved away from Bristol and live a peaceful life by the sea in South Wales.” I can only hope that things continue to improve and get better for Valerie and the many others who find themselves in such unfortunate and tragic of circumstances.

This poem really resonated with me and has stayed with me for some time. One possible reason being that it reminded me that talent, art and culture are all around us. In fact, I think it can be equally or even more enjoyable to find and appreciate pieces in less traditional ways and unorthodox manners. What do you think about this poem? I would love to hear your thoughts on this post and so please leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

SisterSole x

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