Compassion is closed at night.


Compassion is warmth 
       of torn book pages slowly fed
       to hungry flames,
       by a beggar’s hands.
Compassion is sound
      of a lonely coin
      at the bottom of a tin cup.
Compassion is smell
       of his unwashed clothes
       and rotten teeth.
Compassion is clear
       as the lonely drop
       clinging to the needle-tip
       searching for unpunctured veins.
Compassion is softness
      of a pleated fiberboard
      spread carefully
      on cobblestones.
Compassion is a drugstore
      closed at night.
Compassion is tearing us apart
      with a disgusting
      taste of bile.

Drug-store by Edward Hopper

Drug-store by Edward Hopper


Today it’s time for Open Link Night, come with any poem to Dverse and spend some time with us, sharing your thoughts and read poetry. Pub opens at 3PM EST and stay open for 48 hours.

October 1, 2015

38 responses to “Compassion is closed at night.

  1. The title is killer, & it works well as the transition line before you/we shift to a more personalized POV; interesting poetic juxtaposition as your narrator berates/describes our empathy for the homeless–but our open-ended compassion is hollow & without meaning if it is not used on our own personal problems.

  2. By the by, my own poem, BLACKTHORNE-SC 47: QUEST is already posted as well if you want a peek. I wonder if anyone else, anywhere, is writing cinemagenic poetics?

  3. Compassion is a drugstore closed at night. What a solid line, because when it is a night of the heart, compassion surely is closed.

    I wonder why is it that our compassion flags? What is it that hardens our hearts.

  4. compassion comes in so many different shades and sometimes people who have seen too much or haven been tricked lose it completely – so sad

  5. This is an interesting take on compassion. To me, your poem speaks more of anti-compassion, as the images are chilling rather than showing warmth. Thus, admittedly I am a bit confused.

  6. Love the list word of compassion, most specially for the homeless:

    Compassion is softness
    of a pleated fiberboard
    spread carefully
    on cobblestones.

    Admiring the subtle and indirect way of delivering your message ~

  7. Excellent Björn, and compassion quite topical with all that is going on in this world of ours.
    Sometimes (I find) my ability to be compassionate is well worn down, even in my workplace. Generally this coincides with a soon to be holiday, as of this time. I need a break!
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

  8. I like the cumulative effect of a series of strong distinctive images here that play well to your disenchanted theme Bjorn.

  9. Compassion is invoked when faced with many such common situations. But the reaction from those able to do something left much to be desired!

    Hank

  10. I get that perhaps compassion is only demonstrated at times when it’s convenient…when “we” feel in the mood to face all the ugliness that it sometimes can entail. Good that we face what you have shown us here, Bjorn.

  11. I think you have addressed the fact that compassion cannot be discriminating. To be sincerely compassionate, we must accept the whole person, the whole situation….which often is not pretty.

  12. The world needs more compassion the sad part is the ones that take advantage of the kindness of others and ruin it for the ones that truly need it.

  13. From the title to the picture of the drugstore – I was hooked – in many ways..too true that compassion seems only to apply to some when it is palatable..sadly

  14. this is truly beautiful!! Compassion is helping anonymously, smiling and looking in to the eyes of a homeless person before dropping the coin in his tin cup. this poem truly speaks to me.

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